It’s that time of year again − the leaves are changing, the air is cooling and the Lawn is being Instagrammed by a different University of Virginia student every hour.

But one of the most popular fall activities that Charlottesville has to offer is apple-picking at the top of Carter Mountain. Carter Mountain Orchard attracts locals and UVA students alike. A freshly-picked apple a day keeps the doctor away, am I right?

For the 21-year-olds and up, there’s also the Bold Rock Hard Cider Cellar overlooking a hella nice view opposite the apple trees. For you history buffs, here’s why this cider is so cool.

To fulfill all of your many apple needs, the orchard grows an impressive 17 total apple types over the year. Just in October, you can pick Granny Smith, Fuji, Rome, Winesap, Stayman, Crispin, York and Pink Lady apples. And if you didn’t already know, there is more to the apple world than being red or green.

The hilltop location also provides some gorgeous views. Perfect background for your next Insta? Check.

The best of both worlds ?? @foodintheair

A photo posted by Juliet Paterek (@julietpaterek) on

And yes, there are also pumpkins and hayrides, like any proper orchard should have. Once again, if nothing else, do it for the Insta.

But arguably the best part of the orchard, besides pulling your own produce right off of its tree, is the actual food (and drinks) made and sold on-site.

So when you check out Carter Mountain Orchard – preferably during the week to avoid crowds – you should also check out the following:

This apple cider donut.


Photo by Jordan Abramowitz

Apple cider. Donut. Apple cider plus donut. Need we say more?

Warning: you might want to save yourself some time and just buy two right off the bat so that you don’t have to go back and wait in line again after deciding you want another.

Because trust me, you will want another.

This caramel apple.


Photo by Jordan Abramowitz

This is a necessary staple of the season. If you ignore the caramel apples, you’re essentially committing a crime. Especially when they look this damn good.

At $3.99 each, they don’t come cheap, but you won’t mind the cost once you sink your teeth into this bad boy.

This apple cider slushie.


Photo by Jordan Abramowitz

It’s never too cold for a Carter’s Mountain slushie. You might not be able to feel your hands while enjoying this drink, but it’s worth it. 7-Eleven ain’t got nothin’ on these refreshments. In fact, you may never purchase a Slurpee again after tasting the magic that is an apple cider slushie.

Hot cider is too cliché. But icy cider? Trendy and tasty, my friends.

So stay cool, literally.

And finally, the pumpkin and gourd selection.


Photo by Alix Gottschalk

Ok, so these aren’t exactly ready to eat, but they just scream fall. Besides, you can make your own food out of them. Carve your pumpkin and then try out these recipes, but leave the gourds to be used for decoration.

Happy fall, from Charlottesville to you.