7 Nearby U-Pick Farms for Strawberry Picking in San Diego

Strawberries are undoubtedly a delicious and valuable fruit. A flawlessly ripe berry is a joy to see, but purchasing them from the store often involves them being transported from a nearby location or even a different state.

Nothing is better than harvesting the fruit you eat! 

While year-round strawberries sound like heaven, their availability fluctuates. Expect them to be available anywhere from February through July.

Always call the farm ahead of time to understand their availability and current weather conditions. 

Be sure to pick strawberries that are 80 to 90 percent red because they won’t ever ripen off the vine.

If you’re unsure, ask a farm worker; they’ll be able to help point out which fruit to pick and the ones you should leave to ripen.

In general, you should be able to pick ripe strawberries with a light tug on the stem. Sometimes pinching or snipping the stem can be the best way to avoid damaging the fruit. 

Check out these farms in and around San Diego that offer pick-your-own strawberries and other U-Pick experiences to harvest your own berries, fruits, and flowers!

Some go even further, offering educational events and tours to help everyone get more in touch with nature! 

1. Kenny’s Strawberry Farm

A small family-owned farm, Kenny’s will give you that small-town farm vibe everyone should treat themselves to once in a while!

Featuring a variety of local goods along with rotating food trucks, it’s a great way to pick your own fruits and vegetables in an intimate setting. 

  • Location: 953 Rainbow Valley Blvd, Fallbrook, CA 92028
  • Hours: Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Also Offers Pre-Picked Strawberries: Yes
  • Other U-Pick Fruits Available: Watermelon, pumpkin, seasonal hydroponic vegetables 

2. Carlsbad Strawberry Company

Completely focused on growing strawberries, this farm is the place to go! The only time they grow anything else is in the fall when it’s pumpkin season.

With a petting zoo home to goats and sheep, they help complete that small farm atmosphere! 

  • Location: 1050 Cannon Rd, Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • Hours: Monday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Also Offers Pre-Picked Strawberries: Yes, at the farm and other farmstand locations
  • Other U-Pick Fruits Available: Pumpkins 

3. Julian Farm and Orchard

More than just a farm, the Julian Farm & Orchard is an activity center! Hay rides, cider-pressing, and axe throwing are just a few of the other many activities they have onsite.

This full U-Pick farm offers different varieties available for harvest through the seasons, but be sure to check their website for a full harvest schedule.

  • Location: 4381 Julian Hwy, San Ysabel, CA 92070
  • Hours: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 1 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Also Offers Pre-Picked Strawberries: No
  • Other U-Pick Fruits Available: Sunflowers, daffodils, wildflowers, apples, pumpkins, raspberries, blackberries

4. The Ecology Center

A community-sponsored non-profit farm featuring countless classes and activities, this farm is an amazing educational opportunity to get closer to nature.

Being Regenerative Organic Certified sets a great example in regard to the respect we should show to our planet to get the most out of it.

While you can pick your own fruit, stick around to learn about regenerative farming or learn how to cook with your family in one of their classes.  

  • Location: 32701 Alipaz St, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
  • Hours: Monday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Strawberry U-Pick is only available Thursday through Sunday
  • Also Offers Pre-Picked Strawberries: Yes
  • Other U-Pick Fruits Available: Only strawberries are available for U-Pick.

5. Tanaka Farms

Check out this farm to pick your own strawberries and for great seasonal festivals.

Being family-owned and operated, this farm features a variety of educational programs, local foods, a petting zoo, arts & crafts, and hayride tours. 

  • Location: 5380 ¾ University Drive, Irvine, CA 92612
  • Hours: Monday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (reservations required for U-Pick)
  • Also Offers Pre-Picked Strawberries: Yes
  • Other U-Pick Fruits Available: Only strawberries are available for U-Pick.

6. Stehly Farms Organics 

Since the 1920s, this farm has been growing fresh local produce and meats. Their strawberry U-Pick dates are released depending on availability and the abundance of the crop.

Be sure to follow their social media to know when they are offering their pick-your-own events. They only accept reservations to visit the farm, so be sure to plan ahead.

  • Location: 12630 Santa Catalina Rd, Valley Center, CA 92082
  • Hours: By appointment only
  • Also Offers Pre-Picked Strawberries: Yes, at local farmers’ markets. 
  • Other U-Pick Fruits Available: Only strawberries are available for U-Pick. 

7. South Coast Farms

As the only family-owned farm in San Juan Capistrano, South Coast Farms focuses on selling its products through a CSA program and market stand.

If you can’t make it out to the farm (or ate all of the other strawberries you picked) stop by one of their farm’s stores in Orange County or their farmstand in Dana Point. 

  • Location: 33201 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
  • Hours: Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Also Offers Pre-Picked Strawberries: Yes, sold at their off-farm stand at 24040 Camino Del Avion, Dana Point
  • Other U-Pick Fruits Available: Pumpkins

Closing Thoughts 

Store your haul of fresh-picked strawberries by first washing them and letting them dry. Then place them in a shallow container, and avoid stacking as much as possible.

Cover them with a lid, towel, or paper towel for best results. They should last about one week or slightly longer depending on their maturity when picked. 

It’s hard to beat a fresh strawberry, but one you just picked easily takes the cake!

Stop by one of these farms near San Diego in southern California to get the best strawberries around, and maybe stay around for a lesson or two, you never know what you may learn about farming and growing your own food!