Everyone visits Western North Carolina for the gorgeous fall foliage. Did you also know that we have some of the best apple orchards in Hendersonville, NC? Known as Apple Alley, drink cider slushies, munch on cinnamon cider donuts, and get lost in a corn maze in these 5 popular apple orchards near Asheville, North Carolina.
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Having grown up in New England, I need the fall. In fact, I live for it. When we moved to Florida, everyone laughed at me when I asked where I could go apple picking. I knew then I wasn’t going to last long in the sunshine state.
Besides the gorgeous fall foliage hikes and drives, I’m pretty apple orchard obsessed. I need a cider donut in October like I need air. I just do. And, if I don’t get lost in a corn maze, did I even participate in fall at all? The answer is NO.
If you are headed to Western North Carolina (WNC) this fall, you cannot miss apple picking near Asheville. So, where do you go? I highly recommend the Hendersonville apple orchards, also known as “Apple Alley, a play on the area’s “Apple Valley.” Most of the Hendersonville, NC apple orchards are around 35-50 minutes outside of Asheville.
The apple orchards in Hendersonville are some of the best, and almost everyone has heard of Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard and Sky Top Orchard (technically in Flat Rock, NC), two of my all-time favorite apple farms. Don’t miss Grandad’s Apples, Justus Orchard, or Mountain Fresh Orchards either. Plus, visiting them is FREE! You just pay as you go.
Below, learn more about 5 delicious apple orchards in Hendersonville and near Asheville to visit this fall. Uncover what to expect, what to do, and of course, what to eat. Don’t forget that the Hendersonville wineries are also close by. Let’s get started!
Best Time To Visit The Apple Orchards In Hendersonville, NC
Apple season in WNC runs from about mid-August to early November. North Carolina is able to grow a ton of apple varieties throughout those months. Most 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 as you can. Weekdays are best, and quite frankly, the weekends in the fall are a tad terrifying. Some of the apple orchards in Hendersonville will even hire parking attendants to direct traffic.
Locals will tell you that we try to stay FAR away from the chaos. Last year, I engaged with the insanity and it was SOMETHING. But, if you have to go when it’s busy, just do it. Think Disney at Christmas and prepare accordingly.
Where To Stay In & Around The Apple Orchards In Hendersonville, NC
If you want to arrive at the apple orchards in Hendersonville EARLY, you might want to consider staying there. Even as Asheville locals, overnighting 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 looks gorgeous, too, and is right next door.
OK, so now that you’ve been properly warned about the crowds and where to stay, which apple orchards in Hendersonville are worth your trip? These are our suggestions:
5 Favorite Apple Orchards In Hendersonville Near Asheville
Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard is a 70-acre working farm that has been around for 50 years. There is a lot of history in this family-owned business.
Out of all of the Hendersonville apple orchards, Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard definitely has the wildest corn maze to get lost in with over 5-acres of corn stalks. You will need at least 30 to 45-minutes to find your way out. I also think Stepp’s Hillcrest has the hardest corn maze out of the apple orchards in Hendersonville. NC.
Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard offers U-Pick pumpkins, grapes, and of course, 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.
For apple picking near Asheville, you will find over 21 varieties of apples, including galas and ginger golds. Of course, you can grab some already picked apples along with other goodies in their store. If you are looking to see multiple Hendersonville apple orchards, Justus 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:
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.
Another one of our favorite apple orchards in Hendersonville, NC, Grandad’s is located on a beautiful piece of land. As you head out the barn-like store, the corn maze and apples are surrounded by those gorgeous mountains. Like Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard, Grandad’s Apples has also been growing apples for four generations on their 100-acre family farm.
As you drive up, you’ll enter the Country Store to find slushies, apple fritters, and DONUTS. Buy apple-related gifts like peelers and apple butter. You can also grab a cheap ticket for the corn maze, pick up some pre-picked apples, or pay for some fun apple picking. Outside, you can sit in rocking chairs or at picnic tables with your loot, and kids can play in the little hay playpen area. Their hay has EYES!
We also love Grandad’s corn maze, which isn’t too hard but is still a good 30-minute maze in their tall and well-kept corn. Find a “you are here map” throughout the maze. Like the other apple orchards in Hendersonville, on the weekends, they have an apple cannon and cow train. Oh, and did I mention that they sell fermented apple cider?
Visitor Information & Contact For Grandad’s Apples:
Address: 2951 Chimney Rock Road Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone Number: 828-685-1685
Directions To Grandad’s Apples:
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.
One of the other fourth-generation (almost fifth now) apple orchards in Hendersonville, NC, Justus feels the most rustic. Here you can pick blackberries, pumpkins, and apples.
Justus’s Apple House offers tasty baked goods and cider for their huge picnic area, and you can pick up honey, jams, and jellies. Their caramel apples look delicious and don’t miss the BBQ truck out front.
