15 Best Fall Apple Picking in North Carolina for Kids

If you are looking for fun things to do with your kids this fall in North Carolina, consider checking out some of the different apple orchards. North Carolina is one of the top apple producers in the United States, so you bet that the fall apple picking is stellar in this state!

North Carolina has been in the top 10 states for apple producing for over five years. Apples play a big role in this state, and if you’re looking for an awesome apple festival, go to the Apple Festival in Hendersonville.

Hendersonville is truly the heart of the fall apple picking in North Carolina. A majority of growers are in this area, but you’ll find plenty of apple orchards throughout the entire state.

Most apple orchards in the state are in Western North Carolina towards the Blue Ridge Mountains. So, if you want a weekend getaway in the state this fall, you’ll find all sorts of fall festivals near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy fall apple picking in North Carolina towards the eastern part of the state. You can! You’ll find plenty of orchards in this area as well.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best apple orchards in North Carolina.

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Related: 11 Fall Family Activities in the North Carolina Mountains

When is Apple Picking Season in North Carolina?

Fall apple picking season begins in North Carolina from late August until October. Many apple orchards plan their openings around Labor Day, and some stay open well into November.

It’s best to check with the apple orchard before heading out.

15 Best Fall Apple Picking in North Carolina for Kids

1. Creasman Farms – Hendersonville

Creasman Farms is run by the Creasman family, and they focus on growing over 40 varieties of heirloom and new apples. Half of these apples are available for u-pick, while the others are only available in their farm store after picking by their employees.

Some of their most popular varieties include:

  • Gold Rush
  • Gala
  • Mutsu
  • Summer Rambo
  • Pink Lady
  • Granny Smith

Their farm sells a variety of other produce like peaches, stringless beaches, and blueberries. You’ll find their goodies at local farmer markets throughout the area.

2. Coston Farm & Apple House – Hendersonville

Coston Farm is a great place for fall apple picking; it’s known for growing apples for Gerber baby food. So, you know their apples are top quality. However, this orchard sells other varieties, such as:

  • Jonasgold
  • Arkansas Black
  • Cortland
  • Rome Beauty
  • Fuji

Coston offers a gift shop along with a bakery that features apple breads, donuts, pies, and other goodies for families to purchase. The bakery also has fried apple pies, cookies, muffins, and fresh cider. Go to the gift shop to grab some toys, canned goods, local made pottery, and other novelties.

3. Grandad’s Apples N’ Such – Hendersonville

Grandad’s Apples N’ Such is located in Hendersonville, and it’s one of the best fall apple picking locations. It’s near the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville with hundreds of acres to explore. This orchard has u-pick apples and pumpkins.

Grandad’s Apples N’ Such features a variety of apples, such as:

  • Golden Delicious
  • Gala
  • Cinnamon Crisp
  • Rome
  • Rusty Gold

Not only can you pick apples with your family, families enjoy hot cider donuts cookies, apple pies, and apple cider slushies. So many delicious foods!

They also host fun weekend activities. Families enjoy corn mazes, a cow train, and an apple cannon. These come at an extra cost.

Related: 12 Things to Do in Asheville with Kids

4. Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill – York, SC

Windy Hill Orchard is technically in South Carolina, but they are only an hour southwest of Charlotte, NC, so I had to include this awesome location for fall apple picking. This orchard grows Stayman Winesap apples.

When visiting their orchard, it’s essential to have a reservation because they only have a limited amount of apples. They sell out, so I suggest getting a reservation and enjoying a bag of their delicious apples.

Not only can you enjoy their locally grown apples, but make sure you grab some fresh pressed apple cider and other homemade apple goodies. The visit is made complete with hayrides around the orchard. It’s a trip your kids will love!

5. Jeter Mountain Farm Apple Orchard – Hendersonville

Jeter Mountain Farm is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, owned by the Hunsader family with a long history of farming. Their farm offered their first you-pick season in 2020, featuring over 25 apple varieties, as well as peaches, pumpkins, raspberries, and more.

Some of the apple varieties you’ll find here include:

  • Redfree
  • Gala
  • Ruby Mac
  • McIntosh
  • Golden Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Rome

When you visit Jeter Mountain, a wagon takes you to the apple orchard to pick your bag. They offer six hard ciders on tap, homemade apple cider donuts, and live music on the weekends.

Don’t forget the play area that kids love. This 6,000 square foot covered play area is great for kids and their sense of wonder. The area features slides, a hay mountain, a playhouse, and more.

6. Justus Orchard – Hendersonville

Justus Orchard is a family-owned apple orchard located in Hendersonville, North Carolina for four generations. Visitors enjoy the mountain air and views while picking apples and pumpkins.

This orchard offers 19 apple varieties, and they sell u-pick blackberries throughout July and August. Some of the varieties include:

  • Gala
  • Honeycrisp
  • Crimson Crisp
  • Golden Delicious
  • Ambrosia
  • Mutsu

Justus Orchard features family-friendly activities everyone enjoys, such as a playground, cow train ride, a jumping pillow, farm animals, and a nice picnic area. Visitors stop at the bakery and enjoy all of their goodies, such as apple cider donuts, apple cider slushies, and apple pies.

7. Perry Lowe Orchard – Moravian Falls

Perry Lowe Orchard is in Wilkes County, growing apples for over six generations. This orchard features over 30 varieties of apples, and they’re known for their unique blends of pressed apple ciders and dehydrated apples.

