Fall is a wonderful time of year. The weather might be getting a little cooler and you might have to wrap up a little warmer and grab a coat and pair of gloves before heading outdoors, but there are still a million different reasons to go outside and appreciate the beauty of this special time of year. One of the best fall activities that everyone can enjoy, regardless of age, is apple picking. There’s nothing quite as special and enjoyable in September, October, and November as driving out to a nearby orchard or farm and spending some hours in a tranquil setting stocking up on your favorite fruit. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


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U-Pick apple orchards can be found all around the United States, with dozens of different varieties just waiting to be plucked like Gala, Empire, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Golden Delicious. These apples all start to ripen at different times, so you have to act fast and grab them while you can. Stocking up on apples can be a great way to save cash and help your family eat more healthily, while also encouraging you to try out lots of fun new apple-based recipes from classic staples like apple pies and sauces, to original ideas you’ve never tasted before.

Best Apple Picking Spots in North Carolina

North Carolina has a lot of great apple picking orchards and farms. Many of the best NC apple picking spots also include additional activities like trying to find your way through a corn maze or enjoying an old-fashioned hayride, while some of North Carolina’s apple picking locations keep things simple, handing you a bag and a picking pole and letting you head out and enjoy the peace and quiet for a relaxing afternoon of apple picking. Read on for some info on the best apple picking spots in North Carolina.

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2.Sky Top Orchard

Sky Top Orchard
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Located near the little town of Flat Rock, Sky Top Orchard is open every single day through apple picking season, regardless of the weather, making it one of the most convenient and fun locations in the state. You can always rely on Sky Top Orchard to welcome you in for a fun day of apple picking and other activities, like group tours, hayrides, picnics, a petting zoo, cider tastings, a nature trail, and freshly made apple cider donut stand. This is most definitely one of the best apple picking locations in all of North Carolina, offering a friendly atmosphere and cheerful welcome to every guest.

1193 Pinnacle Mountain Rd, Flat Rock, NC 28731, Phone: 828-692-7930

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3.Apple Hill Orchard Cider Mill

Apple Hill Orchard Cider Mill
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Established all the way back in 1955, this family owned farm has been growing apples for multiple generations and has grown and expanded over the years, adding new apple varieties and new services for visitors to enjoy. Apple Hill Orchard is now one of the most complete apple picking locations in the state, offering a bakery, picnic area, educational tours, cider mill, country store, and more. There really is something for everyone at this location, regardless of age. Some of the apple varieties you can pick at this location include Ginger Gold, Stayman Winesap, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Fuji.

2075 Pleasant Hill Ave, Morganton, NC 28655, Phone: 828-437-1224

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4.Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard

Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard
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Located in Henderson County, Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard has been a beloved NC apple picking orchard for many years now. Also offering pumpkin picking in time for Halloween, this location is open every single day, rain or shine, and also features an appealing range of additional activities like a huge corn maze, apple cannons, wagon rides, nature trails, and freshly made treats like cider and donuts. The farm market at Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard is also worthy of a visit, selling all sorts of tasty goods to take home alongside your bags of apples. Varieties include Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Stayman Winesap.

170 Stepp Orchard Dr, Hendersonville, NC 28792, Phone: 828-685-9083

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5.Devil Dog Orchard

Devil Dog Orchard
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This amusingly named North Carolina apple picking spot is found in Reidsville, Rockingham County and is one of the top rated orchards in the area, with a lot of positive reviews from previous visitors. Devil Dog Orchard was purchased and established by a Marine veteran who wanted to get back to his basics on his return to the States. The farm has passed through several generations now and offers a lovely range of apple varieties including Gala, McIntosh, Stayman Winesap, and Red Delicious.

771 NC-150, Reidsville, NC 27320, Phone: 336-491-0382

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Best Apple Picking in North Carolina

More Ideas in NC: Wright Brothers National Memorial

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is dedicated to honoring the first successful powered flights as conducted by the Wright Brothers. Located in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, the 60-foot granite monument is surrounded by well-tended grounds with information markers that highlight the important points of the memorial such as the successful places of launching and landing, the visitor center, and a group of small museums and exhibits that celebrate the history of flight. Visitors can relive the Wright Brother’s first flight across the rolling sand dunes of the Kill Devil Hills to the latest breakthroughs from NASA.


Originally from Ohio, the Wright Brothers first put their dream of flying to the test in 1900 when they test launched a glider just outside the quaint town of Kitty Hawk, a small coastal town with perfect conditions for flying. They tested various planes and new designs over the following years, until the first successful flight on December 17th in 1903 when the aircraft they had built flew 120 feet in 12 seconds. Just five witnesses saw the first flight, one of which caught the epic moment on camera, and the town of Kitty Hawk and surrounding Kill Devil Hills were instantly put on the map. In the 1920s it was decided to build a monument to honor the Wright Brother's status as the first pioneers of aviation and their outstanding achievement.

