Northern California has a number of apple orchards with pick your own options, including a number within about an hour’s drive of the San Francisco metro area as well many about an hour east of Sacramento in the aptly named “Apple Hill” region. Whether you drive north, south, or east of the Bay Area, you’re sure to find some delicious apples, fresh baked apple goods, and apple cider, to say nothing of a wonderful fall day in the orchard!
Apple-A-Day Ratzlaff Ranch - Sebastopol, CA
This farm in western Sonoma County features several varieties of apples available for you-pick, generally beginning in September and going through earlly December. They also make fresh cider (Apple-A-Day Apple Juice) on site, which is available to purchase there or at area retailers. Pears and other goodies are also available. They are locted about 70 miles north of San Francisco.
Chileno Valley Ranch - Petaluma, CA
Mike and Salley Gale welcome visitors to their 600 acre grass-fed beef farm offering certified organic apple picking of 15+ varieties including Orin, Pinova, Molly’s Delicious, and Jonathan’s Pride from their 180 apple trees. The farm is open for you to pick on Sunday during the months of August, September and (sometimes) October. Call for reservations – entry slots are timed for each hour to space out the crowds. They are located about 50 miles north of San Francisco.
Clearview Organic Orchards - Watsonville, CA
Mel and Carol LaRussa purchased the orchard about ten years ago. It overlooks the valley of Watsonville and enjoys the fresh air from the ocean (from its location only a mile from La Selvia beach and the ocean). Pick your own from their certified organic apples, or pick up some from the Apple Barn. Fuji and Gala apples are their specialty. Organic apples are priced at $1.50 per pound. White, red and pink pumpkins available in October. Their Apple Barn also sells apple juice, apple turnovers, and more. Open for visitors from mid-September thru early November. They are located just outside Santa Cruz, about 85 miles south of San Francisco and 45 miles south of San Jose.
Gabriel Farm - Sebastopol, CA
A 14 acre organic family farm with pick your own apples for CSA members. CSA membership ($40) includes a case of Asian pears at the beginning of the membership year. Appointments are required for farm visits during the week, but members can pick and pay for as much as they want throughout the season (June through November). Apple picking is usually available from early August through late October.The price is $2 per pound for apples. Other produce is available in their farm store. They also grow asian pears and persimmons. They are located about 50 miles north of San Francisco.
Gizdich Ranch - Watsonville, CA
They allow “Pik-Yor-Self” of four varieties of apples (Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Newtown Pippin and Royal Gala) for approximately four weeks around September (depending on when the apples ripen). In total, they grow more than 15 varieties of apples, which are available for purchase pre-picked. Bakery offers pies, apple dumplings and other desserts, plus apple juice and apple slush. Purchase antiques, collectibles, goodstuffs and gifts in their gift shop. This fourth-generation farm is located about 90 miles southeast of San Francisco, and about 40 miles south of San Jose.
K&K Orchard - Sebastopol, CA
Pick your own or buy pre-picked Gravenstein apples early in the harvest season (usually beginning in late July) or organic Jonathans, Fiji, or Romes in September. Call for more information on you-pick or find them at the local farmers markets beginning in August. They are located about 60 miles north of San Francisco.
Live Earth Farm - Watsonville, CA
Started as a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in 1995, this Certified Organic farm offers pick-your-own apples, pumpkins, and other produce, open on weekends throughout the fall. They are located about 90 miles south of San Francisco and 45 miles south of San Jose.
Swanton Pacific Ranch You-Pick Apple Orchard - Davenport, CA
Certified Organic orchard run as part of the Cal Poly, this two-acre orchard has 16 varieties, open to pick your own for school children, Cal-Poly alumni, and the general public. They are located about 60 miles south of San Francisco, and about 17 miles northwest of Santa Cruz.
