I was twelve the last time I went apple picking, so a trip to the local apple orchards was long overdue. And, having included it on my list of “10 Things To Do In LA This Fall,” it was only suitable that I follow my own advice. So this past weekend a few girlfriends and I did just that, and made the drive out to Oak Glen. It’s a bit of a trek (about 90 minutes outside of LA), but when you step out of your car and are greeted with colorful leaves and crisp air scented with all things apple, you’ll welcome this break from the city.
There are quite a few farms to choose from, so we narrowed it down to two that came highly rated, and with good reason. Our first stop was Snow-Line Orchard, which may have been a mistake, because we couldn’t resist filling up on fresh cider, pulled pork sandwiches, and the most delicious made-to-order apple cider donuts for dessert. The downside was that we left no room for all of the other delicious looking food around town. Fortunately we arrived early enough to beat the crowd for Snow-Line’s famous donuts, but even if you don’t, they’re worth the wait – trust me. Unfortunately we weren’t able to pick our own apples since the season ended early this year, but Snow-Line has a large shop filled with a variety of packaged apples, cider and other sweets for sale, so you won’t go home empty-handed.
Our next stop was Willowbrook Apple Farm, a charming family-owned farm, complete with a traditional red barn, tractors, and even a few farm animals, all situated amongst a backdrop of century-old apple trees. The staff couldn’t have been sweeter, and I loved perusing the quaint gift shop that’s filled with all sorts of specialty items, ranging from scented candles to their homemade apple butter. They even have a cider-pressing station where you can make your own cider using an old fashioned cider press.
Even though the apples were scarce during our trip, it was fun to escape the bustle of the city for the serene “country side.” If you’re thinking of taking an apple-picking trip of your own, below are some tips you might find to be helpful:
- Do your research. Late September and early October are usually the best times to visit, but call ahead to confirm before planning your trip, as crops may vary from season to season.
- Arrive early
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Dress in layers, as the temperature can change quickly
- Come hungry!