The best apple orchards around LA where you can pick the freshest apples, drink the freshest cider, and even meet a farm animal (or two)
Out of all of the hundreds of things there are to do in LA, fall might just be the best. The air feels (slightly) crisper, the hunt for fall foliage begins, the kids are back in school, and the holiday season officially kicks off with the quintessential apple-picking experience for the whole family. To have your own Instagram-worthy experience, you can drive just 90 minutes from DTLA, to SoCal’s apple picking center, aka: Oak Glen. Here you’ll find rustically lush orchards, ranches and farms to go on a variety of u-pick adventures, and quaint eateries to indulge in homemade treats. And if you’re looking for more than just apple picking, some spots are offering festivals, cider-making, petting zoos, and corn mazes. Apple-picking season traditionally kicks off on Labor Day and lasts through Nov. Here are the best apple orchards near LA where you can pick your own fruit, as well as information on traditional fall activities to partake in with your little farmers.
Videos From Tinybeans
The Best U-Pick Apple Orchards near Los Angeles
1. Willowbrook Apple Farm
If you want an intimate apple-picking experience, this quaint family-owned apple farm is just the place if you are looking to explore an orchard at your own pace. There are more than six varieties of apples on their fruit trees including the ever-so-juicy Honeycrisps and their staple, Stayman Winesaps, which have just the right amount of sweet and tart to excite your taste buds. The grounds provide a perfect backdrop for the littles to run around freely and for families to enjoy the rest of the day picnic-style feasting from their baskets full of fresh delights. If you want to add to your treats, their country store sells unique fruit concoctions such as berry preserves and jalapeño raspberry jam.
Beyond apple-picking, the kids can make their own apple cider with a hand-crank cider press and meet new friends with the farm animals like Flopsy the bunny and Delilah the mini-pig. If you are up for making this a whole-day adventure, you can join the popular Wine Tasting and S’mores event in the late afternoon while sipping a glass of crafted wine and munching on gooey-licious s’mores around a campfire. Reservations for this special event are required so RSVP on their website to secure your spot.
Insider Tip: During peak season, lines to enter the farm can get long in the afternoons. Arrive early to avoid extensive wait times. If you visit during Oct., they have a mini-pumpkin patch where you can make your visit a truly “fall” trip.
12099 South Oak Glen Rd.
Oak Glen, CA
Related: Where to Stay, Eat & Play in Palm Springs
2. Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho
For a grander-style farm outing, this Oak Glen apple picking ranch has more than 150 acres of land that grow berries, apples, pumpkins, and chestnuts throughout the year. This orchard offers over 32 varieties of heirloom apples u-pick (or pre-bagged) and a special festival for their signature Gravenstein apples early in the harvest season. But apple-picking is just the beginning of the many engaging activities the whole family can participate in. Your little explorers will love traversing the corn mazes, petting the adorable farm animals in the little seedling ranch, and hopping on the wagon and tractor rides to get a better view of the ranch.
In between all the adventure-seeking, you can take a break and listen to live music while sipping on the flavorful cider you pressed earlier. If you are looking to supplement your fruit gatherings, there are several places to purchase seasonal goodies on the ranch including their delectable roasted corn and endless varieties of fruit jams and preserves. You certainly won’t have any issue finding a comfy, secluded picnic spot to break up your day and relish in all the produce you’ve picked. This orchard truly offers a little fun for everyone!
Insider Tip: There are several farms in the area with the name "Riley" so check beforehand to make sure you are going to your correct destination. Depending on the time of the harvest season, you can coordinate your visit during one of their lively events like the Apple Butter Festival, where you can make your own decadent butter, during Thanksgiving weekend.
39611 S. Oak Glen Rd.
3. Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard
This stunning micro-farm is nestled within an intimate 3-acre property containing 130-year-old heirloom apple orchards. What makes this apple farm near Los Angeles so unique is its commitment to sustainable organic harvesting practices that foster a ripe environment for growing fruit trees, flowers, and plants. To embark on any apple picking, you are required to participate in a 10-minute tour on the history of the farm where they also explain the proper way to pick the apples from the tree to protect the integrity of the trees. The grounds of this orchard are absolutely breathtaking and worthy of a visit to roam the Stayman-Winesap trees and treasure the flavors of these heirloom apples.
Insider Tip: Among the reasons to visit this orchard is that it is still not as popular as the other larger farms. This equates to less crowds and a more laid-back rural ambience. Purchase one of their "Farm-to-Picnic" packages to immerse yourself in the natural setting and savor the local ingredients with your family.
