Apple season is upon us: 7 pick-your-own orchards within 2 hours of Charlotte

Apple season is upon us: 7 pick-your-own orchards within 2 hours of Charlotte
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Fall means apple cider, apple cider donuts, and, of course, apple picking. Here are seven orchards with pick-your-own apples within two hours of Charlotte.

NOTE: Apple availability updated as of Sept 15, 2020. Call ahead to confirm availability. Remember to wear your mask.


Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill

One of the closest orchards to Charlotte, Windy Hill is a destination for, yes, apple picking but also for apple cider donuts, cider, and hard cider. So pick a few apples and reward yourself with a well-earned flight of hard cider.

  • Location: York, South Carolina.
  • Distance from Charlotte: 50-minute drive.
  • 2020 season: U-pick season is happening now through the end of September by reservation only. Their Hard Cider Bar and Farm Stand are currently open for the season.
  • Picking Schedule: Click here.
  • Apple cider donuts? Yes.


Apple Hill Orchard

This orchard also includes a cider mill, a country store, educational tours, group tours, and a bakery. So you can stock up on cider and sweets (including apple cider donuts) before you go.

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  • Location: Morganton.
  • Distance from Charlotte: 90-minute drive.
  • 2020 season: Happening now through mid- to late-October.
  • Picking Schedule: Click here.
  • Apple cider donuts? Yes.

Blueberry Thrill Farm

In September, they have Crimson Crisp, Daybreak Fuji, Stayman Winesap, Grimes Golden, Virginia Winesap, Roxbury Russet, Cameo, Fuji, and Virginia Gold apples ripe for picking. In October, there’s Old-fashioned Winesap, Albemarle Pippin, and Goldrush apples.

  • Location: Gibsonville.
  • Distance from Charlotte: 1-hour 45-minute drive.
  • 2020 season: Happening now through October.
  • Picking Schedule: Click here.
  • Apple cider donuts? No.

Millstone Creek Orchards

This season, Millstone Creek is offering an Apple Pickin’ Adventure that includes access to all the u-pick fields (apple, gourds, and fall grapes), a hayride, an apple tasting, and a mini apple cider slushie.

  • Location: Ramseur.
  • Distance from Charlotte: 1-hour 45-minute drive
  • 2020 season: Happening now by reservation through the end of September.
  • Picking Schedule: Click here.
  • Apple cider donuts? Yes.

Sky Top Orchard

Sky Top is a gorgeous orchard where you can pick some apples, bring a picnic, meet farm animals, and relax with your friends and family. They have apple cider donuts (best when they’re fresh) and tons of apple-related goods you can purchase and take home — like apple butter, jams, fudge, cider, and more. Guests are asked to wear face coverings when social distancing is not possible.

  • Location: Flat Rock.
  • Distance from Charlotte: 2-hour drive.
  • 2020 season: Happening now through about mid-November.
  • Picking Schedule: Click here.
  • Apple cider donuts? Yes.

Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard

Make a day of apple picking, hayrides, a corn maze, and more — all with really beautiful mountain views.

  • Location: Hendersonville.
  • Distance from Charlotte: 2-hour drive.
  • 2020 season-opening: Happening now through mid- to late-October.
  • Picking Schedule: Click here.
  • Apple cider donuts? Yes.

The Orchard at Altapass

They have an entire trail map for you to use if you want to bring a little more adventure to your day of apple picking.

  • Location: Spruce Pine.
  • Distance from Charlotte: 2-hour drive.
  • 2020 season-opening: Happening now through October.
  • Picking Schedule: Click here.
  • Apple cider donuts? No.


Looking for more things to do this fall? Here’s our quick guide 10 must-visit pumpkin patches

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