Apple Hill is a group of orchards scattered along the hills in a community called Camino in Placerville, CA and are full of every kind of apple you would ever want or need. www.applehill.com.
Each one is an individual orchard and farm. Many of these orchards have their own harvest festivals and are only open from Labor Day on to the day before Christmas or so. Some orchards are even open year round. (You will want to look at the website to make sure the one you want to visit is open.) These festivals have local artists selling their wares and wonderful treats made from the freshest apples. I have picked my favorite three orchards to tell you about. It is a family treat when we visit them, and we do every year!
Please take a look at these two .pdf files. They are simple maps of the orchards and will give you a better visual on their locations.
Each orchard has a number designation. The ones we visit regularly are Able’s Apple Acres #38, Boa Vista Orchards #3, and El Dorado Orchards #19.
The first place we visit is called Able’s Apple Orchards. www.abelsappleacres.com.
This place is great. From the road, you see a hay maze and the ponies going around and around with happy kids riding them. Next to that you see a small pumpkin patch. At the entrance to the grounds, you can either go through their shop, that contains all of their apple products and clothing, or you can go to the far left and enter where all the craft booths are. Over here, there are not only artists selling their wares, but also huge bins full of apples! You can get your apples in 20 pound boxes. All you do it get a box and fill it with your favorite apples. You can mix and match and just have fun. This orchard also has a great lunch shack. It has the best smelling garlic fries I have ever sniffed! I vow to try them this year! The hot dogs are great and the burgers are, too. It is pricey, but definitely worth the memories. All the food at the shack is picnic and BBQ style, nothing fancy. It is great! After all the festivities here, Boa Vista Orchards is next in line.
Boa Vista Orchards is right down the road from Abel’s. www.boavista.com. It is bigger and has a lot more selection of apples. There are the same amount of craft booths, but there are a lot more varieties of apples here. They have a large store that they sell their different apple products and even fresh baked pies. They have apple butter, apple BBQ sauce, and of course, chocolate covered apples. The pies can be purchased baked or fresh and frozen to take home and bake. Right outside the warehouse sized store, they have bins and bins of different apples. It is really great to peruse all the varieties and then make your way over to the pie line. The reason I call it the pie line, is because everyone lines up at this little window to order the best pies around. You can even get them a la mode with homemade vanilla ice-cream.
We end our tour of Apple Hill with a trip out to El Dorado Orchards. www.applehill.com.
This is a sister orchard to Boa Vista and is very small. It is mainly craft booths and very little apples. The main attraction is the mini train that runs around to ponds. Our son loves trains, and this is the perfect way to end a perfect trip.
I recommend anyone in the area to visit Placerville and Apple Hill. Remember to check out the .pdf maps I have at the top of this article, and see which one best fits you and your family. They also have vineyards and Christmas tree farms!