Fall is Finally here in Sacramento and a Trip to Apple Hill is Just what the Doctor Ordered

apple-hillCan you feel the chill in the evening air?  Fall is around the corner and it’s by far, my most favorite time of the year!  Not just for the “pumpkin spice lattes” you see everyone sipping in the mornings, but for everything related to fall. The beautiful colors that start emerging on the tree tops, the crisp chill of the morning air, the smell of apple pies and muffins baking in the oven – I love it all!

One of our families’ most cherished traditions is to head up to Apple Hill and spend the day picking apples. I’m counting down the days until we make our annual trip to get some apple donuts, fritters, pies and even enjoy a little Apple beer. Oh it really is the most wonderful time of the year!

If you have never been, it’s an easy drive from Sacramento, about 45 minutes East and a little past Placerville. They have so many orchards to choose from with activities for the entire family – I would suggest mapping out your day and planning what you would like to do, before you arrive. Some of the many popular activities include: Picking your own apples and pumpkins, Pony Rides, Hay Mazes and Hay Rides, Nature Trails, Craft Vendors, Fishing, Gold Panning, Petting Zoos’, Bake Shops and Apple Barns, Wine and Beer tasting and more. Personally, I enjoy just driving the back roads and admiring the color changes of the leaves (this will be more prominent later in October). My kids love picking apples and hiking around the nature trails. We always make a stop for kettle corn and a BBQ lunch before making the drive back down to Sacramento.

Whatever you choose to do, you will definitely be in for a “golden delicious” treat.

Here is a list of some of my favorite Apple Hill growers.  There are many more places to visit; this is just a quick snapshot of some of my favorites. To find a complete listing of Apple Hill growers, check out the Apple Hill website.

Abel’s Acres–They offer Pony rides, Hay Maze, food and fun for the entire family.

Denver Dan’s– They offer U pick apples, face painting, cooking classes and more.

Fudge Factory Farm– Candy tasting galore for those of us with a sweet tooth!

High Hill Ranch– Fishing, pony rides, hay rides, craft fair, cider mill and much more!

Kids Inc. – Arts and Crafts, You pick Pumpkins, Corn Maze, Nature Trail and Junior Farmer Tours… this is the farm my husband used to visit when he was a kid- so he loves taking our kids and telling them stories about when he would visit at their age (very nostalgic for us).

As I said, this is just a small list of what Apple Hill has to offer.  Check out the Apple Hill Growers full website and map out where you want to visit with your family.  They also have some great wineries and plenty of picnic spots for you to enjoy.

So don’t let this fall season pass you by – take some time to visit one of the most beautiful areas that Sacramento has to offer and make some lasting Fall memories with your family!

By Heather Crivellone

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Apple Hill is Open for the Season!

Apple HillBy Heather Crivellone

Labor Day barbeques have come and gone, the weather is getting cooler and the kids are back in the swing of school….it’s official- fall is around the corner!   This is by far, my most favorite time of the year.  I love everything related to fall… the crisp chill in the air and beautiful colors are everywhere!  I love that in only 45 minutes, we can be in the heart of Apple Hill and enjoying fresh apple donuts, pies, fritters, and even apple beer.  I’m not alone when I say that this is the most wonderful time of year!

September typically marks the “opening season” of Apple Hill. For those of you who are wanting to go and pick some baskets of apples for your fall pies, here is a breakdown of what is ripe and in season:

Gravenstein, Jonathon and Gala:  Through mid-September. Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Paul Red and Red Delicious:  Through the end of September. Mutsu, Empire and Red Gold:  Mid-September through Mid-October Honey Crisp, Pippin, Winesap, Granny Smith, Fuji and Pink Lady:  Through the end of October.

Apple Orchard at Appile Hill

This is just a general list of what’s available for picking and the best times to get them.  Not all growers allow you to pick on your own, but these are they varieties that are widely available.

Here is a list of some of my favorite Apple Hill growers.  There are many more places to visit, this is just a quick snapshot of some of my favorites. To find a complete listing of Apple Hill growers, check out the Apple Hill website.

Abel’s Acres–They offer Pony rides, Hay Maze, food and fun for the entire family.

Denver Dan’s– They offer U pick apples, face painting, cooking classes and more.

Fudge Factory Farm– Candy tasting galore for those of us with a sweet tooth!

Grandpa’s Cellar-  Interactive Nature Trail, Photo Opportunities for those holiday cards we all need to start thinking about and of course a delicious bake shop to stock up on pies!

High Hill Ranch– Fishing, pony rides, hay rides, craft fair, cider mill and much more!

As I said, this is just a small list of what Apple Hill has to offer.  Check out the Apple Hill Growers full website and map out where you want to visit with your family.  They also have some great wineries and plenty of picnic spots for you to enjoy.

