Apple Tree. Photo Credit: digicla
Welcome October. For Angelinos this means cooler weather, pumpkin patches, and Santa Ana winds. However, fall is akin to apples, and according to the California Apple Commission, “California is the 5th largest producer of apples in the United States.” This means there are some great apple picking farms all within a weekend getaway of Los Angeles. Many orchards and farms welcome visitors for picking trips or even overnight stays.
For a day trip from Los Angeles, head out to Oak Glen, about 80 miles east. One farm, Riley’s Apple Farm (mid-August –mid-November, Open Saturday & Sunday from 10am – 5pm) has a U-Press Cider using apples straight off the trees. Other farms, ranches and fruit stands offer apple donuts, apple butters and jams, caramel apples and ripe-for-picking-pumpkins.
For something a bit farther away (but, doable for a long-day trip) is the town of Julian, 150 miles southeast of Los Angeles heading towards San Diego. This year Julian is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Apple Days Festival held October 3rd and 4th (10am – 5pm, admission $5 for adults, children 12 and under free of charge). There are a handful of orchards which offer “U-pick” opportunities, which are listed on the San Diego Farm Bureau website.
If you’re truly looking for a weekend getaway, head up north to Placerville, an hour east of Sacramento to Apple Hill. This group of growers includes 56 ranches including Christmas tree growers, wineries, a micro-brewery, and vineyards.
There are plenty of options to sample California grown apples – now, go out there and start picking!