"In 1921, Gilbert and Beatrice Bates moved their nutty family to the beautiful, picturesque oak filled valley of Valley Center, where they purchased the Walnut Slope Ranch. They raised their family of 5 boys, complete with geese, ducks, goats, horses, rabbits, sheep, tractor, plows and all sorts of old fashioned farm things. Little did Gilbert know that 80 years later his family farm would provide joy and pleasure for 5 generations of his family, but also for the thousands of visitors from around the world that make that special trip to the Bates farm each year.
We don’t know exactly how the Bates business became so famous? Perhaps it’s the beautiful farm setting, the picnic and park areas, the farm zoo, or the casual, down home environment. Or maybe, it’s the reminder of simpler times and those childhood farm memories. Farm antiques and tools line the walls of the Bates store that is filled with fresh, delicious nuts, candies, dried fruits, chocolates, fudge and gourmet delights. Pick up and sample your way through the Bates store. A sample of our own homemade fudge is a must with over 10 different choices. Our new old-fashioned candy counter will make a chocolate lover’s mouth water. You can’t help but feel like a kid at a candy counter. Over 25 feet filled with truffles, mammoth turtles, a variety of chocolates and sugar-free candies, fudge and chocolates."
Personal Experience: This is such a great spot for young families and also for weddings. I love stopping by here on my way to Valley Center, Pala or Palomar Mountain and grabbing some local, homemade goodies from their shop and saying hello to the animals. Always such a lovely time!