North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the United States with most of the apple orchards in North Carolina and primarily in the North Carolina Mountains. With more than 40 varieties of Apples grown in NC, you'll find plenty of variety and apple farms for you to choose from!
Picking apples in Western NC is fun experience for the whole family, and you can not only pick your apples, but enjoy some fresh cider, baked apple products, games, hay rides and more, especially in the Fall during peak Apple season.
Apple pies, apple fritters, and apple cider donuts are definitely a must when visiting an orchard. North Carolina Apple Orchards are scattered across many locations in North Carolina, but the largest number are located in Western NC, and mainly in the Hendersonville NC area.
With so many apple orchards, how do you choose where to visit? We have visited many different apple orchards in North Carolina, and you'll find our top picks for the very best apple orchards in North Carolina's mountains:
The Best Apple Orchards in the North Carolina Mountains
Picking just a handful of the best apple orchards in the mountains of North Carolina, given how many there are was a tough job. We listed out all of types of apples offered, whether the orchard provides u-pick options, factored in all of the things to do, the number apple products available, and even considered parking and ease of access.
We put all of this together, assigned weighted rankings, and scored each North Carolina apple orchard. You'll find our results below. All of these orchards scored high on our list, and are North Carolina Apple orchards you won't want to miss!
Jeter Mountain Farm U-Pick Orchard
Address: 133 Jeter Mountain Road in Hendersonville, NC
Jeter Mountain Farm is a family-owned and operated farm located in Hendersonville NC. This large farm offers a variety of apple for u-pick, as well as many other activities and events throughout the year.
Jeter Mountain Farm has over 25 varieties of apples available for u-pick, including all of the most popular apples like: Fuji, Honeycrisp, Gala, and Granny Smith.
We visited Jeter Mountain Farm in August of 2023, and had a blast. This farm and facility is huge and you can literally plan to spend a good portion of your day here.
When visiting, you'll ride behind one of the many tractors out to the u-pick fields for Apples, blackberries, elderberries, and grapes. They also offer u-pick flowers, with many different types.
Jeter Mountain Farm offers u-pick apples from mid August to late October. The hours for u-pick are 10am to 5pm, seven days a week.
In addition to u-pick apples, Jeter Mountain Farm offers a variety of other activities throughout the year, including: Hayrides, Live Music, Apple Cider Donuts, a playground, hard cider tastings, and more!
The Farm also has a large store that sells a variety of their own products and other locally made products, including: Apple Cider, Sparkling Cider, varieties of hard cider, Apple Butter, Apple Pies, Cider Donuts, candy, cookies, and more!
Hungry? The Jeter Mountain Farm Coffee House offers a variety of coffee drinks at their coffee shop, including an Apple Butter Latte! They also have the 1813 Smokehouse, offering fantastic BBQ, sides, and sparkling cider.
They also offer different varieties of hard cider that is made there at the Orchard. You can purchase a flight to taste in the Hard Cider Tap Room and purchase also purchase hard cider from the store to bring home with you.
Love Cider Donuts? Get them fresh and hot, at the Donut shop. You can purchase individual donuts, a half-dozen, or a full dozen. The best part? Their made on site, and available hot and fresh for you to eat - They are out of this world good!
Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard U-Pick Orchard
Address: 170 Stepp Orchard Dr in Hendersonville, NC 28792
Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard is a family-owned and operated farm located in Hendersonville, North Carolina. They have been growing apples for over 100 years, and they offer a variety of apples for u-pick, as well as other activities and events throughout the year.
We visited in August of 2023, and really enjoyed meeting the family and touring this beautiful family owned farm. The farm has been in Hendersonville for generations. The orchard started out providing retail and commercial apples, but transitioned into retail, then u-pick. They have added to the orchards and the farm over the years, providing u-pick berries and grapes as well.
Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard has over 20 varieties of apples available for u-pick, including: Fuji, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Gala.
Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard offers u-pick apples from late August to late October.
As part of u-pick, you can also pick grapes fresh off the vine, berries, wildflowers and Sunflowers! We really enjoyed picking apples and grapes, and took home some sunflowers a well to decorate our home.
In addition to u-pick apples, Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard offers a variety of other wonderful activities throughout the year, including: Hayrides, Apple cider donuts, a large Corn maze, and Picnic areas. Their corn maze draws people from all over North and South Carolina each and every year.
