farms california
Credit: Robyn Ukegawa

6 Local Farms in Southern California Where You Can Pick Your Own Fruit

Get One With Nature at the Farm by Picking Your Own Fruit

Ready for some farm-fresh fun? There’s no better way to appreciate Southern California’s agricultural bounty than by taking part in your local farm’s U-Pick tours. Not only does picking your own fruit provide a direct connection to the source, thereby fostering a deeper appreciation for its production, but it also allows you to select ripe, high-quality fruits at their peak flavor. Picking fruit yourself will only make it taste better. Plus, U-Pick tours are a great way for your family and friends to support local farms, strengthen the local economy and help preserve green spaces within the community. Here are six places to go in SoCal where you can pick your own fruit!

 

Carlsbad Strawberry Company

U-Pick: Strawberries (Spring/Summer)

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Best Local Farms in Southern California
Credit: Robyn Ukegawa

Run by the Ukegawa family for four generations, Carlsbad Strawberry Company is known for its luscious strawberries–-rosy red, plump and ripe for the picking. They are also known for providing an opportunity for visitors to select fresh fruit during the harvest season. After strawberry season, visitors can enjoy the summer through fall seasons by strolling through fields of lavender and sunflowers, a pumpkin patch and a corn maze. The farm also offers animal attractions during certain seasons and often features different vendors and fun events. 

Local Insight: Aside from its reputation for its strawberries and seasonal happenings, Carlsbad Strawberry Company is deeply involved in its community. They make generous produce donations to families in North County San Diego throughout the year.

Location: Carlsbad

 

Tanaka Farms

U-Pick: Strawberries (Spring/Summer), Sunflowers (Summer/Fall), Produce (Fall) 

Best Local Farms in Southern California
Credit: Tanaka Farms

Tanaka Farms is a beloved, family-owned farm in Irvine that has been operating since 1940. With its promotion of environmental service and community education, it has become a local institution for connecting with the land and learning about sustainable farming practices.

The farm boasts a variety of seasonal crops with tons of festive events that celebrate the bounty. In the spring, farm visitors can pick their own juicy strawberries and return in the summer for U-Pick sunflowers and a tasty watermelon tour. In the fall, guests enjoy the much-anticipated pumpkin patch and a U-Pick veggie harvest. In addition to these festivities, Tanaka Farms also hosts a U-Pick wagon ride throughout the year where you can pick whatever produce is in season. Then, stick around for farm-to-table cookouts, cooking classes and demos.

Location: Irvine

10/10

 

Willowbrook Apple Farm

U-Pick: Apples (Fall)

Willowbrook Apple Farm
Credit: Ryan Arnst

If your idea of the perfect fall outing includes slipping into a cozy sweater and walking through a beautiful apple orchard, head over to Willowbrook Apple Farm for its annual U-Pick apple harvest season! Owned by a husband-and-wife team, this charming orchard offers the opportunity to pick crisp, juicy apples straight from the trees. Visitors can also take part in the U-Press apple cider experience that’s good to the last drop.

With its idyllic setting and warm hospitality, Willowbrook Apple Farm provides guests with a true taste of autumn in the heart of California. Although apple season is limited to fall, the orchard offers fun events throughout the year, including summer camp for kids ages 4 through 12 and wine tastings (with s’mores!) for adults 21 and older.

Location: Yucaipa

Azure Palm Hot Springs

 

Temecula Berry Co.

U-Pick: Blueberries (Spring) 

Temecula Berry Co
Credit: Vince Fleming

Known for its flavorful and delicious blueberries, Temecula Berry Co. has established itself as a must-visit destination for SoCal berry lovers. Nestled within a scenic landscape, this family-owned farm boasts an abundant harvest of blueberries (typically starting in May) and invites visitors to pick their own blueberries. They also offer a selection of farm-fresh blueberry products. In other words, it’s the perfect way to celebrate berry season!

After opening in the late ’90s, the Graesser Family has planted and cared for 10 acres of Southern Highbush blueberries, showing their care and commitment to local Temecula Valley residents. By supporting Temecula Berry Co., visitors can contribute to the local economy as well as the preservation of Southern California’s agricultural heritage. 

Location: Temecula

 

Guldseth Cherry Orchards

U-Pick: Cherries (Summer)

Guldseth Cherry Orchards

Fresh air, a picturesque setting and delicious, sun-ripened cherries—what could be better than that? Relish in the delectable taste of cherries while supporting sustainable agriculture and the preservation of this cherished family-owned farm. At Guldseth Cherry Orchards, visitors can meander through the cherry trees and pick their own fruits while learning about various varietals.

The Guldseth Family’s dream took root on a cherry-picking trip in the 1960s; it blossomed a decade later when they purchased the property. Who knows? Maybe this is a chance for your family to tap into similar inspiration!

Location: Cherry Valley

10/13

 

Julian Farm & Orchard

U-Pick: Apples (Fall), Pumpkins (Fall), Daffodils (Spring), Berries (Summer)

Anyone who has been to or heard of Julian, California, knows that the town is known for its truly delicious apples. Julian Farm & Orchard’s U-Pick apple events are the perfect opportunity to celebrate the harvest and learn more about local agriculture. 

Aside from the U-Pick apple event in September, Julian Farm & Orchard also offers U-Pick daffodils at the beginning of the year; U-Pick berries in the summer; U-Pick pumpkins in September and October; and fun holiday celebrations in November and December. Year-round attractions include a petting zoo, hayrides and axe-throwing. There are also picnic areas as well as other ways to enjoy this 25-acre agritourism destination.

Location: Julian

Writer | Website | + posts

Born and raised near the Pacific Coast, Jordan Nishkian is a California girl through and through. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Creative Writing and a BA in Anthropology, and her favorite place to be is curled up in a comfy chair with a book in her hand and a pen in her hair.

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