9 Best Strawberry Picking Farms Near San Diego (PYO) 2024

In San Diego, strawberry picking is nostalgic during springtime. Everybody loves these juicy, red, sweet, and delicious berries as casual snacks and desserts. Strawberry Farms has introduced different activities to attract visitors, such as freshly cooked desserts with berries, farm-to-table lunches, petting zoos, tractor rides, and farm stands.

The beautiful farms in the valleys of San Diego are the best places to spend family time while plucking your berries. In San Diego, March, April, May, June, and July are strawberry seasons based on weather conditions and availability.

When Is Strawberry Picking Season in San Diego?

Springtime is the best time to harvest strawberries in San Diego, USA. The strawberry season generally starts in March and extends till July, depending on availability and climate conditions. 

Best Strawberry Picking Farms Near San Diego
Best Strawberry Picking Farms Near San Diego

1. Carlsbad Strawberry Fields – California

This beautiful U-pick strawberry farm is off the Interstate 5 freeway in Carlsbad, California. It’s a perfect spot for family gatherings, team bonding, and fun activities near San Diego. The farm has been a strawberry producer in San Diego for over five decades.

They provide field trips for schools, churches, and non-profit organizations. The farm is situated close to the beaches. It means you can enjoy a U-pick with a great ocean view. After U-pick, visitors can visit their Carlsbad Shoppie for quick bites and souvenirs.

Carlsbad Strawberry Company
Carlsbad Strawberry Company
  • Entry Fee: $15/per person with a bucket, $10/per person without a bucket.
  • Hours: Every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Phone: 760-603-9608
  • Nearby Places to Visit: Lego and California, Miniland USA, South Carlsbad State Beach Campground
  • Address: 1050 Cannon Rd, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Read Best Farms for Strawberry Picking in Connecticut

2. Julian Farm and Orchard – Santa Ysabel, CA

Julian is one of the most popular Strawberry farms situated near the Wynola neighborhood of Julien, an hour’s drive to the east of San Diego.

Visitors can pet the farm animals in the petting zoo inside these 25-acre farmlands. Many activities are organized here, like axe throwing, haybale maze, rock climbing, etc. There are rides like tractor-pulled hayrides. 

They offer their farmlands for special events. There is a gift shop with exciting, different items to choose from. Parking is free on this farm, and well-behaved, leashed dogs are allowed.

Julian Farm and Orchard
Julian Farm and Orchard
  • Entry Fee: For general admission, $5 per head and unlimited activity armband, $25 per head (approx). Kids above 2 years old need a full ticket.
  • Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Phone: 760-765-5494
  • Nearby Places to Visit: Cleveland National Forest, Ceder Creek Falls, Cuyamaca Peak, Lake Cuyamaca.
  • Address: 4381 Julian Hwy, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070

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3. Tanaka Farms – Irvine, California

Tanaka Farms is owned by fifth-generation Japanese farmers in Costa Mesa. This 30-acre farmland is famous for quality products, community farming, and care packages. 

The best part of U-picking strawberries and other vegetables here is their specialized Wagon tour around the farm. Tour guides describe their history, farming process, and everything while riding around the farmlands. 

Tanaka Farms
Tanaka Farms

Thousands of school and college students attend Tanaka farm’s annual educational tours. The Hikari festival and Christmas tree festival are particularly famous here. People can enjoy fresh farm-to-table food in their hilltop eatery. Also, tents and farm spaces can be rented for different occasions. The Barnyard allows kids to pet farm animals for free. 

  • Entry Fee: Adults and kids over the age of 3 – Monday to Friday $20, Saturday, Sunday, Holiday – $24
  • Hours: The farm is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Phone: 949-653-2100
  • Nearby Places to Visit: Corona Del Mar State Beach Park.
  • Address: Tanaka Farms, 5380 3/4 University Dr., Irvine, CA 92612, USA

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4. Kenny’s Strawberry Farm – Fallbrook, California

Kenny’s farm is an almost decade-old strawberry farm in Rainbow near the Temecula Valley. It is one of the few strawberry farms near San Diego where different strawberries are harvested.  They have two stands in Murrieta Hot Springs Stand and Clinton Keith Stand.

People can enjoy fresh desserts from Kenny’s Farm Kitchen. However, visitors can bring their lunch and enjoy it on their picnic benches. The gift shop has souvenirs like greeting cards, coffee mugs, and homemade sweet desserts. All of these are locally sourced.

Kennys Strawberry Farm
Kennys Strawberry Farm
  • Entry Fee: Free. They charge $10 for a small bucket and $22 for a large bucket.
  • Hours: Friday to Sunday by reservation
  • Phone: 888-236-0101
  • Nearby Places to Visit: Pechanga Resort Casino and Pala Casino Spa Resort
  • Address: 953Rainbow Valley Blvd, Fallbrook, CA, 92028

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5. Stehly Farms Organics – Valley Center, California

Stehly Farms Organic is one of the oldest farms near San Diego, California. They have produced different vegetables and fruits like oranges, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, onions, etc. Since 2002, the Stehly brothers Jerome and Noel Stehly have switched to organic and sustainable farming.

The farm kitchen offers fresh farm-to-table food like pizzas and tacos. Visitors can enjoy them beside the U-picking. Children love this farmland for petting zoos and farm activities like tractor rides and playgrounds. The Stehly brothers have introduced CSA programs for community organic farming. 

