For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

About Me...

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

San Luis Obispo County: Avila Valley Apple Trail

Organic Braeburn apples waiting to be plucked at SLO Creek Farms. 
To celebrate today's end of summer and the impending autumn equinox, I hit the Avila Valley Apple Trail in search of seasonal, pomaceous fruit. Guess what I found? Apples, apples, and more apples. 

The happy trail, located just a stone's throw from Avila Beach, is comprised of a handful of farms that grow and sell several delicious apple varieties that thrive in this bountiful region of southern San Luis Obispo County

With stubborn fog hanging thick in the air, I explored three of the trail's orchards: the grassy, organic u-pick rows of SLO Creek Farms; the bustling country store at Gopher Glen Apple Farm; and the rustic, inviting grounds of See Canyon Fruit Farm. 

I tasted several freshly-picked apples, picked my own Braeburns, basked in the verdant hills while driving through See Canyon's windy roads, and brought home several pounds of sweet and tart varieties.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I'm set for ages.

Rows and rows of organic Braeburns are currently in season at SLO Creek Farms. Located just off of Highway 1 at the San Luis Bay Drive exit, their orchard is an easy stop on the way to Avila or Pismo Beach. Family friendly, they offer a small play area for kids as well as hay bales and tables. 

When you arrive at SLO Creek Farms, grab a bucket and head to the fragrant trees. 
Customers are welcome to taste and eat apples straight off the vines while out harvesting. 
Their apples are $2.50 per pound, and when I picked up my bucket, the cheerful attendant let me know that the redder the apple, the sweeter it is.
SLO Creek's sweet-tart Braeburns should be plentiful over the next month.  

Gopher Glen Apple Farm lies deep in the heart of See Canyon at the end of the Avila Valley Apple Trail. 
The lush scenery is well worth the drive. So are their varied apples. 

I don't know that I've ever been presented with a tasting menu of apples. But at Gopher Glen, I eagerly snapped up slices of all nine varieties. 
At $1.85 per pound, I took home some snappy Red Yorking and Red Gold apples. 

My last stop along the trail: See Canyon Fruit Ranch
I tasted their four offered varieties and left with a bag of Golden Delicious apples at $2.00 per pound.
Visions of homemade applesauce danced in my head.

Before leaving See Canyon Fruit Ranch, I stumbled upon their breathtaking gardens and idyllic wedding spot. Quite the place. 

A few tips if you decide to hit the Avila Valley Apple Trail.
Bring cash, as not all of the farms accept credit cards.
Wear your outdoor shoes, especially if you visit SLO Creek Farm's u-pick orchard.
Remember that apple season usually lasts until late November, depending on the weather, and most of the trail's farms are only open seasonally.
With several pounds of vibrant apples in my fridge, look for my creative juices to flow. Recipes coming soon.


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Elizabeth, That drive up See Canyon is one of my favorites. My mouth watered as you described your tasting day.

Have a great, appleicious week.


Elizabeth said...

Thank you, Sharon. I'm glad you stopped by to read my story and that this area is one of your favorites. Have an amazing week!

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