15 Best Places for Apple Picking in and around San Francisco - Kid 101

15 Best Places for Apple Picking in and around San Francisco

1. Chileno Valley Ranch

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Chileno Valley Ranch is a great destination for your fall adventures. Part organic orchard, part petting zoo, part habitat restoration, Chileno Valley is all fun for everyone. Featuring apple variations like Candy Crisp, Jonagold, Pinova, and Orin, your family has a wide variety of fresh-grown fruits to choose from. Open for farm tours as well, the Valley Ranch gives kids the chance to feed their favorite barnyard friends, and even help gather eggs! Other goods available include their signature grass-fed beef, a popular choice for visitors. The prime time of the picking season usually opens in late August, and tours fill up quickly, so whatever your plan is, it’s best to call soon!

Location: 5105 Chileno Valley Rd., Petaluma, Ca

Contact: (707) 765-6664

2. Cardanini’s Pumpkin Patch

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This pumpkin patch prides itself on kicking off fall the right way. Everything from barbecues, fresh farm stand produce, farm tours, 6-acre pumpkin patches, and you-pick orchards are available at Cardanini’s. Kids can choose their favorite pumpkins and carve or decorate them to bring a cool (or creepy) craft back home. Take a wander through the corn maze free of charge, or play farmer for the day and snap some photos with the public scarecrows and tractors! If you need a snack break, plenty of succulent treats are for sale, including homemade pies, zucchini cake, and pumpkin ravioli. Check out the website for more information, and be sure to call for details.

Location: 2655 High Hill Road, Placerville CA 95667

Hours: Friday – Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm.

Contact: (530) 644-214

3. Bluestone Meadow

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Give your pumpkin picking trip an aromatic flair by visiting Bluestone Meadow, where rows and rows of fresh lavender bushes fill the air with their calming fragrance. Start off in the pumpkin patches, where you can try your strength at choosing any of the 15 lb or more pumpkin varieties like the Challenger, Wolf, Sugar, and New Moon pumpkins. Next, meander over to the lavender rows, where there are currently more than 2,000 French and English lavender cultivars available for picking. The garden offers free lavender care and use seminars, as well as a bath and body boutique if you are looking for gifts. Also, be on the lookout for the 2017 Lavender Festival! Train tours are also available. More information online.

Location: 2025 Carson Road, Placerville CA 95667

Contact: (530) 621-1830 or email info@bluestonemeadow.com

4. Bolster’s Hilltop Ranch

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Nestled in a scenic forest is Bolster’s Hilltop Ranch, a great place to take the family for a day meandering through the nature trails, collecting fresh apples and blueberries, or sampling some delicious homemade baked goods.  The ranch is surrounded by rich evergreens and verdant orchards that bear the apples used to produce cider vinegar and products at the on-site mill. Kids will love taking a tour and getting a glimpse into this unique rendition of the classic farm lifestyle. There is no website currently, but feel free to call and get some details from the insiders themselves.

Location: 2000 Larsen Dr, Camino, CA 95709

Hours: Daily 9 am to 5 pm; October – November 25th; Weekends only November 26th – December 13th.

Contact: (530) 644-2230

5. Smokey Ridge Ranch & Winery

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Founded in 1924, Smokey Ridge Ranch & Winery is a destination that should make ever fall to-do list. Fall festivals, historical reenactments, parties, and fruit picking are just a few of the hot happenings going on at the ranch. A recent throwback party celebrated the end of Prohibition with a costumed event that garnered a lot of community success. For families, there are choices for every taste: Apples alone come in the Winesap, Granny Smith, Fuji, Rhode Island Greening, Goldens, Arkansas Black and Mutsu varieties. Kids and adults both will love exploring the beautiful property, sharing great photo ops to make this fall memorable. Call or email to find out about events!

