Fall Road Trips: Bierwagen’s, Machado and Otow Orchard

FALL IS THE IDEAL SEASON FOR A ROAD TRIP. The trees are ablaze in fall colors, fresh local apples are being pressed into apple cider, the fields are full of pumpkins, and the wineries are less crowded. Here are some places to go:

Just off I-80 in Auburn, visit its fifth annual Apple Festival—October 17. It features apples of all kinds: Golden, Red, Mutsu, Fuji, Empire, Arkansas Black and Pink Lady. Food sampling, including apple cider and homemade applesauce; music, artists in the orchards, alpacas and more.

The Machados, known for their fruits, vegetables, and fresh fruit pies, have been in business for more than 90 years. Thousands of pies are sold during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
100 Apple Ln., Auburn 530-823-1393

On the Colfax Hwy. (State Road 174) in Chicago Park, Bierwagen’s offers a month-long Pumpkin Patch and Harvest Festival before Halloween.
Bierwagen’s has abundant supplies of fresh apples and fresh-pressed cider. After Thanksgiving, Bierwagen’s has a “U-pick” Christmas tree farm. The Bierwagens have been farming since 1902.
17437 Lower Colfax Rd.
Chicago Park 530-477-5992

In Granite Bay—just east of I-80—Otow Orchard is renowned for pre-serving the Japanese art of hoshigaki. Hoshi means dried and gaki is from kaki, the Japanese word for persimmon. Its fresh persimmons are dried each fall in a slow, patient, hands-on process.
6232 Eureka Road, Granite Bay 916-791-1656

The Farm & Barn Tour is held October 11. It is a free self-guided expedition of farms, ranches, and vineyards in Placer County. Each farm venue will feature different activities, tours and demonstrations.

Electric Road Trips

More people are taking road trips in electric cars. Northern California is ranked as the top EV region. Tesla Motors has a string of strategically placed “super- chargers”—in Roseville and Truckee along I-80, for example. Businesses are installing their own charging stations too. Grass Valley Courtyard Suites has teamed up with Tesla to install a charging station at its hotel.

(Photo: Wayde Carroll for Placer County Agriculture)

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