U-pick Strawberry Farms – Kid-Friendly, Budget Friendly, Green-Friendly

Nothing spells summer like strawberries and cream. Even sweeter is watching your child roam through a strawberry field in search of the reddest, ripest, and sweetest ones. Usher in the summer by getting a taste of nature. Kids of any age will love this activity.

Organic Stawberries with Oceanviews

“One of our local favorites is Swanton Berry Farm in Davenport California just slightly north of Santa Cruz along the fabulous Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1).  Swanton Berry Farm is one of the few organic u-pick strawberry farms within an hour and a half drive from San Francisco.  Since strawberries are notoriously pesticide laden and it’s hard to keep a 3 year old from stuffing one delicious juicy berry after another into his mouth, I love that this farm is organic.The strawberry beds are also lined with plastic so that the strawberries aren’t laying directly on the dirt.  Another thing I loved about the farm is that the strawberry beds are raised about 2 feet off the ground, which means that mom and dad won’t be suffering from backache the next day.  Having raised beds, also makes it easier to keep the kids from trampling over the strawberry beds.  Our two boys were beaming from ear to ear and covered in strawberry juice from beginning to end.  We didn’t end up picking berries for more than 45 minutes and we were all stuffed and had a full flat.

A few things to consider when you visit.  Bring sunblock.  Even though the coast can be overcast or foggy, UV rays make it through the cloud cover and you can still get sunburned.  The coast is often windy.  Dress in layers because you will likely need at least some wind protection.  Today, it was so windy that hats just wouldn’t stay on.  So, if your child has long hair, consider putting up their hair in a pony tail.  If there has been rain in the last 24 hours, the fields can be muddy, so leave new or pretty shoes at home.  Swanton Berry Farm is  located out in the middle of nowhere, so bring a picnic lunch to eat at their picnic tables, in the car, or at one of the wonderful beaches on the way to the farm.  (Big Basin Redwood State beach has lots of wind and kite surfers to gaze at.)

When you arrive, pick up a box at the farm store.  Head out to the fields and return to pay.  They have an honor till where you weigh your own strawberries and leave whatever you owe.  The honor till leaves a warm feeling that the world is still a good and honest place.  The farm store also has jam and pies for sale.  Nothing too tempting even for my sweet tooth, but if you’re hungry for some pie and don’t want to make some of your own, you could pick some up.

If you live in the area or you’re visiting California and doing the Hwy 1 drive with kids.  This is something you must experience with them.  Kids just love seeing where their food grows.”

– Review by TravelPangs on Trekaroo

Swanton Berry Farm U-pick Locations

640 Cabrillo HWY,
Pescadero CA 94060

25 Swanton Road,
Davenport, CA 95017

(831) 425-8919

Season: May through October from 8am-6pm Between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.

Other Kid-Friendly U-Pick Strawberry Fields in Northern California:
Crystal Bay Farm (Organic)
40 Zils Rd Watsonville
Watsonville, California
(831) 724-4137

Season: March to June. Organic Strawberries Near Santa Cruz.Chan’s Fruit Stand (Non-organic)
2500b Walnut Blvd. Brentwood
Brentwood, California
Season: April through July from 8am-7pm near San Francisco.Pacific Star Garden (Organic)
20872 County Road 99
Woodland, California
(530) 666-7308
Season: Mid April-late June. Organic strawberries near Davis.

Click here for a list of more kid-friendly strawberry fields in California and across the US.

About the author

Brennan Pang is Co-founder of Trekaroo. He is a father to 2 boys and a girl and loves exploring and adventure travel. A California kid at heart who loves mountaineering, climbing, snowboarding, and mountain biking. He doesn't love running but does it anyway. He has lived in a hut at a chicken farm in Zimbabwe, gotten amoebic dysentery while paddling a dugout tree in Madagascar, hiked to Everest base camp in winter, chilled with the giant tortoises of the Galapagos, and witnessed a fair number of volcanic eruptions. He spent six months traveling through Central and South America with his family and recently swam with sharks and stingrays in Tahiti. Follow him on instagram at @overdare.
2 Responses
  1. Sandy Brown

    *****Please note: We are NOT located at 5221 Coast Road. We have two Upick locations at 25 Swanton Road, Davenport, CA 95017 and 640 Cabrillo HWY, Pescadero CA 94060. These locations have variable days and hours throughout the season. Please see our website www.swantonberryfarm.com or call 469-8804 for details.

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