The arrival of the cool fall months signals a lot of things. It means that the leaves are about to start changing color and falling away from the trees, it means that special events like Halloween and Thanksgiving are on the way, it means that the nights are about to get longer and the sun will set a little sooner, and it also signals the arrival of apple picking season all around the United States.
In some places, apple picking season can actually start as early as July and run all the way through to December, but the fall months of September, October, and November tend to be the best time of year to head out to a local orchard or farm and pluck some apples from the trees. North Carolina is a great state to do some apple picking, with a lot of orchards spread out all around the state, from east to west.
Best Apple Orchards Near Charlotte, NC
If you’re in the Charlotte area and looking to do some apple picking, you have a lot of options available to you. There are some great orchards just short drives away, and if you’re willing to drive a little longer, there are even more options spread out around the western edge of North Carolina, offering dozens of apple varieties and plenty of additional activities and services for guests of all ages to enjoy. Here are some details on the top apple orchards around Charlotte.
Blueberry Thrill Farm - 6938 Eaglesfield Road Gibsonville, NC 27249, Phone: 336-449-7246
Situated just a ninety-minute drive northeast of Charlotte, Blueberry Thrill Farm might be named after blueberries, which can be picked through the summer, but is also very well-known for its apples. Apple picking season at this relaxing rural location runs from July through to December of each year, with 20 different varieties to choose from. Heritage varieties like Roxbury Russet and Winesaps can be found at this location, as well as classic kinds of apples like Gala and Fuji. Peaches and blackberries can also be picked on site, and various beautiful flowers can also be enjoyed through the summer months.
Apple Hill Orchard 2075 Pleasant Hill Avenue Morganton, NC 28655, Phone: 828-437-1224
Just a short drive northwest of Charlotte sits Apple Hill Orchard. A cider mill is also situated on site at this location, with a wide variety of homemade treats and snacks available for purchase. Apple picking season typically starts in August and runs through to November, and apples have been grown on this land for over 60 years now, attracting many visitors from all around the state. Group tours of the orchard and land can also be enjoyed on site, and some of the apple varieties you can find at Apple Hill Orchard include Gala, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, and Stayman Winesap. The staff at this location are very friendly and apple picking prices are super low, so it’s a great place to stop off.
Justus Orchard 187 Garren Road Hendersonville, NC 28792, Phone: 828-685-8033
If you're willing to make the drive west towards Asheville, Justus Orchard will be waiting to welcome you in. A beautiful orchard set among a lush landscape, Justus Orchard runs both apple and blackberry picking, with apple picking season starting in August and running through to November. This family-run farm has been running for five generations now, growing all kinds of apples from Gala and Honeycrisp to GingerGolds and Stayman Winesaps. Different apples are available at different times of year, so you always have a reason to come back for more. Other activities and attractions on site include the duck pond, barnyard animals, train rides for the kids, and an on-site bakery selling donuts, pies, cider, slushies, breads, and more.
Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard - 221 Stepp Orchard Drive Hendersonville, NC 28793, Phone: 828-685-9083
Not too far from Justus Orchard is Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard, another much-loved family-run farm in North Carolina. Spread out across 70 acres of land, this orchard and farm has been welcoming visitors for almost five decades now. Enjoy beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you roam around the orchards and fill your bags with over 20 different apple varieties. Educational orchard tours can be organized at this location, which also features a bakery, farm store, and apple house. Corn mazes, wagon rides, pumpkin picking, scenic walks, and apple cannons are also available on site and help to make this a very family-friendly apple orchard.