Most motorists tooling up Taylor Road know the town of Penryn only by its quaint Griffith Museum and Park. In the mid 1860's a Welshman named Griffith opened the granite quarry to supply state government buildings in Sacramento with facing rock, and a few years later he set up his rock polishing processor to give a high-quality gloss to the stone. Some of the park’s trails lead to actual mining sites.

But a short drive off the main road will take you to a vibrant little town with a library, the Fast Pak Market, several mandarin orchards offering “pick-our-own” tours, tasting rooms and gift shops, plus Penryn Auto Repair, promising “No Job Too Big.”

Though the town has an interesting history, it’s the mandarin orchards that draw visitors. Many families make an annual trek to take advantage of a relatively short growing season, in the same way they go into the forests at Christmas time to choose their Christmas tree. The family owners of Mandarin Hill Orchards have been growing their fruit for 70 years, and some of their trees date back to the 1880’s.

Penryn offers numerous vacation rentals, some with private pools, and rates start at under $100 a night.

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