Located just 25 miles south of downtown Asheville is one of the country’s largest apple growing areas. North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the nation and Henderson County is the largest apple-producing county in North Carolina, growing 65% percent of them. You can visit many orchards along US Highway 64, just a few miles east of I-26 (between Hendersonville and Bat Cave) and best of all they are free. The apple harvest season runs from late August to late October, and many of the orchards are open daily. Several of the orchards offer tours and allow you to pick your own apples. Listed below are three orchards near Hendersonville, NC, that are within a few miles of each other.
To make your apple picking adventures easy, we have highlighted some of our Asheville Inn’s favorites destinations. JH Stepp Farm’s Hillcrest Orchard is a fourth generation, 70-acre working farm with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Pick your own apples (or grapes or pumpkins) or shop in their Country Market that is open daily with apples, pumpkins, apple cider, apple butter, and apple gifts. Take a ride on the farm wagon on weekends through acres of orchard and Farmer Stepp’s pumpkin patch and grape vines. Drink a cup of delicious local fresh apple cider. Eat beside the orchard in the picnic area. Open August-November – 221 Stepp Orchard Dr., Hendersonville, NC 828-685-9083
While at Lyda farms, meet “Grandma Lyda” and stroll through the farmyard where you’ll see donkeys, goats, geese, ducks and chickens. They have crispy North Carolina apples straight from the orchard plus a large variety of pumpkins and winter squash (and other produce) that are great for eating or decorating. Beginning in mid-August, early varieties of apples such as Fuji, Gala, Ozark, and Gingergold are available. By Labor Day, Red and Golden Delicious apple varieties are available. In early October, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith, Stayman Winesap and Fuji apples are available. Open June – November. 3465 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 828-685-3459
Grandad’s Apples has pre-picked apples (peaches and pumpkins too!) or pick your own in the orchards. In Grandad’s pumpkin patch you will find pumpkins and jack o’lanterns in every size and shape. At Grandad’s Barn and Country Store, you will find a great selection of fall harvest decorations, apple peelers, apple bakers, and other apple gifts. Enjoy apple turnovers, apple bread, caramel apples and a whole lot more. And, don’t forget to try a refreshing cider slush or some hot cider! Explore their five acre corn maze. After visiting five different way stations, your corn maze adventure will be complete! Open August to mid-November. 2951 Chimney Rock Rd., Hendersonville, NC 828-685-1685
As our guest at this Asheville NC Inn, you can experience local apple fare (we serve mostly organic and local fare when and where available) and match our freshly made desserts with the season. During the harvest season, our most popular dessert is the coconut apple cake made from locally procured orchards. This homemade delicacy is moist and delicious with a caramel glaze and is a guest favorite. No one said that an apple a day can’t come with a whole lot of caramel and coconut goodness.