San Francisco is surrounded (on three sides, anyway) by some of the country’s most fabulous farmland. And some of these lands of plenty even let you pick your own fruit. For a fun and fruitful day trip, here are the best farms for fruit-picking in the Bay Area.
Webb Ranch | 2720 Alpine Road | Portola Valley
Situated just outside of Stanford University, this family farm has been dishing out berries and homegrown fun since 1922. Today, the farm sits on more than 230 acres of land and grows certified organic fruits and vegetables.
Directions: Take Caltrain to the Palo Alto Transit Center, then transfer to the P bus toward #96-Campus Oval. Take the SLAC bus from #1 Serra Mall at the Oval and get off at the SLAC Hotel. From there, it’s about a 20-minute walk (or bike ride) to Webb Ranch. Or consider carpooling with Zimride.
Swanton Berry Farm | 25 Swanton Road | Davenport
You can pick strawberries, olallieberries, blackberries, or kiwis at this fabulous organic farm. And don’t forget to pick up some tasty treats (and maybe play a game or two) at its uber-cool Farm Stand.
Directions: While Swanton offers discounts to those who arrive on a bike, it takes about four hours to reach the farm on public transit from San Francisco. Try carpooling instead—check out Zimride to find a few folks going your way.
Harvest Time | Various Farms | Brentwood
For a day out with multiple farms at your disposal, check out Harvest Time, a Brentwood-based non-profit organization dedicated to agri-tourism in east Contra Costa County. Each year they offer a trail map listing more than 40 growers with berries, cherries, apricots, and more, all ripe for the picking.
Directions: Take BART to Pittsburg/Bay Point and transfer to the 52 bus northbound. Get off at Lone Tree Way and Hillcrest Avenue, and from there you can bike to any of the 40 farms. (Be sure to download the trail map, and always call the farms to ensure they are open for picking.)
Gizdich Ranch | 55 Peckham Road | Watsonville
Bring the whole family (including furry friends!) to Gizdich Ranch to pick berries or apples. Then stay on for a picnic—and don’t forget to try the pie!
Directions: It’s best to drive to Gizdich Ranch. Check out Zimride to set up a carpool with folks going your way.
Pie Ranch | 2080 Cabrillo Highway | Pescadero
You can’t “U-Pick” at Pie Ranch, but you can do a little good—and then kick up your heels at an old-fashioned barn dance—during their monthly community work days (the third Saturday of each month).
Directions: Pie Ranch is located along Highway 1, about eight miles south of Pescadero. It’s best to drive out here. (Green it with a carpool! Try Zimride to find folks going your way.)
Photos: Swanton Berry Farm