Fall is just about here! Time for corn mazes, fall festivals, and apple picking! One of the local favorites is Sky Top Orchard near Flat Rock, NC. Read on for local mom Jackie Vest’s tips and things to expect when you visit Sky Top Orchard, so you can make the most of your visit!
See our full list of Apple Orchards Near the Upstate. For more fall fun check out our Pumpkin Patch Guide and our Corn Maze Guide!
Experience Sky Top Orchard
The Sky Top apple season starts in August and runs through the Sunday after Thanksgiving, giving families plenty of opportunities to seek out their favorite varieties of apples. This orchard has over 22 different kinds of apples to choose from! They also churn out a regional sensation: apple cider donuts!
As soon as you pull up to the orchard and open your car door, you are drawn in with the delicious fried cidery-sugary smell wafting through the air. Plan on buying at LEAST a dozen. If you come on a busy weekend, you’ll need to wait in line for them, but don’t let that stop you!
Apple picking is an enjoyable activity for kids of all ages. While you may need to walk a bit to the row of choice, the picking is quick and easy work. Many apples are available low to the ground, easy picking for even the smallest kiddos. My boys (ages 5 & 7) hopped off the hayride, took off down a row, and filled up their bags before I even caught up with the little stinkers!
The orchard also offers plenty of play structures, Bee Train, a Gold Rush Gem Mine, a honeybee hive (in which kids can usually spot the queen bee behind the glass), a bamboo forest, some farm animals like sheep, chickens, goats, and peacocks, and plenty of delectable goodies in addition to the apples and cider donuts.
Pies, jellies, hot cider, fudges, and frozen apple cider slushies, to name a few! Outside food is acceptable and there are plenty of picnic tables or areas to spread a blanket – just be mindful of bees and limit sugary foods.
The orchard also does a great job accommodating large groups with hayride tours, apple picking, and educational programs which teach kiddos everything they could want to know about how apples grow through the seasons. This is a favorite field trip destination!
Tips for visiting Sky Top
Be sure to check out Skytop’s FAQs for tips before you visit.
Bring cash or check – while they do accept credit cards, their wifi can be spotty so their credit card processing system isn’t always working.
Try to go on a Monday or early week. The weekends can get pretty busy.
Wear sneakers or other walking shoes that are okay to get dirty.
Bring quarters for feeding the farm animals.
Sky Top has real bathrooms now. No more having to use a port-a-potty.
Apple varieties are planted in accordance of when they are in season. They plant the earliest apples closest to the entrance and it progresses further away as the season goes on. In other words, the later in the season you visit the orchard, the further you will need to plan on walking to pick apples.
There are plenty of already-picked apples to choose from if you want all the fresh flavor without the work.
You must pre-pay for apples and you are required to pay for at least one peck per 6 people (around 10 pounds). A basket is provided.
Here is their picking schedule (which lists available varieties).
Sky Top Orchard is open 7 days a week from 9 am – 6 pm.
The orchard is located above Flat Rock, NC and here are directions to Sky Top Orchard.
We love this place and like so many others, we have made it an annual Mecca. I hope this has been helpful, see you at the orchard! Find our tips on picking apples with kids here.
When visiting Flat Rock, NC, consider our day trip guide to Flat Rock for more suggestions on activities in the area, including all that there is to do in very near Hendersonville, NC. Nearby attractions include the Team Ecco Aquarium, the Carl Sandburg House, and the Western NC Nature Center.
Has your family experienced Sky Top Orchard yet?
Moonshine Mountain Delivers Thrilling Snow Tubing During Winter Months