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 (we call it "Apple Alley"), 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 many 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. Here are three orchards near Hendersonville that are within a few miles of each other.
Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard
Open mid-August to Early-November, Stepp's is a fourth generation, 70-acre working farm with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just 5.5 miles from I-26 (and a mile off US Highway 64). Pick you own apples (or grapes or pumpkins)andr shop in their Country Market 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, 828-685-9083 www.steppapples.com
Open August to mid-November, Grandad's Apples is just two miles from I-26 on US Highway 64. Find a huge selection of pre-picked apples or pick your own in the orchards. At Grandad’s Barn and Country Store, find a great selection of fall harvest decorations, apple peelers, apple bakers, and other apple gifts. Enjoy apple turnovers, apple bread, caramel apples, ice cream, cider and a whole lot more. Stroll through the orchards or explore the corn maze. In October, find pumpkins in every size and shape. 2951 Chimney Rock Rd., Hendersonville, 828-685-1685 www.grandadsapples.com
Open June-November. Buy crispy North Carolina apples straight from the orchard plus a large variety of pumpkins and winter squash (and other produce). 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. Stroll through the farmyard where you'll see donkeys, goats, geese, ducks and chickens. 3465 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 828-685-3459 www.lydafarms.com
More Hendersonville Apple Orchards & Farms
Coston Farm & Apple House, Opens September to Mid-December, offers they pick or pick your own apples, pumpkins, cider, baked goods and apple gift boxes. 3748 Chimney Rock Hwy, Hendersonville, 828-685-8352 www.costonfarm.com
Creasman Farms, Open July-November, with they pick or you pick apples, pumpkins, gourds, beans for picking and farm animals. 280 Bent Arrow Lane, Hendersonville, 28792, 828-685-7728 or 828-699-4821creasmanapples.com
Justus Orchard, Open August to mid-November, with you pick or they pick apples, cider, peaches, blackberries, cabbage, pumpkins, local vegetables, and canned goods. 187 Garren Rd, Hendersonville, 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, 828-685-7606 www.mtnfreshorchards.com
Sky Top Orchard, open August through mid December. Enjoy panoramic mountain views, orchard ponds with ducks and geese, barnyard with sheep, goats, chickens, and turkeys,, a bamboo forest, picnic areas and a mountaintop of apple and fruit trees. 3403 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock,. 828-692-7930 www.skytoporchard.com
Blue Ridge Parkway Orchard
If you are traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville, stop at the Orchard at Altapass! They are open May through October.
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.