Apple Hill like a local

Apple Hill like a local

Ah, fall! Any leaves that haven't fallen are gorgeous with color.

Boxes of sweaters are brought out from the back of the closet and in California's capital, locals are dedicating an apple-filled weekend to go 'up the hill.' Apple Hill, that is. For visitors, this can seem like a daunting task. Which farm to visit? When to visit? Is it only for families? What about the dog? Don't worry, here's how to visit Apple Hill like a local.

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When should I go to Apple Hill?

June- December is a great time for Apple Hill! It really depends on what type of fruits, flowers or drinks you're looking for. Apple Hill Growers provides an incredibly useful calendar for each of the seasons. For our purposes, let's chat about Apple Hill in the fall- starting in September. Trust us, once you go, you will not want to leave.

grape vines

Who goes to Apple Hill?

Everyone. Literally, everyone. Young people, the young-at-heart, couples, groups of friends, kids, babies, dogs... Pro Tip #1- Bring a picnic basket when traveling with a two or four-legged child and visiting a winery. Most are family and dog-friendly in their deck/patio spaces. Leave room in the basket to shop for baked goods, syrups, and spices.

There are 19,455,024,034,829 farms and wineries (not really, but you get the idea). Which should I plan to visit?

Apple Hill Growers for the save, again! They have a printable map with all of their association members. Of course, there are several other places of interest, including wineries within the Sierra Foothill Wine Passport, available only to guests staying at a Rancho Cordova hotel. Pro Tip #2: Don't overwhelm yourself and try to go to more than 4 in a day. Take your time and enjoy each farm or winery for its unique offerings.

How do I get there?

To non-locals, this can seem tricky. That map offers quite a trail! From your Rancho Cordova hotel, take Highway 50 and exit either 48, 49, or 54. Only these exits will be open in October. You can take your car and park, especially if you plan on picking apples, pears, plums, or pumpkins. If you're more focused on light shopping, food & drink, then time to call a Lyft! New to Lyft? Use code RCTT for $5 off!

What about Covid-19?

Getting out in the fresh air is a great idea! Here are the key takeaways from the Covid-19 notice from Apple Hill Growers:

  • Wear a mask.
  • Social distancing is essential! Please stick with your household pod.
  • Make reservations! Each farm operates differently and will have a different contact for their u-pick, tastings, and access reservations.
  • Weekends in October are always busy at Apple Hill. Reservations, walk-ins, parking, and procedures may be different. Call ahead!

Our conclusion? Weekdays are best, but always call ahead and check the farm/wineries website for the latest guidelines.

About the Author
Leena Riggs

Leena Riggs