Raleigh Family Photographer Fall – Our Trip to Skytop Orchard

This year I realllllly wanted to take the boys to the mountains to pick some apples. They love picking strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and apples, and this year I so badly wanted to take the four hour trip. Planning this in October, my busiest month of the year was a little challenging. Plus, it decided to rain and rain and rain at the beginning of the month. I was beginning to wonder if it was going to happen, and I will admit, I was a little bit heartbroken. I kept watching their website, and they still had apple availability, so during Owen’s weekday fall break from school, we were able to make the quick trip.

I did some research, and there were sooo many great recommendations about SkyTop, (it also made USAToday’s 10 best Apple Orchards) so that’s where we decided to go. We met up with my mom in Greensboro and then drove three hours to the orchard. It took us down 85, and right past Gardner-Webb, where I went to college. (Go Runnin’ Bulldogs) We made it there around 2 in the afternoon I think and were able to get a parking place right in front which was great since we took a few trips to the car, (diaper change, dropped doughnuts off, etc) so that was perfect.

First, when you walk into their store, right at the top of the Mountain, the view is just so pretty. You look out and all you see is apple trees and mountains (love, love, love) They have sooo many different kinds of apples which you can buy in the store, or they are clearly marked on the map and in the orchard where to pick.

The boys took a tractor ride (Harrison was in love) and then they played on the playground for a little while, which was a big hit. After that, we had an apple cider slushie and apple cider doughnut snack. Oh my, those doughnuts were AMAZING. Of course, we bought a couple dozen to take home. Then, the boys fed the ducks, which Owen just thought was hysterical. One duck was running around outside, too, looking for kids to pick him up (and they did) We then tried out the bamboo forest which was really cool but just make sure your little ones don’t run in there, there’s a lot of stumps. We said hello to the goats + sheep, and then went to get our baskets for picking.

I’m not sure what the best advice would be for taking little ones out into the orchard. (It’s on a mountain so this is serious apple picking. We did a lot of climbing up and down hills) It was recommended that we pick pink lady apples since they had a lot of those, which they did, woo-hoo. Plus, Pink Lady is my favorite apple. We pushed Harrison in the stroller for a while and then we just had to leave the stroller, and he did pretty good staying with us the rest of the way. It was a pretty intense workout taking the stroller. I’m not sure if I would wear him in the Ergo or not since he’s such a big kid (probably still would have been just as much of a workout, but if you have little ones smaller than Harrison, I’d probably recommend baby wearing) Next year he’ll probably be better at walking and can handle the hike. You can also stay closer to the front, but we reallly wanted to go to the Pink Lady apples.

The apple trees were just beautiful and FULL of apples. Owen was just.so.happy. He just kept picking apples. They both enjoyed it just so much, and I’m thinking about how we are going to carry them back up the mountain! Ha! (Don’t pick toooo many!) It’s a beautiful orchard and wow, sooo many trees! When we were leaving, Owen said it was the best day ever. (Melt my mama heart) I definitely hope to come back next year – I loved this orchard so much, and the boys just had such a wonderful day.

There are a lot of recommendations on their website if you decide to plan a trip – bring cash, (they don’t take credit¬†cards) ¬†hand sanitizer, quarters to feed the ducks, and really, wear comfortable shoes. You don’t want to be miserable walking up and down the mountain in heels, etc. You can also look at their picking schedule to see what’s available.

We drove about an hour and stayed at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, which is something we’ve never done and were really so excited. It has such a breathtaking mountain view – I had no idea. We got there pretty close to sunset and walked out the back of the lobby to the terrace where all you could see was gorgeous mountains. We also woke up early and headed out for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway before heading home. It was a quick trip – two days + one night but what great memories made in such a short time.

Raleigh Family Photographer Fall | Rebecca Keller Photography

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Rebecca Keller is a Raleigh Family Photographer Fall featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including Lemonade and Lenses and Let the Kids Dress Themselves. Contact the studio for more information about family portraits and holiday mini sessions.