In 1953 the National Park Service reconstructed the two Wright Brothers' gliders in honor of the 50th anniversary, as well as an expansive visitors' center and museum and the Memorial site was turned into a National Park.

Things to do at the Wright Brothers National Memorial

The Wright Brothers National Memorial National Park features the granite monument honoring the Wright Brothers, a reproduction of the launch rail, and the small sites that mark the exact spots of the first and second landings. The main Visitor Center and Museum displays a full-scale reproduction of the 1902 glider and the 1903 flying machine, as built by the brothers, as well as an engine block from the original 1903 flyer. The Museum also features a replica of the wind tunnel that the Wright brothers used during their early experiments, along with interpretive displays and exhibits placed throughout the museum. Seasonal free programs are available for visitors and include kite building demonstrations, flight room talks that recount the story of the first flight and flying tests with paper airplanes.

The Living Quarters and Hangar are perfectly restored replicas of the structures that the Wright Brothers called home during their experimental years and are furnished with items and objects that the brothers bought with them. The Hangar reflects the original storage area where they kept their famous 1903 Wright Flyer.

The Visitor Center is home to a museum that features a replica of the wind tunnel used during their experiments, a portion of the engine and the tools and machines used in the first flight. Other notable exhibits include a life-size replica of the Wright brothers' 1903 Flyer, and a full-scale model of the Brothers' 1902 glider, along with portraits and photographs of other flight pioneers throughout history.

The newest attraction at the Wright Brothers National Memorial is the Centennial of Flight Museum, a futuristic looking structure which honors the 100-year celebration of flight. Located next to the first visitors' center and museum, the Centennial of Flight Museum features several exhibits ranging from the turn-of-the-century Outer Banks environment in which the Wright Brothers had to work to a series of exhibits donated by NASA. The Wright Brothers National Memorial was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975 and is surrounded by 428 acres of beautiful grounds and views over the Outer Banks.


The Wright Brothers National Memorial offers a variety of educational programs and workshops that bring the National Park to the classroom.

Visitor Information

The Wright Brothers National Memorial is located at 1401 National Park Drive in Manteo and is open to the public Monday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954, Phone: 252-473-2111

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More Ideas in NC: North Carolina Music Hall of Fame

Located in Kannapolis, North Carolina, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame is a nonprofit museum honoring notable musicians with ties to the North Carolina region through an annual induction ceremony and a variety of museum exhibits and artifacts.


The North Carolina Music Hall of Fame was the vision of Joe Carroll and Doug Croft, who founded a nonprofit organization in 1994 to honor outstanding musicians, composers, and artists with ties to the greater North Carolina region. The first Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which honored seven artists, by the organization was held in 1999 in Thomasville, and a second ceremony followed in 2002, adding two more artists. Induction ceremonies were put on hold from 2002 through 2008 as the organization underwent a search for a permanent museum facility to house memorabilia and artifacts connected to inductees. A historic former city jail building in nearby Kannapolis was chosen as the museum’s location in 2008, and after seven months of renovation, the new museum facility was opened to the public in 2009. Induction ceremonies for the Hall of Fame resumed in October of 2009. In 2014, the museum was relocated to the former Curb Museum for Music and Motorsports facility, which transferred its operations to Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Permanent Exhibits and Inductees

Today, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame is operated as a nonprofit organization and museum facility honoring exemplary musicians, composers, and music industry figures with ties to the greater North Carolina region. Inductees are chosen across all genres of contemporary music and include performers, producers, songwriters, and music executives. A wide variety of artifacts and memorabilia connected to past Hall of Fame inductees is presented at the museum, with all exhibits detailing their connection to the lives and careers of the inductees they represent. A QR code is attached to all museum exhibits, allowing visitors to use their smartphones or tablets to learn more information about each inductee’s life, career, and contributions to the arts and culture of the North Carolina region. Video interviews and concert performances by each artist may also be viewed by scanning QR codes.

Notable past inductees into the Hall of Fame include 1999 inductee Charlie Daniels, best known as the lead singer of the Charlie Daniels Band. Throughout the 1970s, Daniels recorded a number of hit country songs, including the 1979 Grammy Award-winning song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which became a platinum-selling single. Ben E. King, best known as the lead vocalist of The Drifters, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009, along with folk rock singer James Taylor, known for his hit singles “You’ve Got A Friend,” “Shower the People,” and “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You).” Other 2009 inductees include legendary avant-garde jazz musician John Coltrane, whose work throughout the 1960s is credited as the foundation of modern jazz music, iconic African-American female vocalists Nina Simone and Roberta Flack, and Grammy Award-winning country musician Randy Travis.

