What smacks of FALL to you? Some might think, APPLES! There are so many delicious varieties to sample, such as Golden Delicious, Gala, Rome Beauty, Mutsu, Honeycrisp, and so many more! Let's take a look at what The Apple Trail has in store for us.

See Canyon, a valley in San Luis Obispo County, California, in the Irish Hills, has a unique micro-climate, perfect conditions for producing top-quality apples. It was named after pioneer Joseph See, who arrived in 1860 and farmed there for many years. Apple season is from September to December, the best time for the sweet, crisp, and nutritious fruit, rich in potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. Apples are also made into cider (“soft” and “hard alcoholic brew”), pies, and preserves.

Gopher Glen Apple Farm is a popular stop along the Avila Apple Trail. They have an amazing array of apple varieties, everything from dark Arkansas Blacks to the super-juicy, but sweet tart Winesap Turley. You can sample the current available harvest before purchasing, each with is unique taste profile. Grab a little bag of “Oat Crisp Topping” by Barb the Baker and make your own delectable Apple Crisp with your fresh fruit. The staff will help you decide which variety will make the best Apple Crisp!

Like many farms in the See Canyon area, farm operators feature “U-Pick” options for visitors.  Other products available to take home include fresh-pressed cider, dried apple snacks, and so much more!

The Avila Valley Barn is located near the entrance of See Canyon. Avila Valley Barn offers a selection of fresh fruit, including fresh crisp apples and vegetables, a gift shop, and a candy store and is open year-round. There might even be a few goats and kitties about!

A picturesque place for “adult beverages” is the Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards alongside See Canyon Creek.  This family-owned business produces top award-winning wines and has created some truly unique blends by combining the juice of grapes and apples. Dick and Dolores Kelsey started the winery in 1999 as a “retirement project.” However, the popularity of their wines resulted in a full-time job—in their words, a labor of love. Additionally, their grandkids help out, experimenting with Zinfandel, Merlot, and Syrah grapes. Dedicated to environmentally-friendly agriculture, the young Kelsey family is working hard to reduce the impact that the production of their delicious wines has on the See Valley.

Experience the Avila Apple Trail and treat yourself to a relaxing getaway. Check out the lodging specials at experiencepismobeach.com. Slow down and stay awhile. Additionally, some of California’s best mineral springs and spas are nearby for your health and wellness.

For your dining pleasure, award winning restaurants, comfortable cafes, delectable bakeries and delis, and so much more, are eager to serve you. It’s “Not LA, and Not the Bay,” and you’ll feel like you’re a world away. Here are some of the apple farms and cider/wine establishments:

Avila Apple Trail Farms, Orchards and Hard Cider/Wines

SLO Creek Farms Organic U-Pick Apple Orchard, 6455 Monte Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (702) 245-3135

Gopher Glen Organic Apple Farm, 2899 See Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, (805) 595-2646

Avila Valley Barn, 560 Avila Beach Drive, Avila Beach, CA 93405 (805) 595-2810

See Canyon Fruit Ranch, 2345 See Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (805) 595-2376

Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards, 1947 See Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 (805) 595-9700

Le Mieux Family Orchard, Apple Champagne and Hard Cider, 2885 See Canyon Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405, (805) 706-0411

For the adventuresome bakers out there, check out Preppy Kitchen John Kanell’s Apple Cake with Maple Buttercream Frosting recipe from his new book.