For urban dwellers ripe for a change of scenery, Oak Glen represents the perfect rural respite. Imagine orchards instead of freeways. Picture serene nature trails that remain gloriously unpaved. Nestled in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, this small agricultural community offers an abundance of pleasures, ideal for a day trip. Or make it a few days. Complete with cider.
This working apple orchard offers much more than the chance to pick your own fruit. It also stages educational historical tours, based on such events as the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Activities do vary depending on the season, and the farm is closed Sundays, so be sure to check their site ahead of time before firming up plans.
Oak Tree Village Oak Glen
Among the shops and vendors of this family destination is Apple Annie’s Restaurant, famed for its five-pound “Mile-High Apple Pie.” Additionally, there’s an animal park, a petting zoo (with baby animals for your kids to bottle feed), pony rides and trout ponds. Be sure to check out what seasonal events Oak Tree Village has available for families.
Moms Country Orchards
Ten miles off the I-10, east of Redlands and Yucaipa and north of Beaumont and Cherry Valley, Moms Country Orchards is open year-round, with the exception of Christmas Day. On top of the produce, you can have your pick of its wide selection of honey, jellies, and jams.
Oak Glen Preserve and Southern California Montane Botanic Garden
Once you’ve sampled the local produce, you may be in the mood for a hike or picnic. Look no further than this 909-acre preserve, where you will find the Conservancy’s Southern California Montane Botanic Garden and Children’s Outdoor Discovery Center. Best of all: it’s open to the public, free of charge.
Getting hitched for a hayride or for the rest of your life? In addition to offering everything from school tours to horseback riding lessons, Greenspot also bills itself as a perfect wedding venue. Depending on what time of the year you drop in, you can find a pumpkin patch and haunted hayride at Halloween or a tractor ride through a Christmas farm.
Yucaipa Regional Park
Boasting views of the San Bernardino Mountains, this park features fishing, water slides and activities that run year-round. The beach area is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, so be sure to check out their schedule for details if you’re planning ahead.
Parrish Pioneer Ranch
Open year-round, but closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays from December to August, Parrish Pioneer Ranch is another scenic mainstay. In addition to the picnic area, the main barn includes shops where you can browse for antiques, décor and even vintage toys.
Nostalgia Furniture and Decor
As you wind down from a day of nature trails and other activities, why not drop into this antique shop, located five miles from the Village at Oak Glen in the foothills community of Yucaipa? Known for its vintage home furnishings and décor, it’s sure to offer a discovery or two.
Yucaipa Performing Arts Center
Lastly, before you call it a day, consider taking in a show at the Yucaipa Performing Arts Center with its large outdoor stage. Located about five miles from the Village at Oak Glen, it’s close to restaurants and shops, potentially making for a perfect evening out with friends and family.