2010 inductees to the Hall of Fame included actor, entertainer, and musician Andy Griffith, best known as the star of the hit 1960s television series “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Make Room For Daddy.” In 2011, Ben Folds was inducted into the Hall of Fame, best known as the lead singer of alternative rock band Ben Folds Five. 2014 inductees included Fantasia and Clay Aiken, two popular American Idol contestants with ties to the North Carolina region. In 2016, folk rock musicians The Avett Brothers were honored, and in 2017, legendary blues guitarist and singer Etta Baker, a recipient of the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award and the National Heritage Fellowship, was inducted posthumously. 2018 inductees included pianist and composer John Tesh, American Idol contestant Chris Daughtry, Ramseur Records founder Dolphus Ramseur, GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame members The Hoppers, blues guitarist Blind Boy Fuller, and Grammy-nominated singers Luther Barnes and Calvin Richardson.

Ongoing Programs and Events

In addition to standard visitor admission, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame offers after-hours and weekend tours for small groups and organizations, including curriculum-incorporated field trip opportunities for elementary and secondary school students. Each year, the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony is held in October, honoring a number of new inductees with ties to the North Carolina region. The 2018 induction ceremony will honor seven new inductees as part of the Hall of Fame’s 10th annual ceremonies. The museum may also be rented for private special events, with catering and audiovisual services available upon request for an additional reservation fee. Office and conference space may also be rented for business events and meetings.

600 Dale Earnhardt Blvd, Kannapolis, NC, 28081, Phone: 704-934-2320

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More Ideas in NC: Moores Creek National Battlefield in Currie

Moore’s Creek National Battlefield commemorates the victory of the Patriots over the Loyalists at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in 1776. Located in near Currie in the Wilmington area in Pender County and managed by the National Park Service, the United States National Battlefield was established as a national military park in 1916 and designated as a National Battlefield in 1980.

History of the Battle

Moore’s Creek National Battlefield honors the soldiers who fought in the 1776 Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge, which, together with the Battle of Sullivan Island, were the first open battles of the American Revolution. The battle raged between Loyalists, who were mostly Scottish Highlanders, and Patriots around Moore’s Creek Bridge and saw massive losses on the Loyalists side, who lost their commander, became stunned and outgunned and retreated in confusion. The dramatic victory ended British command and authority in the colony and pushed North Carolina to vote for independence. This battle and that of the Battle of Sullivan Island led the Thirteen Colonies to declare independence from the British on July 4, 1776.

The Park

Moore’s Creek National Battlefield National Park features remnants of the battle fought between the Loyalists and the Patriots, including the road they traveled in 1776. A one-mile trail dotted with information displays and exhibits winds through the battlefield, across Moore’s Creek, past the historic bridge site, and around the park, telling the story of the battle along the way. The park also features a visitor center with a variety of exhibits and displays about the battle and the role it played in American history and an audio-visual program for guests to enjoy. There is also a gentle 300 m colonial forest trail to explore and a picnic area to have lunch.

Hiking Trails

There are two hiking trails at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield, both of which are gentle and easy to walk and provide an invaluable and exciting educational experience. Laid out to give visitors a chance to walk the grounds of the battlefield and get a feel for the terrain on which the battle was fought, the hiking trails are an ideal way to explore the park and learn more about the fight.

The History Trail is a one-mile looped trail that takes about an hour to walk and features stops along the way with information panels and displays. The Trail begins behind the Visitor Center and follows the historic Negro Head Point Road where several panels explain the events of that day and the men that fought in the battle.

The Tarheel Trail is a short nature trail of around three miles that describes the process of extracting pine tar and pitch from the Longleaf Pines that once dominated the area and how it was used in the battle and the war. The Tarheel Trail forms a horseshoe shape and can be combined with the History Trail for a longer, more informative walk. Both trails are flat and easy to walk with direction markers and information panels along the way. Trail maps can be found on the park brochure which can be collected from the Visitor Center.

Picnic Areas

There are two picnic areas at Moore’s Creek National Battlefield, a small one with three tables just outside the Visitor Center and a larger space for summer gatherings at the end of Patriots Hall Drive. The smaller of the two has a few tables and is ideal for a quiet lunch, while the larger area can be used for family gatherings and get-togethers and features around 15 picnic tables, barbecue grills, and a covered pavilion that can be rented for events.

Visitor Information

Moore’s Creek National Battlefield is located on Patriots Hall Drive in Currie, North Carolina. Areas of access with the park include the Earthworks and Battlefield, the Widow Moore’s Creek Bridge, and the History and Tar Heel trails, as well as picnic areas and restrooms.

The Moore’s Creek Battlefield Visitor Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Center features a Ranger staffed information desk, a Museum with informative exhibits and displays about the park, the battle site and the history of the war, and a theater room where a short introductory film called ‘In the Most Furious Manner’ is shown. There is also a small bookshop and gift store.

40 Patriots Hall Drive, Currie, NC 28435, Phone: 910-283-5591

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