Pick Your Own Apples at Sky Top Orchards

Sky Top Orchards Scarecrow

We rode up the mountain near Flat Rock to visit Sky Top Orchard, one of the most popular “pick your own” farms in Western North Carolina. There were lots of families having fun, playing, picking apples, and enjoying the scenery on hayrides…

Hayride at Sky Top Orchards, Zirconia, NC

Of course it wasn’t all fun and games for the Sky Top Orchard staff. They were hard at work making sure everything was working and humming right along…

Sky Top Orchards Farm Workers

If you’re like us and you don’t want to “pick your own” apples, there are a dozen tasty varieties in all sizes of bags, baskets, and containers…

Sky Top Orchards Apples Farm Stand

We’ve heard about the hot, fresh apple cider donuts that Sky Top Orchard makes, but it was Saturday and the line was long, so we’ll go back during the week and get some. We didn’t have to wait to buy some fresh apple cider. And when we got home we immediately poured some of the best cider we’ve ever tasted…

Sky Top Orchard Apple Cider

Sky Top Orchard is only a short drive south of Hendersonville. For an interactive Google map to Sky Top Orchard click here. If you’d like some fresh apple cakes, cider, donuts, jellies, preserves, apple butter, honey, pumpkins, gift baskets, and other other apple-related items, visit Sky Top Orchards or one of the many “pick your own” farms, orchards and fruit stands in Western North Carolina. Here’s a short list of some of the most popular ones…

Apple Hill Orchard, Morganton
Apple Mill, Saluda
Atkins Orchard, Saluda
Barber Orchard Fruit Stand, Waynesville
Coston Farm, Hendersonville
Creasman Farms, Hendersonville
Grandad’s Apples ‘N Such, Hendersonville
Justus Orchard, Hendersonville
Lyda Farms, Hendersonville
Mountain Fresh Orchards, Hendersonville
Old Cider Mill & Gift Shop, Bat Cave
Orchard at Altapass, Little Switzerland
Piney Mountain Orchards, Hendersonville
Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard, Hendersonville

Be sure to check their websites or call for hours of operation and other information.

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Another Good Dinner: Umi Japanese Restaurant

Salmon At UMI Japanese Restaurant, Hendersonville, NC

We enjoyed another good dinner at Umi Japanese Fine Dining in Hendersonville, NC. We shared a California roll, and then my sweetheart ordered one of the chef’s signature entrees: Grilled Miso Salmon. She said it was “very pretty” and the miso sauce was awesome.

Beef Teriyaki at UMI Japanese Restaurant, Hendersonville, NC

I had the Beef Teriyaki. It was grilled perfectly and served in a delicious teriyaki sauce, with a side of vegetables. Somehow the chef mixes the ingredients just right, and makes the best teriyaki I can remember.

Umi has won numerous restaurant awards here in Western North Carolina. It’s a favorite of both locals and visitors in Hendersonville, and we’ve never been disappointed.

You’ll find Umi Japanese Fine Dining at 633 N. Main St. in Hendersonville, about two miles from exit 49B off of I-26.


Brunch at Mother Butter’s in Hendersonville

Mother Butter's Guinness Steak Pie Special for St. Patrick's Day

We stopped for Sunday brunch at Mother Butter’s restaurant in Hendersonville, NC. They offered several St. Patrick’s Day specials, but we both chose the Guinness Steak Pie. It was fantastic, perfectly spicy, with Guinness Ale broth, and a beautiful, tasty crust on top. Another highlight was the array of side dishes, all included with the meal: roasted potatoes with cabbage and bacon (and melted butter, of course); roasted sweet carrot souffle, topped with powdered sugar; fried okra, and Irish soda bread…

Mother Butter's St. Patrick's Day Side Dishes

For dessert we had Sticky Toffee Pudding (aka English Toffee Cake). In the cozy dining room we met some Mother Butter’s “regulars” at a nearby table: David Swanson and his wife, who for the past 44 years have successfully run the Swanson & Son’s store on Main Street in Hendersonville. (They said the food is always this good at Mother Butter’s.)

Mother Butter's Dining Room

You’ll find Mother Butter’s “refined comfort cuisine” at 123 5th Avenue East in Hendersonville, North Carolina, next door to the old City Hall building. For an interactive Google map click here.

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