Move over pumpkin; the real gem of the fall season is the apple! Pack up the family and explore a local orchard this harvest season. We’ve compiled a list of the best apple orchards near Los Angeles, which are open to the public and provide the perfect day trip for your whole family. From farm stands and fresh apple cider to pumpkin patches, hayrides, and more, these apple picking experiences offer something for everyone!
Best Los Angeles Apple Picking Locations for Fall
U-pick apple picking season is typically September through November, with the peak harvest of several apple varieties hitting in late October. When you head out to harvest, bring your own containers to avoid purchasing one. Most places will let you fill up as many as you can carry!
The beautiful scenery of the orchards and the fall foliage of the fruit trees offer the perfect backdrop for all your fall family photos. Don’t forget your camera so that you can capture all the fun fall season memories from your day trip.
Oak Glen Family Farms in California
Also known as Apple Country, Oak Glen is one of the best places for apple picking, with many U-pick options to choose from. You’ll find so many varieties of apples and some of the oldest orchards at the best family farms, most of which are situated along Oak Glen Road. There are many different artists, business owners, and craftspeople in Oak Glen, and they all have shops where they sell their own wares. Spend the day having some good country fun within an hour’s drive from Los Angeles or Palm Springs.
Oak Glen, CA
Known as Southern California’s largest apple farm, Los Rios Rancho is a 300-acre working apple farm that’s been operating since 1906. A visit here is not only an exciting experience and an excellent teaching tool for understanding how food is produced, but it’s also a step back in time as you discover the history of the farm. Besides just apple picking, the farm features a bakery, barbecue restaurant, u-pick fruit stand, country store, picnic area, petting zoo, horseback rides, wagon rides, corn maze, and more.
Many schools take field trips to Los Rios in the fall to observe how a real apple farm produces the fruit that has become so iconic. In addition to apples, they also raise raspberries, strawberries, corn, and pumpkins on their farm. Although their fruit output is seasonal, the store and bakery remain open all year. Don’t miss the annual Apple Butter Festival in November!
Oak Glen, CA
The 130-year-old heirloom apple orchards at Stone Soup Farm provide a distinctive micro farm u-picking experience. This family-run operation offers a 10-minute tour covering the history of the farm and its organic growing practices. You can also enjoy an apple tasting before heading out for the u-pick experience. Besides apple picking, the farm also features berries and flowers seasonally. They also feature a farm kitchen where they host farm tastings. Please keep in mind that visiting this farm is by reservation only, so be sure to book in advance.
Oak Glen, CA
If you’re looking for a hearty selection of apples, head to Parrish Pioneer, which features 19 different varieties to choose from. The Vasquez and Parkdale Beauty apples, among others, are produced at Parrish Ranch, along with antique and historical varieties like Gravenstein and Pink Pearl that are no longer offered in stores. Juan Vasquez, a longtime foreman at Parrish Ranch, created The Vasquez. The Arkansas Black, which typically debuts in mid- to late-October and only lasts a few weeks before being sold out, is a fan favorite.
Although apples and cider are often available until January or February, the apple season is at its height in the fall from September 1st through the end of November at the ranch. In addition to apples, the ranch includes an antique shop and farm animals to visit.
Oak Glen, CA
Snow-Line Orchard is a family-run apple farm, vineyard, and cidery that provides a range of enjoyable and exciting activities, such as apple picking, cider and wine tasting, and u-pick raspberries. The historic cider mill and original packing shed provide the ideal setting for your upcoming family excursion.
The highlight of your visit is sure to be tasting their famous cider mini donuts made from fresh cider on the farm. Enjoy a bite in the shade of the ancient chestnut tree on the beautiful picnic grounds, surrounded by stunning views of the mountains, old structures, and vibrant greenery that can only be created by nature.
The orchard also features a wide range of unique gifts to bring home, including local honey, hard cider, artisan balsamic and oils, fresh apples and cider, u-pick raspberries, and of course, their popular mini cider donuts.
Stone Pantry features u-pick apples, pears, blackberries, and pumpkins. You choose the fruit. They provide you with a sack and a picking pole and let the family fun begin! You can also experience pressing your own apple cider or purchase it by the the gallon and half gallon. U-pick is open on weekends starting Labor Day and running through Thanksgiving weekend, or you can call to visit during the week by appointment.
This idyllic family farm is a great place to make some special family memories picking apples and pressing cider. Making your own cider is, without a doubt, one of their farm’s most treasured features! A one-half gallon of cider requires pressing 13 pounds of apples, but it is well worth it. They’ll have a crate of cider apples that the Willowbrook crew personally chose for the cider press. You will have the opportunity to manually crank the cider press while you chop up the apples. Since apple cider is unfiltered, it keeps most of the beneficial microorganisms, polyphenols, and vitamins, including vitamin C and antioxidants, found in apples.
The farm is also home to several adorable farm animals and a Bed and Breakfast if you can’t get enough of the place in a short visit. Willowbrook is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm starting the weekend of Labor Day and runs through the beginning of November or until they run out of apples.
More Southern California Farms for Apple Picking
Santa Ysabel (San Diego County), CA
This sustainable 25-acre farm is just 3 miles outside of historic Julian. Besides educational farm-led apple picking tours, the farm offers u-pick berries and flowers seasonally. They also provide a variety of activities, including axe throwing, tractor hayrides, farm games and crafts, an animal sanctuary, and more.
If you’re looking for a no-frills excursion focused on just apple picking, then this is the perfect spot. They open seasonally by late August, and picking is available until the apples run out. Their hours can vary, so be sure to call ahead or check their Instagram account for updates.
This is an excellent spot for families with young kids looking for more than just apples, or you can make it a fun stop along the apple trail. While they offer a small orchard of u-pick apples, the main focus here is the fun activities designed to teach visitors about the Julian Gold Rush. Offerings include gold panning, tomahawk throwing, a train ride through a faux mine, and more.
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Choose your own fresh apples from the trees on the lovely 44-acre certified organic apple orchard with 40 acres of organic apple trees! They also offer u-pick flowers, hard cider, a u-pick pumpkin patch, and more. Don’t forget to check out their Apple Brandy during apple season as well!