Stehly Farms Organics
Stehly Farms Organics
  • Entry Fee: $15 per person
  • Hours: Every Saturday from 9 a.m – 3 pm
  • Phone: 760-742-1186
  • Nearby Places to Visit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Address: 12630 Santa Catalina Rd, Valley Center, CA 92082, United States

Read Farms for Strawberry Picking in Milwaukee, WI

6. South Coast Farms U-Pick – San Juan Capistrano, CA

South Coast Farms is an innovative initiative by farmer George. Strawberries and flowers are grown without pesticides or artificial fertilizers on the farmland at Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano. Visitors can visit these magical lands for strawberry U-picks. 

Fresh harvests are delivered daily to the Dana Point Farm Stand farm stands. Farmer George has started the CSA program for this farmland. People from different communities are joining in on this to help him build a community farming place. 

South Coast Farms
South Coast Farms
  • Hours: Wednesday-Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm
  • Phone: 949-661-9381
  • Nearby Places to Visit: Mission San Juan Capistrano landmarks, museums, chapels, and gardens
  • Address: South Coast Farms U-Pick, 33201 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675, United States

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7. The Ecology Center – San Juan Capistrano, CA

The Ecology Center is a 28-acre regenerative organic certified regenerative community farm in San Juan Capistrano, Southern California. Agriculture training is provided to kids. The Ecology Center is built on 3 step process – Grow-Eat-Make Peace.

The Ecology Center
The Ecology Center

Strawberry picking season is a part of Rainbow Tasting season here. Everyone is invited to the community table every weekend to enjoy the harvest of every color. U-pick is organized after Rainbow tasting. Visitors are welcome to bring their baskets. 

Visitors need to bring their baskets for this. You can pick as much as you can carry. Single-use plastics are not allowed here. The Ecology Center also organizes different festivals around the year.

The Ecology Center
The Ecology Center
  • Entry Fee: $12 per person. Children under 2 are free.
  • Hours: Sunday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Phone: 949-443- 4223
  • Nearby Places to Visit: Los Rios Street History District. 
  • Address: 32701 Alipaz Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

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8. Wholesome Heritage Farm – Escondido, California

The Wholesome Heritage Farm has been a family farm for generations, serving the people of San Diego County. The place is well-known for its organic farming process and for delivering fresh harvests daily to the nearby farmer’s stand. They harvest corn, tomatoes, squash, and apples, besides Strawberries. 

Wholesome Heritage Farm
Wholesome Heritage Farm

The place offers activities like farm animal petting, tortoise race, and picnic zones other than U-Pick. The farm owners also encourage school tours and educational trips to farmlands. 

  • Phone: 760- 747-3434
  • Nearby Places to Visit: Escondido downtown, The balloon safari
  • Address: 21345 San Pasqual Rd, Escondido, CA 92025, United States

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9. Mellano Farm Stand – Oceanside, California

Mellano Farm Stand is one of the most happening farms and farmer shops near San Diego. It’s a family-run business growing fresh veggies, fruits, and beautiful flowers. Visitors can shop for fresh harvests or can go for seasonal U-picks. 

The farm is known for constantly producing organic crops, starting from fresh and juicy strawberries, Brussels sprouts, avocados, kale, and sunflowers. Weekends are the best time to visit this farmland. 

Mellano Farm Stand
Mellano Farm Stand

Seasonal weekend festivals include music, craft shops, outside vendors with different products, tractor rides, petting zones, and many fun activities. The farm owners have their own educational programs. They sponsor stipends for students and offer agricultural training for people of all age groups.

  • Hours: Thursday-Sunday from 10:30 to 5 pm. Monday-Wednesday by appointment
  • Phone: 760-517-8383
  • Nearby Places to Visit: California Welcome Center(Oceanside), the Flower Field, and Oceanside Municipal Fishing Pier.

Address: 5714 North River Road, Oceanside, CA 92057

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Vista Strawberry Festival in May

Vista Strawberry Festival is considered the best celebration of berries during Springtime in California. Vendors and farmers celebrate this day with fresh food, fun games and rides, entertainment, music, and different activities in Downtown Vista.

California was once called the Strawberry Capital of the World. This festival in San Diego County is considered an homage to that title. The festival Date and Timing are the last Sunday of May; the event starts at 8 am and ends at 6 pm.

Address: Chamber of Commerce, 170 Eucalyptus Avenue, Ste. 115, Vista, CA 92084

Helpful Tips for Strawberry Picking

  • The strawberry season can be scorching, so dress accordingly. Wear comfortable clothes and a hat. 
  • Wear shoes to stay comfortable in heat and mud. 
  • Bring sufficient water with you.
  • Most of the farms provide their baskets for U-picks. You can also bring your own. But weigh them before entering the ranches.
  • Kids must accompany their parents and follow the rules for plucking. 
  • Most farms prohibit eating berries directly on the Ranch. There are picnic zones for enjoying them.
  • Before you enjoy your pick, make sure you have washed them thoroughly. 
  • Carry enough cash or cheques to buy berries. 

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Find Strawberry Picking Farms Near You

Strawberry Picking Farms Near San Diego California
Strawberry Picking Farms Near San Diego, California

Conclusion

Farms for Strawberry Picking in San Diego are pretty famous among citizens. Strawberry is widely celebrated throughout California. Some of the above farms are famous nationwide for their strawberries. The Strawberry Festival of Vista, San Diego County, is a popular tourist attraction yearly. The farmers here have shown farming strawberries can change life and perspective toward nature. It’s the best reason to celebrate these sweet red berries. 

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