Apple Hill Growers Association and El Dorado County’s air resources board have collaborated on a free shuttle service. The shuttle stops at all 50 of the festival’s participating apple farms. Exit highway 50 at the Schnell School Road and follow the signs to free parking and the shuttle pick up location. The shuttle operates from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends in October. The Apple Hill Growers Association has a nice map of the Apple Hill area.
Boa Vista Orchards
For the best apple donuts anywhere this is the place to go. The apple donuts are made to order. A hot apple donut with vanilla ice cream is a fantastic treat. Boa Vista Orchards, stop number three on the map, has a vast variety of fruit spreads. Boa Vista makes apple butter, pumpkin butter and several varieties of jams and jellies at their facility. Boa Vista’s shopping area also offers fruit and berry syrups and pancake mixes that are hard to find anywhere else. The barbecue sandwiches at Boa Vista are good too, it is a nice place to stop for lunch. Don’t forget to pick up a frozen, ready to bake apple pie before you go.
High Hill Ranch
High Hill Ranch offers the greatest number of activities of all. An extensive vendor fair offers arts and crafts activities. Local artists are here selling their products. Baked and frozen pies are for sale in the bakery. Wine tasting and sales, and a candy shop are here too. On-site ponds are available for fishing and you can catch a tractor shuttle through nearby vineyards and a pumpkin patch. The apple fritters at the High Hill Ranch bakery are the best. Don’t forget to have a cup of warm cider with your fritter.
The wine tasting at Madrona Vineyards is a special treat. Informative sommeliers pour tastes of the wines in a glass you can take home. Between tastes guests enjoy a superlative chocolate treat to cleanse the taste buds. The Riesling and Syrah are standouts in their collection but for a sweet fruity wine the Muscato is hard to beat. The tasting room is situated within the vineyards in a pleasantly picturesque setting.
Jack Russell Brewing Company
Ready to stop and relax with a locally crafted beer? Jack Russell Brewing Company makes an assortment of lagers, porters, and ales. Local flavors are the highlights for many of the beers in the collection. For a special treat try the seasonal Raspberry Imperial Stout in the fall. Jack Russell Brewing Company hosts a variety of live music on weekends. Sit outside on the grass, enjoy a beer, and listen to some local talent during your visit here.
Your little ones will enjoy all the kid friendly activities at Kids Inc. Pony rides, with a pony handler at the reins, are the highlight of this stop for many children. Arts and craft projects for all ages are available from vendors at Kids Inc. At the bakery a large window allows customers to see just how the pies and other baked goods are made. A corn maze keeps kids and adults entertained. The scenery here is among the best in the area with great canyon views and an array of foliage turning to fall colors.
Many of the farms at Apple Hill sell pumpkins for Halloween and Christmas trees. If you are traveling a long distance to get to Apple Hill, or just wanting to make a weekend out of the experience Placerville, CA has some reasonable hotels. Best Western in Placerville is located right along highway 50 at exit 44A, the Missouri Flat Road exit. No matter what your first stop get yourself one of the free Apple Growers Association guide books with a map. With more than 50 farms selling their goods to visitors you will need a map to find them all. Apple Hill is a fun trip to make any weekend in fall, especially after the fall colors begin to emerge.