6 Best Places To Apple Pick In Massachusetts

6 Best Places To Apple Pick In Massachusetts

Perfect places for fall fun!
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With fall in full swing in New England, there is no better way to spend your time than with the best fall activity- apple picking. New England is riddled with amazing apple orchards and farms all over, but Massachusetts has some of the best around. Here are the 6 best places to apple pick in Massachusetts.

1. Smolak Farms

Located in North Andover, Smolak Farms is a beautiful place to apple pick. They have two orchard locations on site so there are plenty to choose from and it never feels overcrowded. Their apple cider and cinnamon sugar donuts are so good that the farmhouse usually draws the crowds and lines, but they’re well worth it! Check out the details here.

2. Honey Pot Hill Orchards

Located in Stow, Honey Pot Hill Orchards is another great location to pick your own apples (and other fruit as well), and even has bagged apples already picked for you in the store incase you are on a time crunch. However, this orchard doesn’t allow pets, so keep that in mind when deciding where you’re going! Details here.

3. Autumn Hills Orchards

With the beautiful scenery of Groton, MA surrounding the orchard, Autumn Hills is the ideal place to pick your apples and take cute fall pictures. They have over 7 different varieties of apples to choose from and trails to walk along and enjoy the beautiful views. Details here.

4. Cider Hill Farm

Located in Amesbury, MA, Cider Hill Farm offers many varieties of fruits and vegetables to pick in season, including delicious apples. They also offer a bunch of other fun fall activities including hayrides and delicious treats. They’re even in the works of creating a cidery (for spiked cider). What’s not to love?! Details.

5. Connors Farm

This farm in Danvers, MA is open 7 days a week! In addition to pick-your-own apples, the farm offers many other activities including a Charlie Brown Corn Maze, zombie paintball and haunted flashlight mazes. Perfect for spending the afternoon and night with friends and family. Details.

6. Carlson Orchards

Located in Harvard, MA, Carlson Orchards grows all natural apples for your picking pleasure. Carlson Orchards has a more laid-back vibe and allows you to be relaxed and enjoying your day while you pick. And, they offer a 100% money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with any of their products. They’re that good. Details.

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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Doing Nothing All Summer Is Okay Too

It's okay to have no plans this summer.

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Summer seems to roll around faster and faster every year and the question that's always asked is"what are you doing this summer?" Some people love to answer this question, maybe they have a trip planned to backpack across Europe or have a 2-week vacation in the Bahamas. My point is, everyone seems to have these big summer plans. Some people spend the whole summer traveling and are never even home, but there are always gonna be some people who, like me, have absolutely no plans this summer.

Do I wish I was traveling across Europe or spending a few weeks in the Bahamas? Sure. But in reality, my summer plans include working 5 or 6 days a week. I'm not ashamed of this and I wouldn't say I'm jealous of those traveling because I'm still determined to make the best of my summer.

There is so much pressure everywhere on Instagram and Snapchat to post all the fun things you're doing and to capture the moment. This creates the pressure that you always have to be doing something fun or spontaneous.

Summer should be whatever you want it to be. If you want to spend every day at the beach, do it. If you want to spend every day in bed or at home, that's good too. We all have different definitions of fun.

Summer has just started and everyone should make the most of their summer in their own way. My friends and I always make a bucket list of all the things we want to do by the end of the summer. None of it involves traveling or much planning, it's just little things we can do when we get bored.

Don't feel jealous when you see other people traveling this summer. Make your own fun plans, make a bucket list, and make the most of every day this summer.

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