By Cicero A. Estrella
In need of a quick day-trip from the Bay Area? Or perhaps you’re looking for an activity on the way up to—or on the way down from—Lake Tahoe?
Then Apple Hill is the place to go.
Situated off Highway 50 in the Camino and Placerville areas of El Dorado County, the Apple Hill community consists of more than 50 local, family farms, many of which are open to the public.
As the name implies, apples are at the centerpiece—apple pies, caramel apples, donuts, fritters, butter, salad dressing, cider, beer, wine and more are available for purchase. But Apple Hill has expanded to much more since its founding by 16 apple ranchers in 1964.
The area is also now known for its wineries, Christmas tree farms, bed and breakfasts and wedding venues.
Visitors can drive Apple Hill’s winding, two-lane roads and drop in on dozens of ranches, each offering something different. There are family- and kid-friendly activities such as face-painting, hiking, farm mazes, pond fishing, picnicking and pony and horse rides.
For the adults, there are wine-tastings, craft fairs and flower gardens.
Quaint roadside markets offer locally grown fruits and vegetables, baked goods, cider, locally bottled condiments and more. And there are plenty of meal options, most notably barbecue stands.
If you go, bring your appetite—and your sweet tooth.
For more information, visit applehill.com.
Photos by Pati Navalta