By Michele E. Buttelman
Signal Staff Writer
As we enter November, you might think the season for apple picking is long gone. However, you can still go apple picking as late as Thanksgiving and enjoy the Fall weather. So there is still a bit of time.
California’s apple orchards are scattered throughout the state. Regions with the most apple orchards include the Central Coast north of Los Angeles, Julian east of San Diego, Oak Glen east of Los Angeles, Tehachapi near Bakersfield, Northern Coast of Sonoma and Mendocino, Apple Hill in the Placerville area and Paradise near Chico.
Did you know?
- The California apple industry generates more than $519,000,000 annual revenue.
- California is the fifth-largest producer of apples in the United States.
- California is the second largest exporter of apples in the United States.
- In California 70% of the apples produced are shipped domestically, 30% are exported.
- California has more than 25,000 acres devoted exclusively for apple orchards.
- California exports apples to more than 60 different countries.
- Top apple exports are to Canada, Mexico, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
- California specializes in four varieties: Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith and Cripps Pink Ladies.
If you’re looking to combine apple picking, the Fall season and fun, here are a few places to check out.
Rileys at Los Rios Rancho
39611 Oak Glen Rd., Yucaipa 92399
There is much to do at Los Rios Ranch. It is apple season and they are open for picking 7 days a week 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Right now, they have Arkansas Black, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Rome and Red Delicious apples.
The farm has a corn maze, little seedling ranch, farm kitchen, country store and the Wildlands Botanical Gardens and Nature Trails, which are nearby.
Weekend activities include U-press cider, hayrides, live music and horse drawn carriage rides. The weekend hours and other activities vary by day. For more details, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LosRios
Colonial Chesterfield at Riley’s Farm
12261 S. Oak Glen Rd., Oak Glen 92399
There is a lot to do here, especially if you enjoy Colonial America. Their Harvest Feast runs for two more weeks on Nov. 10 and 17. This event takes place at the Hawk’s Head Tavern and includes food and a night of merriment including tavern drama, dancing and tomahawk throwing.
There is also a Civil War Re-enactment on Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.
If you don’t have enough time to get out this month, check out their December Christmas in the Colonies.
Julian Farm and Orchard
4381 Highway 78, Santa Ysabel, 92070
Fall at the Farm continues weekends until Nov. 28. While you can no longer pick apples, you can purchase them at the store. And, you can still pick berries, pumpkins and flowers.
But, if you just looking for a bit of Fall fun, this is a good place to go.
General Admission of $5 gives you access to the farm, yard games, hammocks, a haybale maze, use of the picnic areas and food vendors.
The farm offers U-pick apples, tractor drawn hayrides, farm animals, apple cider pressing, archery, axe throwing and a seasonal farm store.
The $25 unlimited activity armband includes facepainting, crafts, rock climbing wall, axe throwing and much more including a animal sanctuary and petting zoo.
For $18, you can enjoy ice skating. The skating includes general admission.
Julian Café and Bakery
2112 Main St., Julian, 92036
If you are interested in just enjoying the Fall in Julian, check out the Julian Café, located about 5 minutes from the Julian Farm.
The original building was erected in 1872 and housed a general store. In 1957, the building was destroyed in a fire. It was rebuilt in 1958 to look exactly like the structure that was lost, and it became the Julian Café in 1982.
Home to the award-winning Famous Julian Apple Pie, the café also offers apple pumpkin pie and apple boysenberry pie, as well as an apple crisp. Top the pie with either cheddar cheese or vanilla ice cream. Wash it all down with either their Hot Caramel Apple Cider or fresh Julian Cider.