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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Gem Mine is Great Kids Activity in Brevard, NC

Outside Crystal Mountain Gem Mine, Brevard, NC

We asked our son to skip work from his children’s stationery business and bring his family up to Brevard, NC, so our grand kids could strike it rich at the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine. We met his family before the doors were even open. They thought they were going to have to walk through a muddy mine, so they all wore old shoes, t-shirts and jeans, only to find out it’s super clean and tidy inside the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine…

Inside Crystal Mountain Gem Mine, Brevard, NC

While my teenage granddaughter shopped for precious stones, my two other grand kids  (along with mom, dad and Nana) sat at the 52-ft.-long flume and “worked” hard, sifting through large buckets full of sand and dirt…

Pannning for Precious Gems at Crystal Mountain Gem Mine

Their “hard work” turned into joy and excitement with each gemstone they found…

Joy of Striking it Rich at Crystal Mountain Gem Mine

When they had emptied their buckets they collected their gems and presented them to Crystal Mountain Gem Mine owner Chris Cloer, who described each gemstone to our prospectors. To their surprise and excitement, they had found two rubies that could be worth over $1,000 when they’re cut, polished and mounted…

Gemstone Appraisal at Crystal Mountain Gem Mine

Special thanks to Chris and his crew at the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine for a terrific time with our grand kids. My grand kids agree that Crystal Mountain Gem Mine is one of the most fun children’s activities in Brevard, NC. It’s open seven days a week, and conveniently located at 31 S. Broad Street in Brevard. (Map)

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Everyday is Grandparents Day in Brevard, NC

Outside OP Taylor's Toy Store, Brevard, NC

After all the excitement at Crystal Mountain Gem Mine we headed across the street to the famous OP Taylor’s Toy Store. Although our grand kids were very familiar with “the coolest toy store on the planet” our poor, adult son had never seen it. I think he enjoyed himself at the racetrack with my grandson…

Race Cars at OP Taylor's Toy Store

Afterward we headed down the block to Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop for lunch…

Fun Lunch at Rocky's in Brevard, NC

Nana had a delicious salad and once again, grandpa set a good example of eating-healthy with two grilled Hebrew National kosher hot dogs. They truly are the best on the planet…

Yummy Lunch at Rocky's in Brevard, NC

Sadly we said goodbye and parted ways outside Rocky’s Soda Shop…

Outside Rocky's Soda Shop in Brevard, NC

If you’re looking for an old-fashioned fun place to eat, stop by Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop in Brevard. It’d directly across Main street from the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine. (Map)

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Old Towne Market Has A New 7th Ave. Location

The popular Old Towne Market has moved to the up-and-coming Seventh Avenue District in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Old Towne Market, Hendersonville, NC

Owner Margaret Woods closed her Main Street and Locust Street stores and combined them into her new location at 310 Seventh Avenue East. The new store is filled with home decor, art, furniture, books, jewelry and more. It also has lots of convenient parking right next door. You’ll find the “new” Old Towne Market on Seventh Avenue (map) just off of Four Seasons Boulevard.

Blue Ridge Travel GuideOld Towne Market has consignment merchandise, country decor, items from Magpies of Hendersonville, and designer furniture from Found Feather Farm in Lake Lure. Old Towne Market will soon be expanding into the adjacent space next door, doubling the square footage to 8,000 ft., and adding more new vendors.

And if you’re looking for a copy of Blue Ridge Travel Guide, Old Towne Market has a few left.

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