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Central Coast Living: Taste and pick apples near Avila Beach

Posted at 7:43 AM, Nov 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-01 22:42:30-04

Whether you prefer red and crisp, green and tart, or something in between, there’s an apple for everyone in See Canyon.

Raven Lukehart is one of the owners of Gopher Glen Apple Farm on See Canyon Rd.

“[People] can expect to try somewhere between five and 15 apple varietals,” Lukehart said.

Gopher Glen is the last stop on a loop of apple farms near Avila Beach.

Lukehart’s shop offers samples of all their in-season apples.

“It’s like wine tasting with the family,” she said.

Lukehart says first-time visitors are often astonished by the taste of their apples.

“They take a bite and they can actually hear the crispiness of it and they’re like, ‘I’ve never experienced an apple like this before in my life,’” Lukehart said.

Over the last 40 years, visits to Gopher Glen have become a fall tradition for some locals.

“Many of our customers, they’ve been coming since they were a kid and now they’re coming again with their kids. It’s really cool.”

You can’t pick apples from Gopher Glen’s orchard but Lukehart says the tasting is a great way to figure out which apples you like best.

“The tasting is just so much fun because that way people don’t have to find them out [in the orchard]. They come up and they can try them as a family and usually each family member has a different taste,” she said.

The less-perfect apples are pressed into fresh cider that visitors can sample in the store.

For the adults, Gopher Glen makes six different versions of hard cider.

Across Highway 101 is SLO Creek Farms where you can pluck apples right from the tree.

Owner Robyn Gable says they also make fresh and hard cider out of their apples.

“We just did our first batch of hard cider this year and it was a family event,” Gable said. “It’s really great and dry and everybody is enjoying that.”

SLO Creek Farms has such an abundance of apples this season that they will be majorly discounting the price of “u-pick” apples in the upcoming weeks.

Gopher Glen, SLO Creek and other nearby apple farms tend to be busiest on weekends but the taste of a fresh, locally grown, organic apple is worth the wait for many.