The Best Apple-Picking Orchards in America - United Hub
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The best apple-picking orchards in America

By The Hub team, October 06, 2016

Fall is in the air, and there's nothing more quintessentially autumn than apple picking. So we teamed up with Swarm, Foursquare's check-in app, to find 12 of the best orchards across the country. Whether you're going for the fresh fruit, cider doughnuts or Instagram appeal, here's the best orchard for your picking needs.

Alyson's Orchard; Walpole, New Hampshire

Alyson's Orchard/Facebook

Alyson's Orchard (Walpole, NH): Best for Big, Juicy Honeycrisps

New England is the big leagues for apple picking, and Alyson's Orchard, in rural New Hampshire, boasts over 50 apple varieties, including many names you've never even heard of (like Tolman Sweet or Baldwin).

Russell Orchards; Ipswich, Massachusetts

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Russell Orchards (Ipswich, MA): Best for Berries

Sure, apples are the most popular fall produce, but you can visit this Ipswich orchard all summer long to pick your own blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Then, head home and immediately make this berry galette..

Mercier Orchards; Blue Ridge, Georgia

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Mercier Orchards (Blue Ridge, GA): Best for Boozy Apple Picking

Look, apple picking isn't just for kids. After an hour of grabbing Fujis and Galas, it's time to turn your attention to the homemade hard ciders and wines at this southern orchard. (The winter blackberry wine sounds absolutely heavenly.) Don't leave without trying a wine slushy, made from Mercier's homemade peach and apple wines.

Carter Mountain Orchard; Charlottesville, Virginia

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Carter Mountain Orchard (Charlottesville, VA): Best For Leaf Peeping

The ever-popular Carter Mountain Orchard overlooks the scenic Shenandoah Valley, which is essentially a gold mine for fall foliage. Here's the game plan: Arrive in late afternoon, just in time to enjoy the weekly sunset series, where you can pick to your heart's content, then stay for wine and live music with a view of the valley.

Fishkill Farms; Fishkill, New York

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Fishkill Farms (Fishkill, NY): Best For Shopping The Farmers' Market

Of course you came for the apples, and you'll go home with bushels of Macouns and Cortlands. But this Hudson Valley orchard also boasts an impressive farm store where you can load up on everything from fresh eggs to homegrown veggies.

Kiyokawa Family Orchards; Parkdale, Oregon

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Kiyokawa Family Orchards (Parkdale, OR): Best for #Views

Come for the fruit; stay for the incredible vistas overlooking the Hood River Valley. It's not every day that you get to pick your own apples before a backdrop of snowcapped mountains.

Brown's Orchards & Farm Market; Loganville, Pennsylvania

Brown's Orchards/Facebook

Brown's Orchards & Farm Market (Loganville, PA): Best for Post-Picking Dinner

Of all the events at Brown's Orchards, our favorite is the Orchard to Table dinner series hosted through early fall. Get your apple picking done early, then book a seat for the festive meal (it's $60 per person). Each of the five courses is made with homegrown apples—think pork with apple chutney and caramel-apple tarts—and served in a gorgeous, autumn setting.

Blake's Orchard & Cider Mill; Armada, Michigan

Blake Farms/ Facebook

Blake's Orchard & Cider Mill (Armada, MI): Best for The Full Fall Experience

In addition to apple picking, you'll find a pumpkin patch, hayrides, a petting zoo, haunted barn, corn mazes, and donuts and caramel apples galore. The only way to end a day is with a hard cider and wine tasting at the Cider Mill.

Demarest Farm; Hillsdale, New Jersey

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Demarest Farm (Hillsdale, NJ): Best for Pumpkins

This New Jersey favorite offers peach picking in the summer and apple picking through the fall, but the enormous pumpkin patch is the star of the show. For that reason, a visit to Demarest Farm is a must before Halloween.

Apple Holler; Sturtevant, Wisconsin

Ahkris K./Yelp

Apple Holler (Sturtevant, WI): Best for Playing with Animals

Apple Holler is an orchard and farm park all in one. Bring the kiddos to the petting zoo, where they can enjoy pony rides as well as adorable goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits.

Patterson Fruit Farm; Chesterland, Ohio

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Patterson Fruit Farm (Chesterland, OH): Best For Doughnuts

A day of apple picking is only as good as the doughnuts, and Patterson's on-site bakery is out of this world. You can smell the fried dough from a mile away, which will lead you to a line of people waiting to get their hands on the huge apple fritters, freshly baked doughnuts and juicy pies.

Sky Top Orchard; Flat Rock, North Carolina

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Sky Top Orchard (Flat Rock, NC): Best For Bringing Fido

It would be a shame to go apple picking without your pup. (He loves a good McIntosh.) Sky Top Orchard is known for its pet-friendly policy and boundless grounds on which your pooch can roam.

This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

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