There are a few things that really make fall come to life—the changing foliage and freshly sharpened pencils come to mind—but nothing is quite so autumnal as apple picking.
Indulge in the season with a visit to Carter Mountain Orchard, the quintessential location for Charlottesville apple picking. As one of three Chiles Family Orchards (check out their website, ChilesFamilyOrchards.com), Carter Mountain Orchard offers do-it-yourself apple picking, incredible regional scenery, and so much more.
Where to Go
Just minutes from Monticello, Carter Mountain Orchard brings a sense of history and tradition to Charlottesville apple picking. A visit to the orchard, which is open from mid-April through November (as well as weekends in December) gives guests a real sense of the agrarian culture in central Virginia, from generations past until today.
What to Do
Of course Charlottesville apple picking wouldn’t be complete without all the accompanying fanfare and food: the orchard offers fresh-pressed apple cider, homemade apple cider donuts, apple pies and even apple caramel cookies.
The fall scene is completed with pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. You can take it all in with a traditional hay ride.
Carter Mountain Orchard’s range of apples makes Charlottesville apple picking a real treat, with varieties to suit everyone’s tastes. You’re sure to find a favorite among this lineup of varieties: Ginger Gold, Gala, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Jonathan, Rome, Stayman, Winesap, York, Granny Smith, Fuji and Pink Lady.
The Carter Mountain Orchard website offers a number of fun facts about Charlottesville apple picking that will surely enhance your experience:
- An average of 8-10 million bushels of apples are produced annually by Virginia growers. American apple growers produce over 255 million bushels annually, which equals just over one bushel of apples per person in the United States.
- Local apple varieties require 90 to 175 growing days from spring bloom to fall harvest.
- Depending on the type of root stock, 100 to 500 apple trees are planted to the acre.
- Seventy percent of apples grown in Virginia are sold for processing and made into popular products such as applesauce, apple juice, apple butter, slices and cider.
- Virginia apples are destined for markets in 15 states and more than 20 countries.
If you’re planning a visit to do some Charlottesville apple picking, consider coming between September 1 and November 30 to take advantage of the Carter Mountain Orchard Apple Harvest Celebration.
Carter Mountain Orchard, 1435 Carters Mountain Trail, Charlottesville, VA 22901
Apple Harvest Celebration
August 31 – October 31: Open Daily 9am–6pm
Open Thursdays ’til 9pm through September 24
Open 8am – 7pm on 10/3, 10/10, and 10/17
November 1 – November 29: Open Daily 9am–5pm
CLOSED THANKSGIVING DAY
December: Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays 10am–5pm
The last day of the Carter Mountain Orchard 2015 season is December 20.
History, culture, nature, Americana—Prospect Hill Inn & Plantation has it all. No matter what brings you to Virginia, a stay at Prospect Hill guarantees you’ll get to experience the best the state has to offer, in the most comfortable accommodations. To offer you a true taste of the region, we use farm-fresh ingredients and organic fruits to compose our gourmet breakfasts. Whether you’d prefer to enjoy your complimentary breakfast in your cottage or in the dining room, at Prospect Hill we believe in starting your day off the right way.
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Photo credit: Apples with a view / Valerie Hinojosa / Flickr