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Where to Go Apple Picking in the Bay Area

Want crisp fresh apples? It doesn’t get any fresher than straight from the tree.
By - posted 10/1/2019 No Comment

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. 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.

Updated 10/1/19

Apple-A-Day Ratzlaff Ranch

Sebastopol | Located in the rolling hills of Sonoma County, pack a picnic and head to a local, family-run farm focused on apples and pears. Their ranch has picnic tables and ample parking. In addition to apples, you can also take home some of their award-winning crisp apple cider. Their “U-pick” season is typically offered September and October where you can harvest your own Gravenstein, Golden Delicious, and Rome apples.

  • Open 9am to 4pm, September to November-ish. (Closed Thursdays & Sundays). Check Facebook for season updates and exact dates. 
  • Apples: Golden Delicious, Gravenstein and Roman Beauty Apples $2/lb – no reservations needed, no minimums
  • Cider: Gallon $8, 1/2 gallon $5, organic 1/2 gallon $7, quart, $3.50, pint $2, organic pint $3

Swanton Pacific Ranch

Davenport (Santa Cruz County) | The gorgeous 3,200 acre Swanton Pacific Ranch rests among a lush redwood forest, riverine ecosystems and expansive coastal grassland overlooking the bay and the Pacific Ocean. Normally closed to the public, it’s owned and operated by California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) for educational and research in sustainable agriculture, but they open their doors to the public for their organic U-pick apple season which usually runs from Labor Day until they sell out (normally in early October). Their 2-acre orchard produces 16 varieties of apple which ripen progressively throughout the fall allowing for an extended picking season.

  • Browse their Harvest Calendar to see what’s available for picking – from Gingergolds (Late August) through Suntans (Oct.-Nov.)
  • Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday from 9am to 5pm – typically from Labor Day until early October.
  • Apples are $2.50/lb

 

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Gizdich Ranch

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 has seasonal favorites including their famous homemade pies.

  • Apple U-Pick is $1.65/lb
  • Open 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week
  • Apple picking season runs from mid-September for about 3-4 weeks.

Apple Hill

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.

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.

Find a pick-your-own farm near you.

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