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Always in Season: Peaches

Always in Season: Peaches
Discover a unique beer made with California peaches

When you think of peaches, you might think of peach pie, or creamy homemade ice cream. But peach beer? At 559 Local Brewery, in the Old Town section of Clovis, you’ll find it—and that’s a good thing. The brewery’s distinctive Wawona Peach Ale is described as a “deliciously unique ale with a ripe tangy peach flavor,” and a “creamy sweet aroma that reminds you of summer.”

This unique fruit-flavored ale is the brainchild of Rhett Williams, brewmaster at 559 Local, and once you know his background, it’s not surprising that he has started infusing his brews with fresh local crops like peaches. Rhett grew up in Clovis, an appealing, all-about-family town surrounded by agriculture. After college, he had an idea to brew beer—but not just any beer. Rhett wanted a Clovis-inspired craft brew that “honored the farmers and where we’re from.”

California grows more peaches than the other 32 peach-growing states combined

He struck on the idea of adding peaches to his beer, and began using fruit from the 440-acre Wawona Ranch just outside town, which produces a staggering 75 million pounds of peaches every year. Today, the partnership is going strong. “It’s the coolest thing,” says Rhett, who, when it’s time to brew a batch of peach beer, can drive just a 1½ miles out of town to pick up just-picked fruit.

Sample the results, plus fig and raisin beers and other styles on tap, in 559 Local’s handsome tasting room, decorated with family photos, in Clovis’s restored downtown district. You can browse in boutiques and antique stores, and relax in cafes like friendly On the Edge coffeehouse, but be sure to leave room for the ultimate product: fresh and juicy peaches. Wawona Ranch sells peaches in season (typically May into September) at The Peach Tree, on the north end of town. The year-round stand, often staffed by members of the Smittcamp family that owns and runs Wawona Ranch, also sells local honey, jams, jellies, and has a freezer stalked with fresh frozen fruits from the family farm.

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Laura Flippen

Discover the Central Valley

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66
October
Average (°F)
Sept - Nov
91°
High
43°
Low
Dec - Feb
62°
High
38°
Low
Mar - May
84°
High
46°
Low
June - Aug
98°
High
62°
Low

California’s heartland offers up one of the state’s most authentic and sensory-rich experiences, a chance to see—and taste—the state’s bounty at every turn. Follow oak-shaded country roads to farm stands overflowing with fresh produce, and meander along wine trails to some of the state’s most productive vineyards and low-key tasting rooms.

Peaches, plums, apricots, and tomatoes—just some of the ultra-fresh produce you will find at farm stands throughout the valley.

Throughout the broad valley, stretching for over 400 miles/644 kilometers down the middle of the state, are cities and towns rich with history, international culture, and “everyone’s welcome” charm. 

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Courtesy of the Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant

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Haggin Museum

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Housed in an early-19th-century brick building, this handsome art and history museum is the centerpiece of Stockton’s stately Victory Park. The 34...

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Trip 3-5 days 10 stops

California's Heartland

Pick fresh produce, relax in cool gardens, and learn about local farming heritage
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This relaxed city has some secret gems that make a pleasing start to your trip. Start at Sundial Bridge, a functional work of art, the remarkable pedestrian bridge, designed by renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, spans the tree-lined, trout-filled Sacramento River in Redding’s Turtle...

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This rapidly growing city in the southern Central Valley is full of pleasant surprises. Once known for oil and agriculture, Bakersfield is morphing into a Central Valley hub for arts, culture, and sports, while still offering a glimpse of the region’s past. One fascinating historical site worth...

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Gray Lodge Wildlife Area

Some 300 species of birds and mammals make this a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts

Located on the Pacific Flyway 60 miles north of Sacramento, Gray Lodge encompasses 9,200 acres surrounded by agricultural flatlands and...

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Houseboating

Take to the water on a deluxe floating home

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