Our Annual Visit to Julian CA – October 2020
For those of us living in Southern California along the ocean, Julian and other inland mountain communities are a world apart.
We have miles of beaches, plenty of sand and lots of palm trees – they have more pine trees, mountains, and more leaves on the trees that turn colors…and occasional snow in the winter.
We have been making day trips to Julian, about 60 miles from Carlsbad, almost every year since moving here from Boston in 2005, and occasionally more than once a year. This year we visited for a few hours on October 30th.
It’s a beautiful drive through the mountains, past Ramona, past the Oasis Camel Dairy, and through the small town of Santa Ysabel. You truly realize how diverse California’s topography is within just a couple of hours of the coast, and how much open space there still is.
Julian was a gold mining town in the late 1800s and there are still mines to explore, although we have yet to do so. You see all sorts of reminders of that history in the buildings, signage, and the names of places to shop, eat, and sleep.
Julian is a fun place to go and explore any time, although some shops and restaurants are closed in the winter. Fall is a wonderful time to visit because of the weather, apples, and lots of stuff to do and see – craft fairs, picking apples, retail sales and more.
Julian is a small town (population about 1500 per the 2010 census), and is popular as a tourist destination, thus it can get quite crowded on the weekends in the summer and especially in the fall. Parking can be a challenge…be patient…and there are often lines for the favorite places to go for apple pies (Julian Pie Company, our favorite, and Mom’s Pie House) and for the restaurants.
Having lunch at The Julian Grille has become a bit of a tradition for us and they never disappoint. It was rather different this year because of Covid (check their business hours if you plan to go for lunch or dinner), but there is plenty of seating inside the quaint 1920s bungalow (it became The Julian Grille in 1989), and out on the patio and lawn that allows you more than enough space. It was a different experience this visit, but charming as ever and good food!
Julian Grille entrance
Julian Gold Rush Hotel
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