Fruit picking is a year-round activity in our part of California. But it can be challenging to figure out the what/where/when/how of the U-Pick farms and orchards in the Bay Area. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite options arranged by season so you can plan a memorable day getting your hands dirty with your family. Please, always check with each farm before going by calling or with social media to confirm if they’re open!
Spring Fruit Picking in the Bay Area: Berries!
Strawberries & Other Berries: April to July-ish
The Bay Area has the perfect climate for berries from strawberries and blueberries to blackberries, boysenberries, and olallieberries. You can head out to Brentwood, down to the Half Moon Bay area and Watsonville, or up to the North Bay to find perfect berries for U-pick and farm stand sales.
The warmer days of Spring and early Summer (from April to July) bring the prospect of juicy sweet strawberries and other yummy berries.
- Find out more in our strawberry-picking guide for the Bay Area >>
- Find out more about our blueberry-picking day trip >>
Parent tip: Blueberries and blackberries are particularly easy for little ones to pick because of the size and height of the bushes. Strawberries are all the way on the ground, and cherries are pretty high up in a tree.
Cherry U-Pick: May to Early June
Many farms in Brentwood open for U-Pick cherries in May, and the picking window is brief. The exact dates, times, and varieties offered vary from farm to farm, so be sure to check our Bay Area Cherry Picking Guide before planning your day of cherry-picking.
Summer Fruit Picking in the Bay Area: Stone Fruit!
Stone Fruit: June-ish
Apricots, nectarines, and peaches are in their full splendor come June. Head out to Brentwood for some delicious stone fruit, but be sure to go early because it gets HOT out there in the summer! And, just like with all the farms and orchards, call the hotlines and check social media first.
Check our Stone Fruit Guide for more information about specific farms in the East Bay.
You can also visit the Harvest Time Brentwood website to see up-to-date details on when farms are opening and what their crops are looking like. Download their farm trails map and mobile app (available for iOS and Android devices).
Cloverfield U-Pick Organic Farm (El Sobrante)
If driving out to Brentwood sounds like too much, Cloverfield U-Pick Organic Farm in El Sobrante is a cute little local option where you can find stone fruit and other fruits and vegetables.
Location: 501 La Paloma Rd, El Sobrante in the East Bay hills
Open Times: Currently open for U-pick Friday through Sunday from noon to five.
Season: Open as early as May for small amounts of strawberries with more fruit as the summer months progress.
Extras: Potted plants, dried herbs, seeds, raw honey, and organic olive oil available for sale. Also, private sessions with the therapy horse, Magic Ben, can be arranged by appointment.
Fall Fruit Picking: Apples, Pumpkins, & More
Apple Picking in the Bay Area: September-ish
September is the start of the season. You’ll want to start looking at apple orchard’s social media pages around mid-August for specific apple-picking opening dates and hours. September is prime apple picking time, and there are plenty of orchards to choose from around the Bay Area.
We’ve put together a Bay Area Apple Picking Guide for your convenience.
Apple Hill (Placerville)
Representing over 50 local, family farms, the Apple Hill Growers offer many different u-pick opportunities throughout the year. Check their guide to learn about what is offered by season. Since it is about a 2 hour drive from Oakland, you may want to stay at this cute airbnb for a few nights so you can experience a few days’ worth of fruit picking nirvana. Many farms also have animals and other attractions, which is great if you have farm animal loving kids.
Location: Here is a detailed map of all the farms that are part of the Apple Hill Growers association.
Open Times: Varies by farm and season
Season: Apples in the fall, but also flowers, cherries, berries, peaches, veggies, pears, grapes, pumpkins and chestnuts throughout the year.
Earthseed Farm (Graton)
The family-owned Gabriel Farm we visited last year is now Earthseed Farm, Sonoma County’s first All Black Owned and Run Permaculture Farm and Center. They are still working on getting their CSA and U-pick program up and running. Sign up on their website to receive updates on their programs and offerings.
Location: 3175 Sullivan Rd. Sebastopol
Open Times: TBD
Season: Annual u-pick crops including pears, apples, tomatoes, pumpkins, squashes, lettuces, flowers, etc.
Pumpkin Picking and Patches: October
We’ve visited our fair share of pumpkin patches over the years, from up north in Sonoma County, out to Brentwood, and down to Half Moon Bay. Some farms will likely require a reservation, while others will open without restrictions. Read through our East Bay Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze Guide to find your perfect pumpkin patch and all the details to make it the perfect fall family day.
Pomegranates: September & October
Maybe not as popular as apples or pumpkins, pomegranates are the lesser-known u-pick fruit of the Fall — and we love them. There are several farms in the Bay Area that offer pomegranate picking, but usually only for a few weekends in September and October (though sometimes as early as late August). Check out our Pomegranate Picking Guide to find a farm to visit, and be sure to keep an eye on the farms’ social media sites so you don’t miss out on the short picking season!
Persimmons to Pick in October
These beautiful orange beauties are usually available around October. They’re great for adding a bit of sweetness to a salad, or maybe try one of these 20 recipes!
Urban Edge Farm (Brentwood)
The Urban Edge Farm is home to an orchard with a wide range of seasonal varieties, including cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, pluots, nectarines, citrus, pomegranates, persimmons and figs. Most of the fruit is available during the season by U Pick or in the farm store. Persimmons are usually available in October.
Location: 2017 Walnut Blvd, Brentwood
Update Hotline: (925)-634-4400
Again, not as popular as apples and pumpkins, chestnuts are a lesser-known u-pick option come early October. The season lasts a little longer than a month. Nothing smells better than chestnuts roasting on an open fire!
Skyline Chestnuts (La Honda)
Location: 22322 Skyline Blvd. La Honda, CA 94020
Open Times: Wednesday through Sunday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Season: October – November
Smokey Ridge Ranch (Apple Hill in Placerville)
Location: 2160 Carson Rd, Placerville CA 95667
Available to pick: Chestnuts and apples
Open Times: U-Pick hours TBD; Wine tasting on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am-5 pm
Season: Check-in September or October for updated crop information
Extras: Wine tasting and hard apple cider! Also u-pick apples in the Fall.
Wintertime Harvest: Christmas Trees!
Christmas Trees: December
While there’s no fruit picking to be had in the winter, Christmas Tree “picking” provides a similarly wholesome family outing. We have a pretty wide-ranging list of Bay Area Christmas Tree farms and lots that you can peruse come Thanksgiving. Either keep it local at a city tree lot, or venture further afar up north to fell your own tree at Frosty Mountain Tree Farm in Sebastopol, or down south to Rancho Siempre Verde in Pescadero. There are often plenty of extras to be had at tree farms, from farm animals and hayrides to Santa Clause, wreath-making, and gift shops. Such a fun winter family tradition!
Frosty Mountain Tree Farm (Sebastopol)
Location: 3600 Mariola Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Open Times: Open weekdays 12 pm – 5 pm, weekends 9 am – 5 pm.
Season: The day after Thanksgiving through Christmas.
Extras: Pet a goat, listen to Mrs. Claus’ storytime, shop for trimmings in the big red barn.
Rancho Siempre Verde (Pescadero)
Location: 2250 Cabrillo Hwy (Highway 1), Pescadero, CA 94060
Open Times: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays 9 am – 5 pm.
Season: Opening right around Thanksgiving
Extras: Roast marshmallows, ride a tractor, make a wreath, swing on the giant tree swings.
Do you have a favorite u-pick farm we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments!