Fall is perhaps the best season of the year. The weather is generally comfortable and it’s a great time of year to get out, enjoy the fresh air and explore. It is also the season for picking apples. There are many orchards in Southern California. The Oak Glen areas in Yucaipa and Julian near San Diego are known for their apple orchards, many of which were established in the 19th century. Take advantage of a family day to pick apples in one of these large orchards. Most offer freshly squeezed cider and other fall treats. Many apple orchards in Southern California offer fun events, including petting zoos and tours.
10. Calico Ranch – Julien
Calico Ranch Orchard is located at 4200 highway 78 in Julien. The orchard was planted in the 1930s and is one of Julien’s oldest orchards. All apples are certified organic. There is a wide variety of apples and some pears too. Visitors can pick their apples from the trees or take them to an easy picking stand. There is also homemade hot cider made with apples from the orchard and native yeast. Visitors are invited to explore the 30-acre family farm.
9. Hudson Snowline – Yucaipa
Hudson’s Snow-Line is located at 39400 Oak Glen Road in Yucaipa. Located at the base of the San Bernardino Mountains, the orchards were established by Isaac Ford in 1898. Today, visitors enjoy picking and pressing apples and tasting fresh apple cider, cider slush apple and apple cider donuts. There is also an antique shop, the original packing factory and the original cider mill to explore. Hudson’s Snow-Line has a winery and cider house. Guests can enjoy snacks and drinks in the picnic area. Hudson’s is open for raspberry picking in the summer.
8. Slo Creek Farms – San Luis Obispo
Slo Creek Farms is located at 6455 Monte Road in San Luis Obispo. The family farm has 44 acres of organic apples to pick. The farm also has 3 acres of organic herbs, flowers, vegetables and pumpkins to pick. There is an additional community organic farm where locals can rent space to plant. The apple picking season runs from late August to November. Slo Creek Farms also hosts farmers markets. During apple picking season, adult patrons can purchase fresh cider and apple brandy.
7. Volcan Valley Apple Farm – Julien
Volcan Valley Apple Farm is located at 1284 Julian Orchard Drive near San Diego. There are 10 acres of tree orchard with 7 types of red and green apples including Empire, Jonathan and Red Delicious. There are also dwarf trees, the ideal height for young children. Visitors can purchase bags for $12 each and pick their favorite apples. The bags hold approximately 6-7 pounds of apples. Leashed dogs are welcome to join the family as they pick delicious apples. There are several picnic tables and visitors are welcome to bring their own lunch to enjoy among the apple trees.
6. Willowbrook Apple Farm – Yucaipa
The Willowbrook Apple Farm orchard was planted in 1910 with Staymon Winesap apple trees. It’s a great place to enjoy the fall season with apple picking and activities for the whole family. In addition to apple picking and snacking on caramel apples and apple cider, kids will love Willowbrook Children’s Farm. The farm has several friendly animals, including Star a mini donkey, Comet a mini horse, Delilah a mini pig and hen, a giant Flemish rabbit, farm cats and Maple, Willowbrook’s resident farm dog. Adults can enjoy events such as “Wine Tasting and S’mores”. Summer is also fun in Willowbrook. The farm hosts summer camps and U-pick raspberries and blackberries. Willowbrook Apple Farm is located at 12099 Oak Glen Road in Yucaipa.
5. Parrish Pioneer Ranch – Yucaipa
Parrish Pioneer Ranch offers apple picking August through December, weather permitting. The large farmhouse was purchased in 1866 by Enoch Kidder Parrish. There are 22 acres of orchards which was the first large scale orchard in the Yucaipa region. Today, visitors can enjoy picking a variety of organic apples. The farm has several shops, including Granny’s Attic and Parrish House Antiques. There’s a snack bar and McCurdy’s Angus Restaurant, housed in an 1867 stable. Visitors won’t want to leave the ranch without fresh apple cider and apple butter. Parrish Pioneer Ranch is located at 38561 Oak Glen Road in Yucaipa.
4. Stone Soup Farm and Heritage Orchard – Oak Glen
Stone Soup Farm is located at 1213 South Oak Glen Road. The apple picking season begins on October 1. Visitors can also pick pumpkins, squeeze cider, take an orchard tour and have lunch at The Box Social. Stone Soup Farm and Heritage Orchards offer educational events. These include a cooking workshop and other educational events. The farm hosts an Apple Butter Festival, a Pick n’ Treat Halloween Festival, and a Christmas Market. All are fun for the whole family. Stone Soup Farm has a family-run micro-farm and seasonal gardens for you to explore.
3. Riley’s Apple Farm – Yucaipa
Riley’s Apple Farm is not only an apple orchard farm, but also a living history farm. The farm spans 700 acres across San Bernardino and Riverside counties. They run several guest adventures and field trips including Revolutionary War, Civil War, Gold Rush, and Colonial Farm Adventures. There is also an Old Joe Homestead tour and an overnight Revolutionary War adventure. You can also spend the night on the farm in one of the property’s historically themed bed and breakfasts. During apple picking season in the fall, visitors can pick apples from the 55 acres of orchards open to the public. There is archery and a restaurant and bakery. Riley’s also hosts dinner parties. The farm is located at 12201 Oak Glen Road in Yucaipa.
2. Julian Farm and Orchard – Santa Ysabel
Julian Farm and Orchard is located at 4381 Highway 78 in Santa Ysabel near San Diego. The apple and pumpkin picking season runs from September to October and is open Wednesday to Sunday. The working agricultural farm is a great place to explore. There are private guest cabins if you wish to stay overnight. Dogs on a leash are welcome at the Farm. Fall activities include tomahawk throwing, gem sluicing, gold panning, and pit digging. Julian Farm is open all summer for pick-your-own raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. The Farm and Orchard is also open for events, including weddings.
1. Rancho Los Rios – Yucaipa
Apple picking at Los Rios Rancho in Yucaipa is fun for the whole family. The Los Rios Rancho orchards were planted over 100 years ago. Since 1978, the Riley family has managed the ranch. Today it is managed by Jim Riley. The apple picking season runs from September to November. There is the option of picking your own or buying apples in bulk. There are many varieties of apples at Yucaipa Ranch including Macintash, Gala, and Spartan. During apple picking season, ranch guests can enjoy a petting zoo, wagon rides, packing house tours, and live music. Treat yourself to a steak sandwich and enjoy a coffee or freshly pressed cider at Wilshire’s Apple Shed. Los Rios Rancho is located at 39611 Oak Glen Road.