Yes, you can go apple picking in southern California! We’ve been going for 3 years now. From west LA, it’s about an hour and a half to get to Yucaipa where a bunch of apple orchards are. The best time to visit is early September if the actual act of apple picking is what you’re looking to do. It depends on how the crop was for the year of course, but the closer you get to November, the less fruit there will be on the trees. The first time we went was November and it was chilly and beautiful (but no apples to pick).
We went in early October this year and it was 90 degrees and the only orchard with apples was Riley’s. We prefer Stone Pantry because we like supporting the mom and pop experience over the amusement park experience (Riley’s) but this year there were zero apples and they upped the price for making your own cider from $20 to $30 a gallon.
After apple picking we head to Snow Line Orchard for freshly made mini apple cider donuts and hard cider. We unfortunately picked a weekend where a festival was taking place, so the lines were long, but you can drink in line so it’s not so bad. The apple cider + brut mixes they had at the tasting room were nice after being in the hot sun.
So what did I do with my apples this year? We only picked about 8 of them, so I picked this easy fruit crumble recipe. I’m not a baker (I prefer to cook) but these guys came out pretty well.
Next year, we’re going to see what this mile high apple pie is about.