GOLDEN STATE, GOLDEN FRUIT: If one looks at the early fruit labels of a century or more ago -- those labels that used to appear on the side of every crate and box and on the front of ever postcard -- one does tend to see citrus. A lot of citrus in all of its forms: full oranges, lemon slices, grapefruit rings. Even the occasional tropical fruit, say, like, a pineapple, will pop up, even though California is not necessarily synonymous with them. So, where's the apple? It's there, too, but definitely bested by the orange. Still, California has its apple-growing spots, and they're not a few trees dotting a ranch: They are truly verdant apple regions, with a flavor and character all their own. Julian is one -- yay, apple pie goodness -- and, yep, Oak Glen is a major example. So major that the town's Apple Season kicks off in summertime and runs a full three months. The season opened at the start of September and will grow all the way through November.
TART TO-DOS: So, what does Apple Season mean? A plethora of things. Apple picking has begun, and bagged apples can be purchased at Snow-Line, Law's Cider Mill, and a plethora of places around the glen. Los Rios Ranchos and Willowbrook go the cider route on most weekends, while pie and other homespun treats are dished up around the town's scenic five-mile loop. Other happenings, like craft booths and entertainment, fill out the September through November weekends. Nope, the leaves aren't changing yet, but that'll happen, too, later in the autumn. Call it a sweet day trip from LA or San Diego (and call it about a 90-minute to 2-hour drive from either place).
And call it a fact you'll come home with a bag or two of apples or cider donuts from Snow-Line. Sorry, citrus. We're not forsaking you, but fall in Oak Glen is apple-y to its very core.