In the beautiful Cuyamaca Mountains of California, you’ll find the charming gold-rush town of Julian. This town will transport you back in time with its storefronts that date back to the 1840s, great hiking trails, and the town’s famous apple pie. Keep reading for all of the best things to do on a fall trip to Julian, California.
Where To Stay
Julian is about 45 minutes from Adamo Ranch, making this one-of-a-kind property perched on a hill, accessed by a private 4-mile road, the perfect place to stay. As you ascend to your home-away-from-home you’ll first notice the gorgeous panoramic views. Adamo Ranch is a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home on 22 acres of private and secluded hillside. It is a spacious thoughtfully decorated space that offers a relaxing escape with all of the comforts of home. Guests to the ranch can rest in the comfortable bedrooms and relax in the large and bright living spaces, or enjoy the stunning views from the sunrooms. Whatever you do, don’t miss a beautiful sunset from the pool during your stay at Arrivls Adamo Ranch! Book Adamo Ranch here.
The Rockaway House
This Mission Beach duplex is just 1 hour from Julain and can be rented as individual units (Rockaway North with 1 bedroom/1 bathroom, and Rockaway South with 2 bedrooms/1 bathroom) or in combination to sleep up to 8 guests, making it perfect for larger families. While staying at The Rockaway House you’ll be just steps away from the Mission Beach boardwalk. Rockaway South – a 1930s beach cottage – is full of charm and is perfect for your next beach getaway. Upstairs, Rockaway North is thoughtfully designed and inviting. Whichever space you choose you’ll love the bright interior and the coastal boho vibes that The Rockaway House offers. The Rockaway House is located on the ocean side of Mission Boulevard, just 4 houses from the sand!
Makai Mission Beach
Makai is the Hawaiian word for “towards the sea,” and is a fantastic choice for your trip to Julian! You’ll love the 2nd-floor patio and ocean view from this beachy duplex home. With its laid-back charm, thoughtful amenities, and absolutely unbeatable location, you won’t regret staying at Makai. Makai North is a spacious one-bedroom, and Makai South is a two-bedroom. The home comfortably sleeps 8 if you rent the entire duplex, making this a great option for a trip to San Diego. Makai offers garage parking and all of your beach essentials – towels, an umbrella, chairs, and sand toys. We look forward to hosting you soon at Makai!
Did you know that Makai and The Rockaway House are next-door neighbors? This makes them perfect for groups traveling with up to 16 guests. You can rent out both duplexes – perfect for multiple groups or families traveling together as you’ll be close by, but everyone still has their own space to relax and unwind at the end of the day.
A Fall Trip To Julain
With its friendly small-town feel, four distinct seasons, and enough fun to make Julian perfect for a family day trip or weekend getaway. Activities include an incredible wolf conservatory, hundreds of miles of trails, and charming cafes and cideries. Here are a few things you can’t miss on your fall trip to Julian…
Try The Apple Pie
In Julian, Apple Pie is king, and what better time to try it than on a fall trip? You won’t find a shortage of bakeries and there is an ongoing debate about which has the best in town. A few local favorites include Julian Pie Company, which has the most widely distributed apple pie in Southern California. Or try Mom’s Pie House where you’ll find a laundry list of pie options, but make sure to try their famous dumplings loaded with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baked in cream cheese to perfection.
Julian Pie Company| 2225 Main St, Julian, CA 92036| (760) 765-2449
Mom’s Pie Shop| 2119 Main St, Julian, CA 92036| (760) 765-2472
Learn About the California Gold Rush
Explore the history of Southern California’s short-lived gold rush of 1869. You can tour the Eagle Mining Company, the tours are great for families and show you the underground operations and the gold milling process. You can also view the antique gold mining equipment on display, or pretend to be a miner for a day as you pan for gold.
Indulge your inner treasure-seeker at Julian Mining Company, where you can pan for gold just like they did during the gold rush. The Julian Pioneer Museum is also worth checking out for a fascinating collection of historic artifacts. You can also learn about how local Indigenous groups and pioneer settlers lived and worked.
Eagle Mining Company| 2320 C St, Julian, CA 92036| (760) 765-0036
Julian Mining Company| 4444 CA-78, Julian, CA 92036| (951) 312-9940
Julian Pioneer Museum| 2811 Washington St, Julian, CA 92036| (760) 765-0227
Go Apple Picking
Fall is an amazing time to go apple picking in Julian, from early September to mid-October you can visit one of the many charming orchards in town. The Volcan Valley Apple Farm has over 8,000 apple trees, with seven different varieties, and is open for picking on a first-come basis Friday-Monday. Entry is $5 per person and a six-to-seven-pound bag of apples goes for $15. *Due to a recent storm, some of the orchards will not be available for picking during the 2022 season.
Or you can Grab organic Jonathan, Red, Golden Delicious, or Granny Smith apples for $20 per half-peck (approx five pounds) at Peacefield Orchard. They are open on Saturday-Sunday on a first-come basis, and it closes at 2 pm. Keep in mind that they only accept cash or Zelle at Peacefield Orchard.
Volcan Valley Apple Farm| 1284 Julian Orchards Dr, Julian, CA 92036| (760) 302-4574
Peacefield Orchard| 3803 Wynola Rd Julian, CA 92036| (855) 936-2775
Don’t Miss Miner’s Diner
Dating back to 1929, Miner’s Diner is a charming vintage soda shop that has classic diner fare. Enjoy diner classics like stacks of pancakes, bacon and eggs, burgers, dogs, and melts. Plus there is the ‘Fun Stuff’ menu where you’ll find old-time treats like ice cream floats, thick shakes, banana splits, and, of course, apple pie.
Miner’s Diner| 2134 Main St, Julian, CA 92036| (760) 765-3753
Take A Hike
There are so many amazing hiking trails in Julian, you’ll find the perfect trail no matter if you are looking for an easy family trail or a challenging hike. About 20 minutes outside of Julian you’ll find Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. This state park has hundreds of miles of trails to traverse, including the popular Stonewall Peak Trail at 3.4 miles out and back this trail offers spectacular vista views. The summit has stunning 360-degree views of Lake Cuyamaca and the rest of the park. Another great option is the Cuyamaca Peak Trail which delivers completely different views of the Anza-Borrego Desert and the lake below. At 7.7 miles this one isn’t for everyone but the views are worth the climb.
Visit A Local Winery
Fall is a great time to visit one of Julian’s wineries, and if you’ve never had apple wine before making a beeline to Volcan Mountain Winery. Located just 2 miles from charming downtown Julian this winery grows more than 20 varieties of apples. The apples are then used to make a number of tasty wines, including a sparkling Pomme D’Amour, a Pommier port-style dessert wine, and the award-winning Dolcezza. You can sample the delicious apple wines, along with other local selections, in the tasting room or on the patio. You’ll love the views of Volcan Mountain from the relaxing outdoor patio.
Volcan Mountain Winery| 1255 Julian Orchards Dr, Julian, CA 92036| (760) 765-3267
No matter what you choose to do on your fall trip to Julian you are sure to have an amazing time. You can come back to Arrivls Adamo Ranch, The Rockaway House, or Makai to relax after a day out exploring this charming small town.