Apple Harvest Adventures in the Smokies

Nothing says fall like flame-colored leaves, a light snap in the air, and apples! And there is no place in the NC Great Smoky Mountains that celebrates apples better than Apple Harvest Festival 2022 in the beautiful, historic town of Waynesville, NC. This year’s festivities take place on October 15, 2022 and promise to remind you why fall is your favorite of all the seasons.

apple orchard in the smokies

Sponsored by the Haywood Chamber of Commerce, Apple Harvest Festival is celebrating its 35th year. Each year, downtown Waynesville is transformed into an enormous street festival with almost 200 vendors bringing you mountain arts and crafts and food concessions. Enjoy live music and clogging performances – the traditional Appalachian folk dance where performers create a rhythmic percussion with only their heels and toes. It’s a true mountain one-of-a-kind experience to behold!

Of course, apples are the star of the show. Local apple growers set up on the street to offer you a vast variety of mountain-grown apples. The obvious choices are Red, Delicious, Golden Delicious, Stayman, and Rome Beauties, but this is your chance to also sample over forty varieties including Gala, Gold, Mutzu, Empire, and Fuji.

That’s just the beginning of the apple goodness. Fresh-pressed apple cider, apple cakes, apple pies, and other apple goodies, like fritters and turnovers, are available throughout the festival, so come hungry.

shops in downtown Waynesville NC

The quaint shops in the main street area are open throughout the festival, so browse the stores and pick up some memorable items in between treats. Take a step back in time at the Mast General Store, where you can pick up the Necco Wafers, Jawbreakers, Bit-O-Honey, and Black Licorice Laces of your youth. Be sure to check out the toy section with Tiddly Winks and Jumbo Jacks! You’ll think you’re a kid again.

But make sure you save room for some hand-dipped caramel apples – a specialty of the Apple Harvest Festival.

The festival runs from 10 am to 5 pm, and there is no admission fee. For parking options, visit here. With about 10,000 visitors to the annual festival, get there early and plan to spend the day.

If you can’t travel to Waynesville for the October 15 Apple Harvest Festival, you can still experience the quintessential fall experience of apple picking at Barber Orchard Fruitstands Inc. or Winchester Creek Farm in Waynesville or Darnell Farms in Bryson City.