I'm smitten by one thing these days: the weather. It's fall in DC, my favorite time of year. Hearing the leaves do the cha-cha on the street, drinking seasonal beer at the Black Squirrel, watching local drag queens sprint down 17th Street, and picking apples are, for me, the measures of fall.
Apple picking is the best way to embrace the weather. My favorite place to pick my own is Stribling Orchard, located about 60 minutes from DC. There are farm animals, picnic tables, and a small country store that sells pie.
If you are from New England forget about Macintosh Apples. Let it go. Now is the time to pick York, Nittany, Crispens, and Granny Smith. What to do with all those apples? Bring them home and bake an apple pie, apple cake, applesauce, and, when your sweet tooth falls out, top them on pizza and stuff them in sandwiches.
If you are looking for somewhere close by to eat, try the Apple House, about 15 minutes further down the road on Route 66. The kitchen serves all day breakfast and specialty sandwiches like the Redskins Rockin' Rooster. Most importantly: they sell spiced apple donuts.
If Stribling Orchard is too far for you, check out Metrocurean's Apple Picking Guide for other orchards in the area.