Are you ready for apple picking near Columbia, SC? It’s so much fun to pack a lunch, load up the kids and head up towards the cool(er) mountain air to a favorite orchard with apples to pick and farm games to enjoy.
There are many wonderful apple orchards near Columbia where you can pick your own apples. If you’re looking for apple picking in SC, you’ll find the closest orchards towards Upstate, SC, and into Western North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Apple picking makes for an awesome day trip. Use our guide to pick the orchard that sounds fun for your family and then check out our other content to see what else there is nearby to do. Plan your amazing fall day trip adventure and be back home by bedtime. Happy picking!
Before you go apple picking, be sure to call ahead to check on hours and apple varieties available or check the orchard’s Facebook page for updates as many of the orchards will list upcoming events, changed hours, and list of fruits available.
Take a Stroll Through the Best Orchards for Apple Picking in SC
Check out this video to get a sneak peak of the awesome family fun offered at some of the best apple orchards nearest Columbia, SC.
Fun Apple Farms: U-Pick Apples Columbia, SC
Don’t forget to check out all the additional family fun available at many of these orchards. Visit with farm animals, pick out some jams and jellies at the farm store, or pick up some apple cider, pie, or pick another baked good or apple product to enjoy. Test out an apple cannon, ride a cow train, or just kick back and enjoy the view!
2023 KABOOM Awards Family Favorites Finalist: Best Family-Friendly Farms
Located in a picturesque part of Hendersonville with views of the mountains, Justus Orchard is the perfect place to go apple picking. Their apple cider donuts are also a treat not to be missed. This apple orchard in Hendersonville, NC was one of the first in the state to invite customers to not only buy apples already picked but allow visitors to go into the orchard and pick their own apples.
Open for 2023 season
Check the Justus Orchard Facebook page for current u-pick status, before heading up.
Gala Apple Upick opening day: August 11th, 2023
Well-behaved dogs on leash allowed and owners must pick up after them.
Blackberries – July thru August
Apples – Mid August thru Early November
Apple cannon ($)
Jumping pillow ($)
Cow Train ($)
The owners of the Windy Hill Orchard and Cider Mill got their start 20 years ago when they wanted to create the perfect apple cider (they apparently succeeded). Their main apple variety is the Stayman Winesapp and u-pick opens up in late August. The orchard asks that everyone 2 years of age and older have their own pre-purchased bag before heading into the orchard. They also have weekend events that include live music.
2023 season-opening date: August 17, 2023
Farm Store with baked apple goods
Hard Cider Tastings
Apple cider slushies
Jeter Mountain Farm is the result of more than 150 years of farming history in the Hunsader family. Located on 411 acres near Hendersonville and Brevard, this farm offers Choose N’ Cut Christmas Trees, plus u-pick includes berries, peaches, pumpkins, grapes, and over 20 varieties of apples. Be sure to check the Jeter Mountain Farm Harvest Calendar to see what’s ready for picking. Important to note for the tractor enthusiasts in your family, orchards are accessed via tractor ride!
2023 season: Get updates for availability on their Facebook page.
- Open weekends 10-5 as of July 2023 for u-pick berries.
- Apple U-pick Begins August 12, 2023.
- Pumpkins will be available in early October, 2023.
Pets are not allowed at the u-pick orchards, inside the market, inside the tap room, coffee shop, and wagons.
U-pick Apples & other fruits according to season
Market with pre-picked apples, apple cider, apple cider donuts, and other goods
Hard Cider Tap Room
Covered play area
2023 KABOOM Family Favorites Finalist: Outdoor Fun
2023 KABOOM Family Favorites Finalist: Farms
A KAG reader favorite, Sky Top Orchard offers mountain views, ponds with ducks and geese, farm animals, play structures, and apple and fruit trees. Don’t miss the amazing apple cider donuts. Last year there were some concerns about Sky Top getting too crowded so maybe try to go during the week if you prefer smaller crowds.
2023 season-opening date: Sky Top WILL HAVE U-Pick in 2023.
- Open weekends as of end of July for donuts, wagon rides, and farm store apples, follow their Facebook page for updates.
- Apple Upick Begins August 3rd, 2023
Dogs on leash allowed but not in the fruit stand.
Farm Store with Cider donuts
Gold Rush Gem Mine
At the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies this gorgeous farm and orchard, which is not only a working farm but also a popular wedding venue.
Besides a pick-your-own experience, Chattooga Belle Farm also offers cabin rentals, a bistro for lunch and dinner, disc golf, and an amazing variety of exotic fruits like Asian pears, figs, pawpaws, and persimmons.
2023 season-opening date: Farm store is open year-round – Check the Chattooga Belle Farm Website for daily updates on available options.
Dogs are allowed, but not in the fruit areas or inside dining. They are allowed for outside dining and the disc golf trail.
Restaurant serving lunch and dinner
Pre-picked apples, table grapes, wine grapes, peaches, and more.
Just a few miles from the Chattooga River, Bryson’s Apple Orchard is also close to gorgeous waterfalls and many of the hiking places that KAG has recommended (so maybe hiking and apple donuts one day this fall?). The Long Creek area, according to their website, is one of the “largest apple producing areas east of the Mississippi River.”
2023 season-opening date: July 28, 2023 for apples at the stand; no u-pick apples this year but they will have prepicked apples available.
