Even though most of us eat apples year round, fall is apple season and about three hours north of Los Angeles is See Canyon, a sleepy, tree and poison-oak lined, narrow canyon once owned by the See family of eponymous Candy fame.  See Canyon is on Highway 101, about 10 miles south of San Luis Obispo.  Take the San Luis Bay Road exit and head towards Avila Beach.  On your left, you will pass a hillside cluster of new monster homes and vineyards on your right.  A cluster of trees partially hides the unobtrusive sign indicating a right turn onto See Canyon Road.  As soon as you make the turn, you know you’ve entered a different world. Soon you’ll spot orchards growing in profusion right up to the roadside.  

Apples are so close you could reach and grab one for lunch, and depending on the month, you’ll sport hundreds of apples on the ground just begging to be picked up and taken home for applesauce or a cobbler.  Off to the right, down a dirt road and over a little creek, several houses nestle among the valley oaks and apple trees on Pippin Lane.  As you drive, look for signs saying “Apples Here” and turn in at the open gates.  You can find small growers selling homemade apple butter, and plenty of fresh apple cider, cookbooks, and pie pans.  Long time apple growers and sellers include See Canyon Fruit Ranch, since 1894, and Gopher Glen Apple Farm.

Apple season runs from August approximately through November and varieties available change weekly.  Since you probably won’t have heard of most of them, be sure to ask for samples, which are cheerfully given.  And though apples are sold by the pound, try and take away just one!

-Arianna Schioldager

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