Entertainment & Events

Off the Beaten Path: Julian

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Located in East San Diego County, Julian is a small yet charming town in the Cuyamaca Mountains. This historic town that is steeped in historic gold mining period of California, it is a place with fun adventures and natural beauty that you have to see.

Julian is well-known as being an apple-growing region, and is home to some of the best apple pies in all of Southern California. The Julian Pie Company has been serving up a variety of downright delicious pies since 1986, and you can often find patrons lined up on the weekends to get a freshly baked pie for themselves.

In this apple-growing region, there is an annual fall harvest that runs from mid-September to November and draws in locals and visitors from all around California. For two days in September, the town celebrates the Julian Apple Days Festival, which is complete with apple displays, antique tractor display, children’s games, music and dancing, gold panning demonstrations a beer and wine garden, food and handicrafts, contests, and, of course, apple pie and cider. It doesn’t get more old country than this, and it’s a great event to bring the family to and enjoy a mild summer evening around good company.

While visiting, be sure to check out Miner’s Diner, and take a step back into the 1950’s. This old-fashioned diner has been perfectly preserved and is a neat experience that is both delightful and delicious. With 1950’s-style soda fountain drinks and soulful food, this is a perfect precursor before digging into a slice of pie.

Which way do we go?

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Julian is a fantastic place for those who love the outdoors. There are tons of stunning horseback trails throughout the mountains, and experienced trail guides can show the magnificence of the Julian backcountry. There are also some of the best public and private campgrounds of San Diego County in Julian. If you want to fancy it up a bit, check out Alter Experiences, a glamping retreat with a location in Julian that seamlessly blends luxury and the great outdoors making for a truly unforgettable experience. With plenty of hiking trails, you can experience some amazing scenic routes with trails for all skill levels. You can find a diverse selection of trails in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and the woodlands of Santa Ysabel Preserve.

If you want to get a little shopping done, you can find all sorts of quaint antique shops on the main street of Julian. The town has a thriving scene of local artists that have their works on display. The Julian Arts Guild hosts four annual art shows throughout the year, with an Open Studios & Galleries Tour every November. At Julian Station, you can find a variety of unique shops, along with several tap and wine rooms.

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No matter what you want to do, Julian is a refreshing escape from the busy hustle of the city, and is surely a ton of fun!

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