There is still time for Angelenos to see the change of seasons in Southern California. In Oak Glen, only two hours east of Los Angeles, you’ll find the colors of autumn as plentiful and spectacular as any on the East Coast.
Long known for its annual apple harvest and festivals celebrating the beloved autumn fruit, Oak Glen is a haven for country arts and culture year around. During the fall, however, the orchards and ranches in the hills of this country hamlet open their gates to visitors for apple picking, comparison sampling, cider tasting, and that all-American pastime, apple pie eating.
Several of the ranches offer more than just apple activities. Riley’s Farm has a slew of games and adventures such as a country life tour, log cabin building, archery, knife or tomahawk throwing, and hay rides. Riley’s Farm also has a large choose and pick pumpkin patch with a wide variety of pumpkin sizes.
Parrish Pioneer Ranch was established in in 1866, when pioneer Enoch Kidder Parrish arrived in Oak Glen and traded 4 mules and a wagon for 160 acres of land. Two structures on this historic ranch hold records for being among the oldest in the county. The Apple Dumplin’s restaurant at Parrish Pioneer Ranch is renowned for its not-to-be-missed apple pie and other down-home cooking. Children love the small petting zoo, with miniature sheep, donkey, horse, angus cow, and full sized emus.
Camping is plentiful around Oak Glen, but its country-life theme doesn’t provide much in upscale accommodations. The bed and breakfast house at Serendipity Ranch doesn’t look impressive from the outside, but inside this warm inn you’ll find quaint country comfort, with stunning gardens, a pond, and groomed grounds.
Getting to Oak Glen is easy. From Interstate 10, exit at Yucaipa Blvd, progress through Yucaipa to make a left at Oak Glen Rd. The climb up to the 5,000 foot elevation of Oak Glen is gentle and the scenery is stunning.