Fall is truly one of the most magical times of the year. It means cozy sweaters, roaring fires, and all things apple and pumpkin. One of the most autumny activities is a trip to a nearby farm, where you can pick your own apples, go on a hayride, pet farm animals, and pick out the perfect pumpkin for your front porch.
Apple Hill Farms is the ultimate destination for the above mentioned fall rituals, in addition to so much more. And better yet, they have something going on throughout every season! However, fall is their most popular and busy season, so it’s a great time to visit if you haven’t already.
At Apple Hill Farms, you’ll find a huge variety of apple and fruit farms, bake shops, wineries, a spa, flower gardens, wedding spots, berry farms, and Christmas tree groves. Explore their winding roads and scenic beauty that has been a destination for families for over 50 years!
To make the overwhelming task of visiting Apple Hill during the fall a little less daunting, use our guide to narrow down your desired activities, depending on the specific needs of your family.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
Apple Hill Farms is comprised of a network of over 50 farms spaced out all over the Placerville region. As each farm offers a variety of features, attractions and special produce, you will never run out of things to do at Apple Hill Farms. In fact, the main trouble you’ll have is narrowing down what you can include in a day’s visit, which is exactly why we created this guide!
WHERE CAN I PICK APPLES?
While the farms at Apple Hill provide a number of activities during the fall, apple picking is one of the most popular reasons for a visit, which can be inferred from the name!
There are several apple farms that grow fresh apples, available to purchase or to pick straight from the tree yourself. Either way, you’re guaranteed to get some of the freshest and juiciest apples around, perfect for turning into apple cider, baking an apple pie, or simply sinking your teeth into!
There are a myriad of fall activities available at the farms, from drinking farm-fresh apple cider to picking the perfect pumpkin. While several Apple Hill farms grow pumpkins, these are a handful of the best for your pumpkin-pickin’ adventure:
Bluestone Meadow is growing five varieties of pumpkins this year, including their most successful Challenger Pumpkins, which have deep ribbing, a long and thick green sturdy handle and a dark orange color, ranging from 20–26 pounds. Bluestone Meadow can be found here.
Cardinini’s Pumpkin Patch is an authentic pumpkin patch, where you can cut your own pumpkin straight from the vine in their 6-acre field featuring several varieties of carving and specialty pumpkins! Don’t forget a trip through their corn maze for the full fall experience. Cardinini’s Pumpkin Patch can be found here.
Mill View Ranch hosts an enormous pumpkin patch, which grows in size each year (no pun intended). With so many other fall elements on site, like pies, jams, apples, popcorn balls, a live scarecrow and more, this is the perfect destination for picking pumpkins! Mill View Ranch can be found here.
O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch has a 3-acre pumpkin patch featuring pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. All of their pumpkins are ready for you to cut off the vine to turn into a jack-o-lantern or decorate your home with! O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch can be found here.
Use Apple Hill Farms’ convenient Farm Finder to locate a farm you’re interested in. In fact, you can filter your search by apples, bake shops, Christmas trees, flowers, food, gifts/crafts, kids’ activities, other fruits, pumpkins, spas, u-pick farms, and wineries!
WHAT ACTIVITIES DO THE FARMS HAVE SPECIFICALLY FOR KIDS?
While arguably any destination is suitable for children (besides the wineries and spa), there are several activities specifically geared towards kids. Check out their lengthy collection of farms the kids are sure to enjoy, featuring all sorts of activities from scavenger hunts to gold panning and corn mazes to pony rides!
As can be predicted, weekends during the fall are quite busy at the farms. If your schedule allows, consider visiting the farm during the week, especially if you have little ones who aren’t in school yet — or don’t have little ones at all! Otherwise, consider following the farmers’ lead and getting to the farms early in the morning order to beat the mid-day crowds.
It’s also important to keep in mind that each farm follows a different schedule, so make sure you check their hours of operation before your visit!
WHICH WINERIES CAN I VISIT?
If you’re after a relaxing kid-free activity at Apple Hill, want to embark on a romantic date, or simply desire to unwind after an afternoon spent picking apples, a visit to one of the area’s wineries is your answer. And thankfully, they are not in short supply.
Boeger Winery is open daily year-round from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This picture-perfect winery rests on a historic homestead with a breathtaking backdrop. Boeger was founded in 1972, and is the oldest commercial winery in El Dorado! Stop by their intimate tasting room to sample some quality wine in a historic setting.
Fenton Herriott Vineyards is a Placerville winery with a long-standing passion for exceptional wine. Their attention to detail from grape to glass is evident with each sip. Stop by to experience this first-hand from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. any day of the week, year-round.
Sample Lava Cap Winery’s wines in their tasting room then enjoy a picnic in the gardens overlooking their vineyard. Sip on their premium estate bottled wines, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Barbera and Syrah. Lava Cap is daily open all year long from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You sure did! Time Out Spa and Resort is the perfect place to rejuvenate your body after a long day spent on the farms — or a long week at work! Indulge with a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, or any of the spa’s additional luxurious pampering services. Book your appointment, keeping in mind that Time Out is closed on Mondays, open on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and open Friday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.