Enjoy the best apple orchards in Hendersonville, NC, including the most popular apple orchards near Asheville for donuts, U-Pick, and mazes.
We need a cider donut in October like we need air. And, if we don’t get lost in a corn maze, did we even participate in fall at all? The answer is no.
So, if you are headed to Western North Carolina (WNC) this autumn, where can you go apple picking near Asheville, NC?
As locals, we highly recommend the Hendersonville apple orchards; the region is known as “Apple Alley” after all, which is a play on the area’s “Apple Valley.”
Family-friendly and pay-as-you-go (plus free to enter), think corn mazes, sunflowers, cider donuts, bamboo forests, huge playgrounds, pumpkin patches, and farm animals.
Treat-eating and apple picking in Hendersonville are, of course, a given. Stock up on seasonal decor, hop on a bee train, take a hayride, and blast apples.
Below, learn more about the best apple orchards in Hendersonville (near Asheville) to visit this fall. See what to expect, what and when to pick, and what to do.
The Hendersonville wineries and stellar restaurants are also close by. Plan a full day here. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
When Are Apples Ready To Pick In Hendersonville, NC?
The Hendersonville apple orchards are open from mid-August to early November. Weather-dependent, apples are ready for harvest in late August through October. In WNC, early varieties include Jonagold, Gala, and Honey Crisp. Rome, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious come later in the season.
Where Are The Apple Orchards In Relation To Asheville?
Most of the apple orchards in Hendersonville are around 35 to 60 minutes south of Asheville, making them a great Asheville day trip. DuPont State Forest, Flat Rock, and Brevard are also nearby.
Our Top 3 Picks For Apple Picking In Hendersonville
As Asheville locals, we visit the stands, orchards, and apple farms in Hendersonville every year. Our top 3 U-Pick apple orchards in Hendersonville include:
- Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard – Stepp’s has the most challenging corn maze and great country store selection; we love the apple baskets for picking and friendly volunteer staff
- Sky Top Orchard – Sky Top is terrific for families with the bee train, playhouses, bamboo forest, and apple cannon; they have the best donuts made in front of you
- Jeter Mountain Farm – We love the country store, the hard cider they produce, and food truck bites; grab a coffee in the beautiful venue space or head to the indoor playground with littles
Be sure to plan your apple picking around the best times to see those gorgeous fall leaves around the Asheville area.
7 Best Apple Orchards In Hendersonville (Near Asheville)
*Please note that sometimes apple picking in Hendersonville is subject to change due to the season and weather. U-Pick may not always be ready as predicted or available that year. Please check with each respective business.
1. Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard
Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard is a pet-friendly apple orchard in Hendersonville perfect for U-Pick apples, sunflowers, grapes, zinnias, pumpkins, and tulips. Go for the corn maze.
Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard is a 70-acre working farm and has been around for 50+ years. This family-owned business is full of history. Visiting is also a fall Asheville tradition for us.
Most notably, out of all of the Hendersonville apple orchards, Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard has the most complex corn maze. Encounter over 5 acres of corn stalks.
Plan for at least 30 to 45 minutes to find your way out. If it’s a warm day, this maze can be toasty. Consider bringing water and wearing sunscreen. Bug spray helps too.
Of course, Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard offers U-Pick pumpkins, grapes, and apples. On weekends, find a jump pad, apple cannon, and wagon rides.
Don’t miss the apple cider donuts and educational nature trail. You can even have a picnic.
Select from over 21 varieties of apples, including Gala, Fuji, Crimson Crisp, Jona, Red and Golden Delicious, and Ginger Gold.
Of course, grab bagged apples along with other local goodies in their apple house. Think teeny tiny pumpkins, which adorn our home office every year.
Stepp’s Hillcrest is also one of the pet-friendly apple orchards in Hendersonville. Your well-behaved and leashed dog is allowed on most of the grounds except in the apple house and on the wagon ride.
If you are hoping to see multiple Henderson County apple orchards in one shot, Justus Orchard is nearby.
Visitor Information & Contact For Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard:
Address: 170 Stepp Orchard Drive Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone Number: (828) 685-9083
Directions To Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard:
Asheville to Stepp’s Hillcrest is about 40+ minutes by car. From Asheville, NC, take I-26 East to Exit 49A Bat Cave/Chimney Rock. Stay on 64E/Chimney Rock Road for 4.5 miles. Turn right onto Pace Road. Go one mile and turn right on Stepp Orchard Drive. Stepp’s Hillcrest has a large parking lot out front.
