Or Citrus Heritage Park, as I remember it, in Riverside CA.
Cost-$5.00 per car
There is nothing in this world that smells as good as an orange grove in blossom. Many of us here in SoCal occasionally drive by one and know when to roll down the car windows to catch a whiff of that heavenly smell. At this state park you not only catch a whiff, but can walk among the trees, and if you time it right, you can take a delicious tasting tour. And time it right was exactly what I did yesterday.
When my kids were small we went to this park often. We met a large group of other homeschooled kids in the more traditional part of the park where the kids would all run around on the grass and sometimes follow the dirt trails under the trees. I hadn't been back to this park in many years and because I was close I decided to stop in and take some new pictures.
Boy, was I glad I did! In the years since I've been there a visitor's center has been added with lots of information about the types of citrus in the park as well as the industry in California and a small gift shop. I happened to arrive just as a tour was starting and finagled my way into the group. I thought it would be an interesting way to learn about the place. It was a fairly new park when we started going there back in the late nineties.
I had a grand time on the tour. Not only did I get to walk in the beautiful sunshine but we were all given various citrus to taste and everyone was quite sticky with juice after about five minutes in. By the end of the tour we were all full of fruit, stickier than a toddler and much more well informed on California's citrus industry. Because of the parks status as a state historic park picking of fruit is not allowed.
From the parks website:
PLEASE NOTE: The picking of any fruit, flowers, or other materials in the park is strictly prohibited. All things in the state park are protected.
That being said-docents can pick the fruit and if you happen to take a tasting tour and the trees are heavy with oranges, grapefruit, mandarins, etc., you will most likely come home with some bounty.
All the pertinent information can be found at www.parks.ca.gov
There is a Speaker Series; upcoming events are Grafting, March 5, 2016 and Animals, April 2, 2016.
Tours are currently scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10;30, 12:00, and 2:00
Check the web for updated and current information, or call ahead to arrange a group tour.
(951)637-8045 Visitor Center, Museum and Gift Shop
---There is also a very nice event center, but as a wedding was taking place there at the time I did not want to intrude with my camera.---