If you’re up for a trip to the Apple Hill area east of Sacramento, you’ll find the following apple orchards offering u-pick:
24Carrot Farm - Placerville, CA
Pick your own apples and pumpkins. They also have a farmstand. They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Abel’s Apple Acres - Placerville, CA
Take a turn through the maze, pick a pumpkin, take a horse or pony ride, and more at this Apple HIll farm. They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Argyres Orchard - Camino, CA
Pick your own apples and Concord grapes. Cash or check only accepted at this farm. They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Boa Vista Orchards - Placerville, CA
Another long-standing Apple Hill member, this fifth generation farm offers a pumpkin patch, farm stand with pre-picked apples (and more) and bakery (which in addition to the standard fresh baked items such as pies, has a Take & Bake Freezer so you can bring home a frozen pie and bake it up fresh later!), lunch, cidery (featuring both sweet cider and hard cider), wines and more. The Vismans are cousins of the High Hill Farm Vismans, another popular Apple Hill farm. They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Delfino Farms - Camino, CA
The former Kids Inc is all grown up! Run by second and third generation Delfinos, the apple orchards are not only sending apples to the bakery to continue Grandma Joan’s recipes, but will also be used in a hard cider named after her mother. The grapes planted in years past will soon be used in the first offerings of the new winery, Edio Vineyards. You can still find pumpkins here too, and a corn maze, barnyard animals, nature trail, and apple barn. One of the original Apple Hill orchards, this farm is located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Denver Dan’s Apple Patch - Camino, CA
Dale and Pat Martin have been living and growing apples on this land for over 50 years. Over 50 varieties of apples are available for you pick, generally available from Labor Day to mid October. Their trees are short so no ladders are needed. All apples are the same price per pound. The bake shop offers fresh apple pie, apple dumplings and other delicious desserts. They also sell jams, jellies, gourmet vinegars and other food products. They are located about 50 miles northeast of Sacramento.
Goodness Orchard - Camino, CA
Pick your own apples from twelve antique varieties, pumpkins, plus a variety of other produce. They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Harris Family Farm - Pollock Pines, CA
Pick your own berries, apples, & pumpkins. Grab some fresh apple cider, vegetables & fresh eggs. Stop by the bake shop filled with pies, turnovers, strudel, and jams. Enjoy lunch in the picnic area in the orchard and nature trail through the woods. Cut your own Christmas trees and freshly made wreaths are available later in the season.
High Hill Ranch - Placerville, CA
Open between August and December, with a pick your own pumpkin patch, on site restaurant, farm activities for the kids to enjoy, tractor rides and tours of the apple orchard, and bakery with fresh apple cider donuts, apple pie, apple cider, and more. They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch - Camino, CA
They grow more than 14 varieties of apples and pears, available pre-picked, plus offer pick your own pumpkins (right off the vine!) and Christmas trees (five varieties, available between Thanksgiving and Christmas). In addition to a nature trail to explore, they also offer fresh apple cider, applesauce and apple butter, and the chance to see a tree grafted from the original Johnny Appleseed tree! They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Pine O’Mine Ranch - Placerville, CA
Located on an old Christmas tree farm, this apple orchard has tons of fall fun. Pick your own apples or grab some from the barn in four varieties, pick your pumpkins, go on a hayride, take a walk through the corn maze or haunted maze, grab some caramel corn or a drink from the cafe, and more! They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Ponderosa Ridge Bed & Breakfast - Placerville, CA
With a private 3 acre apple orchard open only to registered guests, this bed and breakfast is also a beautiful place to stay while exploring all that Apple Hilll has to offer. With a wraparound porch, walking paths, gazebo with fire pit, hot tub room, and a game room with a view, it provides plenty to do to unwind from a long day of apple picking, wine tasting, hiking and more! They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Sloan Winters Mountain Orchard & Garden - Camino, CA
Pick your own apples from 7 varieties at this Certified Organic farm in the Apple Hill area. They also have kids activities, tours, and sell flowers, jams, honey and more. They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Smokey Ridge Ranch & Winery - Placerville, CA
Offering 17 varieties of apple, plus you-pick chestnuts and pumpkins, farm to table lunches, complimentary tastings of their wine and hard cider, and more. This third generation family farm is located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.
Windmiller Farm - Placerville, CA
They offer pick your own apples, pumpkins, and Christmas trees. They also have pomegranates and chestnuts, plus farm-fresh eggs, as well as shaded picnic area. The bake shop has fresh apple pies. They are located about 50 miles east of Sacramento.