Curious about the popular Sky Top Orchard? Local mom, Jackie, takes her family to this orchard each year. She has written everything you need to know to plan your family’s visit to Sky Top Orchard.
Farm fresh apples, hot cider, apple pies, and cider donuts are calling! It’s time to head into the mountains for a bushel and a peck of fun! If you’ve never added apple picking to your fall bucket list, you’re missing out. A beautiful drive through the mountains, in just under an hour from Spartanburg, will take you to one of the top local u-pick apple orchard favorites: Sky Top Orchard near Flat Rock, NC.
A special 2020 apple picking tip: Don’t forget to pack your family’s masks! Due to COVID-19, many of the orchards, including Sky Top, are asking guests, along with staff, to wear masks and practice social distancing when in their farm stands. Learn more about Sky Top’s response to COVID-19 here. If you have lingering questions concerning the orchard and COVID-19, we encourage you to give them a call at 828.692.7930 or send a Facebook message.
For more nearby apple orchards be sure to see our Fall Guide to Spartanburg.
Our trip to Sky Top Orchard
Sky Top Orchard has over 22 varieties of apples to choose from during their picking seasons. Visit any time beginning in August (August 1st, 2020) and all the way through December to be sure you can catch your favorite varieties at peak freshness. 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, 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 before you go
Bring cash or check – they do not accept credit cards. Plan to spend between $10-30 or more depending on how many apples you want to purchase.
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.
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. Sky Top requires prepayment to enter the picking section of the orchard. You must buy at least one peck (approximately 10 lbs) per 6 people. A basket is provided.
Bring quarters to feed the ducks at the pond.
There are plenty of already-picked apples to choose from if you want all the fresh flavor without the work.
A map of the farm can be found here.
Their picking schedule (which lists available varieties) can be found here.
Sky Top Orchard is open 7 days a week from 9 am – 6 pm. After Daylight Savings (November 1st, 2020), the time changes to 9 am – 5 pm.
The orchard is located above Flat Rock, NC and directions can be found here.
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!
Sky Top Orchard
1193 Pinnacle Mountain Road, Flat Rock, NC
Hours: 9 am – 6 pm, every day from July – Nov 4th (hours change to 9 am – 5 pm from November 1st – early December). After the u-pick season ends (around the end of October), Sky Top is still open for customers to purchase apples and other goodies.
Have you taken your kids to Sky Top Orchard yet?
Also, don’t miss our list of Pumpkin Patches Near Spartanburg and our list of Corn Mazes Near Spartanburg! There’s plenty of suggestions for families wanting to have fun this time of year in the Upstate!