Where to Pick Strawberries in San Diego

Where to Pick the Best Strawberries in San Diego

Peak strawberry season hits San Diego between March-June. Here’s our top spots to pick strawberries in San Diego County in 2024!


Did you know nearly 90% of the U.S. strawberries are grown right here in California?

Support your local farmers—head to the nearest farmer’s market, farm stand or take the whole family strawberry picking. It’s a perfect opportunity to teach kids about where their food comes from.

Read on for top spots on where to pick strawberries in San Diego and learn how you can pick the best berries to bring home.

Where to Pick Strawberries In San Diego County

Stehly Farms U-Pick Strawberry Festival — April

Join Stehly Farms Organics for their annual U-Pick strawberry festival — 2024 date to be announced. Admission includes petting zoo, tractor ride and full access to the playground. Plus, farm-to-table oven-fired pizzas, tacos, burgers, gelati and smoothies to purchase.

12630 Santa Catalina Rd., Valley Center

Mellano Farm Stand — Opening March 9 + 10, 2024

The Oceanside farm will kick off its U-Pick strawberry season in  March with a special event featuring food, live music, vendors, plus a chance to take pictures in their beautiful ranunculus field for photos.

No entrance fee.

5750 N River Rd, Oceanside

Carlsbad Strawberry Company — Opening March 2024

Located right off I-5 near Legoland, Carlsbad Strawberry Company is a great spot to bring the whole family for picking. There’s also sheep, goats and rabbits this year, alongside a full sunflower maze, lavender fields and tractor rides to add to your outing. They do close if there’s rain, so give them a call if the weather is questionable.

$5 for admission per person + $12 per bucket. Kids under 5 are free. Open daily, 9am-6pm

1000 Cannon Rd., Carlsbad

Kenny’s Strawberry Farm

Head to Fallbrook for some of the best berries in the county. Kenny’s Strawberry Farm offers rows and rows of this delectable fruit plus an onsite farm kitchen cooking up strawberry treats such as ice cream bars, strawberry shortcake and strawberry lemonade.

Reservations are required and cancellations are possible due to heat or rain so check in advance. $20 per large bucket, $8 per small bucket.

953 Rainbow Valley Blvd., Fallbrook

The Flower Fields

The Flower Fields in Carlsbad don’t have U-Pick strawberries but they do have a new Sweet Pea Maze plus a Strawberry Shack for strawberry sweet treats after you stroll amongst the flowers.

5704 Paseo del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92008

Vista Strawberry Festival | May 26, 2024

While not technically a U-Pick spot, the Vista Strawberry Festival is the only festival in the County dedicated to this seasonal fruit, with a Strawberry Fun Run, rides, vendors and much more.

2024 Date: Sunday, May 28, 2024 from 8am-6pm.

Free, 127 Main Street, Vista

What to wear when picking berries

  • Wear layers
  • Sturdy boots/shoes
  • Hat
  • Mask
  • Gardening gloves

San Diego Hat Company Fall Winter Hats

How to Tell if a Strawberry is Ripe

Here’s a few easy tips to pick the best bunch of berries:

1. Buy them in season.

Strawberries are hand-picked and immediately rushed to local markets because it’s very hard to store them and maintain freshness. So your best bet for the juiciest, ripest strawberries is to purchase them locally and in season. April to June is prime picking time so stock up and freeze these delicious, fruity jewels!

2. Look for bright red color all over.

Strawberries stop their ripening process the minute they’re picked from the plant so it’s important to purchase them at their peak. A ripe strawberry is red from the top all the way to the tip. If it’s white or green at the bottom, it won’t ripen any further and instead will have a tart taste.

3. Check for healthy, green tops.

The bright green caps (aka calyxes) of strawberries indicate freshness. Dried leaves suggest a fruit past its prime.

4. Do a mold check.

Check around the plant or berry for signs of white fuzzy mold. If buying a pint at a market or farm stand, lift up the clamshell or container to check the top, sides and bottom for any signs of mold.

5. Stop and smell the strawberries.

Did you know strawberries are a part of the rose family? Just like roses, strawberries give off a wonderful candy-like, floral aroma at their peak. Put your nose near the plant and take a strong whiff to check for freshness.


The Best Strawberry recipes

Tranform your beautiful bounty into lovely jams, jellies or desserts. Check out our 11 Sweet + Savory Strawberry recipes post for the best strawberry-forward recipes from local San Diego food bloggers!

Strawberries: Buy local!

Our local food system needs your help to keep it growing strong.

Subscribe to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box, head out to a local farmstand, farmer’s market or U-Pick spot and make an impact in support of our local economy!

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