Today’s thirteen is about Apple Hill and why I love to visit it every autumn. What is Apple Hill?
The Apple Hill® Growers Association, located in Camino, CA, was once a fledgling association comprised of 16 original ranches. Today it boasts more than 50 ranches including Christmas tree growers, wineries, a micro-brewery, Spa and vineyards.
Come to the Apple Hill® ranches and find a day filled with old-fashioned fun. Plan a picnic on the lush land that surrounds these exciting ranches. Their doors are open and the growers have gone the extra mile to ensure your family a day that they will remember.
You can read about the history of Apple Hill here. It’s a wonderful part of California history, and if you’re ever in the area you should visit.
13 Things I Love About Apple Hill
- The petting zoos. Yes, I admit that I’m a still a child at heart, and I love the petting zoos. There are so many neat animals there, including my favorites, pygmy goats. They’re so adorable with their little knobby knees! One day I’d love to own a couple, maybe even a larger goat and learn to make goat cheese and soap.
- Crafts. They’re everywhere. You can buy all sorts of crafts, from magnets made with flour dough to blown glass created in front of your eyes.
- The Fudge Factory. This is an adorable little candy store located at High Hill Ranch. I love the fudge they make on site. They have so many goodies it’s hard to settle on just one!
- The food. Yum! It’s everywhere. Fresh kettle corn, apple pie, apple crisp, apple donuts, apple bread, just about anything you can make with apples is available. Chinese Chicken wraps, hamburgers, teriyaki steak sandwiches…there’s something for everyone. And if you want to picnic, there are plenty of places to do that, including Grandpa’s Cellar, which has a beautiful orchard covered with green grass and plenty of shade.
- The scenic drive. There’s nothing as pretty as driving on winding country roads in the foothills on a Saturday. Most people visit the ranches near Highway 50, so the backroads are generally not too busy, which suits me just fine.
- Time with my mom. I always visit Apple Hill with my mom once each autumn, and it’s always enjoyable. My sister and her kids used to go too, but my sister is of the opinion that the kids get too bored with it. Maybe they do, but I don’t think so 😛
- Getting out of town. Yeah! Getting out of the house and doing something that’s simple and enjoyable. No housework involved.
- Home made jams and jellies. There’s a woman who sells the best homemade jams and jellies at Bolster’s Hilltop Ranch, and she always has samples available. Candy Apple jelly is tasty, and the White Zinfandel jelly is interesting.
- Train ride. There’s a small train at El Dorado Orchard, and when my niece and nephew came along, we always rode that train. It goes around a small pond with quite a few ducks and geese.
- Pony rides. Again, this is something that I did with my niece and nephew. There’s a pony ride across the street from El Dorado Orchard, where the ponies are led along a trail as the kids get a ride, and straw cowboy hats are available for a low price. There’s also a pony ride at High Hill, but it’s one where the ponies are tied to a ‘merry-go-round’ and can only go around in a circle. Poor ponies 😦
- Fresh air. Ahhhhh…I love it! We’re above the dirty air in the valley, so it’s fresh and clean. Aromas of food fill the air…barbeque, grilling, apples, cinnamon…mmmmmm.
- Music. There are musicians playing at some of the orchards. My favorite is a couple that play at High Hill. They play wonderful celtic music, just perfect for a trip to Apple Hill.
- The apples! I can’t forget those 🙂 There are so many unusual varieties available at Apple Hill. My favorite is Arkansas Black, a dark red apple with a tart taste.
And there you have this week’s Thursday Thirteen 🙂
I’ll be posting more about Apple Hill in the next couple of weeks. This Saturday I’ll be going there with my mom and I’ll be sure to take plenty of photos and get more specific information about the celtic artist couple who perform at High Hill.
Be sure to read other Thursday Thirteen blog entries at this link.