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Food, Wine & Fine-Dining

Memories of Oak Glen



An apple orchard in Oak Glen, California.

By Raymond Fernandez

Up in California’s Yucaipa Valley Foothills, elevation 4,600, is nestled a little community known as Oak Glen. The generations of Native Americans who once roamed these lands were called the Wanakik Cahuillas Native American Indians. The area was known as Yucaipa, which in the language of the Wanakik Cahuillas was known as “Big Hand”.

My family and I have gone up there many times over the years, from September through November and the Thanksgiving holidays for the last 20 years; our family has spent many occasions in the Oak Glen area.

This is the time of year when apple picking is in full swing. With the high elevation and mild temperatures the apples are ripe. There are many places to go shopping, with an array of opportunities to visit local farms and eateries. 

One of our favorite activities is the tomahawk contest; then in the winter we rent sleds for the snow and of course enjoy the warm apple pie with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. If you are looking to keep warm, try the home-made pressed Apple Cider or the fresh mountain spring water. 

I highly recommend you take the time to visit Riley’s Farms. Devon Riley and his family have run the farm for over 100d years. Riley’s Farm is a working apple orchard and living history farm featuring pick-your-own fruit; living history education; dinner theatre; group banquet facilities and extended, historically-themed overnight stays.

The natural settings of a rural farm and its tranquility high up in the foothills gives you a sense of bliss and tranquility that is pleasing to all five senses.

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