2. Grandad’s Apples ‘N Such
We enjoy the home-like feel and peaceful ambiance of Grandad’s Apples. Their corn maze is a blast. We highly recommend pulling up a rocking chair with cider and looking out at those gorgeous mountain views.
One of the best apple orchards in Hendersonville without U-Pick options, Grandad’s is the perfect place to relax in the mountains if you want to run into their barn store or enjoy family-friendly activities.
Like Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard, Grandad’s Apples has been growing apples for four generations on their 100-acre family farm.
As you drive up, you’ll enter Grandad’s Barn and Country Store. Find apple cider slushies, apple fritters, and donuts. Buy apple-related gifts including peelers and apple butter.
Occasionally (more so, years ago), Grandad’s Apples might offer a special U-Pick event depending on the year and season.
Outside, sit in rocking chairs or at picnic tables with your loot. Children can enjoy the little hay playpen area. Their hay even has eyes.
Grab a ticket for the corn maze or pick up some pre-picked apples and pumpkins. The maze is not difficult to navigate.
Budget about 30 minutes to get lost in their tall and well-kept corn. Find a “you are here map” throughout the maze.
Like the other Hendersonville apple orchards, on the weekends, Grandad’s Apple has an apple cannon and cow train (starting after Labor Day). Oh, and did we mention that they sell fermented apple cider?
Visitor & Contact Information For Grandad’s Apples ‘N Such:
Address: 2951 Chimney Rock Road Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone Number: (828) 685-1685
Directions To Grandad’s Apples:
Asheville to Grandad’s is about 35 to 45 minutes by car. From Asheville, take I-26 to Exit 49A Bat Cave/Chimney Rock. Stay straight on Chimney Rock Road for 2.4 miles. Grandad’s Apples will be on the left.
3. Mountain Fresh Orchards
Mountain Fresh Orchards is your go-to if you are looking for a country store filled with festive fall decor and delicious treats to eat. We head here for all of our seasonal home decorating.
On the way to and from Grandad’s Apples and Coston Farm, you will pass Mountain Fresh Orchards. They do not have U-Pick apples, but their country store is a must.
For children, Mountain Fresh Orchards has Apple Express train rides on the weekend (weather permitting). For adults, they sell apple pies and fall decorations.
More unique to the apple orchards in Hendersonville, Mountain Fresh Orchards offers a variety of ciders and juices, including apple, cherry apple, peach, muscadine, blueberry, scuppernong, and blackberry cider.
Or, grab a cup of mulled hot cider or coffee, especially if you are already exhausted from visiting all of the Hendersonville apple orchards in one day.
Mountain Fresh Orchard’s local farm store also sells pickles, relishes, honey, molasses, and BBQ sauce. Grab fresh donuts from the bakery or an apple fritter.
They label treats as gluten-free and milk-free, which we appreciate as a half-Celiac and lactose-intolerant household.
Enjoy cute white chocolate-covered Rice Krispie treats. Or, pick up a loaf of fall-flavored bread and honey sticks.
Mountain Fresh Orchards sells 17 apple varieties including Honey Crisp, Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Ambrosia, Granny Smith, Mutsu, Fuji, Pink Lady, Cameo, Grimes Golden, and Jonagold – just to name a few.
Visitor & Contact Information For Mountain Fresh Orchards:
Address: 2887 Chimney Rock Rd. Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone Number: (828) 685-7606
Directions To Mountain Fresh Orchards:
Asheville to Mountain Fresh Orchards is about 35 to 45 minutes by car. From Asheville, take I-26 to Exit 49A Bat Cave/Chimney Rock. Stay straight on Chimney Rock Road for 2.2 miles. Mountain Fresh Orchards will be on the left. Grandad’s Apples is a bit further down the road on the left.
4. Coston Farm And Apple House
One of the smaller U-Pick apple orchards in Hendersonville, Coston Farm is a 4th generation family-owned farm. They have the sweetest farm store that also sells baked goods.
Head outside for the children’s playground or back behind their country store for their rows upon rows of apple trees.
Coston Farm has some of the most straightforward and effortless apple picking in Hendersonville too. It can still be a tad warm this time of year – so, we save roasting for apple crisp…
In fact, what we most appreciate about Coston Farm is that you don’t have to walk as far as some of the other orchards for those apples.
Coston Farm also has “apple pickers” available for public use – a long pole with a basket to reach those high-up apples. We are short…
For apple varietals find Cameo, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith, Fuji, Stayman, Cortland, and Arkansas Black.
