Country roads, shady orchards and gnarled wine vines—these trails, drives and unique farm tours provide close-up looks at California farms, gorgeous agricultural scenery, and plenty of places to stop and taste the bounty. Make these detours across the Golden State, listed north to south.
Tehama Trail, Tehama County
Follow country roads through picturesque olive groves and vineyards, stopping for wine tasting near Lassen Volcanic National Park, olive (and olive oil) sampling in Corning, and other farm-fresh foods along the way.
Sierra Oro Farm Trail, Butte County
This Shasta Cascade county is dotted with wineries, but is also home to dairy farms, olives and even Harrison’s California Chestnuts, known for their jumbo size.
Yolo County Farm Trail, Yolo County
A drive though this Central Valley region—focusing on the towns of Davis, Woodland, Capay and Esparto—is rich with olives, peaches, and lavender. Don’t miss the Séka Hills Olive Mill & Tasting Room, where you can sip olive oil like it’s Chardonnay.
Sonoma County Farm Trails, Sebastopol
Take a self-guided tour of artisanal family farms and food producers dotting this celebrated wine region. Find out where to take a farm tour at places like First Light Farm in Petaluma, or enjoy ultra-local ingredients at Zazu Kitchen and Farm in Sebastopol.
Marin Agricultural Land Trust, Marin County
Join guided tours of farms and ranches north of San Francisco; learn about artisanal cheese-making, organic farming and balancing nature with agriculture.
Hidden Villa, Los Altos Hills
Part working farm/education centre/summer camp, this farm south of San Francisco welcomes all ages with tempting programs—from bread baking to raising bees and chickens.
Fresno County Fruit Trail, Fresno County
Follow farm roads through shady orchards to dozens of farm stands, local food producers and friendly Central Valley towns. During the early spring, you can see a rainbow of fruit blossoms and by summer, feast on the peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots, as well as their resulting pies, jams and dried fruits.
China Ranch Date Farm, Tecopa
Learn how dates are grown and harvested—and get plenty of free samples—on this family farm, nestled in a real oasis just south of Death Valley National Park.
Happy Acres Family Farm, Templeton
In coastal hills near Paso Robles, meet baby goats and other farm animals on this 30-acre organic farm. Shop for fresh produce, eggs and artisanal products like creamy-rich skin lotion made from goat’s milk.
The Flower Fields, Carlsbad
March through mid-May, walk among 50 acres of brilliant ranunculi in full bloom, capped off with ocean views just north of San Diego.
Cheese lovers can go pretty much anywhere in the state to find well-rendered fromage: There are 42 producers on the map, spanning from the North Coast to the Central Valley and down to Southern California. Pick your region and look for tastings, cheese-making classes and events.
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