Description of a day trip to Apple Hill, and a visit to Boa Vista Orchards in Placerville, CA.
Friends invited me to join them for a day trip to Apple Hill, and I was happy to accept the invitation. An annual visit (or two) to Apple Hill is a tradition in many Sacramento families. Some families like to spend a day at a You-Pick farm, while others have a tradition of visiting one of the many pumpkin patches to find that perfect pumpkin. Others visit later in the year to pick out the family Christmas tree.
It was a beautiful day for a scenic ride in the foothills. The day was sunny, the cloudless sky was blue, and the air was crisp – but not cold.
A weekday is the very best time to visit Apple Hill – if you can. Weekends can get crowded during prime time, so if you go on a weekend – go early!
SacramentoRevealed.com – All Things Sacramento (from a personal perspective)
Apple Hill is an association of over 50 farmers and ranchers located in El Dorado County. The majority of Apple Hill growers are located in Placerville and Camino. The country roads are narrow, so it is best to leave plenty of time and plan to enjoy your fall excursion during a leisurely ride.
While apples dominate the crops grown, they are by no means the only crop produced in the region. While Mother Nature dictates harvest dates, summer fruits grown (June-September) include: Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines, Plums, Pluots, Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries.
The apple harvest season, again depending on Mother Nature, runs August – October, with September and October being the prime (and busiest) time to visit. Varieties of apples include: Gravenstein, Jonathon, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Paula Red, Red Delicious, Mutsu, Empire, Red Gold, Honey Crisp, Pippin, Winesap, Granny Smith, Fuji, Pink Lady and Arkansas Black!
Many of the farms have picnic tables, bake shops, and activities for children. Additionally, others serve lunch ranging from deli offerings to BBQ. You will want to check out the Apple Hill “Cider Press” for specifics about what is offered at each location before you go.
Boa Vista Orchards
We arrived at Boa Vista Orchards in the late morning on a weekday, and easily secured a parking space. This is not to say that the parking lot was not crowded – we were just lucky. Boa Vista is in the heart of Apple Hill and it’s a very popular place to stop on the Apple Hill circuit.
We checked out the arts and crafts bazaar offerings (jewelry, lawn art, etc.) on our way towards the main building. Displayed both inside and out was an abundance of fresh produce of all types. Several of us stopped by the ever popular “samples” booth to taste test a variety of the apples for sale.
Grabbing shopping baskets, we started to individually check out the inventory. I knew that I definitely wanted fresh apple cider, so I picked up a half gallon and went on to check out the freshly baked and frozen items (donuts, pies, turnovers, etc.). Also on display was a large variety of processed products such as apple wine, apple beer, apple butter, assorted jellies and jams, dried fruit and nuts, BBQ sauces and rubs, honey – and the list goes on.
Having made our selections in short order, we got in line to pay for our purchases happy to have beaten the worst of the crowd. It was time to find a place to have lunch!
Comments on Apple Hill and/or Boa Vista Orchards?
Have you visited Apple Hill and/or Boa Vista Orchards? What has been your experience?
Boa Vista Orchards Snapshot:
- 2952 Carson Road, Placerville, CA 95667
- (530) 622-5522
- Open 363 Days a Year (Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas)
- Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Parking Lot & Overflow Parking Lot
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