Justus Orchard also has a playground, duck pond, and a cow train. You can even blast Bigfoot with the apple cannon. The only thing I don’t love here is the porta potties.
Visitor Information & Contact For Justus Orchard:
Phone Number: 187 Garren Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792
Directions To Justus Orchard:
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.
On the way to Grandad’s Apples or back, you will pass Mountain Fresh Orchards. For children, they have Apple Express train rides, and for adults, they sell pies and fall decorations.
More unique to the apple orchards in Hendersonville, NC, Mountain Fresh Orchards offer a variety of ciders, including apple, cherry apple, peach, muscadine, blueberry, scuppernong, and blackberry cider. Or, grab a cup of mulled hot cider or coffee, if you are already exhausted from visiting all of the Hendersonville apple orchards in one day. Their local farm store also sells pickles, relishes, honey, molasses, and BBQ sauce.
U-Pick from their 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 Information & Contact For Mountain Fresh Orchards:
Address: 2887 Chimney Rock Rd. Hendersonville, NC 28792
Phone Number: 828-685-7606
Directions To Mountain Fresh Orchards:
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 just a bit further down the road on the left.
One of the most popular apple orchards near Hendersonville, NC that has it all, Sky Top is pretty spectacular. The bamboo forest, farm animals, and acres upon acres of apple picking really make Sky Top stand out over its competitors. I know that many also claim that Sky Top has had the best cinnamon cider donuts around. I choose to remain neutral here. There isn’t a donut I don’t love. You are all winners to me.
Let me also say that technically Sky Top is in Henderson County and Flat Rock versus Hendersonville. However, most associate Sky Top with part of Apple Alley, and even the tourism boards lump this must-see apple orchard in with the Hendersonville apple orchards. Put your thumbs away, locals…
Apples found at Sky Top Orchard include Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Fuji, Rome, and Pink Lady, just to name a few. Nothing beats that panoramic mountain view, and 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. Just sayin’. Don’t miss the fun playground with wooden pumpkins and gourds to walk through as well as their tractor rides. Have a picnic and just enjoy the great outdoors.
Visitor Information & Contact 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:
If you are coming from Asheville, take I-26E. Take Exit 54 for Flat Rock, and then 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 weekends–attendants will help you find a spot in their various lots.
Read More About Sky Top Orchard On Uncorked Asheville.
More Fun Things To Do In & Around Hendersonville, NC
Like Asheville, Hendersonville is an amazing city to visit, and we love it. In fact, we even looked at houses around here. Of course, Asheville won out, but before moving to Asheville, we stayed in and around Hendersonville because we loved the vibe, brewery, and restaurants that much.
Once you are done visiting the apple orchards in Hendersonville, NC here’s what we recommend doing:
Wine Taste At The Hendersonville Wineries
We love wine tasting, and Hendersonville and it’s surrounding areas have a ton of wineries, including:
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards – Wine taste by the gorgeous fireplace or on their outdoor back patio. A bit smaller of the Hendersonville wineries, you’ll love their cozy vibe.
Burntshirt Vineyards – Named one of the best wineries in North Carolina, we love Burntshirt for their indoor and outdoor tasting room, beautiful fire pit, and endless flowers around a serene fountain.
Point Lookout Vineyards – One of the wineries with the best views, don’t miss sitting high up over the mountains while sipping delicious wines.
A fun tip, too: We decided to head to Burntshirt Vineyards after visiting the Hendersonville apple orchards, Justus Orchard and Grandad’s Apples, in the morning. We ordered Joey’s NY Bagels subs (they have gluten-free bread) via GrubHub and had it delivered right to the winery steps. Perfection.
Dupont State Forest
We absolutely love DuPont State Forest for its waterfall hikes. Know that it does get extremely busy on weekends and anytime during the fall. You can see at least 4 large waterfalls in one relatively easy hike, including Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.
Like Asheville, downtown Hendersonville is filled with cafes, restaurants, and shops. A few places to look out for: Kilwin’s Chocolate Shop, Umi Sushi, and a book store, cocktail bar, and restaurant called The French Broad Kitchen.
Have You Visited Asheville In The Fall? What Do You Love The Most? What Are Your Favorite Apple Orchards In Hendersonville, NC?
It’s no secret that tourists and locals swarm the Blue Ridge Mountains in the fall. Do you have a favorite fall activity in North Carolina? We are clearly all about those orchards and fall hikes.
Do you have a favorite apple orchard in Hendersonville? Where do you love to go apple picking near Asheville? And, most importantly, which of the Hendersonville apple orchards make the best cider donuts and slushies, in your humble opinion?
Let us know in the comments. If you love a secret apple stands in Asheville or Hendersonville, we’d love to know too!