Asian pears (Asian pear crop ruined by a late frost in 2021)
With over 20 different varieties of apples, you are bound to find a favorite at Grandad’s Apples N’ Such. They also have a bakery on-site that sells pies, donuts, caramel apples, and cider. Activities for kids include a corn maze, cow train, and a huge pumpkin patch where kids are bound to find their ideal pumpkin.
2023 season-opening date: August 11, 2023
Due to the late frost, the apple crop is limited at Grandad’s. They let us know u-pick is TBD but apples will be available in the farm store.
All pets must be leashed and picked up after while visiting.
Offering U-Pick Apples as available**—check Grandad’s Facebook page for updates, there may or may not be U-Pick in 2023**
Pumpkin Patch (late September – October)
Farm Store and bakery
Corn Maze ($)
Cow Train ($)
Apple Cannons ($)
Apple picking is a delight at Coston Farm with the mountains as a backdrop to the orchard. Like other orchards, they also offer delicious baked goods and apples already picked for sale.
2023 season-opening date: August 18, 2023
No pets allowed.
U-pick apple orchard from August – October
(See their apple ripening calendar for different varieties)
Farm Store with pre-picked apples, pumpkins, and fall decor
Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard
828.685.9083 170 Stepp Orchard Drive, Hendersonville, NC
Open 50 years, Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard are experts on organizing their orchard for u-pick. They begin their family fun and farm activities in mid-August and invite you to bring a lunch and spend the day at the orchard.
Open August 18, 2023. Check their Facebook page for up-to-date info on what’s available for picking.
Corn Maze ($)
Jump Pads (on weekends) ($)
Apple Cannon (on weekends) ($)
Twisted Apple is an organic farm and retail outlet. They generally do not offer u-pick, but it is one of very few places to purchase local organic apples. They do offer baked goods and a variety of apples to purchase.
Check their Facebook page for updates.
2023 Opening date: August 19, 2023; no u-pick for 2023
Dogs allowed but not in the bakery.
Organically and conventionally grown apples
Retail farm products.
Map of Apple Orchards Closest to Columbia, SC
We have also put together a Google map listing these U-Pick apple orchards.
Apple Cider Donut Tour
Looking for something different? Make the rounds and visit several orchards while sampling apple cider donuts on our Apple Cider Donut Tour. We can’t think of a more perfect and delicious fall day.
Make it a Day Trip!
Heading up to Western North Carolina for apples? Do not miss these awesome things to do in Hendersonville, NC!
Heading to Charlotte, NC or York County, SC for apples at Windy Hil Orchard?
Tips for Apple Picking with Kids
Use these tips from SC mom, Lacey Keigley, to make your apple-picking adventure a fun and memorable day for everyone!
Remember – you want the adventure to be fun and memorable. Let your expectations for “perfect” be low and your expectations for “enjoyable” be high.
Here are five tips we’ve learned over the years to help make your actual apple-picking experience be as cute and fun as those Instagram photos might make it look.
Prep your kids ahead of time for apple picking
For toddlers and preschool children, visit the library and check out books about apples.
For elementary-aged kids, look through cookbooks and Pinterest for apple-inspired recipes. Pick a few apple-heavy dishes and plan to bake them together after your trip. (Call Grandma or their Aunt Sharon over to help. It’s an easy way to keep the fun going.)
Do a little research before you go
With so many choices, decide what you want most from your apple-picking adventure. Do you want great views? A hayride? A particular apple variety? Do you want to bring your dog? Are you craving the famed warm apple cider doughnuts? A delectable apple slush?
Also, consider details such as cash only. Nothing can spoil a good apple picking day like finding out you can’t use your credit card to buy your thirteen hard-earned bushels of apples when you realize you only have $2 in your wallet.
Our fall list of apple orchards near Columbia, SC is a great place to start your research!
Choose your time wisely
If your household cannot bear to skip the precious afternoon nap time for the tinies at your home, get out of bed and get to those shiny red apples first thing in the morning.
It is wise to avoid weekends if you can. The orchards naturally become very crowded on Saturdays and Sundays. Your best bet is mid-week if you can wrangle it.
Maybe a mid-morning option is best for you and yours. Pack a picnic for after you’ve filled your belly and your baskets with apples. A pb&j never tastes as good at home as it does in a picturesque orchard, with fresh, cold apple cider to wash it down, an apple to go with it, and an apple donut for dessert.
All things apple – am I right?
Invite a friend to join you to pick apples
Sometimes it is just good to have company.
A good buddy can wait with some kids while other kids inevitably have to use the bathroom as soon as you arrive. (And, that good friend can snap a picture that you are actually in with your children to prove that mom, in fact, does go fun places with her children.)
Let apple picking be fun
Yes, take cute pictures.
Yes, pick apples.
But, for goodness sake, have fun.
Let your kids have fun.
If you find out that you somehow didn’t actually pick enough apples while in the orchard, just buy the apples already picked in the shop. (Often the price is not all that different, sometimes pre-picked apples are actually cheaper.)
On the other hand, if you find out that you picked too many apples with your exuberant pickers, buy them anyway. Share them with your friends and your family. Give a bag to the mailman or your child’s school teacher. Who doesn’t love the gift of local apples happily harvested?
We Want More Farm Fun
What about pumpkins and corn mazes?
We have all that, too! Just use the orange box below to hop on over to those KACOLA guides.
Farms, pumpkins and corn mazes
Where is your family’s favorite place to pick apples?