6 Best Pick-Your-Own Apple Orchards within Driving Distance from Charlotte (2022)
Nothing beats the fun, excitement, and satisfaction of picking your own Apples. Getting fresh produce directly from the tree is nothing but a blessing of nature. And when you are in and around Charlotte, you can gather this blessing in bundles. As the arrival of mesmerizing Fall season touches the chart, places near Charlotte also welcome the Apple season. This magnificent fruit can be juicy, sweet, tangy, pied, candied, bobbed, and everything that your taste buds desire. Have them fresh or preserve them in the form of anything edible; the choice is completely yours.
North Carolina is the seventh-largest apple-producing state in the United States. In any given year, it produces nearly 4 million bushels of apples, and the maximum crop grows in Henderson County (80%). As the apple season begins, one can observe fruit-flooded farms, grocery store shelves, farmers’ market stalls, and literally every place full of Apply varietals. Want to check them out in person? Well, then drive to these Popular Apple Orchards Near Charlotte. A quick tip, though, calls the farm in advance to know if it is operating for the public. Let’s get started, then.
6 Best Pick-Your-Own Apple Orchards Within Driving Distance from Charlotte
1. Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill
When it comes to apple picking in Charlotte or North Carolina as a whole, Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill deserves a place on the list. Windy Hill is just 39.9 miles from Charlotte and visiting here during falls is a tradition for many families. The Orchard opens for the public from mid-August and remains in operation until Christmas. One can either indulge in traditional pick your apple or leave the picking to someone else and simply stock up on the fruit. Every visitor (from the age of 2) must carry their own pre-purchased bag before they enter the Orchard for apple picking. The bags are available at the place and cost anywhere between $5 to $25. Not only for apple picking, but Windy Hill Orchard is also popular for hard cider tasting, live music, hay rides, and freshly made apple treats. TIP: For getting your hands on the best fruits, visit Windy Hill in the month of September.
2. Sky Top Orchard
Sky Top Orchard, though is slightly far away from Charlotte, but if you are an enthusiast, you have to be here. It takes a 103.6 miles drive from Charlotte, but the ultimate mountain journey and gorgeous mountain-top Orchard will make it all worth it. Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock grows 22 varieties of apples and the apple picking season here operates from August through November. Weekends here are extremely crowded, and therefore weekdays are more favorable if you want to enjoy the process nicely. The apple picking hours stretch from 9 am every day and go till 5 to 6 pm. A day here will also allow visitors to enjoy a barnyard area, a pond with ducks and geese, and sweeping mountain views. In addition, there are endless apple treats to shop with while returning home.
3. The Orchard at Altapass
The Orchard at Altapass is a popular apple picking farm near Charlotte. About 113 miles from Charlotte, the Orchard at Altapass grow over 40 apple varietals, of which few ripe as early as in June. It’s positioning on the Blue Ridge Parkway (ideally the altitude) gives it the richness that makes apples juicier, crunchier, and of course, tastier. The apple picking season here usually begins early and last until the fruit is available. A you-pick apple bag here costs $10, a small basket costs $15, and a big basket costs $24. The owners weren’t only up for the business, but their motive was to save this beautiful and historic area from any kind of modern development. They have kept it so organic that visitors can spot a range of birds and butterflies enjoying themselves here.
4. Justus Orchard
Justus Orchard is 108.0 miles away and undoubtedly one popular Apple picking farm near Charlotte. It is a fifth-generation orchard settled among a lush landscape with absolute gorgeousness. The season here begins in July for berry picking. Then, later the very next month, August begins the chase for apple picking with full enthusiasm. Justus Orchard grows a range of apples from Honeycrisp, GingerGolds, Stayman Winesaps, Gala, and more. Since every apple variety has a different riping season, every 15 days here offer something new. Justus Orchard is also about other fun and attractions. Visitors can find barnyard animals and a duck pond, or kids can enjoy the train ride. They even host an on-site bakery that sells freshly made donuts, pies, cider, slushies, bread, jam, vinegar, and more.
5. Apple Hill Orchard
A comparatively closer affair, the Apple Hill Orchard is 79 miles northwest of Charlotte. Not only the Orchard but also host a cider mill at the location. Pick your own apple, grow 18 different apple varieties, and for apples that go into their market, they have 4 more varieties. Some common ones that you can find here include Gala, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, and Stayman Winesap. The apple picking season here typically begins from the first or second week of August and goes until November. Apple Hill Orchard has been growing the fruit for over six decades now, which means about or over 50 seasons of successful apples. The orchard operators also offer educational tours and group tours where participants can learn a lot about apple farming and the fruit itself. They even have a country store and a bakery that stock up with excellent treats.
6. Blueberry Thrill Farm
About 106 miles from Charlotte, another excellent apple orchard is the Blueberry Thrill Farm. True to its name, it grows blueberries, and one can come to pick those up throughout the summer months. But as soon July end hits the chart, the Apple picking season begins here. Apples here ripe a little early, and the fruit remains till the end of December. Blueberry Thrill Farm grows nearly 20 apple varietals that contain classics like Fuji and Gala, some heritage ones including Winesaps and Roxbury Russet. Throughout the year, the farm grows a variety of fruits, including peaches, raspberries, heirloom tomatoes, muscadines, pumpkins, etc. They even have a beautiful flower garden that’s undoubtedly a delight to watch. Blueberry Thrill Farm isn’t fully organic, but the chemical usage here is very limited.
Things To Know Before Visiting An Apple Orchard For Apple Picking
- Apple picking season isn’t always long. Despite whatever basic information you have, it is always better to call the Orchard in advance and learn about their operating hours and months. Such schedules are highly dependent upon how much fruit a particular season has got.
- The early you go, the better chances of perfectly ripened apples await your way.
- Reach the apples that are on lower branches and on the outside part of the tree. They rip faster.
- Do not shake the apple tree, as you might be damaging a lot of fruits.
- Every apple variety has its own mini-season; therefore, if you are particular, learn about it.
- Apple grows in hilly areas, and the temperature at orchards can be chilly during fall. Especially due to the cold breeze, the climatic conditions are quite different from that of the city. Therefore, if you are up for apple picking, bring a sweater.
- Wear comfortable shoes and full clothes.
- Plan your apple-picking session on weekdays since most orchards are crowded on weekends.
- Research local apple orchards and reach them instead of getting behind only the popular names.
- Go in groups, as picking apples alone is boring.