If you’re in the South, you don’t have to drive far from your hometown to find a stand selling bushels of fresh fruit. And you can bet where there’s a stand, there’s an orchard nearby. Here are a few fun places to spend a crisp autumn afternoon. Tip: Call first to make sure your destination is open.
Located just outside Clarksville, Arkansas, Cox Berry Farm offers several varieties of apples as well as pumpkins during October. You can also pick up a few blackberry plants for your home garden. 479-754-3707; coxberryfarm.com
You could spend a whole day at Hillside Orchard Farm, tucked in the foothills near Lakemont, Georgia. From corn mazes to gem mining, there’s plenty to keep the kids entertained. They also have an impressive stock of apples, including Arkansas Black, Stayman Winesap, and Ozark Gold. 866-782-4995; hillsideorchard.com
Located near Long Creek, South Carolina, Chattooga Belle Farm features a variety of offerings for visitors to pick, including pears, apples, and muscadines. Make it a day trip with a farm tour and a bite to eat at their café. 864-647-9768; chattoogabellefarm.com
Dating back to the 1800s, Haney’s Appledale Farm spreads across 450 acres outside Nancy, Kentucky. Visitors can wander the orchards and pick from more than 25 varieties of apples and pears and enjoy pies, muffins, and caramel apples from their bakery and gift shop. 606-636-6148; haneysappledalefarm.com
With 22 varieties of apples and free wagon rides through the Stepp Farm’s Hillcrest Orchard, there’s no reason not to stop at this family-friendly spot near Hendersonville, North Carolina. 828-685-9083; steppapples.com