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“Very disorganized”

Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 9 October 2013

Although the 22 varieties of apples was impressive, I was surprised by how disorganized this operation was. There was no formal "check-in" line, just shuffle around the entrance until an employee could help you. There was no reference sheet showing the apples, their pictures, description and uses, we had to individually ask the employees which was a huge waste of time for everyone as they had to repeat it for over & over for each guest. (On the way home, we stopped by a much smaller orchard and found exactly what we assumed would be available, a page from NCApples.com with photos, names and descriptions.) What served as the check-in area was right next to the cash register/check out section which resulted in a jumble of customers trying to figure out who could help them. The driveways were not marked "one way" and cars were jockeying for position to pass each other on clearly single-lane drives through the property. They missed a huge education opportunity as I could not find one poster or flyer for children to learn a bit about the orchard's history. There was no apple tasting to help determine what each customer wanted to pick either. I would suggest having apple recipe pages available too if the orchard wanted to extract a bit more business from its guests. About the only thing effective was the row tags in the actual orchard, but trying to get there referring to the hand-drawn map was a challenge. In summary, I was disappointed the orchard was such an amateurish operation. The best part of the day was the drive home through Bat Cave, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. Would not return.

Thank Peach-Woman59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (94)
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79 - 83 of 94 reviews

Reviewed 23 September 2013

Every year we go to Stepp's Orchard to pick our own apples. It's a family owned orchard so they really care about your business. Everyone who works there is so friendly if you have any questions just ask. They let you taste the apples that are in season so you can decide which one is best for you. The best part is if you can't decide you can mix and match different types of apples, you don't have to buy two bushels to get two different kinds. Me and my husband go every year is a nice quite walk through the orchards and we really enjoy spending the day together. If it seems crowded at the shop area don't worry once you get out into the orchard itself you find that it's not crowded at all, a lot of times you are the only one on the row of trees you are at.

2  Thank blueiceraptor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2013 via mobile

This was my first apple picking experience and while the staff isn't super friendly they were helpful. They showed us the areas of ripe apples on a map and had several areas that you could go to. It was a huge orchard. The map they have is very confusing but the rows of apple trees are marked with tags saying the row number and type of apple. It's was fun to wonder the property with a wagon and collect the apples that you wanted. We were able to pick 2 bushels of four different types of apples in a short amount of time. We also picked a half peck of grapes. They were very fair with prices and charged $20.00 per bushel. They adjusted the price if it wasn't a full bushel. It seemed more authentic and wasn't just catered towards kids. It is large enough so that even if it's busy the orchards aren't crowded. You can also pick from their barrels if you don't want to pick your own. If I'm back in the area I will go back for apples for sure.

2  Thank Abby J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2013

We were treated so horribly by the two older ladies at the front desk. Our children were present and were very upset. Please do not do business with this orchard. If they treat they customers like this, I can't imagine how they treat their pickers. Shame on them. Quin O'Connor

4  Thank Quin O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2013 via mobile

I will admit that we started the day at Sky Top but after experiencing a maddening traffic nightmare, puny Jonathan apples, and cash/check only policy we turned around and went to Stepp's, where we should have gone first. Stepp's is less touristy, super friendly family of staff, and more reasonable prices. The Jonathan apples were amazing, big and ripe! It was as if we were the first to even pick from the trees. Screw Sky Top Forever!

4  Thank Missavl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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