Location: 2160 Carson Road, Placerville CA 95667

Contact: (530) 626-5078 or email smokeyridgeranch@gmail.com

6. Alemany Farm

If your kids love learning in a fun, hands-on way, this farm should make your fall to-do list. Events and workshops abound at the Alemany Farm, from native plant landscaping to introductions to herbal medicines. The farm is open to tours and volunteers who want a great community to connect with. Another special feature is the annual Farm Harvest Festival Potluck, featuring barbecue (including vegetables for the meat-wary), fresh farm salad, and beverages; but you are welcome to bring your own additions! Kids will love the garlic planting seminar, herb crafts, face painting, pumpkin decorating, and farm tours. Local bands can be heard featuring live music during the festival. This year’s event is October 22nd from 11 am – 4 pm. Check online for details.

Location: 700 Alemany Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94110

Contact: (347) 907-4475 or email johnstokes1@mac.com

7. 24Carrot Farm

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A certified organic farm, 24Carrot is more than just a fun play on words. It’s a great place to gather the family and explore the carefully cultivated local pumpkins and apples. The farm prides itself on being a small-scale market garden, sharing an intimate community atmosphere with visitors from around the region. Kids will love exploring the orchards and patches hunting for the perfect take home (or on-the-road) snacks and crafts. 24Carrot even has a pond and picnic area, so guests can spend the whole day on location in a charming, relaxed environment. Don’t forget to stock up at the farm stand market! More details are available by calling or emailing.

Location: 2731 Jacquier Road, Placerville, CA 95667

Hours: Daily 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, September to November.

Contact: (530) 651-3276 or email 24carrotfarms@gmail.com

8. Argyres Orchard

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Take a weekend getaway to Argyres Orchard, a seasonal favorite bearing a bounty of delicious fresh apples. Spend the day gathering you-pick apples, found in two varieties, Golden Delicious and Rome. Kids can choose their favorites, or mix and match these classics, in ½ bushel boxes. Concord grapes are also abundant and can be gathered in 2 or 5 lb pails. Feel free to munch and crunch as you go, there are no limits on tasting while picking. Argyres is pretty relaxed with weights: They don’t do scales there, so all you-pick bundles are approximate. The staff can be easily reached by phone to answer your questions. Call ahead to confirm seasonal availability.

Location: 4220 North Canyon Road, Camino, CA 95709

Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm.

Contact: (530) 644-3862 or email maargyres@comcast.net

9. Apple-A-Day Ratzlaff Ranch

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Former “Taster’s Choice” Award recipients, the folks at Apple-A-Day Ratzlaff Ranch are in the business of bringing quality fruits to families around the Bay area. The property has been in the family for three generations and is open to the public as a haven for apple picking. Granny Smiths, Golden, Rome, and Gravensteins are just some of the delightful varieties featured, which are featured in their famous pure juice and hot apple cider. Visitors often become regulars for love of the unique beverages, not to mention the affordable $1.50 per pound apple sales. Visit the Facebook page for updates.

Location: 13128 Occidental Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Hours: From 9 am to 5 pm, Closed on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Contact: (707) 823-0538

10. Goodness Orchard

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Certified organic since 1990, Goodness Orchard prides itself on its wide variety of apples, peaches, pears, berries, and vegetables. Summers are full of juicy strawberries, and the pickings get better throughout the year as fall yields some of the region’s tastiest crop.  With over 10 kinds of heirloom apples and more than 30 vegetable varieties, everyone in your family will have something to fall in love with. Choose through the you-pick program, or stop by the market stand at Bodhaine Ranch (open until November 28th on Saturdays and Sundays) for tasty confectionary surprises.

Location: 4341 Pony Express Trail, Camino CA 95709

Hours: Monday thru Friday by appointment, Saturday 9 am – 3 pm, Sunday 12:30 pm – 3 pm.

