Oak Glen is an adorable apple growing area in Southern California about 90 minutes from Los Angeles and Palm Springs. It sits within a 5 mile loop where you can find orchards for apple picking, beautiful New England scenery and lots of lil’ shops + diners to get ALL the apple goodies your tastebuds need!
Because this quaint country-style town is a mile high in elevation, you will find it about 10-15 degrees cooler than its surrounding So Cal valleys. Which also means, you get actual FALL colors when you visit in Autumn (not always possible when in So Cal)!
You can visit year round, but the Fall/Autumn season is definitely the best! Between Labor Day weekend and Thanksgiving weekend you can pick your own apples, pumpkins, or raspberries, press your own cider and enjoy live entertainment (there are a few lil’ hiking trails too).
Tony, my main squeeze, and I, took the motorcycle up on a Sunday morning to see what this place had to offer…and it was just as adorable as I imagined!
Here are the must-dos when taking an Autumn day trip to Oak Glen, California:
Get an apple cider donut (and some wine?!) from Snow-Line Orchards
Be sure here to get to Snow-Line Orchard early, because a line out the door forms for the apple cider donuts – yup, you read that right…DONUTS (we instantly regretted only getting a 1/2 mini dozen donuts…be sure to order wayyyy more)! 🙂
We grabbed our donuts + apple cider and sat outside in the lovely picnic area surrounded by their berry bushes (they have u-pick raspberries). Inside the shop you can sample their apples, artisan balsamics + oils AND even some wine (farm made wine and hard cider). Snow-Line Orchard is a must visit stop for sure!
See the critters at Parrish Pioneer Ranch
Parrish Pioneer Ranch is on a huge plot of land complete with a BBQ cafe, picnic grounds, antique shops, a live pirate stunt show for the kiddos, merchant shop (IE apple butter, jams, jellies etc), they also have a lil’ wine tasting area, an art gallery AND my fav…some local farm animals aka CRITTERS!
They have pygmy goats, very entertaining alpacas, a miniature donkey and miniature horse. In addition to the livestock there are emu, a variety of chickens, turkeys, and peafowl. (Also, on your drive up to Oak Glen from Yucaipa there is a farm that has highland cattle! Omg they are so cute and fluffy! #critterobsessed)
Get breakfast at Apple Annie’s and/or lunch at Oak Glen Steakhouse + Saloon
We had a simple, yummy breakfast at Apple Annie’s Restaurant + Bakery in the front of the Oak Glen Village. They don’t take names, instead you stand in line waiting for a table and the line can get really long! Also, check out their bakery…they have a 5 pound “mile-high” homemade apple pie that you can take home for later. Nom nom nom!
The Oak Glen Steakhouse + Saloon offers an awesome Sunday brunch buffet (bottomless champagne and prime rib style) and their saloon menu is perfect for lunch all the other days. It is also down the road from the busy crowds at the Village so it is a nice lil’ break.
Shop in the adorable lil’ boutiques
There are a ton of lil’ shops in the Oak Glen Village, and if visiting on the weekend there will be a small street fair in the parking lot right before the Village. Turquoise Pueblo was one of my fav shops, with southwestern and native american inspired goodies, rocks and gems (you can never have enough gems 😉 ).
Picnic under the Autumn leaves + enjoy live music
Many of the orchards offer picnic grounds and offer live music on the weekends. Los Rios Rancho has both! Grab some a blanket + some apple treats at your fav bakery/orchard and enjoy the fall colors of this cozy lil’ town (they also have hay rides, a corn maze, petting zoo and horseback riding here).
Pick Apples (etc) at one of the u-pick farms
Click on each orchard’s link to view their u-pick pricing and deets:
- Riley’s Apple Farm (u-pick apples)
- Snow-Line Orchard (u-pick raspberries)
- Los Rios Rancho (u-pick apples, raspberries, strawberries and pumpkins)
- Stone Soup Farm + Heritage Orchard (u-pick apples, blackberries and pumpkins)
Stuff I didn’t get to, but will next time FOR SURE:
Here are the things I didn’t get a chance to do, but have it on the list for next time bc I heard GREAT things:
- Eat at Hawk’s Head at Riley’s Farms (it is closed on Sundays, and I was super bummed…check out their menu here)
- Visit on Thanksgiving weekend to partake in the Apple Butter Festival
- Make your own cider on a vintage press
Top tips for Visiting Oak Glen in Autumn (aka peak season):
- It gets SUPER crowded on the weekends, so have a plan of the top 2-3 activities you want to do and get there early
- The mountain climate is unpredictable so definitely layer (I had 2 jackets on in the morning and was down to a t-shirt by afternoon)
- Bring your own reusable bags if you plan on apple picking (and wearing closed toe shoes and long pants is suggested)
- Bring a picnic lunch and grab some extras/treats at the orchard’s merchant shops (you will save $ and avoid long lines)
- Make sure to purchase a few homemade pies to take home with you for Thanksgiving (everyone noted that they freeze well)…Tony and I were on the motorcycle so unfortunately we weren’t able to bring treats home on this trip #gottagobacksoon
Oh and if you’re visiting from far away they do have lodging in Oak Glen for you: Oak Glen Retreat + RV Park, there are some places listed on AirBnb, and I was told there is “glamping” available as well.
Thanks for reading, I hope you have a FUN trip to Oak Glen! Please let me know if you find any spots I need to check out next time!
*Happy Apple Picking* -Amy