If you’re looking for some of the best apple orchards in North Carolina, then you’ve come to their right post! North Carolina ranks 7th out of the 32 states that commercially produce apples, so it’s no wonder there are some great apple picking opportunities to be found all throughout the state. Aside from watching the leaves change and visiting pumpkin patches, nothing says ‘autumn’ like the first bite into a fresh apple straight off the tree.
Many u-pick apple orchards in NC open around mid-to-late August and remain open on varying schedules throughout October. Apple picking in North Carolina apple orchards is a great fall tradition for families and individuals alike. The fall colors, seasonal food, huge pumpkins, and other signs of the season can also help kids transition from their summer mindset into more ‘back-to-school’ vibes.
Here are 12 of the best apple orchards in North Carolina that you should definitely visit this autumn!
1. Carrigan Farms
1261 Oakridge Farm Hwy
Mooresville, NC 28115
Active for over 100 years, Carrigan Farms has deep roots and provides some of the best apple picking in North Carolina. In addition to their apples, their other u-pick crop offerings include pumpkins, strawberries, asparagus, and sunflowers. Complete with a beautiful quarry on-site, Carrigan Farms also serves as a wedding and special event venue, a place for educational school trips, and a good old-fashioned swimming hole.
2. Apple Hill Orchard
2075 Pleasant Hill Ave.
Morganton NC, 28655
Apple Hill Orchard has been around since the 1930s and offers a huge variety of apples, including Ginger Gold and Honeycrisp. Even though the orchard has been around for decades and changed dramatically since it was first built, the apple picking tradition is still alive and well. The orchard offers both u-pick and pre-picked apples, as well as a charming Farmhouse Bakery stocked with all kinds of offerings, including pies, apple cider donuts, and over 20 kinds of bread!
3. Coston Farm and Apple House
3748 Chimney Rock Road
Hendersonville NC, 28792
One of the memorable orchards in the prolific Hendersonville area, Coston Farm and Apple House is also a great option for families with young children interested in getting into the autumn spirit since the orchard even has an on-site playground!
Additionally, the orchard’s gift shop is absolutely gorgeous, and they tend to go all out on the Fall decor. Depending on the ripening schedule, you and your family will have around 11 varieties of apples to choose from, making this one of the best apple orchards in North Carolina.
4. Creasman Farms
280 Bend Arrow Ln
Hendersonville NC, 28792
A normal year at Creasman Farms yields around 40 varieties of new and heirloom apples, though all 40 varieties may not be available in their apple picking orchard. That said, the u-pick orchard does offer a good variety of apples from Gala to Shenshu.
The farm itself is open for u-pick between 1 and 5 pm on Sundays during the season. Creasman Farms also makes appearances at many local festivals and farmers’ markets in the area, so you can catch them there and have a nice chat with the farmers!
5. Devil Dog Orchard
771 NC 150 (at the intersection with Candy Creek Rd)
Reidsville NC, 27320
Devil Dog Orchard is considered by many in the area to be a local Rockingham County gem of an apple farm. Spread across 57 acres of grapes, apples, and all-around beautiful trees, the orchard has a casual, laid back vibe that is absolutely perfect for a chill day spent apple picking in NC! Just be sure to check out their website before your trip, so you can see when your favorite variety will be ripe and ready to pick.
6. Justus Orchard
187 Garren Rd.
Hendersonville NC 28792
The Justus Orchard has been one of the well-known, best apple orchards in North Carolina for four generations, with a fifth now an active part of the orchard as well. With varieties like Fuji and Granny Smith apples, there’s a little something for everyone whether you’re looking for ingredients or for an apple you can eat right off the tree.
Justus Orchard is a great destination for the whole family as well. Kids can have a great time on the outdoor playground and even catch a ride on the cow train. The bakery also offers fresh apple cider donuts and apple cider slushies!
7. Granddad’s Apples ‘N Such
2951 Chimney Rock Rd
Hendersonville, NC 28792
With 100 acres of apple trees and varieties ranging from Braeburn to Pink Lady, there’s room for the whole family at Granddad’s! With seasonal business hours from 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week, as well as a bakery open from 8 am to 5 pm, and a market, Granddad’s is a great option for anyone looking to experience North Carolina apple orchards.
Granddad’s takes the apple theme and runs with it, offering apple cider donuts, slushies, cookies, pies and other apple delights. However, due to a late freeze, there sadly won’t be a 2021 u-pick season.
8. Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard
170 Stepp Orchard Drive
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Around for close to 50 years, Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard is one of the ultimate destinations when it comes to best apple orchards in North Carolina. The 70 acre farm is home to both an apple cannon and a 5 acre corn maze, as well as a bakery serving fresh apple cider and pumpkin donuts.
You (and your friends and family) can choose from 21 varieties of apples available on the farm, picking your own or selecting from the pre-picked ones. The orchard is also dog-friendly, so your four-legged family members can come along for the experience as well!
9. Sky Top Orchard
Above Flat Rock, NC on Pinnacle Mountain Road
A 100 acre farm, Sky Top Orchard offers panoramic views of the mountains, a beautiful bamboo forest to explore, lovely orchard ponds with geese and ducks, a barnyard area with all kinds of animal friends, and some downright heavenly apple cider donuts. The orchard has a wide variety of apples, including winesap apples, which are great for producing cider. This is really one of the best apple orchards in North Carolina!
10. Millstone Creek Orchard
506 Parks Crossroads Church Rd.
Ramseur, NC 27316
Millstone Creek is an entire experience all in one place. This is a definite North Carolina bucket list item, with year-round offerings and friendly staff who can help you make the most of your time there.
They’re best known in the fall season for their cold-pressed apple cider and apple cider slushies, but the farm also offers a farmer’s market, seasonal special events, and a waterfront concert series. All this and more make it easily one of the best apple orchards in North Carolina.
11. The Orchard at Altapass
1025 Orchard Road
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
The Orchard at Altapass is a historic place, a 501(c)3 non-profit working to ‘save the good stuff’, meaning the local customs, the land, and all the creatures on it. Surrounded by 3,000 acres of forest land protected from development, the orchard provides a variety of heirloom apples such as Gala and Golden Delicious, with a minimal use of chemicals. During the apple season, there’s also live music in the pavilion from Thursday to Sunday.
12. Knob Creek Orchards
6471 Fallson Rd
Lawndale, NC 28090
In operation since 1958, Knob Creek Orchards prides themselves on being environmentally friendly. While you won’t be able to pick your apples straight off the tree here, you can still bag your own from bins provided for visitors.
Knob Creek also runs hard with the apple theme, offering apple jelly, apple butter, apple cider, and even apple ice cream! In fact, they have 12 kinds of homemade ice cream available in their shop. You can also check out The Porch — a variety shop full of jams, jellies, veggies, pickles, and even honey that’s been gathered right there in the orchard.
Summing Up the Best Apple Orchards in North Carolina
So, there you have it, 12 of the best apple orchards in North Carolina that you can visit this autumn. From the smaller, laid back, and rustic like Devil Dog Orchard to the more modern and sprawling like Millstone Creek, there’s a little something for everyone here in NC, especially during the fall apple picking season.
Say goodbye to summer in a fantastic way by planning a day trip to one of these beautiful, best apple orchards in North Carolina. Many of them have a host of other activities and experiences available, so you can spend a chill day at a small farm or plan an epic excursion full of hiking and corn mazes, whatever suits you and your family best!
If you’ve visited any of the best apple orchards in North Carolina, we’d love to hear which one was your favorite. And if you know of a hidden gem that wasn’t listed here, please let us know in the comments!