Each fall, you’ll find cars heading up the 50 freeway into the Placerville area for a chance to pick your own apples, taste delicious treats and get outside. Whether you’re heading there to explore one of the examples of Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork culture or for a perfect place for the kids to run around and explore, Apple Hill is well worth a visit each fall.
From late August through October you’ll have a chance to enjoy all of what this area has to offer. Head up first thing in the morning or the mid-afternoon to miss many of the crowds on the weekends. Or play hooky for a day and visit during the week before everyone else has the chance.
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Getting your hands dirty at you-pick farms
For most of us, we rarely have a chance to walk within the groves of the food we eat and have a chance to pick your own produce. It is a great opportunity to see where your food is coming from and appreciate the efforts behind them. You’ll be able to pick apples during much of the fall and in the late summer also have a chance to pick strawberries and blueberries.
Stop by at Pine-O-Mine where the kids can hop on the tire swings before heading through the groves where you can pick everything from Fiji to Golden Delicious to Granny Smith to Red Delicious.
Take a bite out of the sweet treats
When you ask people their favorite thing about Apple Hill, it will almost always be one of the sweet treats you can find at the different spots. Make sure you get a cider donut hot a fresh at Rainbow Orchards and some cider to go along with it.
You’ll see homemade pies and tarts that are as good, or better, as anything you can make in your kitchen. My personal favorite is the Carmel apples. Perfectly coated and a sweet treat I can convince myself is still good for me.
Don’t forget the wine, cider, and beer
Another side of the agriculture in the area is local wineries, hard cider, and breweries. You’ll find grapes growing as you drive along the roadside. Head down to Boeger where you can take in a beautiful view, enjoy a spot to picnic and taste their award winning wines.
If you’re more interested in beers and ciders stop by Jack Russell Brewery. Taste a little bit of everything they have to offer and bring yourself growler along with the cider you picked up earlier.
The perfect fall day trip to Northern California’s Apple Hill
Spend the day outside exploring some of Northern California’s best local products. Taste apples straight off the trees, bring home sweets or cook your own and a few drinks to enjoy with your next meal.
For more information about Sacramento check out these great books on Amazon including Fodor’s Northern California, Lonely Planet Northern California, and Lost Restaurants of Sacramento and Their Recipes.
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