Their prices are some of the lowest out of the Hendersonville apple orchards. Coston Farm, like Sky Top, is especially perfect if you are picking apples with younger children.
Coston Farm Visitor Information:
Address: 3748 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone Number: (828) 685-8352
Directions To Coston Farm:
Asheville to Coston Farm is a 40 to 45-minute drive. From Asheville, take I-26 to Exit 49A Bat Cave/Chimney Rock. Stay straight on Chimney Rock Road for about 5 miles.
5. Sky Top Orchard
For the absolute best apple picking in Hendersonville that has it all, Sky Top Orchard is spectacular. There is so much to do here, and this is our top pick for families, especially with the farm animals.
The bamboo forest, farm animals, apple cannon, and acres upon acres of apple picking really make Sky Top stand out over its competitors.
Plus, a visit to Sky Top is also one of the best things to do near Asheville with kids.
We know that many also claim that Sky Top has the best donuts around. We choose to remain neutral here. There isn’t a cider donut we don’t love. You are all winners to us.
However, Sky Top Orchard makes their donuts on the spot, shaking them in sugary goodness right in front of you. They also serve their apple cider donuts steaming hot.
Apples found at Sky Top Orchard include Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Fuji, Rome, and Pink Lady, just to name a few.
Nothing beats those panoramic mountain views while picking. Just know that you might have to walk a little farther out for those apples. Sky Top is massive.
We’ve also stumbled upon humping goats, and meet their donkeys, sheep, bunnies, ducks, and geese. However, we have still never seen Sky Top Orchard’s all-white peacock.
Head to the fun playground with wooden pumpkin and gourd playhouses as well as their tractor rides and bee train.
Have a picnic and just enjoy the great outdoors. Recently added (as of 2022), Sky Top has a gem mine.
For planning purposes, this is one of the apple orchards in Hendersonville that you’ll want to visit early and on a weekday, if at all possible.
They are open every day of the week – but always double-check hours on their website.
Sky Top Orchard also recommends having cash handy because of the spotty Wi-Fi occasionally affecting the credit card machines. There is an on-site ATM, just in case, too.
Leashed dogs are OK except in the store.
While exploring the Flat Rock area, you might also enjoy a stroll or picnic at The Park At Flat Rock. Or, visit the farm animals and hike around the Carl Sandburg home.
Visitor & Contact Information For Sky Top Orchard:
Address For Your GPS: 3403 Greenville Highway Flat Rock, NC 28731
Physical Address (don’t use this in GPS): 1193 Pinnacle Mountain Road Flat Rock, NC 28790
Phone Number: (828) 692-7930
Directions To Sky Top Orchard:
Asheville to Sky Top Orchard is about 43 to 53 minutes away. If you are coming from Asheville, take I-26E. Take Exit 54 for Flat Rock. Get off at Exit 5 where you will take a right. Follow the signs for Sky Top Orchard, which will lead you to Pinnacle Mountain Road. Take a left, and climb that hill. Parking is free, and when visitors slam the orchard – usually on weekends – attendants will help you find a spot in their various lots.
6. Justus Orchard
One of the other fourth-generation (almost fifth now) U-Pick apple orchards in Hendersonville, NC, Justus feels the most rustic. Here, pick apples, pumpkins, and blackberries.
Justus’s Apple House offers tasty baked goods and apple cider to enjoy at their huge picnic area. Stock up on honey, jams, and jellies.
Find delicious caramel apples, and don’t miss the BBQ truck out front.
Justus Orchard also has a playground, duck pond, and cow train. Blast Bigfoot with the apple cannon. For families and church groups, they offer apple orchard tours.
Depending on the year and season, visitors may be able to pick blackberries, pumpkins, peaches, and apples.
For apple picking, select from Gala, Summerset, Rosalee, Fuji, Pink Lady, Evercrisp, and Red Rome.
As a couple, we don’t frequent Justus as much as the other Hendersonville apple orchards, but that’s just our personal preference – and our families love them.
Contact & Visitor Information For Justus Orchard:
Address: 187 Garren Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone Number: (828) 974-1232
Directions To Justus Orchard:
Asheville to Justus Orchard is about 40 minutes by car. From Asheville, take I-26 to Exit 49A Bat Cave/Chimney Rock. Stay straight on Chimney Rock Road for 1.8 miles. Turn left onto Fruitland Road. Follow Fruitland for 3 miles and turn right on S. Mills Gap Road. You’ll see signs along the way for Justus Orchard. Turn left onto Garren Road.
