There’s so much to see and do in Hendersonville that one trip just isn’t enough. If you only have a day or two, though, make the most of it: plan a relaxing time with fun fall opportunities and fruitful visits to orchards and award-winning vineyards.
For U-pick apples, head to Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard. At this fourth-generation farm, you’ll find 38 acres and 21 varieties, including the tart heirloom Arkansas Black, while experiencing the joy of plucking fruit, straight from the branches, still warm from the sun. Along with the five-acre corn maze, homemade pumpkin doughnuts and apple cider are available daily, while wagon rides and the chance to shoot an apple cannon (think potato gun) are offered on weekends through October. There are 20 varieties of pre-picked and U-pick apples at Grandad’s Apples N’ Such, as well as attractions including a pumpkin patch, barnyard corral with goats and donkeys, and a train ride. There’s also a country store and bakery selling chowchow, jams, apple cider slushes, pastries, and doughnuts made with fresh-pressed cider. The red-roofed barn and silo (topped with an old tractor) make a bucolic photo backdrop. Less than half a mile away is Mountain Fresh Orchards, which produces 16 kinds of apples; there’s also a roadside fruit and vegetable stand with cabbage, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and fall gourds and mums. Jugs of fresh cider are available in unexpected flavors including blueberry and scuppernong.
Drop into Burntshirt Vineyards for something headier. It produces 18 wines, including the white Austrian variety Grüner Veltliner. Along with tastings and free daily tours at 2 p.m., enjoy food truck offerings, movie screenings, and live music on the terrace through November. The newly opened Point Lookout Vineyards features 10 wines and seven meads as well as spectacular views. Here, you can nibble on charcuterie and flatbreads from the kitchen or watch the grape harvest in mid September. Try the unique Masala Chai Tea mead, best enjoyed on the rustic stone pavilion. Hendersonville’s first commercial vineyard, Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards, produces 15 wines, including the indulgent Vin Chocolate Du Barista and Jasper. Named after the owner’s grandson, it’s made with equal parts merlot, petit verdot, cabernet sauvignon, and cabernet franc. Take in sigh-inducing views from the tasting room, which is open year-round and offers outdoor and indoor seating. Across the street, Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cider serves five ciders and pommeau, a potent brandy/cider blend.
Jump Off Rock.
Don’t miss Instagram-worthy Jump Off Rock. Perfect for a picnic or a bit of respite, this 3,100-foot summit boasts panoramic vistas, benches, and three hiking trails. It’s breathtaking any time of day, but it’s positively magical while watching the sun dip gracefully behind the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Eclectic tapas and desserts
Upscale New American eats
West First Wood-Fired
Rustic pastas and wood-fired pizzas
Highland Lake Inn & Resort
The Charleston Inn
1898 Waverly Inn
A 12-acre public botanical garden
Flat Rock Playhouse
The state theater showing Broadway-worthy productions
See visithendersonvillenc.org to learn more.