12131 S. Oak Glen Rd.
Oak Glen, CA
4. Stone Pantry Orchard
For a more low-key but still entertaining time for the whole family, this Oak Glen apple orchard gives you all you need to gather your fruit in a peaceful autumnal setting. Established in 1887, the beauty of this farm is that you can pick fruit to your heart’s desire in an orchard that doesn’t have too many crowds. This makes it an ideal location for your family to get more of that intimate, rural vibe while spending the day galavanting in the fields. Beyond apple picking, you can also press your own cider by the half gallon or gallon to then enjoy the fruits of your labor while taking a stroll through the charming farmland. They also offer farm tours so you and your little farmers can learn all about rustic life.
Insider Tip: Pick more than just apples at this orchard: You can gather pears, blackberries, and pumpkins.
11993 S. Oak Glen Rd.
Related: Family-Friendly Wineries Where You Can Stay the Night
Apple Orchards Where You Can Find Apple Butter, Cider Donuts & Candy Apples
If you are searching for adventures outside of apple picking, below are other Oak Glen locations providing entertaining and delicious happenings for all to enjoy.
5. Oak Tree Mountain (formerly known as Oak Tree Village)
Skip apple-picking all together and make the drive to taste the best Mile High Apple Pie in town. Or do the trip just for this one-stop-shop of autumnal food galore with hot dogs, BBQ, shaved ice and a whole bakery full of so many sweets your eyes (and tummy!) will thank you for visiting this foodie paradise. Much of their seating is outdoors so you can enjoy the benefits of dining al fresco while listening to live music. There are plenty of activities for the whole family to burn off all they've consumed. Catch a trout fish, participate in axe therapy, or sign up to be part of their monthly corn hole tournament. You will definitely feel like you’ve been part of a traditional fall festival at this village.
Insider Tip: Later in the season, you can plan to visit when there is snow so your munchkins can build a snowman and go sledding. Even though you can't pick apples at this location, you can make a quick trip to indulge in their hand-dipped caramel apples at their Candy Store. It will be worth the pit stop!
38480 Oak Glen Rd.
Oak Glen, CA
7. Parrish Pioneer Ranch
Since its inception in 1866, this orchard has gradually developed its vast 160-acre farmland to an Oak Glen destination filled with a large variety of apples and historic landmarks honoring the history of the region. Although there is no apple-picking on site, they offer apples pre-bagged with more than 18 varieties of apples which will make your taste buds dance with joy. Their on-site restaurant, store, and bakery are worth the trip alone to taste your way through all the ranch has in store for its visitors. From gourmet chocolates, apple butter, to wine tasting for adults, you will be grateful you took a food tour of this extraordinary ranch. You can break up your treat tasting by perusing their antique shop and toy store to find something to commemorate your visit.
Insider Tip: Some of the apples grown are unique to this area including the Parkdale Beauty and the Vazquez—named after the Parrish foreman, Juan Vazquez, who developed this varietal on the ranch. And if you arrive earlier in the season you can taste the Arkansas Black apples which frequently sell out because of their crisp and fruity flavors.
38561 Oak Glen Rd.
Related: Splash Down in 10 These SoCal Airbnbs with Epic Pools
Check on this short video below to take in the beauty of Oak Glen. You can almost taste these gorgeous apples!
Everything You Need to Know about Apple Picking in Oak Glen & Beyond
What to Know: Since there are acres and acres of open space, take your picnic blanket, sunscreen, sun hats, and any snacks to keep everyone from feeling hangry. Although you can purchase snacks at the orchards, the wait times can get long so having snack options will help avoid any meltdowns. Apple picking can make you thirsty so take lots of water with you to stay hydrated. Bring cash—it's especially useful when visiting the smaller farms. The weather and fruit availability can vary so check beforehand when planning your trip to visit to avoid disappointment.
What to Wear: It can be hot while picking apples but gets dramatically cooler in the afternoon so dress comfortably and bring a jacket for when the temperature dips. Most orchards recommend everyone wear close-toed shoes.
Make It a Day Trip: You can make your trip a whole-day adventure by having your meals at Oak Glen and then heading home by the end of the day. Pack the jammies for the kids and, if you’re lucky, they’ll sleep on the drive home.
Apple Picking Getaways near LA: Palm Springs is just 45 minutes away from Oak Glenn. Pick apples in the morning then spend the later half of your day splashing in an Airbnb pool or swing by Oak Glen on your way back from Palm Springs. Here are our favorite things to do in Palm Springs with kids.
San Luis Obispo is a little over three hours away from DTLA, so head up the coast to these farms listed below where you sample fresh honey, pick pails of apples and down gallons of cider.
SLO Creek Farms
6455 Monte Rd.
San Luis Obispo
See Canyon Fruit Ranch
2345 See Canyon Rd.
San Luis Obispo
Julien: If you don't mind a slightly longer drive, head south to Julian, our favorite little mountain town in San Diego County, just 150 miles south of LA. It is filled with u-pick apple farms, apple pies, and farm tours.
You Picked it, Now Make it: Now that you have bushels of apples, check out 30 different ways to make drool-worthy apple-based desserts.