So don’t let this fall season pass you by – take some time to visit one of the most beautiful areas that Sacramento has to offer and make some lasting Fall memories with your family!

Caramel Apple at Apple Hill

It’s the season for family fun in Apple Hill!

imagesBy Heather Crivellone

If you are a native to Sacramento, then you know that the place to be during this time of year is Apple Hill. With fall in full swing and the weather getting cooler there is nothing better than a piece of fresh apple pie and some hot apple cider!  This is by far, my most favorite time of the year.  I love everything related to fall… the crisp chill in the air and beautiful colors everywhere!  I love that in only 45 minutes, we can be in the heart of Apple Hill and enjoying fresh apple donuts, pies, fritters, and even apple beer.  It’s the absolute BEST!
And with the threats of the King Fire being over, all orchards are open for business and ready for visitors!  The air is clean and smoke-free, so now is the perfect time to head up the hill and enjoy the beauty.

Here is a list of some of my favorite Apple Hill growers.  There are many more places to visit, this is just a quick snapshot of some of my favorites. To find a complete listing of Apple Hill growers, check out the Apple Hill website.

Abel’s Acres– open daily until Christmas Eve.  They offer Pony rides, Hay Maze, food and fun for the entire family.

Denver Dans– Open daily through Thanksgiving, then open on weekends until December 13. They offer U pick apples, face painting, cooking classes and more.

Fudge Factory Farm–  Candy tasting galore for those of us with a sweet tooth! Open daily through December.

Grandpa’s Cellar-  Interactive Nature Trail, Photo Opportunities for those holiday cards we all need to start thinking about and of course a delicious bake shop to stock up on pies! Open daily.

High Hill Ranch– Fishing, pony rides, hay rides, craft fair, cider mill and much more! Open daily.

As I said, this is just a small list of what Apple Hill has to offer.  Check out the Apple Hill Growers full website and map out where you want to visit with your family.  They also have some great wineries and plenty of picnic spots for you to enjoy.

So don’t let this fall season pass you by – take some time to visit one of the most beautiful areas that Sacramento has to offer and make some lasting Fall memories with your family!

PicMonkey Collage

Create Family Memories at Apple Hill this Year!

apple-hill-applesBy Heather Crivellone

If you are a native to Sacramento, then you know that the place to be during this time of year is Apple Hill. With fall in full swing and the weather getting cooler- there is nothing better than a piece of fresh apple pie and some hot apple cider!  This is by far, my most favorite time of the year.  I love everything related to fall… the crisp chill in the air and beautiful colors everywhere!  I love that in only 45 minutes, we can be in the heart of Apple Hill and enjoying fresh apple donuts, pies, fritters, and even apple beer.  It’s the absolute BEST!

Now, if you think that apple picking season is over and with Halloween in a few days that you have missed the best that Apple Hill has to offer- you are mistaken.  Even though some of the pumpkin patches and orchards will start to close after the end of October, there are quite a few that will remain open through December… and especially when you start thinking about getting your fresh cut Christmas trees (although, I don’t want to think about Christmas quite yet-  I’m still enjoying the sweet fall events).

Here is a list of some of my favorite Apple Hill growers.  There are many more places to visit, this is just a quick snapshot of what is available after Halloween.  To find a complete listing of Apple Hill growers, check out the Apple Hill website.

Abel’s Acres– open until Christmas Eve.  They offer Pony rides, Hay Maze, food and fun for the entire family.

Denver Dans– Open through December 16. They offer U pick apples, face painting, cooking classes and more.

Fudge Factory Farm–  Candy tasting galore for those of us with a sweet tooth!

Grandpa’s Cellar–  Interactive Nature Trail, Photo Opportunities for those holiday cards we all need to start thinking about and of course a delicious bake shop to stock up on pies!

High Hill Ranch– Fresh cut Christmas Trees, Fishing, pony rides, hay rides and craft fairs.

As I said, this is just a small list of what Apple Hill has to offer.  Check out the Apple Hill Growers full website and map out where you want to visit with your family.  They also have some great wineries and plenty of picnic spots for you to enjoy.

So don’t let this fall season pass you by- take some time to visit one of the most beautiful areas that Sacramento has to offer and make some lasting Fall memories with your family!

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Christmas Tree Farms At Apple Hill

By Alyssa Green

If you have been following our Fall Apple Hill series, you are no doubt aware that the area is a beloved destination for Sacramentans wanting to take a break from the city.  Each fall, farms with fresh produce, yummy apple pies and pastries, and bright orange pumpkins draw crowds aplenty.

