Savor country living by picking your own apples or letting others do the prep work as you enjoy a meal created with local ingredients. Or to fully reconnect with the rhythms of nature and your food, spend the weekend on a working farm.
Pluck fruit from a plant grown on land farmed by the same family for generations. It will taste sweeter now that you’re a part of the story.
1 The Orchard at Altapass
1 The Orchard at AltapassSpruce PineSee on map
While traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway, veer off at milepost 328 to find this orchard dedicated to preserving Appalachian culture. It grows 25 varieties of heirloom apples, hosts live music on weekends, sells local products in its general store and offers “heyrides.”
2 Deal Orchards
3 Sky Top Orchard
4 Lineberger’s Maple Springs Farm
5 Johnny Wilson Farm
6 Mike's Farm
6 Mike's FarmBeulavilleSee on map
You’ll find year-round fun at Mike’s, but excitement overflows during the holiday season. After a filling meal of fried chicken and rich desserts at the family-style restaurant, take an enchanting hayride through a wonderland of festive lights.
Produce picked from surrounding fields and seafood harvested from local waters shine in upscale presentations at these eastern North Carolina restaurants.
7 The Country Squire Restaurant, Inn & Winery
7 The Country Squire Restaurant, Inn & WineryWarsawSee on map
Since 1961, this log cabin restaurant set amid towering pines has left diners supremely satisfied. Seasonal local produce joins forces with the popular Korean beef and prime rib. Salad dressings are made on-site, and slices of pie make for a sweet finish. The restaurant also grows grapes for some of its wines.
8 On the Square
8 On the SquareTarboroSee on map
Go casual for lunch with a house-made pimento cheese sandwich alongside a cup of cream of tomato soup. Or opt for an elevated (but not stuffy) dinner. Enjoy fresh fish, lamb or beef paired with a glass of wine by the husband-and-wife team of Inez and Stephen Ribustello, who both double as sommeliers.
Crickets and whip-poor-wills compose nature’s soundtrack at these rural retreats where open spaces encourage your mind and body to wander.
9 Springfield Bed & Breakfast
9 Springfield Bed & BreakfastHertfordSee on map
If you grew up spending summers at your grandparents’ place in the country (or always dreamed of doing so), a stay at this Century Farm recalls those carefree days. Sit on the porch beneath soaring pecan trees and watch cows graze.
10 Inn on Mill Creek
10 Inn on Mill CreekOld FortSee on map
The pleasures outside this mountain inn – songbirds, rhododendron forests and a boardwalk over wetlands – are as alluring as the treasures inside: five distinct guest rooms, four-legged greeters affectionately called “innpugs” and scratch-made breakfasts served in the solarium.
Explore more rural gems – and plenty of urban getaway ideas too – in The Official 2023 North Carolina Travel Guide.