Apple Picking in San Diego : A Guide to the 5+ Best Farms and Tips for a Successful Trip

Looking for a fun, seasonal activity in San Diego? Apple picking is a fantastic option, offering both entertainment and education for all ages.

Visit one of the many orchards in the area to learn about the different varieties of apples, participate in this timeless tradition, and explore the wonders of apple picking in San Diego.

This delightful experience is a must for anyone seeking an enjoyable day out in nature.

apple picking near

Apple Picking Season in California

Apple picking season in California typically begins in late August and continues through October, with some orchards extending into early November.

The season can vary slightly depending on the region, as California has diverse microclimates that affect fruit ripening times.

Northern California, particularly in the Sonoma and Apple Hill regions, is known for its abundant apple orchards. The cooler climates in these areas make for ideal apple growing conditions, offering a diverse array of apple varieties such as Gravenstein, Golden Delicious, Gala, and Fuji.

In Southern California, apple picking is popular in the Oak Glen region near the San Bernardino Mountains and in the high desert areas like Julian, where cooler temperatures provide a more suitable environment for apple cultivation.

Here, you can find varieties such as Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Rome Beauty, and McIntosh.

San Diego Apple Picking Farms

apple picking near

Volcan Valley Apple Farm

Apple Starr Orchard

  • Address: 1020 Julian Orchards Dr, Julian, CA 92036
  • Website:
  • Distance from downtown San Diego: Approximately 60 miles

Julian Farm and Orchard

Calico Ranch

Peacefield Orchard

Keep in mind that the availability of apple picking, hours of operation, and varieties of apples may vary by season and farm. It is always recommended to check the farm’s website or call ahead for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.

Apple Picking Festivals and events in California

apple picking near
  1. Gravenstein Apple Fair (Sebastopol, Sonoma County)

    • Usually held in August
    • Celebrates the Gravenstein apple variety
    • Features live music, food and drink, arts and crafts, and family activities
    • More information:
  2. Apple Hill Harvest Run (Placerville, El Dorado County)

    • Typically occurs in November
    • A charity run event through the picturesque Apple Hill orchards
    • Includes 8.5-mile and 3.5-mile run/walk options
    • More information:
  3. Julian Apple Days Festival (Julian, San Diego County)

    • Usually takes place in late September or early October
    • Features apple displays, music, dancing, and family activities
    • Highlights local apple products, including pies and ciders
    • More information:
  4. Mendocino County Apple & Cider Festival (Mendocino County)

  5. Oak Glen Apple Harvest Festival (Oak Glen, San Bernardino County)

Please remember that the event dates, activities, and details are subject to change, so it is recommended to check with the event organizers or their websites for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.

apple picking near

Tips for a Successful Apple Picking Experience

Apple picking is a fun and rewarding activity for the whole family. However, it can quickly turn into a frustrating experience if you are not prepared. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your apple picking adventure:

  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes
  • Bring sunscreen and bug spray
  • Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly
  • Call ahead to confirm the orchard’s hours and availability
  • Bring cash or check, as some orchards may not accept credit cards
  • Bring your own bags or containers for the apples
  • Be respectful of the orchard’s rules and regulations
  • Don’t climb on the trees or damage the fruit
  • Sample the apples before picking to make sure they are ripe and sweet
  • Have fun and enjoy the experience!

By following these tips, you can ensure a successful apple picking experience that will create memories for years to come.

apple picking near

Benefits of Apple Picking

Apple picking is a fun activity that offers many benefits for individuals and families. Here are some of the benefits of apple picking:

  • Fresh air and exercise: Apple picking is a great way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while getting some exercise. Walking through the orchard and carrying a bag of apples can help burn calories and increase heart rate.
  • Family fun: Apple picking is a great activity for families to enjoy together. It can be a fun way to bond and create memories. Parents can teach their children about the different types of apples and how they grow.
  • Healthy snack: Apples are a nutritious snack that are high in fiber and low in calories. Picking your own apples ensures that they are fresh and free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
  • Supporting local farms: By picking apples at a local farm, you are supporting the local economy and helping to sustain local agriculture. It’s a great way to give back to the community.
  • Learning experience: Apple picking can be a great learning experience for children and adults alike. It can teach about agriculture, the environment, and the importance of supporting local farms.

Apple Picking FAQs

Avatar photo