Apple Hill, located in Placerville, is a fun family-friendly area. Known for several apple orchards, pumpkin patches, wineries, and tree farms, it’s a popular destination for folks looking to escape Sacramento’s heat. It’s also a great pitstop for those traveling from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe or Sly Lake. Take a quick stop, grab some wines, pick some apples, and stock up on some apple donuts for your car ride!
Seriously. It’s worth it.
Meg and I visited on a weekday. We were hopeful we’d avoid heavy traffic. On popular weekends, the exit to Apple Hill can be backed up with bumper-to-bumper traffic. Luckily, Meg and I avoided heavy traffic by traveling on a Monday.
We weren’t sure which farm to visit first (there are so many orchards in Apple Hill- check them out here), but we decided to stop at the most popular and renowned farm: High Hill Ranch. This place has it all: apple cider, apple donuts, apple pies, apple wines, and caramel apples. They even have barbecue stands, pumpkin patches, crafts, and even a cute little fishing pond.
But, if we’re being honest, Meg and I came here for strictly for the apple donuts.
Next, we drove over to Denver Dan’s Apple Orchard. This place gets great reviews, and we couldn’t wait to get our apple picking on. Plus, after loading the kids up with sugar and more sugar, we thought this would be a great opportunity for them to run around.
The attendants are super sweet and the orchard is organized by apple variety. We were given an apple picker and a bucket; however, I’m pretty sure we missed the best apples. The apples were slim pickings, and by the time we left, Meg and I each only had one bag of small, sad looking apples. But, the kids said the apples tasted good, so that’s a win. Plus, it was too hot to explore all the different apple trees at Denver Dans, so we headed over to our next stop.
Our last stop took us to Apple Ridge Farms. And this was probably the best farm for the kids. They had a blast. We bought admission to the corn maze, and let them loose in it. Since we arrived on a weekday, there weren’t other kids in the maze and we could stand on a haystack and peer into the maze to keep tabs on everyone.
Then, we headed over and purchased a giant bag of gem-mining sand, which the kids shared. They found tons of fun rocks and were thrilled.
Plus, we got a cute “I gem mined at Apple Ridge Farms” sticker. Whoo – hoo!
Meg and I really wanted a barbecue sandwich, but after spending several hours in the heat navigating 5 kids, we were too tired to wait in line. We wrapped up our trip and headed home, but we plan on coming back and checking out other farms!
A few things to keep in mind…
- Before heading out, check Google traffic to gauge traffic conditions.
- Stock up on gas before you get to Apple Hill, since the gas prices there are pretty steep.
- Bring sunblock and plenty of water if you go on a hot day.
- Stash some wet wipes, because between apple picking, caramel apples, and dust, wet wipes were invaluable.
- When you return home with your bounty of apples and need a recipe for them, check out our Caramel Apple Charcuterie Board!