Fall in Apple Hill

If you happen to be in the Sacramento area this fall, you should take a day trip up to Placerville and visit Apple Hill. We had a wonderful time spending a day in early September on just a few of the orchards. Our dear friends that live in the area showed us around and took us to a few great spots. I’ll be sharing what we did and loved, and what we will be going back for next year!

To skip the narrative, scroll to the bottom for my tips on how to do Apple Hill with kids.

Stop 1: Denver Dan’s

We decided we would do a little apple picking to kick off our day of apple fun! Denver Dan’s was a great orchard that allowed you to pick and taste as you explore the many different types of apples grown on their land. They also have a really quaint little store/warehouse with all kinds of apple goodness for sale, plus a station where kids can peel and spiral cut an apple with the help of one of Denver Dan’s staff. Here are just a few of the pics of our time at Denver Dan’s.

Grab a bucket and get picking… only keep an eye on how much you and the kids pick because the apples are not cheap! However, it’s totally worth the experience. 🙂
Denver Dan’s had lots of different types of apple which made it really fun for us to see and taste the differences!
It was very cool to be given permission to taste freely. Bridget loved the pink apples.
However, keep an eye on your kiddos. Kellan seemed to think that crabapples were delicious and was snacking on them like they were candy. When I found him going to town on these little sour apples I had to stop him from eating anymore, but it was too late. He woke up the next morning with a very sour tummy and we are pretty sure it was due to this little sour feast.
One of the highlights at Denver Dan’s was helping peel, spiralize, and then eat the entire slinky apple!

Stop 2: Rainbow Orchard

At this point we were craving some apple treats, so off to Rainbow Orchard for the acclaimed “best apple cider donuts” on Apple Hill. Now, we didn’t try any other donuts on this trip so I cannot verify the title, but man…. these donuts were absolutely amazing! Warm, sugary, and full of flavor! Like seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking about them.

Are you drooling with me?
Along with the fantastic donuts, the kids loved running around the hay bale maze. The grown-ups were actually able to relax and chat at a picnic table and just watch the kids play. It was lovely.
Along with all of the fun farm stuff to explore and climb on, there was also a store full of more apple goodness!

Stop 3: High Hill Ranch

We almost skipped this behemoth of Apple Hill because it is apparently crazy busy later in the fall season, but it wasn’t bad at all on the day we went. This ranch is surrounded by beautiful, tall pine trees and is full of vendors to keep the whole family happy. There are also multiple places to get lunch. We went for BBQ hotdogs but there were lots of yummy choices to please everyone!

There were also photo ops around every corner. Our favorite was the giant hanging apple!
And what is a visit to Apple Hill without apple pie? There were all different types of apple pie and they were available sliced or whole, warm or cold, and baked or raw (to be bakes at home). Get it exactly how you like!
The pony ride was a huge hit with the kids!
There is even a fishing pond. We weren’t into fishing it but it added to the pretty foothill scene.
If you couldn’t guess, this was not an inexpensive day out… but the kids had a great time with their new friends, we had a blast with our old friends, and we all enjoyed the apple goodness and extra special treats… including these amazing balloon creations: Spiderman, Kitty, Horsey, and Thomas the Train.

What You Need to Know for Your Trip to Apple Hill

  1. Remember sunscreen for the kids and YOU! There is a lot of time in the direct sunlight. We took care of the kids but forgot to spray ourselves and our necks got pretty burned.
  2. You will be walking through orchards with loose dirt that makes a mess of feet and shoes. Wear something comfy that you don’t mid getting dirty. Kellan and I wore sandals and we had to wash our feet as soon as we got back to the house.
  3. Bring cash! There are some places that take credit cards and there was an ATM at High Hill Ranch, but cash was a lot easier to deal with and was needed for some of the vendors and attractions.
  4. Don’t eat too many apples… especially if they aren’t ripe! Tummy aches will follow.
  5. Plan your visit. There are over 50 local, family farms that offer their own twist and experience. Get an idea of where you would like to visit and map it before you go! There is also an app to help plan your visit and navigate while there! We were being lead by friends that knew the area but if we were doing it on our own, this would have been really helpful!

Hope you are enjoying some early fall fun wherever you may be! Come join us on Instagram for the Fall Bucket List Challenge! #fallwandering2019

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