Nothing says fall like a trip to the pumpkin patch. Sure, Whole Foods and Kroger are great for gourds, but picking your own from a field or a farm just fills the soul. Pumpkin patches usually have all manner of ancillary activities for kids and adults alike to make a full day of it – a good thing since the nearest pumpkin patch to Savannah is about 30 minutes away in Ridgeland, South Carolina.
Once the pumpkins come home, it’s a different story. There’s the carving (messy), the roasting of seeds (rarely successful), and the inevitable rotting pumpkin burning a divot into your concrete steps. …Or at least that’s been my experience. Don’t get me wrong, though, I do it every year.
If you feel as enchanted by pumpkin patches and as disenchanted with the resulting mess as me, stop by one of the many country stores for fresh baked pies instead. Pies won’t leave a mess on your kitchen counter and only go bad if you resist them long enough, which I do not.
Whether pumpkins or pies are on your meu this fall, here are a few of the best places to find them in Savannah.
Holiday Farms’ “The Great Pumpkin Patch” is in Ridgeland, South Carolina about 30 minutes north of Savannah. Family-friendly farm activities abound in addition to good old pumpkin pickin’. The kids can bounce around on a jump pad, milk a cow, meet animals in the petting zoo, or participate in barrel races. They even have steer roping (not for the faint of heart). Check out their general store for local honeys and jams along with pies galore.
Located in Odom, Georgia about a 90-minute drive from Savannah, Poppell Farms purveys produce year-round, but they open the patch for pumpkin pickin’ throughout the month of October. The whole family can take a hayride around the farm to the patch where you can pick your own pumpkins. They also have a 10-acre corn maze and pony rides for the kids. Or you can meet Claude the Llama and their donkey, Elvis, in the petting zoo.
Just 40 minutes from Savannah, Madrac Farms grows its own breed of pumpkins – the great Orange Bulldog – developed to thrive in Georgia’s humid climate by the experts at the University of Georgia. Pick pumpkins off the vine, get lost in a corn maze, play around in their corn crib (like a ball pit), or take a hayride around the property. Finish the trip off with a selfie featuring their 300-pound pumpkin.
Half way between Savannah and Charleston near Beaufort, South Carolina, the Carolina Cider Company has been cranking out hand-made ciders and pies for four generations. Their store has a true, old country general store feel with lots of home-style treats like jams, jellies, ciders, and, of course, pies. Grab a peach, pecan, or blueberry – perfect for fall days.
Get your hands on one of the best pecan pies in the state of Georgia at Savannah’s Candy Kitchen without even leaving the city. Their pecan pies are handcrafted with real Georgia pecans and a tender, flaky crust, and best served warmed with a scoop of fresh vanilla ice cream.