If I say Los Angeles, I bet apple picking is not the first thing that comes to mind as a family activity. You wouldn’t be faulted for thinking more along the lines of beach picnics, or hobnobbing with celebrities.
But within a morning’s drive of Venice Beach you can find a treasure trove of apple picking farms – and the Chevy Trailblazer is a delightful way to get there.
Chevy loaned me a 2021 Trailblazer for a week, during which I got to drive it around town and then out to Oak Glen, the home of the apple farms.
Apple Picking in SoCal
MomsLA has a great article about where to pick apples in Southern California, but I had never actually taken my family and done it. I figured it was the perfect time to go.
Back East, people assume we don’t have a Fall season here in Los Angeles, but that’s just not true. Of course we have Fall. The difference is we don’t have as many pretty, colored leaves to look at, given that most of our trees are Evergreens or Palms, so we don’t make as big a fuss over it.
Back East you can just walk out your door and you’re in the midst of a Fall tableau, but here in LA you have to seek it out. And the kinds of activities that go hand in hand with the season.
Hence our trip to Oak Glen. We got to experience Fall and one of the most “Fallish” activities there is: Apple Picking.
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Visiting Oak Glen
The first thing to know about Oak Glen is that it’s lousy with apple farms, so you’ve got plenty of options for picking apples and doing all the other activities these farms offer. It’s also close by: just about 90 miles from LA, on the way to Palm Springs.
Apple trees were planted here over 100 years ago, and a community of farms is still going strong. These days there are plenty of family activities at all the farms in Oak Glen, as well as lots of choices for dining and accommodations.
We visited a couple of farms, each offering something a little bit different, a little unique to them. Stone Soup Farm held a Harvest Festival, complete with craft projects, s’mores making, optional cider pressing, and of course apple picking.
Best of all, they offered the chance to shoot at a target with a bow and arrow, or even better: throw a tomahawk. I chose the tomahawk and can you blame me? It was really fun. Out of three tries I managed to get one in the tree-stump target and I felt pretty good about that.
The farm was charming, it was a beautiful day, and we bagged up quite a few apples. They had a little shop with house-made apple butter for sale, so we came home with some of that, too.
We then stopped at Snowline Orchard for some of their famous mini apple cider donuts, made fresh right before our eyes, and some apple pie. It was all delicious and luckily it was carb day, that’s all I can say.
The Drive to Oak Glen
The drive from LA took less than 90 minutes (straight out East on the 10 and then you exit left and head up into the mountains), and it was a nice chance for my family to be together, talking about work and school – and life – in the comfort of the Trailblazer. Super comfy seating and interior temperature controls, even for the hour+ drive.
We also got to listen to a couple of podcasts since we plugged in my phone and used the Apple Carplay option. Super handy, and the audio quality was great. It also meant we could use the map and directions sent to my phone. I liked the size of the screen; not too big, but very visible.
About the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer AWD RS
The Trailblazer I was loaned was painted a sweet Scarlet Red Metallic, with Jet Black and Red interior accents. It has an Ecotec 1.3L Turbo engine, and a 9-SPD automatic transmission. The sticker price for the standard package starts at $26,900, and with all the bells and whistles of the model I drove the price ranges up to $32,350. The fuel economy ratings are 26 MPG for City driving and 30 MPG on the Highway.
The options available for the Trailblazer include the sunroof, liftgate, a technology package that includes wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto, Chevy Infotainment 3, HD radio, rear vision camera, adaptive cruise control, a driver confidence package that includes: rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert and side blind zone alert, among other things.
The first thing I noticed about the Trailblazer was how small it felt on the outside, but how roomy it was inside. It was short enough in length that there was extra room in my driveway – more than normal. But there was plenty of room for my husband and two sons. They had plenty of leg and head room and we didn’t feel cramped at all.
I’m grateful to Chevy for the loan of the Trailblazer for this chance to visit Oak Glen and take part in a uniquely Southern California Fall tradition.
Sarah Auerswald is the Founder of MomsLA.com. MomsLA was not compensated for this post; Chevy loaned us the Trailblazer for a week and purchased tickets to the activity.