What you may not know however, is that from the day after Thanksgiving, all the way through Christmas, Apple Hill and it’s surrounding areas are packed full of Christmas tree farms.  If you want to cut down your very own live tree this year, this is the place to go.  We have put together a list of kid-friendly tree farms that are welcoming visitors for the holidays.  What a wonderful way to begin celebrating the Christmas season!

Ardencaple Forest Christmas Tree Farm, Placerville – candy canes and picnic areas. 

Crystal Cree Tree Farm, Camino – wooded setting with trout farm.

Deutch Union Mine Pines, El Dorado – Cedar antique farm equipment, gold mining tools, nativity scene and life-size santa.  Open weekends only.

Fudge Factory Farm, Placerville – candy factory, candy making shop, children’s play area. 

Harris Tree Farm, Pollock Pines – picnic area, apple cider, pies and pastries.

Hillside Tree Farm , Camino – FREE apple cider, picnic area, pony rides and FREE train ride with the purchase of a tree.  Please note that the train can only run when the tracks are dry…so if it’s been raining, don’t expect a ride.  Click here for a $10 off coupon for any tree.

Kenny, Harry and Heidi’s Tree Farm, Garden Valley – FREE candy canes, hot chocolate, cider, coffee.  On site pond and life-size wooden train for the kids.  Open weekends only.

Kids Inc., Placerville – Bake shop, picnic area, hot sandwhiches, cider and coffee.  Open weekends only

Marvin Larson Tree Farm, Camino – picnic tables, easy walking trails and apple pie. 

Ponderosa Tree Farm, El Dorado – warm fire, music, refreshments, and gifts. 

Poverty Hill Tree Farm, Placerville – next to Gold Bug Park and Gold Bug Mine.  Open weekends only.

Silver Forest Tree Farm, Somerset – picnic area, easy walking trails, boughs, coffee and “kiddie treats.”

Nourishing November at Apple Hill

By Alyssa Green

The weather has cooled, the crowds have dissipated and the fresh produce is waning.  So why visit Apple Hill in November?  Because November, for those very reasons,  just might be the perfect time to make that trip!

It’s true that many of the orchards and ranch’s close after Hallowen,  but there are still plenty that are open for business and doing a great job attracting visitors.  Instead of the BBQ’s, summer produce and cool drinks, you’ll find hot apple cider, fresh apple pies and pastries.  We’re calling this month at Apple Hill “Nourishing November” (not to be confused with non-fattening, mind you.)

Here’s what’s going on:

Abel’s Acres – still offering pony and horse rides on the weekends (weather permitting.)

Bavarian Hills – Winter Celebration and a warm, cozy restaurant.

Boa Vista Orchards– Cider Mill, grill open on weekends, arts and crafts fair through 11/20.

Denver Dan’s Apple Patch – Orchard tours, kids pie-making classes every Tues/Wed/Thurs at 10am and 2pm ($10 per child,) Apple Bavarian Torte tasing on 11/5-11/6, Pumpkin Roll tasting on 11/19-11/20.

El Dorado Orchards – Cider, train rides (weather permitting)

Fudge Factory Farm – stop in here for something a little different.  Chocolate, of course!  The Fudge Factory offers a “Create-a-Creature” treat for the kids.  Fun!

Grandpa’s Cellar – Offering FREE bakery treats to participants in the Apple Hill Harvest Run.

October Happenings At Apple Hill

By Alyssa Green

It’s peak season at Apple Hill…truly one of the best places to experience “the harvest” of the season here in Nor Cal.  As promised, here is our second installment of Fall happenings at Sacramento’s favorite Autumn gathering place. 

October 1 – Model A’s in Apple Hill – Drop by Apple Pantry Farm on Sunday from 12pm-2pm to for a FREE showing of restored 1928-1931 Model A’s.  While you are there, go ahead and try Apple Pantry’s yummy apple fritters.  Mmmm…

October 9 – Girl Scout Scarecrow Contest at Harris Tree Farm – Stop here and check out scarecrows made by the girlscouts.  FREE.  Don’t forget to pick up some fresh organic produce,  flowers and of course a pumpkin!

October 27-31 – Haunted Nature Trail at Grandpa’s Cellar – the usual Nature Trail turns haunted for the last five days of October.  Kids of all ages are invited on this tour.  When finished, stop in at the Country Store for all things “apple.”

October 29-30 – Syrup Tasting at Denver Dan’s Apple Patch – here you can sample a variety of syrups…over ice cream!  Once you have tasted them all, vote for your favorite.

October 29-30 – Trick-or-Treat Days at Apple Ridge Farms – FREE treat bags for the kiddos at this fun farm…in addition to the hay maze, nature trail, pumpkin patch, country store, crafters and petting farm.  A great place to stop with the little ones.

For a complete list of kid friendly activities, click here.