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Did you know that Henderson County, North Carolina is dubbed ‘Apple Country’? The temperate climate of the Blue Ridge Mountains makes the terrain an Apple growing haven.
Many of the apple farms in the county have embraced agritourism and opened their doors for visitors - more specifically ‘Sky Top Orchard’ in Flat Rock, NC.
Sky Top Orchard not only has a *huge* fruit stand where you can purchase bags, bushels and pecks of apples - jam, apple butter, and more. They also have a “u-pick” apple experience, donut stand, and waaayyy more.
So we arrived at the orchard around 2pm the weekend we went, and decided to start our fun filled day with the “u-pick” experience.
First; I suggest stopping by the ‘sample stand’ where you can sample some of the selections for the day, and see which apples you might prefer to pick. The people working there are super knowledgeable about all things apples and even gave us the insider secrets on what combinations to use in making the ‘perfect apple pie’.
Next; pay for your apple picking experience (it’s $20). There they’ll give you a basket and ask you what kind of apples you’d like to pick. From there - the super friendly peeps at the apple farm will give you a map and direct you to what area of the orchard you should head to, depending on your apple preference.
Tip; I suggest bringing cash. They also have an ATM by the “Farmers Market” sign in the indoor fruit stand/store; in case you forget.
Apple basket and map in hand we headed into the orchard.
Most of the good apples were high up on the trees closest to the entry point, however; the further away from civilization you go; the more bountiful the trees became.
On that note - I *do* suggest wearing close toed shoes; hiking boots would be the wisest choice. And, since you’ll be out in the sun - I also suggest wearing a visor, baseball cap, sombrero - or something of the like.
Once you’ve filled your basket and got all of your pictures for IG; it’s time to head back to the fruit stand.
If you happen to run into the wired fence on your journey back, and can’t find your way out - don’t panic; you’re not trapped in the vortex of the Sky Top apple orchard for all of eternity - ultimately being forced to survive by foraging for apples for thousands and thousand of years.
Just follow along the edge of the fence and eventually there will be an opening leading back to the fruit stand & store where they’ll give you a bag to transfer your apples into, to take home.
After we finished apple picking and had our hike on through the orchard - we decided it was the perfect time to enjoy some snacks and do some shopping.
Apple slushies were *omg* so refreshing after the walk - super super super fresh, a little tart & sweet, and not fake sugary at all. My boyfriend mentioned they’d be really tasty with vodka in them - but I hadn’t brought my usual oversized hand bag stocked with airplane sized bottles of Titos, so we enjoyed them alcohol free. However; if you are in the mood for something a little stronger than cider - Sky Top does sell “Sky Top Hard Cider” - by the bottle.
Post slushees, we headed to the donut stand that serves up hot and fresh and apple cider donuts sprinkled with cinnamon for only $1 a piece.
More donut and ice cream desserts, mini pies, whole pies and more - can be purchased at the bakery inside the main fruit stand/store.
Lastly; we did some early Christmas shopping for some jams & apple butters. Shopping local for holiday gifts is my fave. My second fave shopping experience is forgetting about the holiday all together and sending something via Amazon Prime a week late.
The u-pick experience is pet friendly; just make sure to bring a friend with so they can go in the fruit stand and pay (doggos must wait outside).
Sky Top Orchards is open everyday in season from 9-6.