APPLES, thank goodness, are healthy goodie we can enjoy on any day of the year. Fresh, dried, in juice form, and in all the ways an apple arrives, we do love our pommes. But if you're a pomme person, through and through, you keep a special apple in your eye for autumn, which takes on an apple-forward character, from festivals to u-pick orchards to all of those amazing pies (and, yes, amazing dumplings and amazing caramel apples and the other foodstuffs of fall). Really reveling in the full-on apple-a-tude of the season is the core goal of apple aficionados — yes, we said core goal — but with Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and all of the other must-dos, our apple-oriented day trips and munchy weekends away in the country can too often fall to the way side (yes, we said fall). Good thing, then, that some of our favorite apple-centered spots open in August, and put some of that fall pizzazz in the summer fun.
HIGH HILL RANCH... of Placerville is one such spot, and the Gold Country go-to for all that is apple-y and delicious has an opening day on the horizon: Saturday, Aug. 18. That's the seasonal opening day, you bet, and you can bet that all sorts of peelable, tart-tastic treats away, from cider to doughnuts. The "Hand Picking Apples Straight From The Orchard" kicks off in mid-August at the nostalgia-filled destination, meaning you can have your autumnal fancies fulfilled with a month of warm summer still to go. Arts & crafts, farm activities, and more sweetness awaits at this Golden gem. Counting the days to the equinox? No need to wait for the season of colorful leaves and apple pies; High Hill Ranch is starting the celebration early.