They even have Apple Canons! You can literally load up an air powered canon with small apples, and shoot targets out in a field. The canons are huge, and it's tons of fun!
The large barn store sells a variety of Apples and locally-made products, including: Apple cider, Apple butter, Apple pies, and more.
The Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard bakery offers a variety of apple cider donuts, apple cider slushies, and other baked goods. They also have a picnic area where you can enjoy your food and drinks.
Address: 2951 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Grandad's Apples, located in Hendersonville NC has 120 acres of land on their family farm, that has been growing apples for 4 generations! You can choose apples that have been picked directly from the trees that day, and on select days, they offer u-pick.
During the fall, they have plenty of pumpkins for you to take home and carve in addition to Apples. And don't forget to take a ride on the cow train through the fields and be sure to try out the apple canon, and the corn maze!
Grandad's Barn and Country Store has many different goods for you to take home as well and the bakery is definitely a must see! Apple cider slushies, donuts, pies, and many other baked goods. Oh, be sure to get a Ice Cream Sandwich or a Mountain Glacier, two of Grandad's signature items.
They even have sunflowers to browse, photograph and pick!
The Mountain Glacier is an Apple Cider Slushee topped with soft serve vanilla ice cream and crumbled caramel apple cookies on top! It's to die for! The Ice Cream Sandwich is a apple cider donut, with soft serve ice cream in the middle!
Grandad's is a very popular Apple Orchard in Hendersonville NC, with lots of see and do and delivers incredible views as well.
Sky Top Orchard U-Pick and We-Pick Orchard
Address: 1193 Pinnacle Mtn Rd. Zirconia, NC
Sky Top Orchard has been around since 1967 in Flat Rock, NC. The orchard was started by Everette and David Butler and has been family-owned since. Sky Top offers both "we pick" and u-pick Apples along with tons of family fun activities for, such as the hayride and the bee train. They even have seasonal flowers to pick.
There’s also an apple canon, too where you can shoot small apples at targets. The canons are so much fun, and make this awesome "Thump" sound when you shoot them.
You can also see goats, ducks, chickens, and other farm animals. There is even a playground for the kiddos and a gem mine.
Want to just take a quiet walk? They offer a beautiful nature walk through a bamboo forest. There is also a corn maze in the fall to explore, and get lost in.
In addition to apples and activities, they sell all sorts of apple goods, including baked items like apple cider donuts, pies, caramel apples, and more. You'll even find kettle corn, candy, and lots of other goodies to munch on.
In the fall, pumpkins are also available to pick up and bring home. Sky Top is tons of fall apple fun.
Barber's Orchard Fruit Stand and We-Pick Apple Orchard
Address: 2855 Old Balsam Rd, Waynesville, NC
Barber's Orchard is popular apple orchard, located in Waynesville, NC, with a large variety of apples for you to pick from. They do not offer u-pick apples, but have tons available to choose from in the store.
In addition to apples, they also have lots of produce like Sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, tomatoes and other vegetables.
Barber's Orchard has some of the best apple cider we've ever had along with plenty of apple goods for you to take home, including: apple fritters, apple cider donuts, apple pies, apple turnovers, and other fruit pies. You can even purpose whole pies.
Justus Orchard U-Pick Orchard
Address: 187 Garren Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Justus Orchard is a family-owned orchard in Hendersonville NC that has been growing and selling apples for over a 100 years. They offer both u-pick and we-pick apples, blackberries, peaches, and pumpkins. As you walk through their farm, you can also take a detour to the pond and watch the ducks.
Justus Orchard is a great place for kids! There’s a playground, a huge trampoline (the Giant Jumping Pillow), a cow train, apple cannons and a petting zoo. The Cow Train will take you for a ridge through the orchards.
Their bakery has their well-known fried apple pies, cider, cider slushies, apple bread, and more. The Apple House also has pre-picked apples for you to choose from, honey, jams, jellies, and many other goods.
Apple Hill Orchard and Cider Mill
Address: 2075 Pleasant Hill Ave, Morganton, NC
Located in Morganton NC, Apple Hill Orchard and Cider Mill is a u-pick orchard that dates back to 1930, with 22 different varieties of apples—gala, honeycrisp, golden delicious, cameo, and more—along with peaches.
