Best Apple Picking This Fall

Best Apple Picking This Fall

  • Dennis Hartley
  • 09/7/22

A fantastic day trip this season is apple picking at SoCal’s best orchards, mostly located in San Bernadino county. Farm stands with fresh cider, even pumpkin patches, hayrides, and more will keep the entire family entertained outdoors in the fresh autumn air.

Apple picking season is typically September through November, when amazing apple varieties are at peak freshness. Bring your own containers and, your camera, as fall foliage and huge smiles create the perfect backdrop for memorable family photos!

Oak Glen – especially along Oak Glen Road - is one regional area for family farms with a variety of local artists, business owners, and craftspeople that have shops to sell their creations. Plan to enjoy an entire day or even weekend.

Los Rios Rancho, Oak Glen

Known as one of Southern California’s largest apple farm, here guests can enjoy an excellent experience of how food is produced, handled, and consumed. The apples are cultivated utilizing organic practices. This 300-acre working apple farm has a bakery, barbecue restaurant, u-pick fruit stand, country store, picnic area, petting zoo, horseback rides, wagon rides, corn maze, weddings, and ticketed dinner events.

Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard, Oak Glen

This farm has 130-year-old heirloom apple orchards for a fantastic experience. There are also s’mores grazing boxes, u-press-ur-own cider pressing, nightly campfires, family games, children’s art stations, gemstone panning, and more. Famous for their homemade apple butter!

Parrish Pioneer Ranch, Oak Glen

Very special, unique, and antique/historical apples are grown and harvested here, including the Vasquez (created by Juan Vasquez, a longtime foreman at the Ranch), Parkdale Beauty, and Arkansas Black. Their Gravenstein and Pink Pearl apples are no longer offered in stores. A visit and apple-picking here offers an experience like no other!

Snow-Line Orchards, Oak Glen

This family-run apple farm, vineyard, and cidery sells a variety of fresh apples. They offer warm customer service, offering a lovely picnic space with the oldest Italian chestnut tree and stunning views. Enjoy hot coffee, taste house wine, and shop for unique gifts like local honey, hard cider, artisan oils and vinegars, fresh apples and cider, and their popular mini cider donuts. A historic packing house and cider mill are also visit worthy.


Yucaipa, California (San Bernadino County) has local and organic food at farm stands, farmers markets, and family farms.

Stone Pantry Orchard, Yucaipa

U-pick varieties of apples, pears, blackberries, and pumpkins on weekends, September through Thanksgiving weekend. You may buy cider by the gallon and half gallon or press your own.

Willow Brook Apple Farm, Yucaipa

Here you are invited to both pick apples and press your own cider, one of this farm’s most treasured features. They provide the apples for pressing and provide the half-gallon container for your unfiltered, nutritionally-rich take-home cider. They also have adorable farm animals for visiting up-close and personal.  


Other California Farms for Apple Picking

Julian Farm and Orchard, Santa Ysabel (San Diego)

This family-run, hands-on activity company prides itself on sharing history, outdoor exploration, agritourism, music, art, and fun! A wide variety of offerings are available to individuals and groups, like archery, tomahawk throwing, slingshot paintball, a petting zoo, candle dipping, a gold rush station, hayrides, hoedowns, guided overnight camping, and more.

SLO Creek Farms, San Luis Obispo

40 acres of certified organic apple trees are found here; come and choose your own fresh apples, and check out their apple brandy as well.


Photo by Ryan Arnst on Unsplash

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