Whether you’re looking for a day of family fun or a creative date idea, apple picking is something anyone can enjoy. North Carolina has tons of fantastic orchards to explore, so how do you know which ones you just can’t miss? Here’s the scoop some of the best orchards for apple picking and more near Charlotte, NC. Whether you want to stay close to home or make a road trip out of it, find the best apple picking locations here.

Carrigan Farms

1261 Oak Ridge Farm Highway. Mooresville, NC 28115
Picking Season: September 6 to late October
Call for Conditions: 704-664-1450

The shortest drive from Charlotte, this farm is ideal if you want to visit during October. Starting that month, you can pick both apples and pumpkins. October is when they start their hayrides too, which is perfect for a day full of fall fun.

 

Sky Top Orchard

1193 Pinnacle Mountain Rd. Zirconia, NC 28731
Picking Season: Now to late October
Call for Conditions: 828-692-7930

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Not your average North Carolina orchard, Sky Top Orchard is one that you can’t miss if you’re able to make the drive. Its autumn mountaintop views are cinematic and one-of-a-kind. This U-pick orchard is huge and full of different areas to explore. Check out their downloadable map to see all Sky Top Orchard has to offer, including their many different picnic spots and ponds. Don’t forget to enjoy handpicked apples, apple cider, and their famous apple cider doughnuts at their store.

 

Apple Hill Orchard

2075 Pleasant Hill Ave. Morganton, NC 28655
Picking Season: Now to late October
Call for Conditions: 828-437-1224

This historic orchard has been growing apples since 1955. Pick some apples and enjoy their country store, cider mill, bakery, and educational tours where you get to learn how they grow their apples. The tours are most often for school field trips, but if you have a group of 20 or more people, you can set up your own reservation.

 

Historic Orchard at Altapass

1025 Orchard Rd. Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Picking Season: Middle of September to late October
Call for Conditions: 828-765-9531

Another orchard steeped in history, the Orchard at Altapass has over 40 different varieties of apples for you to pick. Be sure to look at their apple ripening schedule to catch your favorite. The Orchard even offers free live music Wednesday through Sunday in May through September and weekends in October.

 

Coston Farm and Apple House

3748 Chimney Rock Rd. Hendersonville, NC 28792
Picking Season: Now to early November
Call for Conditions: 828-685-8352

A trip to Coston Farm isn’t just a trip to the orchard–it’s like visiting family. This old-timey farm is 4th generation family owned and full of southern charm. Venture to the orchard to pick your own apples, buy pre-picked fresh apples and pumpkins at the Apple House, or indulge in delicious, fresh apple cider and homemade apple pie from the Apple House Bakery and Gift shop while sitting in the rocking chair on the porch.

 

Stepp Farm’s Hillcrest Orchard

170 Stepp Orchard Dr. Hendersonville, NC 28792
Picking Season: Now to late October; Apple Cannon open starting September 5th
Call for Conditions: 828-685-9083

This location is ideal if you’re looking for a full day of family fun. Pick your own apples, take a wagon ride, and shoot apples at targets with an apple cannon. I suggest taking a picnic lunch for this one so you can enjoy the fun all day long. The wagon ride and apple cannon are only available on the weekend.

 

Grandad’s Apples

2951 Chimney Rock Road. Hendersonville, NC 28792
Picking Season: Now to early November
Call for Conditions: 828-685-1685

Spend your day picking apples and pumpkins from this 80 acre Hendersonville farm. Grandad’s Apples offers more than 20 different types of pre-picked apples in their Grandad’s Barn and Country Store. Plus, you can’t forget about their apple turnovers, apple bread, caramel apples and hot cider.

 

Lyda Farms

3465 Chimney Rock Road. Hendersonville, NC 28792
Picking Season: Now to late November
Call for Conditions: 828-685-3459

Enjoy family fun activities and tours at Lyda Farms. They offer a large variety of pre-picked apples that changes depending on the date you go. Check out their ripening schedule to get your favorite kind.

 

Justus Orchard

187 Garren Road. Hendersonville, NC 28792
Picking Season: Now to late October
Call for Conditions: 828-243-2420

Spend your day in the beautiful Western North Carolina Mountains at Justus Orchard. There are tons of activities here. After you’ve picked your apples, you can let the kids take a ride on the Cow Train through the orchard. Visit the farm animals or stop by the ponds to see the ducks. And their bakery is something you can’t miss. Get homemade fried apple pies, apple cider donuts, apple cider, cider slushies, caramels, apple bread and more.