Apples, Astronomy, Wine, and Adventure in Historic Julian

Julian Downtown

Julian Downtown

At the top of state route 78 lies the little town of Julian California. Julian is an old mining town that has rediscovered itself as an arts and crafts town. It sits at 4200 feet, (1280 meters), and is just high enough to get an occasional dusting of snow in the wintertime.


It was originally settled in the years following the civil war by Mike Julian and Drue Bailey. The cousins liked the Julian valley and found it just right for growing apples. In 1869 Fred Coleman discovered gold and the gold rush was on. The gold played out in about 10 years but one of the mines, Eagle High Peak Mine is still open and conducts tours so you can see what a working gold mine was like over a hundred years ago. When the gold mines played out , many settlers stayed and began farming the fertile valley.

Today Julian is an arts and crafts destination all its own. Julian is the bed and breakfast capital of southern California and has many places to stay both in town and in the surrounding area. In addition to the arts and craft shops, Julian has many little restaurants and cafes. It is always a joy to tour Julian. First you shop then you eat then you shop again. The town of Julian is historic site 412 and has the Julian Gold Rush Hotel. This hotel is the oldest continually operating hotel in southern California. It was built by Albert Robinson and his wife Margaret in 1897. Albert was a freed Missouri slave.

Things to Do

Julian has something for everyone. September is apple harvest time. Every weekend in September the town of Julian is crowded with people that have come from far and wide to sample the Julian apple pies and apple cider.

If horses are your thing, there are three stables in the country surrounding Julian that have horses for rent and lessons from beginner to expert. The three stables are Integrity stables, Julian stables and Kenner horse ranch.

The Overland Back Country Wine Tour is a favorite if you like to sample fine wines. You Travel in a converted 10 wheel drive army transport from winery to winery while a guide gives you a history of the area. After a day of exploring Eagles Nest, J Jenkins, Menghini, Orfila, Pauma Valley, Shadow Mountain, Twin Oaks, and Witch Creek wineries, you end up at Menghini winery for a ranch barbeque.

Are you into Astronomy and like to look at the stars? The Observer’s Inn is for you. Every evening except Thursday, you can look through research grade telescopes and be lead in an hour long tour of the sky by an experienced astronomer, weather permitting of course.


Julian is high enough at 4200 feet to experience all 4 seasons.

The spring brings out wildflowers. The temperatures are in the 70’s F and are ideal.

Summer is hot with temperatures in the 80’s F and 90’s F but not nearly as hot as the 110 F and 115 F of the desert below.

Fall brings the apple harvest. The leaves on the trees change color to reds, oranges and yellows. The days are warm, 70’s F and the nights are cool 50’s F.

Winter brings cold weather. The days are in the 40’s F and 50’s F and the nights are below freezing. An occasional winter storm brings snow.

The Charm of Julian

Julian is close and with today’s gas prices that is a plus. It is a way to leave the cares of the city for a day or even an afternoon and enjoy a relaxing time


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I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s story. Before you go please be sure and check out our list of products on the right under our blogroll. Just click on any of the links that interest you and you will travel to that products website. Everyone have a safe and productive week and we will see you next week with a new adventure.