They also have fields of flowers that you can stroll, take photos in, or cut and pick.
Apple Hill also has a Farmhouse Bakery that serves up all of your favorite baked goodies, with made from scratch donuts, cakes, pies, and more.
The Farm Market is there for you to purchase from, holding apples, cider, honey, gifts, and other items.
Coston Farm & Apple House
Address: 3748 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC
Coston Farm & Apple House is in Hendersonville, NC, is both an apple and pumpkin farm. You can pick the apples yourselves or they can get them for you.
In the gift shop, they also have apple cider, strawberry cider, blackberry cider, peach cider, and more. They also sell jellies, candy, sauces, honey, souvenirs, and lots more.
Everyone's favorite, the bakery has several different delicious items for you to bring home. You can chose from the apple fried pies, homemade apple pie, apple bread, muffins, cider donuts, apple butter, and more! Sounds good!
The Historic Orchard at Altapass
Address: 1025 Orchard Rd, Spruce Pine, NC
In Spruce Pine, NC, the Historic Orchard at Altapass is a pick your own orchard, and one of the top visited places along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Their apple forest is encouraged to walk through, no matter the season, and there's even a place to sit down while you listen to some music.
They have fresh apple pie with ice cream, and plenty of other apple goods for you to enjoy. Hayrides and other events are available during your stay, so feel free to check them out. The orchard is also pet-friendly, and with plenty of walks to go on.
Mountain Fresh Orchards
Mountain Fresh Orchards is a family-owned and operated apple orchard located in Hendersonville NC. They offer a variety of apple varieties for u-pick, as well as other activities and events throughout the year.
They offer u-pick apples from late August to late October. The hours for u-pick are 9am to 5pm, seven days a week.
In addition to u-pick apples, Mountain Fresh Orchard offers a variety of other activities throughout the year, including: Hayrides, a corn maze, pumpkin patch, train rides on the Apple Express Train and live music.
The Mountain Fresh Orchards store sells a variety of orchard and locally-made products, including: apple cider, apple butter, apple pies, apple cider donuts, and more!
The Mountain Fresh Orchards bakery offers a variety of apple cider donuts, apple cider slushies, and other baked goods. There is also a picnic area where you can enjoy your food and drinks.
Address: 7400 NC Hwy 16 North Taylorsville, NC
Deal Orchards is a family-owned and operated orchard located in Taylorsville NC. They offer a variety of apples, as well as other fruits and vegetables, for u-pick.
Deal Orchards offers over 30 varieties of apples for u-pick, including favorites like: Gala, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Winesap and many more.
U-pick apples are offered from late August to late October. The hours for u-pick are 8am to 5pm, seven days a week.
In addition to u-pick and we-pick apples, Deal Orchards offers a variety of other activities including: Hayrides, Scarecrow making, Pumpkin painting and other events.
The Deal Orchards store and bakery sells a variety of orchard and locally-made products, including: Apple cider, Apple Cider Donuts, Apple butter, apple pies, apple cider slushies, and other baked and available goodies!
- Apple butter
- Apple pies
- Apple cider donuts
- And more!
They also have a nice picnic area where you can enjoy your food and drinks.
Final Thoughts on the Best Apple Orchards in the North Carolina Mountains
The North Carolina Mountains are home to some of the best apple orchards in the country. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are a few final thoughts to help you plan your apple picking adventure:
- Timing is everything. The apple picking season in North Carolina typically runs from mid-August to the end of October. However, the exact timing can vary depending on the orchard and the weather. Be sure to check the orchard's website or call ahead to confirm the picking dates and availability of the various varieties of apples.
- Do your research. Before you go apple picking, take some time to research the different orchards in your area. Visit their websites, understand what is available and when, and be sure to read over their rules and guidelines. This will help you narrow down your choices and find the perfect orchard for your needs.
- Be prepared to work. Apple picking is a fun activity, but it's also a lot of work! Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes, and bring a hat and sunscreen if the weather is warm. You may also want to bring a basket or bag to carry your apples.
- Have fun! Apple picking is a great way to enjoy the fall weather and get some exercise. So relax, take your time, and enjoy the experience.
- Treat Yourself! Be sure to grab some treats while at the Orchard, like Apple Cider, apple cider donuts, ice cream, and other wonderful baked apple products.