Just 25 miles south of downtown Asheville is one of the country's top apple growing areas - and you can visit the orchards and farms for free! North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the nation and Henderson County is the largest apple-producing county in North Carolina, growing 65% of them. You can visit many orchards along US Highway 64, just a few miles east of I-26 (between Hendersonville and Chimney Rock). The apple harvest season runs from late August to late October, and many of the orchards are open daily. Several of the orchards offer tours and allow you to pick your own apples.
Locally grown fruits and vegetables are fresher and cost less than you find in a traditional grocery store. Fresh NC Apples are the freshest and tastiest apples you can buy. Buy locally-made tasty treats and gifts, like fried apple pies, canned goods, apple butter, apple cider, jellies, jams, sauces, chow chow, homemade baked goods, and ice cream at local farm markets and country stores. You can also find great fall harvest decorations such as pumpkins, indian corn, winter squash and gourds.
Here are three orchards near Hendersonville, NC, that we toured within a few miles of each other (download a brochure/map PDF with many orchards!):
JH Stepp Farm's Hillcrest Orchard
Open mid-August to Early-November, JH Stepp Farm's Hillcrest Orchard is a fourth generation, 70-acre working farm with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Pick you own apples (or grapes or pumpkins) or shop in their Country Market that is open daily with apples, pumpkins, apple cider, apple butter, and apple gifts. Take a ride on the farm wagon on weekends through acres of orchard and Farmer Stepp’s pumpkin patch and grape vines. Drink a cup of delicious local fresh apple cider. Eat beside the orchard in the picnic area.
221 Stepp Orchard Dr., Hendersonville, NC 828-685-9083 www.steppapples.com
Open June - November. While at Lyda farms, meet "Grandma Lyda" and stroll through the farmyard where you'll see donkeys, goats, geese, ducks and chickens. They have crispy North Carolina apples straight from the orchard plus a large variety of pumpkins and winter squash (and other produce) that are great for eating or decorating. Beginning in mid-August, early varieties of apples such as Fuji, Gala, Ozark, and Gingergold are available. By Labor Day, Red and Golden Delicious apple varieties are availablel. In early October, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith, Stayman Winesap and Fuji apples are available.
3465 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 828-685-3459 www.lydafarms.com
Open August to mid-November, Grandad's Apples has pre-picked apples (peaches and pumpkins too!) or pick your own in the orchards. In Grandad’s pumpkin patch you will find pumpkins and jack o’lanterns in every size and shape. At Grandad’s Barn and Country Store, you will find a great selection of fall harvest decorations, apple peelers, apple bakers, and other apple gifts. Enjoy apple turnovers, apple bread, caramel apples and a whole lot more. And, don’t forget to try a refreshing cider slush or some hot cider! Explore their five acre corn maze. After visiting five different way stations, your corn maze adventure will be complete!
2951 Chimney Rock Rd., Hendersonville, NC 828-685-1685 www.grandadsapples.com
More Apple Orchards & Farms!
Coston Farm & Apple House, Opens September to Mid-December, ., offers we pick or pick your own apples, pumpkins, cider, baked goods, apple gift boxes. 3748 Chimney Rock Hwy, Hendersonville, NC 828-685-8352 www.costonfarm.com
Creasman Farms, Open July-November, offer pick your own apples, pumpkins, gourds, and beans for picking, farm animals. 280 Bent Arrow Lane, Hendersonville, NC 28792 (828) 685-7728 or (828) 699-4821 www.creasmanapples.com
Justus Orchard, Open August to mid-November, offers u-pick or we-pick apples, cider, peaches, blackberries, cabbage, pumpkins, local vegetables, and canned goods, groups are welcome. Four-generation apple growers. 187 Garren Rd, Hendersonville, NC 828-685-8033 www.justusorchard.com
Mountain Fresh Orchards, Open late-August to mid-November, offers apples, cider, produce, and bakery items. 2887 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 828-685-7606 www.mtnfreshorchards.com
Blue Ridge Parkway Orchard
If you are traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville, stop at the Orchard at Altapass!
NC Apple Festival
Each Labor Day Weekend, downtown Hendersonville has the huge NC Apple Festival that runs for four days! See our NC Apple Festival Guide.
See more Farms to Visit