A is For Apple Picking in Julian: ALL The Orchards + Tips to Know Before You Go in 2021


(Updated 9/24/2021)

THE 2021 APPLE PICKING SEASON IS OVER EXCEPT for one place:


RANCHITA DEL REO - (a private orchard experience ;)

Opens 10/2/21 until Thanksgiving weekend! Hours: Sat-Tue 9-4

Click above for special details!



One of the first Fall traditions for many is Apple Picking in nearby Julian! This is a GREAT activity for kids to show them where food comes from and they can even pick their own apples right from the branch. Don’t forget your cameras and make sure they’re fully charged because there will be some cute photo ops in the orchards.


Check their socials and websites before you go to make sure they still have apples left on the tree! ;)

When you've got all the apples you can carry, come back here to turn them into the Best Apple Pie In The Universe (yes I'm giving away my grandma's homemade recipe and the secret is in the crust!) and Apple Raisin Muffins.



COVID Updates: Check with each place directly for their safety protocols, but be prepared to wear face masks at all entry points and when you can't socially distance from other households.


WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE GOING APPLE PICKING

Since you're driving all the way out there, you'll want to make sure you know what to expect so you can have the best apple picking experience. Plan ahead to make sure apples are still left, bring some water & bug spray, wear closed toed shoes and send the kids to use the bathroom before you start picking. Read on for more tips to help make this a fun day for everyone.

WHEN TO GO:

Go early in the season before the apples run out and go early in the day before it gets too hot. Apple season runs until the end of Sept or early Oct and even though it's "Fall", it usually feels like hot summer days.

Make sure their apples are ripe before you go - they’ll usually announce it either on their websites, facebook or instagram pages.

VARIETIES:

Each of them have different apple varieties as well, so if you’re an apple connoisseur or want to pick those Galas or Gravensteins, check to see which orchards have what you want to pick. I made note of the apple varieties for each orchard below, but it may change. ;)

WHAT ELSE IS THERE:

Check with each orchard first to find out which one you’re interested in because some even have pears, berries & pumpkins to pick!

ORGANIC:

There are only a few certified ORGANIC Orchards, others are in the process of getting organic certified, some don’t spray their trees & some don’t mention anything. I’ve noted this info below for each orchard, so if that matters to you then be sure to take note.

COSTS:

Apple picking costs a bit more than what you’d pay for at the grocery store, but it’s worth it to have the experience and memories with your kids. Costs vary from $5, $12, $13, $25 for about 5 lbs.

WHAT TO BRING:

LOTS of water (see note above about summer weather), snacks, hats & sunscreen; these are always at the top of my list! But also wear sensible shoes like sneakers (not flip flops or sandals) to walk the orchards in, bring a picnic lunch, blanket (some places have picnic tables) and cash because that’s all that most apple picking places will accept. Except for nowadays some only accept cards so plan to bring both, but also check before you go.

EAT FIRST:

After 1.5 hours in the car the kids will need to eat before they go apple picking, or it could be disastrous. Stop in Julian at one of the cafes b