By Moms of Myrtle on 

We love our SC coast but when September hits we’re itching for some traditional fall activities we just can’t get here: apple picking, apple cider donuts, cider slushies, and you-pick pumpkins. Luckily we have found the most delightful fall getaway to York County, SC that checks all these boxes and more!

  

QUICK FACTS

WHERE IS YORK COUNTY? Immediately south of Charlotte and 3–3.5 hours from MB.

BEST FOR: All ages! The fall activities we did are all kid-friendly and suitable for a stroller or baby in baby carrier.

WHAT TO DO: See below!

HOW MUCH TIME TO SPEND? Ideally 2 full days. See our itinerary below.

WHERE TO STAY? We stayed in Fort Mill, specifically at the Courtyard in the Kingsley Town Center. Great walkable area with restaurants, shopping, and central for all activities. 

   

 

4 THINGS TO DO IN YORK COUNTY IN THE FALL

 

1– APPLE PICKING

APPLE PICKING & FARM FUN | This is what drew us in, but it’s just part of the fun! We loved visiting Windy Hill Orchard & Cidery. It’s in the town of York, and there are some great local stops on the way to and from that we also recommend. Notes:

• Be sure to make your picking reservation in advance. 

• If you can’t get a reservation, then you can still stay and enjoy the farm: cider flights, apple cider donuts (watch them made), cider slushies, and shop the farm store. They’re open every FRI-SUN UNTIL CHRISTMAS

• See below for what else is close to Windy Hill for add-on activities!

    

 

   

Grab breakfast at Rainbow Donuts, lunch at Hoof & Barrel, and round out your day in York at Yorkville Marketplace shopping for the perfect souvenirs for your trip! 

2– ENJOY THE PARKS & GREEN SPACE

York County is home to several unique towns, and each has wonderful parks and green spaces to enjoy. We loved spending an afternoon at the huge Anne Spring Close Greenway. We enjoyed a trail walk to see some historic sites (Billy Graham’s grandfather’s cabin), horses and cows in pasture, and a swinging bridge. We also caught some outdoor music and on-site food from Greenway Canteen. There is also kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and more.

GO TO THE LAKE HAIGLER ENTRANCE: The greenway is 2,100 acres with many entrances. Be sure to go to the one at 2573 Lake Haigler Dr, Fort Mill, to get oriented. From this entrance, you’ll access the nature center, swinging bridge, and short hikes to the dairy barn and elsewhere. It also has a yummy restaurant and hosts family-friendly events.

PARKS: The county has many amazing parks and open green spaces. On our list for next time is Walter Elisha Park (345 N White St, Fort Mill) and the massive BMX Playground (1307 Riverwalk Parkway, Rock Hill). 

3– THE GREAT PUMPKIN FEST AT CAROWINDS

I love seasonal displays at big theme parks, so we enjoyed checking out Halloween/fall at Carowinds. Tickets are $39.99 on Sat and $29.99 on Sundays plus $30 parking fee. Camp Snoopy is a manageable size and offers about a dozen rides, perfect for ages 4–10. There is also a playground space. We went on a drizzly Sunday and lines were non-existent = win!                         

WHEN: Sept 16–Oct 29 (Sat & Sun) 

WHAT: Special activities in Camp Snoopy from 10a–2p.

ACTIVITIES INCLUDE A Small pumpkin patch, small hay bale and corn maze, foam party, carnival games (extra fee), trick-or-treating, shows, and more.

PARADE: Don’t miss the ‘speck of spooky’ roaming parade with floats and characters. Happens at 3:30 pm.

TICKETS & MORE INFO HERE.

4– KID-FRIENDLY LOCAL DINING

If there is one thing I’ve learned in traveling with kids it is this: always plan your restaurants in advance! A solid meal time will revive you all but a bad one makes you want to cut the day short. These were all delicious and approved for dining with kids.

                                                

TACO MOLINO: authentic Mexican street food, perfect outdoor space

Z BAKERY: amazing breakfast in a sweet little converted house

BOSSY BEULAHS: the best fried chicken in the Carolinas, try the ranch!

GATEWAY CANTEEN: yummy and quick food at the Anne Springs Close Greenway.

 

EXTRA NOTES & IDEAS TO ROUND OUT YOUR TRIP

CHECK FOR FALL FESTIVALS | York County takes fall festivals very seriously – dozens of food trucks, massive inflatables, actual carnival rides, pumpkin painting, Weiner dog races, and more. And for many festivals, these activities are FREE! And here is a link to the farm events.

          

MURAL MILE | I’ve been known to chase murals. There are some really cool ones around town. 

SHOPPING | Since rain dampened part of our visit, we did more shopping than usual. We loved Yorkville Marketplace and The Mercantile. I also loved shopping Broadcloth Boutique in Kingsley (women’s clothing & home decor). 

  

We hope you'll plan a trip to enjoy all York County offers in the fall and year-round. Thank you for visiting York County for hosting us and showcasing your incredible community, attractions, and businesses. Be sure to share your pictures and tag @visityorkcountysc in them!