Our family's cabin is in the Foothill Sierras. It's amazing in the summer heat, with the river out back, but my absolute favorite time of year to visit is in the fall. And that's mostly because of Apple Hill.
Apple Hill is a cluster of small farms near Placerville. Most are apple orchards, but there are also peaches, pumpkin patches and Christmas tree farms. They all open up to visitors on Labor Day weekend, and some stay open as late as Christmas.
Every farm offers something a little different - *U-pick* opportunities, hay rides, Halloween festivities, homemade baked goods, arts and craps crafts, train rides, picnicking, etc., etc. Total Americana - which is why I can't get enough of it.
Our favorite farm is High Hill Ranch, #1 on the farm tours map. This weekend you could find us there making candles, taking ponies for rides in circles, eating bbq chicken with apple (and marshmallow!) salad, and fishing for dinner.
I mean, come on...how cute is all that?!?
Above, some of the High Hill gals prep containers of their infamous marshmallow and caramel treats, to-go.
After an afternoon at the ranch, we drove the loop that takes you past most of the farms on Apple Hill. Bavarian Hills was already celebrating October-fest with traditional German tunes making their way out to the road. Larsen Apples, shown below, is closed on Saturdays, but I've always loved the look of the barn with gold and red apples painted on the side.
Denver Dan's has U-pick, which we did several years back. This year, we just stopped by for a quick look at their Alpacas.
Is it just me, or does my daughter's hair look like that of a blonde alpaca? ;)