Great Fall Getaways in California

Autumn By The Lake

©Denise Vasquez Photography


Fall is one of the best times of the year for a weekend getaway in California and the perfect excuse for a quick escape before the holiday season sets in. Along the coast, summer fog dissipates, and you can enjoy the clearest skies you may see all year long.

These top California destinations are places where you can taste the fruits of autumn harvests or enjoy a seasonal activity or festival. They are all especially fun to visit during September and October, making them the perfect end-of-summer getaways.

Napa Valley: Harvest Time

Many people think they should go to Napa Valley during the autumn harvest, which is from late August to early October, but keep in mind that the harvest season is the busiest time of year at a winery. Top that off with an influx of excited visitors and tasting room staff can get too busy to give visitors the dedicated attention that they are able to at other times of the year.

Instead of going during harvest, plan your Napa getaway after the last grapes are crushed and their juice is on the way to becoming wine. Throughout October and November, the crowds start to diminish, and the vintners have survived the hectic harvest. You’ll not only receive more personal service, but you’ll get in on the best reason to go to Napa in the fall is to see the colorful foliage. In wine country, that’s grape leaves, not trees. After giving up their harvest, Napa Valley grapevines put on a vivid display that rivals what any deciduous trees in the state can muster.

Julian: Apple Picking

In the 1800s, treasure-seekers rushed to Julian looking for gold. The gold ran out, but the plucky little gold rush town survived. Today, it has an attractive downtown and lots of old-fashioned charm. In the fall, people rush to Julian for a new kind of golden treasure that also comes in red and green: the apples that ripen in nearby orchards in the fall and are primed for visitors to come and pick.

Plan your getaway to Julian during the fall and you’ll find roadside stands selling apple varieties you’ve never heard of. You can buy them ready to go or pick them yourself for a fun afternoon spent with family and friends out in the orchards. And don’t miss out on all the locally prepared specialties—every cafe in town offers their own versions of homemade apple pie and cider.

San Francisco: Clear Skies, No Crowds

If you want to see San Francisco under clear, blue skies and without having to elbow your way through crowds of tourists, go in the fall. That’s when the legendary San Francisco summer fog goes away along with the crowds of tourists that can make all the tourist attractions overly busy. September and October are the months with the best weather in San Francisco, with consistently clear days and much warmer temperatures than summer—perfect for visiting some of the local beaches, such as Ocean Beach or China Beach.

Wherever you go, your friends at Apollo Insurance Services hope you have a wonderful & safe trip!