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LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

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Houston
posts: 35
reviews: 1
LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

Hi, we are driving from LA to Yosemite next week and are interested in maybe stopping at some orchards to have the kids pick some fruit. Maybe also some farms to buy cheese, etc. We are allowing 2 days to split the drive. I've read that the Bakersfield area is pretty nice but we don't necessarily have to limit ourselves to just Bakersfield. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. Our kids are ages 2, 6, and 9. We also want to avoid museums since we will be doing that in San Francisco.

12 replies to this topic
So Cal
posts: 3,262
reviews: 64
1. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

If you're leaving from the Los Angeles area, most people would advise just driving straight to Yosemite. Depending on when you leave and your exact destination in or near the park, it's only about a six or seven hour drive. I wouldn't describe Bakersfield as "pretty nice". It's just oil and drought-stricken farming country - not what I would spend vacation time on. (I have plenty of friends and relatives throughout the central valley - nothing wrong with it but it's not a major tourist destination, for good reason.)

Edited: 1:37 am, July 16, 2014
Grover Beach, Ca
Destination Expert
for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
posts: 15,085
reviews: 6
2. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

I grew up in Bakersfield and I'm not aware of any "pick your own" orchards around there. I would just head straight for Yosemite. The Central Valley is hot, dry and the air polluted.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
posts: 40,285
reviews: 74
3. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

Hot, hot, hot.

Farm fresh food: the San Joaquin Valley tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28926-c175348

Reply 9 ~ Central Valley ag tourism (check to see what's viable in July) tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g32724-i2090-k5200…

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 14,496
reviews: 1,890
4. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

Since you are going to San Francisco, not sure if it works, but for pick your own fruit Gzditch Ranch is quite nice to stop at (its by Monterey area so not sure if on your route or not)

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33241-d44…

Here is the link to the Fresno area fruit trail

gofresnocounty.com/fruit%20trail/fruitintere…

and several places you might want to stop.

In Bakersfield, Murray Family Farms has u-pick (call them to be sure their strawberries are still available to pick -in the Northern California area, we are in prime strawberry picking time, and have not been to Bakersfield this month, so you might want to call ahead. Picking strawberries is fun.

http://www.murrayfamilyfarms.com/

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 14,496
reviews: 1,890
5. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

Its a bit further than you might want but did want to mention the Mid State Fair

http://www.midstatefair.com/

as well as you might want to take your kids to a basque family style dinner when in Bakersfield.

Woolgrowers is quite nice

http://woolgrowers.net/

There are other basque restaurants as well.

Fresno, California
posts: 992
6. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

I'd look at a stop at Bravo Farms south of Fresno on Highway 99. They make and sell many cheese products along with selling fruit. Bravo also has areas designed for kids to enjoy. There is even a 7-story treehouse that can be explored.

http://www.bravofarmstraver.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQhx6b4yZio

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33186-d10…

It doesn't work for this poster but I thought I'd add a kid stop for those reading the thread and including a Yosemite to Coast drive on Highway 41. If someone has a Transformers fan in the family, there is an 18 foot tall Bumblebee Transformer to visit just north of Lemoore, about 30 miles south of Fresno.

http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/20433

So Cal
posts: 3,262
reviews: 64
7. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

^^^ To stop during the day, absolutely. In fact, I'm pretty sure my sis & b-i-l stopped at Bravo Farms on the way LA>Yosemite. Great fun for the kids. But again, they didn't overnight along the way - that was just a snack/leg stretch/keep-everyone-from-killing-each-other type of stop.

Bakersfield, CA
posts: 58
reviews: 39
8. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

Murray Family Farms is the only u-pick place I know of locally. There are 2 locations - one off the I5 and another, "The Big Red Barn," off hwy 58. With kids you'd want to go to the hwy 58 location, The I5 location is strictly a tiny shop and a picking opportunity. The one off the 58 has a playground, giant bouncy thing, petting zoo, and much larger shop with lots of samples and food available for purchase. Lots of schools take field trips out there.

http://www.murrayfamilyfarms.com/

Check out their activities on the webpage. You also might want to google pics of them because their webpage doesn't show a lot of the kids stuff they have going on there. Also, you'd want to call ahead and see if there are any picking opportunities when you'll be by

For dairy farms, we have a lot around here, but I don't know of any that do tours. There's this one in Hanford, but I haven't been and can't speak for it personally. Sounds fun, though!

http://rosabrothers.com/farmtour.html

Fresno, California
posts: 992
9. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

Rosa Brothers Dairy produces some fun products such as root beer flavored milk along with traditional favorites like strawberry and chocolate flavored.

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
posts: 35,739
reviews: 344
10. Re: LA to Yosemite with 3 kids, orchards, farms , fun for kids?

This is not the easiest site to navigate, but PickYourOwn.org has lots of information on places on the way from LA to Yosemite, especially if you take the 41 through Fresno and Clovis.

http://www.pickyourown.org/CAfresmont.htm

I might even spend the night in Fresno (or Coarsegold or Chukchansi) so you can drive into Yosemite in the morning through the South Entrance, see the Mariposa Grove, Wawona Hotel and then see the Yosemite Valley for the first time coming through the Wawona Tunnel. I think it is one of the greatest sights in the world.

…wikimedia.org/wikipedia/…_vista_point..JPG

You can also look at Bravo Farms if you just want a quick hit.

http://www.bravofarmstraver.com/home.html

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