Fall in San Diego: mountains, apple picking and pumpkin patch, here we come!

I know I’m going to jinx it by saying this but I think fall has finally arrived in San Diego. We got our first rain storm of the season last week, when we usually don’t see a drop of rain until some time in November. Now that’s something to celebrate! The mornings are crisp, the afternoons are warm, fall is in the air!

These past couple of weekends, we’ve done a few things to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall. First we took a daytrip to the mountains and visited the small town of Idyllwild, where we vacationed this past June. I was wondering what it would look like after the two large wildfires they suffered during the summer but the town was untouched and most of the wooded areas around were left intact. And what a beautiful day we picked to go there! Take a look at the view as we were making our way up the mountains. Not a single car on the road in front or behind us, beautiful pine trees bordering the road, and a great blue sky.

On the road to Idyllwild, California

On the road to Idyllwild, California

We had breakfast in town, then went hiking, enjoyed a picnic in the woods, and hiked some more. While hiking in Idyllwild Park, we volunteered to fill a paper bag with acorns. The oak trees produced a lot of them this year and if too many new oak trees start growing, they will take away precious water from the older trees, which may dry up and become a fire danger. As we were picking acorns off the forest grounds, my 7-year old compared the activity to an Easter egg hunt, but with acorns. Very observant boy!

In exchange for our hard work, we were offered to fill two small bags with polished rocks. BEST reward ever for “helping to save the forest”, as my oldest said. Here’s our stash. Hey, there are even a few pink and purple rocks for me!

Earning polished rocks for picking acorns in Idyllwild

Earning polished rocks for picking acorns in Idyllwild

We continued our taste of fall last weekend by visiting the town of Julian, California, about an hour east of San Diego. The very hot, very strong Santa Ana winds were in full force that day, blowing dust all over the place. The boys got to experience their very first windstorm but we had to find places that were immune to the wind drafts in the morning. One of them was Mom’s Pie Restaurant, where we bought a boysenberry pie. It was still warm out of the oven and so the three of us got forks and started digging into the pie for a midmorning snack. Best pie ever!

Berry pie at Mom's Pie in Julian

Berry pie at Mom’s Pie in Julian

The winds died down in the afternoon so we took this opportunity to go apple picking, and get fresh fruit off the tree. When I got home, I baked apple pie and made applesauce with the leftover apples. As you can see, I had my work cut out when it came to peeling these delicious apples!

Apple picking and apple pie in Julian, California

Apple picking and apple pie in Julian, California

The day after was a no-school day so we went on another fall adventure, this time to visit Bates Nut Farm, a very popular pumpkin patch in San Diego. It was deserted on a Monday morning and the perfect time to go!

Fall decorations at the pumpkin patch

Fall decorations at the pumpkin patch

Of course, you can’t go to a pumpkin patch without visiting the pumpkin fields. That’s a lot of giant pumpkins! And that was only one field out of two.

Field of giant pumpkins

Field of giant pumpkins

Do you know how much fun it is to play with the pumpkins? Oh, look, this pumpkin has bunny ears!

Pumpkin with bunny ears

Pumpkin with bunny ears

I know this is just the beginning of fall in San Diego, as Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner. But guess what my favorite sight at the pumpkin patch was? The Christmas decorations inside the store! It’s the most wonderful time of the year and it’s only 71 days away!

Christmas decorations at Bates Nut Farm

Christmas decorations at Bates Nut Farm

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21 responses to “Fall in San Diego: mountains, apple picking and pumpkin patch, here we come!

  1. What a wonderful way to spend some fall days. And that pie looks very, very tasty. I’d throw on a little vanilla ice cream, wait for it to melt a bit, and then indulge. Yum!

    I’m curious if your boys are interested in taking pictures given they see you do it so much.

    • Unfortunately, we don’t have ice cream on hand, as it would take best that way, but we have whipped cream, which is second best!
      And yes, my boys are interested in photography. They’re not allowed to use my camera but my oldest has a very cheap one he plays around with, and they love to grab my cell phone and take pictures with it. I love seeing the world through their eyes and perspective, that’s very interesting! I should start saving their pictures and do a post on this one day.

  2. Boysenberry pie! I’m salivating now. Awesome. Glad your weather has cooled down a bit and you get to enjoy a little bit of fall. That drive looked nice (it’s always nicer when you have it to yourselves).

  3. Great adventures and pics . . . except for the last one. I don’t enjoy seeing Christmas displays until AFTER Thanksgiving. :razz:

  4. That is a truly fun day with family. Autumn at its best. Magical pumpkin patch, delicious berry pie and Christmas joy to follow. Thanks for sharing your amazing trip.

  5. Really looks more like New England than southern California, I didn’t know there were areas like that near San Diego!

  6. That’s great that you and your boys helped save the forest! Lately the squirrels around here have been throwing acorns around everywhere. I guess I should pick some of them up. That bunny-eared pumpkin is huge!

    • I think the squirrels make more of the mess with the acorns than help nature by eating them. That pumpkin was giant, as well as the other pumpkins in that field. My kids couldn’t help sit and stand on them, as if they were orange boulders. I can’t imagine taking one of those home. Not that it would fit in the trunk of the car, or that I could carry it!

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