Photo by Annie Spratt on UnsplashTake a Day Trip to Julian For Homemade Pie, Panning for Gold, Vintage Finds and More Keri Bridgwater October 29, 2020 Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on LinkedInShare on InstagramShare on YouTubeShare on EmailShare on WhatsAppDust off Your Cowboy Boots—We’re Heading to Julian! Written By: Keri Bridgwater Photographed By: Jenavieve Belair What to Do in Julian Take a break from modernity and head on a day trip to a town that transports you back in time. Nestled in the Cuyamacas and just an hour’s scenic drive east of San Diego, the quaint mountain town of Julian boasts historic streets filled with specialty shops, forested hiking trails, local wineries, old gold mines and lots and lots of apple pie. Sometimes snowy in winter and its surrounding meadows dotted with wildflowers during summer, Julian makes a great day trip no matter the season. For a dose of old-time charm, gather up the crew for gemstone panning, afternoon tea, antiquing and other fun adventures! Apple of My Pie What to Do in Julian Julian Pie Company, Apple Alley Bakery No trip to Julian would be complete without digging into a slice of the town’s famed apple pie. Perhaps the most well-known bakeshop is the Smothers family-owned-and-operated Julian Pie Company. Alongside their original apple, seasonal flavors like boysenberry and rhubarb grace the menu. Pro-tip: order a slice with whipped cream or à la mode and enjoy a slice on the outside patio! Another highly-prized purveyor is Apple Alley Bakery. Run by long-time local, Debbie Gaudette, this super-popular spot serves up gluten-free and vegan options, among other treats. The apple pie crumble and cinnamon ice cream combo here is especially outstanding. Julian Pie Company 2225 Main St Julian, CA 92036 760.765.2449 Apple Alley Bakery 2122 Main St Julian, CA 92036 760.765.2532 Tea’s Company Julian Tea & Cottage Arts Anglophiles will appreciate menu offerings inside Julian Tea and Cottage Arts, housed inside the historic home which was built in 1898 for gold miner Clarence King. Go big with the Cottage Classic Afternoon Tea, which includes tea, soup, a mini cheese scone, finger sandwiches and buttermilk scones with whipped cream, jam and homemade lemon curd, plus a house dessert. There’s also a three-course Afternoon Tea and a Cream Tea that’s perfect for a pick-me-up. The shop stocks a ton of tea-related accessories, loose-blend and bagged teas, too. Reservations are highly recommended on weekends and holidays. Julian Tea & Cottage Arts 2124 3rd St Julian, CA 92036 866.765.0832 Shop Vintage and Handcrafted Goods The Old Well, Crow & Lilac, The Julian Book House View this post on Instagram A post shared by Crow & Lilac Gallery/Boutique (@crowandlilac) on Oct 11, 2018 at 3:56pm PDT While plenty of boutique and eclectic specialty shops can be found along and around Main Street, here are three must-visits. Housed in the 100-year-old Julian livery, The Old Well is a treasure trove for cool finds, antiques and curios, vintage clothing and old vinyl. Take a look-see down the fifty-foot deep (hand-dug!) vertical well that’s still inside the store. Stop by Crow & Lilac for essential oils and handmade aromatherapy products as well as dream catchers, handmade ceramics and original artwork. Have a bookworm with you? Treat them with The Julian Book House orderly shelves packed with well-thumbed paperbacks and coffee table tomes. The Old Well 2102 3rd St Julian, CA 92036 760.527.4014 Crow & Lilac 2608 B St Julian, CA 92036 760.842.3331 The Julian Book House 2230 Main St Julian, CA 92036 760.765.1989 Natural Beauty William Heise County Park, Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, Santa Ysabel East Preserve View this post on Instagram A post shared by County of San Diego (@countyofsandiego) on Dec 22, 2017 at 9:08am PST The countryside around Julian is home to beautiful nature preserves and national parks packed with scenic hiking trails. A short drive from town, the William Heise County Park has 11 miles of trails that hug the northern side of the Laguna Mountain Range and wind through mountain meadows, cedar, pine and oak trees. There’s a five-mile-long round-trip summit hike at nearby Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve where stunning vistas from the desert to the coast await; and there are 13 miles of trails through oak woodlands, rolling hills and meadows filled with seasonal wildflowers to explore at the Santa Ysabel East Preserve. William Heise County Park 4945 Heise Park Rd Julian, CA 92036 760.765.0650 Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve 1209 Farmer Rd Julian, CA 92036 760.765.4098 Santa Ysabel East Preserve 500 Farmer Rd Julian, CA, 92036 760.765.4098 Stay Gold Eagle & High Peak Mines Photo by: Jenavieve Belair Pan for gold at a legit former 1870s mining operation at The Eagle Mining Co. Home to two of Julian’s original gold mines, Eagle and High Peak. Here, daily guided tours are peppered with historical facts and paint a picture of what life was like for early Californians, prospectors and area residents. Each visit culminates with an incredible underground walk through the restored hard rock tunnels of both mine shafts. The on-site general store (aka gift shop) sells crystal geodes you can crack open in the sluice box, too. Eagle and High Peak Mines 2320 C St Julian, CA 92036 760.580.7434 All Aboard! Julian Station View this post on Instagram A post shared by • E R I N M A C K I E • (@spoonme21daystyle) on Oct 28, 2018 at 10:29am PDT Three miles west of Main Street you’ll find an eclectic collective known as Julian Station. The covered arcade houses a Western-themed antique shop, Cowboy Rendevouz and local gem, Mr. Manitas Taco Bar & Fruteria. It is known as the authentic Mexican eatery which not only serves up GMO-free tortillas but also sources produce from local purveyors. For adult beverages check out Golden Coast Mead, Julian Hard Cider, and The Cooler Craft Beer Tap & Tasting Room. At Julian Wine & Chocolate, try local pours and chocolate pairings or stop by the Station on Sundays for its local live music series and patio barbecue. 760.885.8364 Native Knowledge: A horseback ride at Kenner Horse Ranch or apple picking (August and September only) at orchards like Apple Starr is a great way to explore the Julian countryside!