As well as being home to some of the biggest and most important cities in the United States, California also happens to be home to some of the best apple picking spots and farms in the nation too! As the fifth biggest producer and the second biggest exporter of apples in America, California is a major producer of the popular fruit, with the apple industry in the Golden State actually generating more than half a billion dollars each year. Around 30% of all California's apples are shipped off around the world, while the remaining 70% are consumed domestically, and the state puts a big focus on four main varieties: Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Fuji, and Gala. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


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Unlike many other states around America that feature short apple picking seasons from September through to November, California can boast of quite a long apple picking season that starts in July and can run all the way through to December, depending on the weather for the year. And with more than 25,000 acres of Californian land dedicated to the growth of apples and countless apple orchards and farms just waiting to welcome you in, it's no wonder that apple picking is a hugely popular activity in California, in both the northern and southern parts of the state.

Many people assume that the main apple picking spots are found further north, but Southern California (SoCal) is home to a lot of great apple orchards too, with many of the best SoCal apple picking locations offering lots of extra activities and games to provide a full day of family-friendly entertainment and enjoyment, as well as letting you fill up bag after bag with fresh, crisp apples to take back home with you. Read on to learn about the best apple picking spots in Southern California, complete with contact info for each location and detailed overviews of the various apple varieties and additional features you can find at each orchard.

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2.Willowbrook Apple Farm

Willowbrook Apple Farm
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San Bernardino County is a great place to pick some apples, with the local hills and unique micro-climates of this area helping to contribute towards the strong growth of various varieties of apple. Willowbrook Apple Farm is located in Yucaipa, right in the heart of San Bernardino County and only a relatively short drive away from Los Angeles, so it's a good spot for LA locals to do some apple picking.

Featuring trees that have been standing for over a century, this orchard specializes in Stayman Winesap apples, but has a lot more to offer than simple U-Pick apples; families and guests at Willowbrook Apple Farm will also be able to say hello to the friendly animals all around the farm, pose for some memorable photos on one of the vintage tractors, and buy some fun souvenirs or tasty treats from the Apple Shed gift shop, which sells everything from toys and candy for the kids to caramel apples and scented candles for all the family to enjoy.

12099 Oak Glen Rd, Yucaipa, CA 92399, Phone: 909-797-9484

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3.Apple Starr Orchard

Apple Starr Orchard
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There are plenty of great orchards to be found in the famed city of Julian, just to the northeast of San Diego. Perfect for coastal residents and San Diego natives in need of a fun day out, Apple Starr Orchard offers fun apple and pear picking experiences that guests of all ages can enjoy. This apple orchard has been running since the early 1980s and has been fully organic since 1996, so the quality of the apples at this location is second to none.

Some of the apple varieties you'll find at this SoCal apple orchard include Arkansas Black, Jonagold, Wealthy, Fuji, Red Delicious, and Granny Smith, and if you're interested in pears too, you'll find the likes of Comic, Green Bartlett, and Red Bartlett also ripe for picking. There isn't too much else to do at this orchard in terms of activities, but you'll find clean bathrooms and picnic tables on-site to enjoy some quality time with your family, and the surrounding scenery is simply heavenly.

1020 Julian Orchard Drive, Julian, CA 92036, Phone: 760-305-2169

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4.Riley's Farm

Riley's Farm
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Situated up in San Bernardino County in the popular apple growing city of Yucaipa, Riley's Farm is one of the very best rated and most beloved apple picking locations in all of Southern California. Countless apple pickers of all ages have had amazing experiences at this orchard, and it's a great option for people living or visiting the LA area too. Part of what makes Riley's Farm such a great location is that this is much more than a simple apple picking spot; it's a fully-featured farm complex, complete with its own restaurant, bakery, and full calendar of special events.

Some of the apple varieties you can find here include Golden Russet, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Arkasnas Black, Winesap, Stayman Winesap, Rome Beauty, and even 'Mystery Apples' that have their own special flavors. You'll find many different berries, peaches, pears, flowers, pumpkins, and more at this location throughout the year too, and you can even press your own apple cider if you visit on a Saturday. Before you leave, don’t forget to stop off for some tasty treats at the farm restaurant and bakery.

12261 Oak Glen Rd, Yucaipa, CA 92399, Phone: 909-797-7534

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5.Snow-Line Orchard

Snow-Line Orchard
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Another Yucaipa, San Bernadino County apple picking location that has been beloved by several generations of apple picking enthusiasts is Snow-Line Orchard. Hugely popular with guests of all ages, this orchard is a family owned orchard which also doubles up as a winery, so it can appeal to people of all ages, rather than being a purely family-oriented apple orchard. There's a really friendly vibe around this apple picking location and you definitely won't want to leave after spending some time here.

You'll find a bunch of different apple varieties at Snow-Line Orchard, including classics like Red Delicious and Winesap. Along with the apples, you and your fellow guests will be able to spend some time in the gorgeous picnic area, which features a beautiful and historic Italian chestnut tree, as well as taste some freshly baked apple cider donuts or try one of the local wines. You can also stop by at the store for a cup of coffee, a baked treat, a bottle of cider, some artisan oils, locally produced honey, and more, as well as enjoying a tour of the cider mill and packing shed.

39400 Oak Glen Rd, Yucaipa, CA 92399, Phone: 909-256-0405

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Apple Picking in Southern California

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