If you’re planning a stay in Charlotte NC, who could blame you – so much to do, go to Carowinds Amusement Park, maybe catch the Panthers at a sports game, or just enjoy city life, with its parks, historic architecture, urban bars, and restaurants.
But what isn’t so well known about Charlotte, NC is the nearby apple and fruit picking spots. Which are well worth checking out if you can spare the time.
But if you’re not yet clued-up on where it may be best to go for apple picking near Charlotte, don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’ll be sharing with you our hand-picked shortlist of the best apple picking opportunities within easy driving distance of Charlotte, NC.
We’ll give you the names and locations of the farms and orchards, and of course provide any links you need to find out more, such as when their apple picking season starts and ends, and costs (we don’t quote costs here in case they change).
And without further ado, let’s get straight to it!
(The following apple picking spots aren’t listed in any particular order.)
1. Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard
Location: 170 Stepp Orchard Dr, Hendersonville, NC 28792
This is a fabulous spot for apple picking, and for other fun family activities besides. It’s made up of a 100 acre working farm and apple orchard.
It was the first ever pick-your-own apple orchard in Hendersonville and Henderson county (Also check out Farmers Markets Henderson NV). They’ve been in the business for over 50 years now.
The apple orchard makes up 40 percent of the land, and there you will find a staggering 26 different varieties of apples.
They also do pick-your-own grapes, pick-your-own pumpkins, pick-your-own flowers, wagon rides, and shooting apples through a cannon. There’s a challenging 5 acre corn maze too.
The absolute best time to visit is Labor Day weekend, when they host the NC Apple Festival, when you can celebrate, take part in fun family festivities, and check out their apple cider, and freshly baked apple cider donuts and more.
2. Blueberry Thrill Farm
Location: 6938 Eaglesfield Rd, Gibsonville, NC 27249
Blueberry Thrill Farm has been around since 1982 and is a second generation family owned and operated farm.
Their main produce (yes, you guessed it) is blueberries, but they also grow blackberries, peaches, apples, muscadines, pumpkins and flowers. And you can also purchase chicken eggs as well.
During the peak summer season they are open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 in the morning through noon, and during fall they are only open Saturdays from 7:30 in the morning through noon.
The best way to know what farm produce they have available throughout the year is to follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
3. Perry Lowe Orchards
Location: 8741 NC-16, Moravian Falls, NC 28654
Perry Lowe is a sixth generation 100 acre apple orchard where they grow 30 different varieties of apples on about a staggering 30,000 apple trees.
You can check their website for their apple facts, apple recipes, and to find out which apples are currently in season.
But what really makes it such a good spot for apple picking are the gorgeous mountain views all around.
We also think it’s particularly handy how they label the rows of apple trees according to taste, such as “sweet”, “tart” and “not ready”.
Reservations are required for apple picking. And they have lots of other fun activities besides, including a bee train, an apple cannon, a jump pad, and a tractor playground.
4. Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill
Location: 2075 Pleasant Hill Ave., Morganton NC, 28655
Situated in the mountains of Western NC, just south of Morganton, this family owned and operated orchard has been around since 1930.
Every fall, they invite visitors to come along to the orchard with their families, for picking their own apples. They grow 22 varieties of apples there, with 18 different varieties available for picking your own.
Their apple picking season typically runs from mid-August through mid-November.
You can check their website to find out which varieties of apples are available when, and what hours the U-pick is open. You will have to book online.
While there, why not browse their on-site bakery for freshly baked apple or peach based delights, and their farm stand, which has jelly, cider honey, gourmet food, gifts, and more.
5. Creasman Farms
Location: 280 Bent Arrow Ln, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Creasman Farms is family owned and operated and has been in the business of growing apples, and other fruits and veggies, for many decades now.
And you will often find their produce available, not only at the farm itself, but also at several local restaurants and bakeries.
They grow over 40 different varieties of apples, including both new apples and heirloom ones, of which there are 17 varieties available for picking your own.
Their U-Pick orchard is open Sundays only from 1 to 5 pm in September (after Labor Day) and October.
6. Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill
Location: 1860 Black Hwy, York, SC 29745
Described as York County’s original agri-tourism destination, Windy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill offers the Stayman Winesap variety of apples to pick your own…
It’s a southern heirloom variety that’s sweet and aromatic with a hint of tartness. They’re great for cooking because they retain their flavor when they are baked.
And they’re really good for hard and sweet ciders as well. The picking season typically starts in early September.
7. The Orchard At Altapass
Location: 1025 Orchard Rd, Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Altapass Orchard is a small, not-for-profit working orchard, where you can buy apples already picked or pick your own. It’s also a great place to take the kids for its educational value, because they can learn about farm life.
It has a really great store where you can buy all kinds of apple related goodies, such as apple pies, tarts, and ciders.
But what really makes this orchard different from most other apple orchards is that they have live music for visitors to enjoy on a regular basis.
8. Carrigan Farms
Location: 1261 Oak Ridge Farm Hwy, Mooresville, NC 28115
Carrigan Farms is a 5th generation, family owned and operated farm that grows fruits and vegetables. And when visitors come to the farm, they are welcome to pick their own strawberries, sunflowers, apples and pumpkins.
Where the apples are concerned, you can pick both red delicious and golden delicious apples. The apple trees are short, so there is no need for ladders and such.
Your apple picking experience also includes a hayride to the petting zoo and orchard.
The key thing to bear in mind about apple picking at Carrigan Farms is that their apple picking period is very short, so we recommend that you plan your visit at the beginning of the season, in September as early as possible to get the best selection and the best picking conditions.
The other great thing about Carrigan Farms is that they also have a haunted trail for 12-year-olds and over if you dare to try it!
9. Millstone Creek Orchards
Location: 506 Parks Crossroads Church Rd, Ramseur, NC 27316
Millstone Creek Orchards is a relatively new orchard in the area that’s 84 acres in total, with five different small apple orchards with various apple varieties, spanning about 15 acres of the land.
It hosts various events throughout the year, including markets, hayrides, and barnyard animal mini sessions.
Their u-pick season begins in June, and they grow blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, grapes, flowers, apples, pumpkins, and pecans.
The varieties of apples available for public picking include Honeycrisp, Cortland, Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Red Fuji, Aztec Fuji, Pink Lady, Arkansas Black and Gold Rush.
10. Sky Top Orchard
Location: 1193 Pinnacle Mountain Rd, Flat Rock, NC 28731
Sky Top Orchard has been a family owned and operated farm since 1967. They have over 22 varieties of apples, including the likes of Early Macs, Ginger Golds, Honeycrisps, Pink Lady and Arkansas Blacks.
Their U-Pick typically begins in early August and ends in mid-November.
We also love how you can enjoy hot “made-while-you- watch” apple cider doughnuts, and other tasty apple goods, as well as local Kettle corn, honey and more.
There’s also gem mining, tractor rides, a bee train, an apple canyon, and barnyard animals.
11. Justus Orchards
Location: 187 Garren Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Justus Orchards has been family owned and operated for more than four generations. They offer both u-pick apples and u-pick blackberries.
Their apple picking season runs from mid-August through early November. They have a wide variety of apples available and there’s a ripening schedule for each variety on their website.
They also run tours, festivals and lots of other fun activities besides. And while you’re there be sure to check out their bakery, with homemade goodies such as fried apple pies, apple cider, apple cider donuts, and more.
I hope you’ve enjoyed browsing through our shortlist of the best apple picking spots within easy driving distance of Charlotte, NC.
Whichever spot you choose to go to (or you could go to several you know), you’re sure to have some really great family time.
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