I have always loved fall. Sweaters, boots, pumpkin spice latte in hand — it’s a beautiful sight.
There’s a direct correlation between enjoying fall activities and the temperature outside. So, with temperatures finally in the low 70s, my brain has shifted to thoughts of pumpkin patches and apple picking.
Living in Florida for 22 years has trained my brain to believe there are only 2 seasons: summer and a slightly less humid version of summer. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Southern California isn’t that different from Florida (except for the humidity part, of course). Although this may be true for some, for this Florida native, Los Angeles’ weather offers the perfect dose of fall.
‘Tis the Season
To celebrate the official start of “sweater weather,” we decided to leave the city behind and go apple picking! We set our sights on Oak Glen, which is about 2 hours east of LA and known for its ranches and orchards — AKA the perfect place to fulfill my fall fantasies.
Bring it on Oak Glen, bring it on.
Riley’s (Apple) Farm
I made it my mission to find the absolute best apples each tree had to offer. I would accept nothing less. I was both mentally and physically prepared to go to any length to get the perfect apple.
With picker in hand, we embarked on our journey.
The farms around the Oak Glen area offered well-known table varieties such as Fuji and Red Delicious, but also produced a large number of Winesap apples as well. As we learned, although they’re a bit smaller than your typical grocery store apples, the Winesap varieties can keep up to 3 months if stored properly and are great for baking.
In the spirit of “anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” we picked about 7 pounds of apples #sorrynotsorry.
The Search for the Perfect Pumpkin
I have been to many different pumpkin patches, but none where you can actually pick your own pumpkin straight off the vine. It doesn’t get more fall than that.
As an added bonus, since the orchards are actually nestled in the San Bernardino Mountains, the views are incredible. The clear blue sky and luscious mountainside make for the perfect photo shoot backdrop.
After about 20 minutes of some very intense searching, we found the perfect pumpkin to take home (we named him Gerald).
We only stayed in the immediate area surrounding Riley’s Apple Farm, which gave us a full day of fall activities. However, all of Oak Glen Road is filled with other orchards, ranches and farms to explore. If you’re planning a visit, I’d suggest checking out the Oak Glen website to help plan your day! Each area has unique offerings, so it’s definitely worth the time to click around to see what you’re interested in doing.
If you have never gone apple picking, I highly recommend it. It was a great way to spend the entire day outdoors, and an even better excuse to try all those new apple-themed Pinterest recipes I’d been hoarding since spring. Fresh apple pie, apple cider and apple butter, here I come!
Have a favorite apple recipe? Share it in the comments below!