California Local Edition: Fall in Apple Hill
I’m a tad biased when I proclaim that California is one of the best states in the U.S.. Sure, I was raised here, went to school here, and have lived all over the northern part of this fair state, but it’s truly my happy place. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, and trust me, I’ve tried to. Yet, some of my favorite things about California are the hidden destinations tucked away in our large state. Today, I’ll be discussing a family-friendly fall activity and every basic girl’s heaven: Apple Hill Growers. I know, I can hear you shaking in your Ugg boots.
WTF is Apple Hill & how do I get there?
Welcome to Apple Hill in Placerville, CA, a place that everyone in Northern California knows about, but nobody else in the world would recognize. Wandering the rows of pumpkin patches and apple orchards is a pastime myself and thousands of others have come to love. The peak season begins the first weekend of September and ends in early November.
To get here, you will need to have access to a car. If you are an out-of-towner, fly into Sacramento International Airport and hit the road. It should take you about an hour to get there. I’d suggest staying in South Lake Tahoe for the weekend, which isn’t far away from Apple Hill. Spend the day at the farms and continue on your way to the mountains. The farms close at 5pm, and the road to South Lake Tahoe is fairly difficult to drive, so best to avoid the road at night.
Which ranches should I be basic in?
Apple Hill is divided into 40+ farms spanning acres upon acres of countryside making choosing the most fall-as-f*!k farm somewhat stressful. Start at High Hill Ranch, at the outer edge of the farms. Luckily you can put individual farm names into Google Maps, and it will direct you to where you want to go. High Hill Ranch is one of the bigger farms in Apple Hill, with an expansive area for kids to play (and stay away from you...), an adorable shop with homemade pies, a craft fair, rows of apple orchards, an indoor/outdoor farmers market, and an area to purchase apple fritters and apple flavored doughnuts. Can life get any sweeter?
In case you did not notice, my body does not fit well onto Abel's Acres buckets. Nobody looks more uncomfortable than myself in the above photo. However, this is another great ranch with a bigger selection of pie (a necessary food group during the fall months) and a shmorgishborg of pumpkins. You'll have the opportunity to take some pumpkin patch photos as well as use the word shmorgishborg in a sentence!
Surprisingly, the craft fair actually has some great rustic and vintage pieces you can pick up for your apartment or home. Usually "craft" fair means "crap" fair, but in the case of Abel's Acres, that is false, my friends.
This next stop is off the beaten path. Hit up Jack Russell Brewery, because what better way is there to wash down some sweet treats than by having a beer flight and hot dog? The beer selection is indicative of the fall theme -- filled with oatmeal stouts, pumpkin ales, and strong blondes. Expert tip: the All American tastes like Pabst Blue Ribbon, so don’t get that, but the Apple Ale and India Pale Ale are totally worth it.
Adjacent to the brewery are local food stands boasting hot dogs that go from great to amazing once you’ve got a really good buzz on. Want to continue the party? There is a "cave" winery on the other side of the building and a field full of alpacas. There is truly no experience like drunkenly infiltrating a petting zoo.
Don’t be fooled by the name of the last must-see place on my list, you will want to head to Kids Inc. for the view alone. It backs up to a vineyard where you can catch some beautiful falls leaves heading into late October. Kids Inc. is a perfect destination to pick pumpkins or maybe sit at a picnic table while admiring the grounds. A perfect place to wind down after a full day of being a basic bitch.
What is your favorite ranch? Feeling inspired for fall? If a girl in fall drops her pumpkin spice latte and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
All questions you will find out by visiting the best kept secret in Northern California.
Copy Edited by Hillary Hill all rights reserved