We’re doing some lessons with apple themes in our home preschool curriculum, and I thought it might be fun to go apple picking. I had gone before when Nomadic Daughter was a baby up in Massachusetts but haven’t been since. I found the Swanton Ranch by Googling, and up we went! Swanton is a part of the Cal Poly University system and they had some student workers up there tending the orchard while we picked. The orchard is open Friday-Sunday starting at 9am. It is on the honor system. You pick, weigh and pay a little box at the orchard. They even have easy conversion charts so you don’t have to do the math when figuring out the cost. We ended up picking 22lbs of apples, which cost us just over $40. This orchard is organic and they have many different varieties of apples.
After picking apples we drove back down toward Highway 1 and stopped at their berry patch and little store. We let the kids each pick a small basket of strawberries, organic as well and on the honor system like the orchard. At the store they have fresh baked goods for sell using berries from the patch, along with cozy seats to sit and enjoy. The store also has a small selection of produce too.
Well worth the drive from Monterey and only about an hour and some change away. Just north of Santa Cruz about 15ish minutes on Hwy 1.