21 Aug 2012
For many, the final major holiday of the summer months offers an opportunity to break away from the nine to five bustle, give the kids a final chance to enjoy a summer vacation before school begins again (if it hasn’t already), or just enjoy some overall milder weather and summer breezes in the mountains.
The month of September, and the Labor Day holiday specifically, marks an exciting gradual transition into the fall color season.
Labor Day Activities
There are so many ways to celebrate the changing of seasons in the mountains of Asheville. One of our favorite activities is apple picking. While apple ripening tends to begin in August, September gives way to popular apple varieties such as Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, Jonagold and Winesap apples. Apple season extends through October, but the ideal season for apple picking is definitely in September.
Apple orchards are an easy drive from Black Mountain and the Asheville area. Some of our favorite orchards are Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, Justus Orchard in Hendersonville and the Orchard at Altapass. While Sky Top Orchard and Justus Orchard are great for their easy drive time and apple varieties, The Orchard at Altapass, in Spruce Pine, is located right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway so you can enjoy scenic views with the windows down on your way to the orchard and back. In addition to making your own outings to area orchards, Labor Day weekend is often the time frame for the annual NC Apple Festival in Hendersonville that has been going on for over 70 years. The festival is a 30-minute drive from Asheville and features a street fair, exhibits, car shows, apple recipe contests, arts and crafts, apple-themed delicacies (and other food), and much more.
If you are staying in one of our vacation homes in the Lake Lure area, the scenic Lake Lure Beach’s final open weekend is Labor Day weekend. While no pets are allowed in the beach area, it is a great spot to sun-bathe and swim. The Lake Lure Water Park, located beside the beach, is a great spot for the kids to play with water slides, water cannons and water wars. Lake Lure is also an excellent spot to enjoy boating.
Whether you decide to head to the Orchard at Altapass to pick apples or not, a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway is an excellent Labor Day activity. Not only is the Parkway the access point to countless beautiful hiking trailheads such as Craggy Gardens, Mount Pisgah, and Graveyard Fields, it also has scenic sweeping mountain views every few mile-markers, some with picnic spots.
While Labor Day is still a very popular time to visit the mountains, it tends to offer a little breathing room compared to the months of June and July to enjoy slightly shorter lines for your favorite restaurants, hiking trails and breweries.