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As soon as the fall leaves start to hit the ground, the apples are ready to be picked. There are few places better for apple picking than Ellijay, Georgia, a small town in the North Georgia Mountains. Plenty of orchards dot the landscape of the area and each is known for something different.
Ellijay is known as the Apple Capital of Georgia and you can understand why, especially during the Georgia Apple Festival, which brings in visitors and farmers from all over the nation. When visiting Ellijay, be prepared to work for your keep out in the orchards. There’s generally a fee to pick as much as you can up to a certain amount.
Hillcrest Orchards is a family-friendly spot with a petting zoo and cafe. It’s a popular spot for field trips. They also have a moonshine museum and host frequent events. Reece Orchards has incredible apple cider doughnuts. Mercier is known for its apple cider, which comes in alcoholic and regular versions.
These orchards sell all manners of apple products, including apple hot sauce, apple cider, apple juice, and apple pie, among many others. You can buy all varieties of apples and see where they’re sorted.
If You Go
Hillcrest Orchards is located at 9696 Highway 52 E., Ellijay, Georgia 30536. They are open September 1 through October 31 from 9 am to 6 pm and November 1 to 30 from 9 am to 5 pm.
From Atlanta, take 575 North to Ellijay, take the Hwy 52 exit toward Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge. This will be a right turn off of Hwy 515. Go to the bottom of the hill and turn left onto Hwy 52 East. Hillcrest Orchards is 9 miles on the right. Mercier Orchards, Reece Apple Orchards, and Red Apple Barn are other orchards nearby that are worth visiting.
If you’re looking for a place to eat near the apple orchards, try Bigun’s Barbecue for pulled pork with all the fixings and Cantaberry Restaurant for soups and salads. Looking for a place to stay in Ellijay? Elatse’Yi has unique options like Airstreams, geodesic domes, and glamping tents. Ellijay Inn has budget-friendly rooms. FlipKey is also great for finding cabins.