Looking for a picnic spot in the not so warm March-May months in California? SQUEEZE your eyes open to find yourself in this beautiful ORANGE dream!
The mild and dry Californian weather is a perfect match to grow citrus fruits and hence marks California as the land of oranges. California is one of the major producers of Oranges in the United States accounting for more than half of the harvested fruit acreage.
While you might be currently ravishing some of the sweet cuties grown locally, you can absolutely plan out a picnic to these pretty orchards once you’re out of quarantine. I’m sure you guys are waiting to get out there, so here are the deets:
About California Oranges
California’s climate is very arid with very low yearly rainfall. The days are hot and sunny, and the nights are dry and cool setting an ideal weather for raising oranges with thick, beautiful peels. The dry air prevents from forming superficial blemishes on the peels, making them attractive to supermarket shoppers. And the thicker peel also aids in keeping them fresh for extended periods.
Valencia and Navel are top 2 types of oranges grown in California. The lush groves of oranges, lemons and grapefruit gave California the legacy – its lingering image as the Golden State – the land of sunshine and opportunity.
Where to find Orange Orchards
The majority of the the citrus industry is based in Southern California, between Bakersfield and Fresno (along the edge of the Sierras) in the San Joaquin Valley.But you can find small growing areas in Riverside, San Bernardino and San Jose.
For the closest one in the Bay area put this address in your GPS: 199 River Oaks Pkwy, San Jose, CA 95134. You can find parking on the street near by and the orchards are right across the street. If you are little lost, don’t worry the aroma of oranges will undoubtedly guide you the way!
When to visit
The Growing season is typically from November through mid-June. If you go in during the earlier months of Jan-March the weather is expected to be pretty cold and the fruits will be smaller in size. So I’d recommend March-May would be the perfect time when the tress are filled with big ripped oranges.
The best time to photograph the orchards is in the morning through noon. The light is soft and diffused in the morning and the sun is low enough in the sky to not cast crazy long shadows down the orchards. If you go during the sunset, it can get pretty dark and the trees are pretty lush and block a lot of light in your photos.
Best idea, you can even plan an early summer picnic to these pretty orchards. The clear skies and cool breeze scented with the orange blossom aroma is just so heavenly and unforgettable.
What to wear? Flowy dresses and comfy sandals would be the perfect outfit. Don’t forget to grab your favorite pair of sunnies and a hat!
Photography Tips: For best photos, look for rows of trees that are closer together and that are filled with fruits.
Props: Hold up a picnic basket, or your hat. We brought our own oranges and tossed a few in the air to get a few fun photos. You can try that too!
Be polite and respectful of the property: These orchards are private property, so do not pluck any fruits and be mindful where you step. While taking photos, stick to the edge or first lane and remember to be respectful of the space you are in. If you wish to stay longer kindly request the farmers or caretakers on site before stepping in.
I hope this helps you plan a visit to see the orange groves in California! Leave a comment below if you have any questions or DM me on Instagram @preksharaj