There's nothing quite like the feeling of grabbing a fresh, juicy apple straight off the tree and taking a bite. That’s why apple picking is still such a popular activity, despite being one of the oldest pastimes in America. As summer reaches its end and fall begins, apple season really kicks off and lots of orchards all around the country open their gates to large crowds of happy visitors, all eager to take home a few sacks filled with fresh fruit to be munched on at any time of day or used in hundreds of different recipes like pies, donuts, breads, sauces, cakes, and more.
Apple orchards are commonly associated with the cooler parts of America like New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, with many people wrongly assume that hot areas like California are unsuitable for the growth of apples. The reality is very different. While the hot temperatures of Los Angeles might not be quite right for apple orchards to thrive, there are plenty of excellent fruit farms and orchards to be found just a short drive outside of the city. Many areas of California have just the right conditions to grow apples, so LA residents and visitors have a lot of options.
Best Apple Picking Spots near Los Angeles
If you’re looking to do some apple picking in Los Angeles, you’ll need to be prepared to drive a short distance outside of the city. There are no orchards within the LA city limits, but there are plenty of great California apple picking locations not too far away. These farms, ranches, and orchards offer a terrific range of fun activities to go along with the apple picking itself, including hayrides, corn mazes, petting zoos, and more. Read on to learn all about the top apple picking spots in the LA area.
- Los Rios Rancho - 39611 Oak Glen Rd, Yucaipa, CA 92399, Phone: 909-797-1005
Set among the beautiful scenery of Oak Glen, Los Rios Rancho is another top apple picking spot in the LA area. Established way back in 1906, this location offers beautiful views of the San Bernardino Mountains as you roam among the orchards and admire the apple trees in all their beauty. This farm is a big hit with families and youngsters, having a whole lot of special events, festivals, and activities for people to enjoy during apple picking season like barnyard animals, barbecues, nature walks, cider pressing, corn mazes, live entertainment, and cider tasting sessions.
- Willowbrook Apple Farm - 12099 Oak Glen Rd, Yucaipa, CA 92399, Phone: 909-797-9484
Located in Yucaipa, Willowbrook Apple Farm opened up in 2004, with the land having come under new ownership in 2002 but being established way back in the beginning of the 20th century. This farm is known for its particularly delicious Stayman Winesap apples, so if you enjoy this particular variety, Willowbrook Apple Farm is definitely a great apple orchard to visit in the Los Angeles area. The staff are very friendly here and there are plenty of family-friendly fun activities to enjoy too like a petting zoo and tractor rides. Tasty caramel apples and ciders can be purchased from the farm store too.
- Brian Ranch Airport - 34810 Largo Vista Rd, Llano, CA 93544, Phone: 661-261-3216
One of the top rated apple picking spots in California, Brian Ranch Airport is an old private airport that surprisingly hides a gorgeous little orchard for all the family to enjoy as well. This is a totally unique location, letting you admire the various small planes and air shows while also enjoying some relaxing apple picking fun. The orchard opens up during the weekends and will also open up in the middle of the week if you call up and make a reservation ahead of time. Braeburn, Golden Supreme, Royal Gala, and Fuji apples are grown here, with freshly-made apple butter also sold on site.
- Parrish Pioneer Ranch - 38561 Oak Glen Rd, Oak Glen, CA 92399, Phone: 909-797-1753
One of the oldest apple orchards near Los Angeles, Parrish Pioneer Ranch has been providing apples to the local community and visitors from afar since the mid-19th century. This location opens up every Thursday through to Monday from 9am to 5pm and offers a lot of different apple varieties, including the common classics and lesser-known rarities that you might never have tried before. A lot of adorable farm animals can also be found on site including cute goats and donkeys, and some top class apple cider and apple wine are also sold at Parris Pioneer Ranch.