I was so excited to be invited to photograph the Hume family in Apple Hill, and since it’s a 2.5-hour (115+ mile) trip from Reno, I decided it would be a lovely chance to introduce my own family to Apple Hill as well. We had never been, and it was SO MUCH FUN to go for our first time! We took some pictures at Pine O’ Mine after the Hume’s family portraits were done, and luckily Cooper cooperated with me even though we were all running low on fumes. Ben, however, didn’t want to change out of his sweatpants, so we mostly took photos of him a few farms over.
We ate a ton of candy and apple goodies, and had a really great day together…and I also got to do what I LOVE (photography, of course) at a new spot that I came to love in like 2.4 seconds within arriving!
Our Day at Apple Hill
As usual, we left extremely later than we planned on, so we arrived at Apple Hill right at lunch time, and proceeded to go to the Fudge Factory Farm (after parking at High Hill Farm) and buy candy instead of lunch. Good for my diet, I know.
We wanted to do a pony ride for Cooper, but the line was long and we had to get to Pine O’ Mine so I could scout photo spots and make sure we knew where it was. After we found Pine O’ Mine and I saw how darling it is, we went back towards High Hill Farm and stopped at Boa Vista and guzzled apple cider and chowed down on BBQ chicken sandwiches, tri-tip and hot dogs…Cooper had yogurt and fruit that we had packed for him.
Then it was back to Pine O’ Mine for the most adorable photo session of the Hume Family while Matt and our boys picked apples right out of the trees (so fun!), and afterward, I took some photos super duper fast of Cooper…since Ben didn’t want to get changed out of his sweatpants.
After approximately 18 photos of Cooper were snapped quickly, we drove off toward Placerville to see what other cute little spots there are at Apple Hill, and we stumbled across Bluestone Meadow, which had a little haunted house set up…and a dinosaur crossing. It was the perfect place to stop with kids…and it was FREE!
In search of one last set of goodies before leaving Apple Hill and getting dinner, we stopped at Abel’s Acres and missed being able to do their maze by 4 minutes…but we bought some candy apples (and almost a GIANT metal chicken…long story and inside joke, so I will spare you), and went on our way.
As it was approaching 6pm and all the orchard’s actvities were closed down for the day, we tried to go to the Boeger Winery in hopes of finding food…precious, precious food. Unfortunately, it was closed and we were left with only a view of rolling hills of grapes…on and on into the distance. It was a beautiful scene, but next time, I am going to that winery, dammit!
First Time Apple Hill Advice
If it’s your first time visiting Apple Hill, I have a little bit of advice for you as someone who recently went for the first time as well!
1) If you’re traveling from far away like we are (2+ hours), LEAVE EARLY, stop and EAT LUNCH either before you arrive (stop in Placerville) or first thing when you get there (depending on which direction you’re traveling from).
2) Prepare to stand in long lines for the activities (hay rides etc) and to purchase goods. Oh and again, leave early to get there.
3) Download the Apple Hill app and research all the orchards/shops etc and come up with a game plan of the places you want to see, and in what order!
4) In your game plan, plan meals! In fact – bringing a picnic lunch is what we are going to do next time. Then we can save our money for fudge and apple donuts (which we didn’t manage to find in our short time at Apple Hill…bummer)!
5) Definitely make time to at least stop by the Boeger Winery. The architecture and view is incredible.