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5 of the best places to check out with your family this fall in Northern California

Fall is our family's favorite season, and for so many reasons.

What are some of your favorite things to do with your family during the fall? We’ve always loved trips to Apple Hill and long drives to look at the amazing oranges and yellows as the Aspens prepare for winter. As photographers, we especially take notice of the changing weather and colors in the Sierra Nevada while always searching for the most beautiful locations for family portraits. Traditionally we have photographed families in locations in Nevada City, Grass Valley, Auburn and Loomis that are perfect for family portraits this time of year. This fall, we are looking at 3 seperate destination fall family photo shoots. They are going to be epic! (Sessions will be extremely limited to only 12 families) Make sure to sign up with your email to be among the first to know when these sessions start booking!

Want a hint? One of these exclusive family photo sessions will take place in Hope Valley! Oh, I'm so excited, I can hardly wait!

Aspens grove along South Lake Tahoe

5. Lake Tahoe

Why you’ve got to go: Lake Tahoe is a natural playground all year round. This massive lake is surrounded by forests, mountains, rivers, and kid-friendly eco lodges. It’s one of the best places for families to visit in California, as there’s no shortage of activities to do with kids. But during the fall there is a bonus… Color!

What to do: While you may spend warm days swimming, hiking, boating, kayaking, and fishing on Lake Tahoe itself, during the fall If you do happen to be in the area during the peak of this bright autumnal display, there are several drives where you can take in the season in all its glory. You will want to check out all the Aspens that turn bright yellow between Emerald Bay and Valhalla. Once the snow falls, go snowmobiling, snowboarding, skiing, and sledding on the mountains. Also check out Incline Village and Hope Valley is a MUST!

4. Highway 395 and the Eastern Sierras

Why you’ve got to go: The color! Fall is ablaze in color all along the Eastern Sierra! In recent years, more and more people are discovering the beauty of the serene Eastern Sierras, but it is still relatively quiet in comparison to local foothill locations.

What to do: Inyo and Mono Counties, ok this is a bit further, but… It is perfect for a long relaxing drive and a great variety of day hikes. If you are a road tripper, then this is a drive you want to check out! From mid-September to well into November (depending on elevation) there are dozens of locations to check out! We love Convict Lake, Rock Creek Canyon and Bishop Creek Canyon. If you are lucky you might even spot some wild horses / burro or even Elk.

3. Apple Hill - Placerville

Why you’ve got to go: For the Pumpkins, Apple Beer, Cider, Pie, Pumpkins, Crafts, Atmosphere and so much more. Fishing, U-Pick orchards, train rides, mazes and perfect photo ops. There are a million reasons to visit, and more than 50 independent local farms to visit.

What to do: Pick pumpkins, taste delicious deserts, and shop for the perfect handcrafted gift! You can visit one of the more popular and well know farms but beware the crowds will be large. Boa Vista, High Hill Ranch and Ables Orchards are some of those. Some of the lesser known farms include: Argyres Farm #22 Where you can pick your own apples (Golden Delicious and Rome) and Concord Grapes.

Larsen Apple Barn and Bake Shop Farm #9 ... Come and visit the longest family owned Apple Hill farm. You’ll find over 20 varieties of apples along with pears, grapes, dried fruits, juices and more. Our bakery is full of treats!

2. Bishops Pumpkin Patch – Wheatland

Why you’ve got to go: A petting Zoo, A corn Maze, a zip line… perfect entertainment for families with children of all ages!

What to do: Hayrides… these are so much fun! Pick your own Pumpkin! There is so much to do hear you really have to go check it out! They even have pig Olympics… cheer on our favorite pigs as they compete for the gold! Walk around for free, take a sunflower home for 2 tickets per sunflower. Take a relaxing and healing walk through this winding path of sunflowers. Cut one of your own to take home.

1. Bierwagon’s Donner Trail Fruit and Farm Market (Chicago Park)

Why you’ve got to go: LOCAL! Because we love our local businesses! Because they have an awesome pumpkin patch, delicious honeycrisp apples, Oh My goodness Peach Shakes, and amazing organic fruits and veggies!

What to do: Pumpkin Hunting! Find local honey, check out perfect local creations.

Snack shack, straw pyramid, apple fritters! Free Parking, too.

If you are interested in one of our fall mini's or one of our epic adventure fall family photo sessions, please make sure you visit and sign up to make sure you are among the first to know!

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