Where to Go Apple Picking in the Bay Area
Want fresh apples? It doesn’t get any fresher than straight from the tree. There are lots of local farms near San Francisco where you can pick your own apples, but due to the recent wildfires and also the pandemic, many farms are closed for the season for U-Pick. Some farms have opted for drive-by pickup like Chileno Valley Ranch in Petaluma. We’ve found a handful of orchards that are ready to welcome you to their orchards, so you can pick your own apples.
Peak apple-picking season is September and October. But don’t wait – many people who wait until later in the season are disappointed that many varieties have slim-pickings.
Watsonville | Bring the family to one of the most popular U-pick apple orchards in the Bay Area where you can pick your favorite fruit of the season right off the tree or vine and then picnic among the apple trees and the hills. Gizdich Ranch’s “Pik-Yor-Self” program allows you to harvest your own strawberries, olallieberries, boysenberries, and apples. Check their website to find out what’s currently available for U-pick (or call in advance at (831) 722-1056). Don’t miss their pie shop and deli which have seasonal favorites including their famous homemade pies.
- Apple U-Pick is $1.65/lb
- Open 9am to 5pm, Thursday – Sunday (Strawberries U-Pick only on weekends)
- Apple picking season begins 9/20/20 and is usually open for about 3-4 weeks
- Covid-19 Precautions: You will be required to wear a face covering. We are practicing social distancing; only a certain number of people will be allowed into the field at a time. Please be prepared for a longer than normal wait until we have room to let you enter safely.
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Watsonville | The perfect family-friendly orchard, this family run farm had little ones in mind when they planted dwarf trees exclusively, so tiny arms could always reach the apples. Plus the terraced orchards is in a beautiful setting, overlooking the valley of Watsonville, with nice grass between the rows of trees, allowing for easy strolling. The orchard grows organic Fuji, Gala, Honey Crisp, and Mutsu apples. Plus, you’ll find local honey, certified organic squash, fresh pressed apple juice from organic apples, dried lavender, fresh baked apple turnovers, and more.
- Apple U-Pick is $17/half bushel & $12/small bag. You are charged for the bag, so fill it up.
- Open Tuesday-Friday: 11am-6pm; Saturday: 9:30am-5pm; Sunday: 11am-5pm
- Apple picking season begins 9/8/20 through mid October
- Covid-19 Precautions: Face masks and social distancing are required. Please, no outside food is allowed (due to county zoning), and there’s no street parking.
Greater Placerville (50 miles east of Sacramento) | If you’re up for a little road trip to a countryside getaway, drive along Highway 50 between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, to a bountiful Gold Country with 50 locales featuring fruit orchards, roadside stands, ranches, breweries, tree farms, wineries and even a spa. Check out their Harvest Calendar to find out what’s in season and review their detailed Apple Hill Growers map, view the apple varieties by farm, or download their dedicated app for updated info on every ranch, plus food, lodging, events and more. Be sure to check their 2020 You-Pick Guide before heading out.
- Pine-O-Mine – Open 9am-5pm, Fri-Sun. $1.50/lb; $5 admission to enter the orchard
The Apple Hill region typically extends the apple picking season throughout October where you can harvest Fuji, Granny Smith, and Pink Ladies.
Check out Sactown Mag’s Ultimate Guide to Apple Hill for more info and tips.
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Find a pick-your-own farm near you.