One of our first ever blog posts was a recap of our apple picking experience in Julian, CA. When we were living in San Diego we would head up to Julian every fall to go apple picking. The drive itself feels like something out of a movie and Julian is truly a one-of-a kind town complete with cider mills, wine tasting, and mini horses.
After moving to Los Angeles we put apple picking on the back burner, mainly because we didn’t know where the closest apple orchards were! After doing some research we found out that there are a few orchards in Oak Glen, CA that are open on the weekends. A couple weeks ago we decided to drive up to Oak Glen and check out some apple orchards.
When we got to Oak Glen we were greeted to a LINE of cars tying to get into the town. Yes, you read that right. There was a line of cars all the way back to the main drag. Traffic must come with the territory of only being open on the weekends. Originally we had wanted to go to Riley’s Apple Farm, since it’s the most popular orchard in the area. But we didn’t want to feel crowded so we decided to head over to Willowbrook Apple Farm.
We found out that Willowbrook is actually the smallest orchard in Oak Glen, but they were having their busiest year yet thanks to social media. We didn’t have to wait in line to pick apples and it wasn’t overly crowded, so we knew we made a good choice. There were actually a lot of apples trees to pick from, even though most of the apples were tiny. There were large (ish) bags available for $13 and small bags available for $8. The prices are steep but if you’ve ever had a freshly picked apple you KNOW how amazing they are, which makes them worth every penny.
Willowbrook also happened to have a donkey, mini horse, and giant bunny rabbit on display. If you know Carli and I personally you know that we are OBSESSED with mini horses. So to be able to pet one pretty much made our existence.
After we picked our apples we headed to the general store to purchase some apple butter and honey. Two things we can’t live without in the fall. Then we decided to indulge in some caramel apples. Willowbrook caramel apples are actually brilliant. They slice the apples in a bowl and then pour caramel and nuts over the top so it’s easier to eat. I prefer this method and refuse to go back to the sticky mess that is an original caramel apple.
The orchard also has a pressed cider machine that seemed like a lot of fun! The line was super long so we decided to skip it.
After our caramel apples we walked over to Riley’s to see what all the fuss was about. I will say, Riley’s is a HUGE orchard with a lot of activities but it was swarming with kids. I definitely prefer the quaint experience we got at Willowbrook.
Overall we were thrilled to finally be able to go apple picking again. It’s something different and fun to do that you can’t do all the time! While I do miss the town of Julian I will say that the orchards in Oak Glen are pretty amazing!
Where do you go apple picking?