Matthews Things to Do: Must See Beautiful Orchards

Matthews, a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a beautiful southern city. Head west down the Andrew Jackson Highway (US-74W) and you will find some beautiful apple orchards, a definite winner in the list of Matthews things to do. Following is a list of some of the must see orchards as chosen by BBonline for your Matthews vacation. The season for apples runs from July through November.

Creasman Farms
Union Hill Road
Approx. 1 hour 15 minutes west of Matthews
(828) 685-7728
www.creasmanapples.com

This family owned farm stretches across 35 acres and offers a chance to pick your own apples, choosing from dozens of different varieties. They also sell dried apples, apple cider, apple butter and more, and offer pick your own pumpkins during the Halloween season. If picking your own apples doesn't appeal to you, they will pick for you as well. Favorite apple: the Limbertwig, a native of the North Carolina mountains. Head down to Creasman from your Matthews bed and breakfast in late September to grab a few of these.

JH Stepp Farm's Hillcrest Orchard
221 Stepp Orchard Drive
Approx. 1 hour 18 minutes west of Matthews
(828) 685-9083
www.steppapples.com

Another family owned orchard, the Hillcrest Orchard has been in the Stepp family for 4 generations. You can pick your own apples, take a wagon ride or explore the farm in a tour. They recommend that you bring a lunch with you on your visit from Matthews. Things to do include picking your own grapes from August to September, and picking your own pumpkins in October. They open in mid-August 7 days a week. Also available are a variety of baked goods, jams, jellies and more at the gift shop. Favorite Apple: the Arkansas Black, a tart apple that keeps well and can be used in a variety of recipes. Head down in October to pick one.

Lyda Farms
3465 Chimney Rock Rd
Approx. 1 hour 20 minutes west of Matthews
(828) 685-3459
www.lydafarms.com

This apple orchard is also a working farm, selling local produce of all kinds in addition to their apples and pumpkins. Pick up potatoes, summer squash, corn, eggplant, pretty much everything you could need, then grab some apples for dessert. Lyda Farms' main attraction is "Juicy" a giant kid-friendly mock apple bug, which greets visitors at the front of the farm from June until November. Lyda Farms also features a barnyard that is open for tours. Favorite apple: the Macintosh. Not to be confused with your local PC competitor, Macintosh apples can be picked throughout the month of September. During the harvesting season, Lyda Farms offers a free apple to every visitor.

Moutain Fresh Apples
2887 Chimney Rock Road
Approx. 1 hour 25 minutes west of Matthews
(828) 685-7606
www.mtnfreshorchards.com

Spread over 12 acres, Mountain Fresh Orchards has been offering apples to the public since 1981. One of the highlights of this orchard is the on-site bakery, filled with apple pies, apple muffins, apple dumplings and more, making this a great last stop before you head back to your Matthews Inn. Favorite apple: the Golden Delicious. This classic apple never tasted so good. Head down in late August to sample a Golden Delicious. Make sure this one is on your Matthews things to do list.