Friday, October 2, 2009

Apple Hill

It is that time of year again when everyone in the Sacramento region makes the trip to Apple Hill. We had only lived here for about two years before we realized that we were completely missing out on something big by not heading up there. It seemed like everyone we talked to had been there or was just heading up there throughout the entire month of October - many even taking multiple trips throughout the month. What is this place that all of Sacramento is taking this pilgrimage to we asked? Is it just one location or many? Can you pick your own apples? These plus many other questions were quickly answered after our first outing. Now 5 years later we kind of feel like we understand the whole Apple Hill thing and we along with the rest of Sacramento take the trip up in Early October each year. My best tip I can give you regarding Apple Hill is try to go on a weekday. The weekends tend to get very crowded, but if that is the only time you can go then you should still make the trek, just be prepared to be amongst many people.
There are many locations all throughout the entire area of Apple Hill. The fun begins just past the town of Placerville and winds throughout the country side for quite awhile. It would take me forever to list everyplace so instead I will direct you to the Apple Hill webpage which lists all of the information on the ranches, wineries and growers and all that they have to offer. Click on this Apple Hill growers button and it will take you to all the information you could ever need:

Here are just a few of our favorite places and activities up on the hill:

High Hill Ranch
This is by far one of the most popular destinations in all of Apple Hill. They have food, pumpkins, produce, baked goods (my husband's favorite), a fudge shop and oh yes APPLES, APPLES and more APPLES. They also offer a craft fair and our favorite a small fishing pond that is stocked with jumping fish. We have never paid to actually try our hand at the fishing but our girls absolutely love sitting on the grass watching the fish as they jump out of the water.

Boa Vista
One of our favorite spots to stop for a homemade pie to take home with us to bake at a later time. The produce is wonderful here too and they have an apple cider press that is fun to watch.

Apple Picking
A few of the growers offer apple picking. It is always a lot of fun to go out into the orchard to pick your own.

It is our tradition to stop in Placerville on the way home to pick up some individual pot pies from Z Pie. They offer all kinds of unique sweet and savory pot pies that are to do die for. I love to pick up at least a half dozen so I can pull them out of my freezer for last minute dinners during the cooler months. They also offer a small dining area if you just can't wait until you get home to try them out.

Lastly my girls love to bring home a little bit of Apple Hill each year for our neighbors and their teachers. We always try to buy or pick a large quantity of an extra yummy variety of apple and then put them in baskets to disperse among our friends. Because truly there is NOTHING better than an extra crisp and sweet apple straight from the orchard!

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