Contact: (530) 644-6448

11. Clearview Orchards

Another stop on your family favorite organic farms list is Clearview Orchards, where gorgeous apples—Fuji, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Mitsu, and Gala—are up for grabs (literally) for $1.50 per pound.  If you’re looking for down-home farm food instead, try the ice-cold freshly pressed organic apple juice along with piping hot apple turnovers, served to loyal fans since 1998. It’s a unique location, a mile from the ocean and sheltered by rolling hills, so you’ll have great photo ops during your visit. You and your family will have to be fast since the last open day of the season is October 30th! The owners kindly request that no dogs or outside food/drinks be brought to comply with county zoning regulations. Call for details.

Location: 646 Trabing Rd., Watsonville, CA 95076

Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm.

Contact: (408) 472-1958 or email info@clearvieworchards.com

12. Pine O’Mine

PineTrees

A former Christmas tree farm, Pine O’Mine is a tucked away haven bearing blueberries, raspberries, apples, and pumpkins for a family-oriented you-pick adventure. Settled overlooking an expanse of valleys and hills, the ranch features its signature fruit picking fields, a kids’ hay bale maze, an apple barn, and picnic spots. Children of all ages can enjoy the array of fruits, including three varieties of apples—Fuji, Red and Golden Delicious—available for purchase. Tips on storing, preserving, and cooking your goodies are available on the website, and the friendly staff is more than willing to guide you and answer further questions. Feel free to call or message on Facebook. Directions available on their website.

Location: 2620 Carson Rd, Placerville, California

Contact: (530) 344-0288

13. Sloan Winters Mountain Orchard & Garden

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For over five generations, the orchard and gardens have served the community with fresh farm produce as a go-to stopping point among locals. The Sloan Winters Mountain Orchard & Garden is a smorgasbord of goodies for the whole family. Proudly organic, the farm grows and offers apples (Gala, Golden and Red Delicious), peppers, blackberries, corn, watermelon, squash, pumpkins, and more. Other crave-worthy confections are the homemade jams and marmalades, which come in wild and wonderful flavors like Caramel Apple, Spiced Berry, Lavender Medley, and M&M. Their abundant fare will inspire you along your culinary adventure, and you’ll probably want to pick up the Apple Hill Grower’s Cookbook before you go! Be sure to take a tractor ride tour, where kids can pick their own favorites! Call for events and more details.

Location: 3061 Snows Road, Camino, CA 95667

Hours: Friday thru Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, other days from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, August – November.

Contact: (916) 860-9207 or email sloan.t@sbcglobal.net

14. Swanton Pacific Ranch

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An innovative project launched by California Polytechnic State University, the Swanton Ranch is an educational gem tucked away in the central coast foothills. Kids will love tasting the 10+ kinds of apples grown on site, with ripening continuing well into November (giving you more time to get out and enjoy them). Educational tours are offered for groups and organizations, plus the opportunity for internships (check them out online to see if you qualify). Events are frequent and exciting, not to mention unique: Kids this year can enjoy the treat of picking pumpkins by rail, hopping aboard a train that runs along Scotts Creek to the organic pumpkin patch. There’s something for everyone at the Swanton Pacific Ranch! Call or connect online for details.

Location: 125 Swanton Road, Davenport, CA 95017

Contact: (831) 458-5410 or email spranch@calpoly.edu

15. Kids Inc./Delfino Farms

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Kids Inc. at Delfino Farms is a treasured part of the Camino community.  Home to two corn mazes, Joan’s Apple Bakery, and the Junior Farmer program, there are loads of things for you and your family to do while visiting. Take a farm tour and see the location, or venture out onto a ¼ mile nature trail. Stop by to pet the family farm animals, or pick up some mini pumpkins to decorate and take home! Kids will love learning and play at the farm that was made just for them! Tips for guests: The place can be very popular, so if your mission is to avoid the crowds then stop by in November. Feel free to contact by phone or email (online contact form).

Location: 3205 North Canyon Road, Camino, CA 95709

Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, after Veterans Day thru closing on December 9th from 9 am to 5 pm.

Contact: (530) 622-0184 (General); (530) 558-1317 (Chris Delfino, Ranch Owner)


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