NC Food Road Trip : Apple Picking in Hendersonville

NC Made Apple Picking

Brisk air, crunchy leaves, and cozy sweaters: autumn has officially arrived in NC! And what could be more quintessentially "fall" than apple picking? Here's
 our guide to the best apple orchards in modern mountain town Hendersonville, NC
 
Justus Orchard
They've been growing apples at Justus Orchard for over 100 years, and now offer 19 different types, all ripening at various times throughout the season, available on the branch or already picked. Kids can enjoy bouncing on their huge jumping pillow, taking a turn on the kitschy cow train or horse-drawn hayride, and petting various farm animals. Make sure to stop by the Apple House Bakery on your way out to pick up one of their popular crispy golden fried apple pies, along with loads of other apple-flavored treats including fritters, donuts, 
cider, and slushies.
The one-stop autumn activity-shop that is Grandad's Apples N' Such has it all, from over 20 kinds of pre-picked and on-tree apples to a 5-acre corn maze and pumpkin patch. They've also got a barnyard where visitors can see a sweet donkey and a couple of goats. There's even a nearby play area for kids with a painted barrel "cow train" pulled by a tractor. Their bakery offers the standard apple orchard fare, as well as highlights such as their apple turnovers, apple sauce loaf, and apple ice cream. Granddad's Country Store carries local honey and canned goods, fall decor and apple-cooking tools like peelers and bakers. Check their apple ripening calendar to plan your trip accordingly. 
 
In nearby Flat Rock, you can pick your own from over 22 varieties of apples grown at Sky Top Orchard (consult their ripening schedule before you visit), or purchase previously picked bushels, apple cider, and pies from their shop. They've got tractor-pulled hayrides and gorgeous mountain views, as well as ducks and geese that swim in the orchard pond (remember to bring quarters for feed!). Take a walk through their bamboo forest to see the sheep, goats, chickens, and peacocks that mill around the farm area. A real highlight, however, is watching their famous apple cider donuts being made. Get 'em while they're hot! 
 
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