Some varieties you’ll find at this orchard include:

  • Honeycrisp
  • Paula Red
  • Ginger Gold

You have to reserve a spot to pick at their orchard, and you’ll also source other goodies here like white and yellow peaches, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, and blackberries.

8. Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill – Morganton

If you are closer to Raleigh or Charlotte, NC, you may want to find a fall apple picking location. Apple Hill Orchard is a 100 acre orchard and cattle farm with over five generations of experience growing apples. This orchard has 10,000 apple trees and 22 apple varieties!

Believe it or not, this apple orchard is nearly 100 years old, dating back to the 1930s!

Some of apple varieties featured include:

  • Ginger Gold
  • Gala
  • Swiss Gourmet
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jonasgold
  • Early Fuji
  • Golden Delicious

After picking apples, head over to Apple Hill Orchard’s fresh farm market. They sell apple cider, fried apple pies, fresh jellies and jams, and other baked goods.

This orchard grows peaches; they come into bloom one to three weeks before apple trees. Their prime picking time is July to August, and you’ll find yellow peaches, white peaches, and yellow nectarines.

Related: 20 Awesome Things to Do in Charlotte, NC with Kids

9. Carrigan Farms – Mooresville

Another apple picking location closer to Charlotte is Carrigan Farms. They are located in Mooresville, and this farm has belong to five generations of the family. This family farmed the lands starting in 1902, starting as a cotton and tobacco farm, and eventually focusing on top-quality fruits and vegetables.

Some of the apple varieties offered include:

  • Red Delicious
  • Golden Delicious

They have a short picking season, and they sell tickets for this apple orchard. Each ticket includes a hayride to the petting zoo.

Carrigan Farms offers u-pick pumpkins and sunflowers. During the summer, they have a quarry for swimming, and they offer parts of their farm for private events.

10. Mountain Fresh Orchards – Hendersonville

Mountain Fresh Orchard is a family operated orchard only four miles from downtown Hendersonville. The orchard offers fresh-picked apples; they sell 17 different varieties that reach weakness from late August to mid-November.

Some of their top varieties include:

  • Honeycrisp
  • Gala
  • Granny Smith
  • Pink Lady

When visiting Mountain Fresh Orchards, make sure you take time to enjoy their apple fritters, apple dumplings, and fried apple pies. They are delicious!

Families love the train rides offered around the farm during the weekend, and they have a roadside farm market stand with fresh-picked apples, local honey, and numerous baked goods.

11. Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard – Hendersonville

Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard offers over 50 years of apple picking with 21 apple varieties on their 70 acre farm. This orchard is one of the first in the area to offer apple picking for visitors, and they continue to offer tons of fall family fun.

Stepp’s offers a five acre corn maze, pick your own sunflowers, zinnias, grapes, and pumpkins. Kids enjoy their jump pad, wagon rides, and apple cannons.

The orchard offers varieties such as:

  • Pink Lady
  • Fuji
  • Mutsu
  • Red Delicious
  • Crimson Crisp
  • Jonasgold

Stepp’s is a dog-friendly farm with free-admission. They sell cups of apple cider, apple cider donuts, and picnic areas for packed lunches.

12. Devil Dog Orchard – Reidsville

Devil Dog Orchard is located in Rockingham County near Greensboro, Burlington, and their surrounding areas. It’s a family-owned and operated orchard with several varieties of apples, including:

  • Red Delicious
  • Golden Delicious
  • Gala

Their orchard is simple and offers u-pick apples and sweet muscadines, a grape native to America. They also have trails for walking and areas to spread out blankets for picnics.

13. The Orchard at Altapass – Spruce Pine

If you are visiting the North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway, stop at The Orchard at Altapass. Their orchard began over 25 years ago; this is a non-profit with the mission to preserve the land, history, and culture of the Altapass area.

The Orchard at Altapass offers 25 apple varieties for picking. A few varieties include:

  • York
  • Golden Delicious
  • King Luscious
  • Stayman Winesap
  • Virginia Beauty

Families enjoy walking trails that are open year-round, live music, educational programs, and a butterfly garden. Their general store sells fresh jams, jellies, homemade fudge, and more goodies.

14. Sky Top Orchard – Flat Rock

If you want to enjoy the North Carolina mountains, check out the Sky Top Orchard. This orchard is located atop Mt. McAlpine, featuring u-pick apples, pumpkin picking, ponds, picnic areas, tractor-pulled rides, and more.

Sky Top Orchard features around 2,500 apple trees with over 30 varieties. Some of the most popular apple varieties at Sky Top include:

  • Cortland
  • Golden Delicious
  • Candy Crisp
  • Honeycrisp
  • Gala
  • Asian Pear

You have to grab some of the apple cider donuts. It’s one of the most popular parts of this orchard, and they always have to expand their donut-making.

Something nice about this apple orchard is that it’s dog-friendly, so you can enjoy fall apple picking with your entire family.

15. Millstone Creek Orchards – Ramseur

Do you live near the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area? if so, Millstone Creek Orchards is within a reasonable driving distance and offers fantastic fall apple picking.

Some of their apple varieties include:

  • Honeycrisp
  • Cortland
  • Gala
  • Red Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Pink Lady
  • Gold Rush

Besides apple picking, Millstone Creek Orchard features u-pick grapes and gourds, catch and release fishing, alpacas, and a playground for kids to enjoy. While visiting, enjoy their cold-pressed apple cider and apple cider donuts, all delicious!

The farm also offers other u-pick fruits. Visit during June and July to pick blackberries, blueberries, peaches, and raspberries!


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