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The Berry Best SoCal U-Pick Strawberry Farms

It’s that time of year when California’s luscious, sweet fruit makes its debut in markets and fruit stands. I’m referring to our family’s favorite fruit: strawberries! Southern California produces a large supply of this berry delicious fruit, so take advantage of the many u-pick strawberry farms that are just a car-ride away.


Tips for berry picking: Avoid sandals and open-toed shoes; bring hand sanitizer or wipes, sunscreen and water. Call ahead to ensure harvest supplies are ample.

Tanaka Farms
5380 University Drive
Irvine, CA 92612

Tanaka farms offers guided tours until mid-June that leave every half hour between 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., and last about 45-75 minutes. Weekday tours require reservations. Cost is $18 per person (kids under two are free). The tour concludes with picking, and eating your own strawberries, and filling up a one-pound to-go basket.

McGrath Family Farm
1012 West Ventura Boulevard
Camarillo, CA 93010

This certified organic farm is a trek from Orange County, so be sure to call ahead. Open daily 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., through June. $3 per person, $3.75 per pound of picked berries.

Carlsbad Strawberry Company
Cannon Road and Paseo del Norte just east of Interstate 5 (exit Cannon Road in Carlsbad. Located around the corner from the Carlsbad Flower Fields)

Carlsbad’s Strawberry Company boasts 80-plus acres of berries March through July. The fields are open, 9:00 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Kenny’s Strawberry Farm
953 Rainbow Valley Boulevard
Fallbrook, CA 92028

This is a new location for Kenny’s that includes u-pick strawberries and other seasonal fruits and vegetables. Harvest hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m. Guided tours are available upon request.

The Original Manassero Farms
Jeffrey (between Irvine Valley and Barranca)

The Manassero Family has been farming in Orange County for three generations since 1976. Open Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 am to 5:00 p.m.

Suzie’s Farm
2570 Sunset Avenue
San Diego, CA 92154

These melt-in-your-mouth Albion strawberries taste extra sweet – and without the chemicals.Open Tuesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m.

Underwood Family Farms
3370 Sunset Valley Road
Moorpark, CA 93021

There is no reservation required for pick-your-own, but be sure to bring your own clippers for u-pick crops. There are lots of other activities at this farm including an animal show, guided farm tour and much more. Open daily 9:00 a.m.– 6:00 p.m. through August. $3 on weekdays, $6 on weekends, plus $1.99 per pound of strawberries.

Riley’s Farm
12261 S. Oak Glen Road
Oak Glen, CA 92399

Take a step back in time to the apple growing foothills of historic Oak Glen. This working apple orchard started planting strawberries in 2008, and the popularity of the berry patch continues to grow at just $5 per pint. Directional warning: Be sure to check the Web site under the “Information” tab for directions to the farm as satellite guided maps may not be accurate.

Happy Strawberry Picking!

Kristal Zacharias is the mother of two beautiful, vivacious girls, and wife of a hunky husband who works in the action sports industry. For the past 15 years, Kristal has worked for several Fortune 500 companies as a professional communicator. Follow her journey at Clearly Kristal or on Facebook and Twitter.
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