Our Top (Apple) Picks!

Amber Randhawa What's Happening Around Atlanta

In spite of the extended summer heat wave, September is here and apple season has arrived in North Georgia! Travel just a short drive north of the city and you’ll find apple orchards galore, where you can spend an afternoon choosing your own fruit straight from the source, or purchase pre-picked apples and all kinds of apple products in the farm store. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite spots to enjoy an apple-picking good time!

B.J. Reece Orchards

Farm fun at B.J. Reece Orchards isn’t limited to apple-picking, though the Rome Beauty, Pink Ladies, Fuji and September Wonder apples have been rated some of the best in the region. Visitors are treated to a petting zoo, orchard zip line, jumping pillow, cow train and apple shooting cannon before visiting the orchard bakery for fresh cider, fried apple pies, apple bread and cider doughnuts.

B.J. Reece Orchards
9131 Hwy 52 East, Ellijay, GA 30536

Hillcrest Orchards

Hillcrest Orchards has been family-owned and in the apple business since 1946. They are open to the public every fall, September through November, for their annual “Apple Pickin’ Jubilee.” In addition to apple picking, you’ll enjoy a petting farm, both a corn and an apple tree maze, mini golf, wagon rides, and farm demonstrations and activities such as cow milking and a visit to the hen house.  Small children will especially enjoy picking from Hillcrest’s dwarf apple trees, with apples hanging well within reach of little hands.

Hillcrest Orchards
9696 Hwy 52 East, Ellijay, GA 30536

Hillside Orchard Farms

This small family farm has been in operation for over 30 years, and is a favorite for families with young kids. Before you pick your apples, say hello to the family’s herd of goats and donkeys, then enjoy a hayride and train ride around the farm. A corn maze, antique farm equipment to climb on, and an indoor gem mine round out the fall activities.

Hillside Orchard Farms
18 Sorghum Mill Drive, Lakemont, GA 30552

Mercier Orchards

Another long-standing North Georgia tradition, Mercier Orchards has been in the same family for four generations, growing apples and many other seasonal fruits such as strawberries and peaches. During the fall apple season, visitors will enjoy a tractor ride out to the trees, which includes a brief history of Mercier Orchards and fun facts about the apples they grow. After picking your apples, visit the large bakery and produce market featuring Georgia-grown items from across the state.

Mercier Orchards
8660 Blue Ridge Drive, GA 30513

For even more apple fun, plan to visit one of these festivals celebrating everything apples in North Georgia!

Big Red Apple Festival

Cornelia’s annual apple celebration is an old fashioned festival on the town square, and includes an arts and crafts vendor market, a kids’ zone, classic car show, live local entertainment, great food vendors, and hayrides! Entrants into the Anything Apple Competition vie to be crowned the best apple chef in town in a down home cooking competition.

When: Saturday, September 28th, 10am-4pm
Where: Downtown Cornelia, GA

Georgia Apple Festival

Georgia’s largest apple festival features apples from a dozen local orchards, along with over 300 vendors selling apple and mountain themed arts, crafts and food items, along with demonstrations by the artisans. There is also a parade, antique car show, Apple Queen pageant, and the Apple Festival 5K road race.

When: October 12th-13th, October 19th-20th (Saturdays 9am-6pm; Sundays 9am-5pm)
Where: Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds – 1729 South Main Street, Ellijay, GA 30540