Why you’ll want to visit Julian for the holidays

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Howdy! If you’re a local San Diegan or perhaps on vacation here, you and the family need to jump in the car and check out Julian for a fun filled afternoon. Julian is a quaint little town nestled among the Mount Laguna mountains and makes for a fun road trip with your loved ones or friends. It takes about an hour or so to get up to Julian, but winter is by far my favorite time to bring my family up there.

I always hope to come across some snow this time of year which in San Diego, is almost like finding gold.  I would suggest checking the weather forecast prior to be able to prepare to dress warm or if in fact you will get lucky with some snow and can grab a sled. This past weekend my family and I decided to try it out on a Sunday mid morning which turned out to be the best time before the crowds made it a struggle to check out all of the cute shops and restaurants.

October through January is the most popular time to explore Julian and all of its warm and cozy characteristics, the town is small with only 1502 total population, locals are friendly, food is delicious, oh and can’t leave without trying some hot apple cider or some freshly baked apple pie.

The Drive

The drive itself takes about an hour or so from San Diego, and is quite the scenic drive with beautiful mountains, farm acres, and the occasional cow on the side of the road. My family and I enjoy sipping on some warm apple spices for the drive and blast some tunes to get us into the holiday spirt!

Oh That Pie

There are plenty of places to explore for yummy pie while visiting Julian, but as a San Diego native mine and my families top choice for the best apple pie has to be Mom’s Pies located at 2116 Main Street Julian California 92036

I highly suggest their Caramel Apple Crumb pie as well as the Boysenberry Apple Crumb. This little joint makes all of their pies from scratch and has been in business since 1984 when Anita Nicols “Mom” had a vision to make yummy pies.

Shops and More

Anytime we are adventuring in a new spot or even in Julian which I have been to countless times, my daughter always wants to investigate the shops, I am sure other parents can relate that there is something magical to kids about checking out the old bottle shops, toy stores, candy shops. We came across this cute diner known for their scrumptious  burgers and old fashioned milkshakes called Miner’s Diner located at 2134 Main Street Julian California 92036

We seem to stick to the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger and a strawberry shake, this place is super cozy and casual. There is a bit of a wait usually on the busy days, but it’s worth trying once!

Magical Horse Drawn Carriage Ride

Yes this happens to be one of my favorite things to do while visiting Julian, take a ride in an horse drawn carriage ride with the whole family or even on a romantic date. It takes you through Julian’s Main Street, and the guide usually talks about the history of the town and all. You can even pet and grab a picture with one of the adorable horses. Fun for everyone! Check them out whenever you’re on Main Street, can’t miss them!

Country Carriages Ride

Hike It Off

Too much pie? Hike it off on one of the quick and easy trails located close to Julian. A lot of people don’t realize how much beauty and nature is all around you while on your adventure, there are many hikes for any level of hikers so close to Downtown Julian. Lake Cuyamaca is about a 10-15 minute drive from Julian and is something you should check out on your way out. Another favorite spot for my family and I is a little bit of a drive to Stonewall Peaks Trail which can easily be hiked with kids and pets.

Whenever I have friends or family visiting from out of town this is probably one of my highest suggestions for them to check out because it is a quick drive, fun for the family, and can be done in just an afternoon! Grab your friends, family, dog, apple spice lattes, and have a fun little afternoon adventure.


Cali girl at heart who enjoys the outdoors, writing, adventuring, and spending time with my daughter and loved ones. Cheers! "I don't have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness - it's right in front of me if I'm paying attention and practicing gratitude." -Brene Brown

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