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7. Jeter Mountain Farm
Our readers’ top pick, Jeter Mountain Farm is one of the best apple orchards in Hendersonville for its fun spaces, U-Pick options, hard cider, country store, and indoor playground. We love it too.
Jeter Mountain Farm boasts U-Pick, hard cider, apple cider donuts, and tractor-pulled wagon rides around their massive property. In fact, you can even get married here.
Find a variety of pre-picked and U-Pick options for peaches, apples, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and pumpkins. You have to love those black gourds and warted pumpkins too.
Of course, grab some cider in Jeter Mountain’s Cider Barn, including a mug of warm spiced cider or an apple cider slushie.
For hard cider lovers, Jeter Mountain’s Farm Hard Cider Taproom has 6+ hard ciders on tap, and we personally enjoy grabbing a flight.
Know that Jeter Mountain Farm makes its own ciders and also serves ciders from Flat Rock Cider Company. Afterward, build your own cider 4-pack to take home.
If cider isn’t your jam, find a delicious coffee bar with fall flavor favorites like pumpkin spice, maple brown sugar, and caramel. Grab a coffee-scented fall candle too.
When in season – usually right before autumn – choose from 10 different varieties of flowers in their Sunflower Field that grow up to 9 feet tall. Cut a few to take home or buy some in the store.
For Hendersonville apple picking, find Gale Gala, RubyMac, Honey Crisp, McIntosh, Grimes Golden, Red Delicious, Mutsu, Enterprise, Smokehouse, and more.
Lastly, did we mention the 6,000-square-foot covered play area for your littles? Parents can watch from above as children climb haystacks, play in wooden homes, and romp around this fun playground.
If this doesn’t have you exhausted, Jeter Mountain Farm also features a country store selling clothing, treats, pre-picked goods, cider glasses, apple butter, and mini-pumpkins.
Unlike some of the other apple orchards in Hendersonville, though, Jeter Mountain Farm is only open Thursdays through Sundays – and they grow extremely busy on the weekends.
We highly recommend aiming for a Thursday or Friday morning early in the season if crowds are not for you. You might catch a supervised school field trip then, but it’s not too bad.
Y’all, it’s an excursion and a luxury apple orchard in Hendersonville.
Jeter Mountain Farm Contact Information:
Address: 1126 Jeter Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28739
Phone Number: (828) 513-0404
Directions To Jeter Mountain Farm:
Asheville to Jeter Mountain Farm is about one hour by car. If you are coming from Asheville, take I-26E. Take Exit 44 and continue down the Asheville Highway. However, if there is traffic, know that GPS might route you through the backroads that we take to DuPont, and you might even find yourself driving back through Hendersonville.
Local Tips For Successful Apple Picking In Hendersonville
We’ve lived in this area for years, and while we love apple picking, we don’t always enjoy crowds or sunburn.
These are our top tips for having the best orchard experience:
- Apple picking in Hendersonville usually starts in September but may also begin as late as October, depending on the weather patterns. Rome apples seem to survive just about anything. However, we suggest getting the best and most plentiful apples in mid-September into October. October promises cooler temperatures and vibrant fall leaves. August is hit or miss with what has ripened.
- Remember that if apples aren’t ready for U-Pick, many of the orchards will sell pre-picked apples in their markets.
- Many of the apple orchards near Asheville are open daily and offer special events on the weekends.
- Like the waterfalls and hikes, always visit the Hendersonville apple orchards as early in the day as you can. Weekdays are best to avoid crowds. The weekends in the fall can be a tad frightening. Some of the apple orchards will even hire parking attendants to direct traffic. But, if you have to go when it’s busy, just do it. Think Disney at Christmas and prepare accordingly. We’ve been there.
- Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and environment-friendly bug spray. We suggest wearing layers and closed-toed shoes. Fall in the mountains can be unusually warm or a tad chilly, especially in the evenings. Orchards can be buggy and muddy.
- For planning purposes and fall foliage leaf spying, you might also be interested in our Asheville Fall Color Forecast.
The North Carolina Apple Festival
One of the most popular fall events around Hendersonville, be sure to check out the NC Apple Festival on Labor Day Weekend.
The festival typically runs from Friday to Monday in Downtown Hendersonville. There’s a street fair filled with local vendors and bands.
Explore rides, flyovers, races, food, and all of the Hendersonville shops and museums. Read more about the events around Asheville and Hendersonville.
More Fun Things To Do In & Around The Hendersonville Apple Orchards
Living in Asheville, we love its neighboring towns and cities, filled with annual events, walkable downtowns, and great food. Hendersonville is one of our favorites – and we have tons of Hendersonville travel guides to get you started.
Similar to Asheville, Hendersonville is an incredible city with a lot to offer visitors and locals. In fact, we even looked at houses here.
Of course, Asheville won out. But, even before moving to Asheville, we stayed in and around Hendersonville because we loved the vibe, breweries, wineries, and restaurants.
Once you are done visiting the apple orchards in Hendersonville, here’s what we recommend doing, and be sure to read our full guide to exploring Hendersonville:
Wine Taste At The Hendersonville Wineries
We love wine tasting, and Hendersonville has a plethora of gorgeous wineries, including:
- Stone Ashe Vineyards – Stone Ashe is one of our favorites. We love sitting on their outdoor hill overlooking the vineyards. Their tasting room has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the mountains. This is a 21+ vineyard.
- Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards – Taste wine by the gorgeous fireplace or on their outdoor back patio. A bit smaller than the other Hendersonville wineries, you’ll love their cozy vibe.
- Point Lookout Vineyards – One of the wineries with the best views, don’t miss sitting high up over the mountains while sipping delicious wines and meads. You can also do a mead tasting.
- Souther Williams – Newer (opened in 2022), this gorgeous vineyard has delicious wines, sip and hike tours, and is near Stone Ashe Vineyards. We highly recommend a visit but know that it’s a 21+ vineyard.
- Sawyer Springs Vineyard – Head here after visiting the Hendersonville apple orchards. Then, order Joey’s NY Bagels subs (they have gluten-free bread) via GrubHub and have it delivered right to the winery steps. Perfection.
Read more about all of the wineries close to Asheville and Hendersonville.
Chase Waterfalls At Dupont State Forest
Spy at least 4 large waterfalls in one relatively easy hike, including Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. Triple Falls was also a filming location for The Hunger Games.
Read more on our master list of Asheville fall hiking trails.
Explore Downtown Hendersonville
Like Asheville, Downtown Hendersonville is filled with cafes, restaurants, museums, and shops.
Eat at the best Hendersonville restaurants like Umi for sushi, Pita Express for Middle Eastern cuisine, and Haus Heidelberg for authentic German food.
For kid-friendly places to eat, head to Mike’s on Main or Hot Dog World.
Plus, similar to the Asheville brewery scene, Hendersonville has must-visit breweries. Head to D9 for sours, Oklawaha for gluten-reduced beers, and Guidon for their delicious food truck schedule.
If you are in need of caffeine, Black Bear Coffee Co. and Main Street Coffee are go-to HVL coffee shops.
Where Can You Stay In Hendersonville?
If you want to arrive at the apple orchards in Hendersonville early to beat those crowds, you might want to consider overnighting. Even as Asheville locals, staying in Hendersonville for a night is a good time.
When we visited Hendersonville before becoming Asheville residents, we loved staying at the 1898 Waverly Inn. They have a delicious happy hour.
Mike is a wonderful host, and you can walk to the downtown area. Staff and owners will also sit down with you and tell you all of the musts.
The Charleston Inn is gorgeous and is right next door.
For more accommodation ideas, book a hotel, Bed and Breakfast, cabin, or cottage in Hendersonville here.
Don’t miss our Asheville Accommodation Recs, too.
Save These Apple Orchards Near Asheville For Later:
Have you visited Asheville in the fall? What do you most love? What are your favorite Hendersonville, NC apple orchards?
It’s no secret that tourists and locals swarm the Blue Ridge Mountains in the fall. Nothing beats a fall foliage scenic Blue Ridge Parkway hike and drive.
Do you have a favorite fall activity in North Carolina? Do you have a favorite apple orchard in Hendersonville or near Asheville?
And, most importantly, which of the Hendersonville apple orchards make the best cider donuts and slushies? Let us know your favorite apple orchard in the comments.
P.S. If you love a secret apple stand in Asheville or Hendersonville, we’d love to know too!
- 57+ Best Asheville Things To Do All Year
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- If it’s closer to November & December, head over to our winter activities guide
Christine (pronouns: she/her) is the owner and lead writer of Uncorked Asheville. After falling in love with those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Christine and her husband Tom decided to call Asheville, North Carolina home. When her pointy Italian nose isn’t stuck in a book, Christine is adopting all of the kitties, getting lost in the forest, and drinking an ESB. She has a BA in English and History from Smith College, her MLIS from USF-Tampa, and is a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar - Indonesia. Christine also owns The Uncorked Librarian LLC with books and movies to inspire travel.