arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter tiktok youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Explore Julian in San Diego East

A historic gold mining town in the Cuyamaca Mountains

This historic mountain hideaway is rich with natural beauty and entertaining adventures, whether you want to take a day trip in search of sublime apple pie or get away for a romantic weekend in the tranquility of the great outdoors.

As American as Apple Pie

Nestled in the picturesque Cuyamaca Mountains, an hour east of downtown San Diego, charming Julian is an easy escape into the countryside. A historic town dating back more than a century, Julian was home to the only gold rush in Southern California. Now an apple-growing region, Julian is the home of the best apple pies in Southern California, quaint shops, artful galleries, wine tasting rooms and many fruit stands, which line country lanes surrounding the town. Unlike San Diego's coastal communities, Julian is unique as it has four distinct seasons, from the changing color of fall leaves and the fresh spring blooms of lilacs and daffodils to warm summer nights and even majestic snowfalls.

Events

The annual fall apple harvest runs from mid-September to November and draws locals and visitors hungry for fresh apple pies and just-pressed cider. 

In April, Julian celebrates its gold mining history during the Julian Gold Rush Days. This fun-filled weekend includes gold panning, gold mine tours, face painting, historic skits, reenactments, a scavenger hunt and more.

Join the fun at the annual Julian Grape Stomp Festa in September. Participate in the old-world tradition of kicking off your shoes, rolling up your pant legs and letting tons of blessed grapes squish beneath your feet! With ten local wineries offering sips to sample, a wide variety of food and shopping opportunities, great Italian music provided by Roman Holiday, Bocce Ball Court, a little extemporaneous dancing here and there, this will be a party to remember!

Every Sunday, the famed Julian Doves & Desperados will perform a historical skit at 2 p.m. in front of the Historic Julian Jail. This entertainment is fun for all ages. (*Weather permitting.)

Restaurants and Sweet Treats

  • Julian Café & Bakery serves classic American plates such as roast beef with mashed potatoes, meatloaf, fried chicken and chicken fried steak, plus delicious desserts like the popular pumpkin apple pie. 
  • At the popular Miner's Diner, step back in time and enjoy old-fashioned, 1950s-style soda fountain items like root beer floats, burgers and fries. 
  • Jeremy's on the Hill in Wynola, just down the road from Julian, is a family-owned and operated California bistro-style restaurant, featuring a gourmet seasonal menu by Cordon Bleu Chef Jeremy Manley made from fresh, local ingredients. The cozy dining room is perfect for a romantic evening in the mountains. 
  • Mom's Pie House has folks lining up out the door, especially on the weekend, for traditional apple pies and imaginative fruit-filled creations like "Bumbleberry" (boysenberry, blackberry, blueberry) and "Ruby" (apple, rhubarb, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry). 

Shopping

Julian’s friendly and inviting Main Street is sprinkled with old-fashioned stores and specialty shops offering everything from artwork, antiques and apple pies to books, candles, quilts, crafts, clothing, jewelry, seasonal decorations and more. Just off Main Street, on B and C Streets up to Third Street, a number of quaint little shops are tucked on the hill and worth exploring.

Many world-class artists have their studios in Julian and occasionally turn up at galleries displaying their work. The Julian Arts Guild, a collective of talented painters, sculptors, potters, jewelry makers, craftsmen and women, hosts four annual art shows throughout the year showcasing its diverse group of artists, culminating with an Open Studios and Galleries Tour each November.

At Julian Station, another lively destination in Julian for art, antiques and local libations, wander through the 16 unique shops, listen to live music from a different local artist each Sunday, and taste Julian Hard Cider, wine at Julian Wine & Chocolate, and brews at The Cooler Craft Beer Tap.

Outdoor Recreation

Horse lovers will be rewarded with a truly magnificent horseback riding experience around Julian's backcountry. Experienced trail guides lead riders to breathtaking views from vistas surrounding Julian valley. For the camping enthusiast, Julian offers some of the best private and public campgrounds in San Diego County with varied terrain. Campers can retreat to the high desert or set up by the water’s edge at Lake Cuyamaca, where fishing, biking and hiking are just some of the many activities available to nature buffs.

Julian's mountain setting provides great scenic routes for leisurely road biking or challenging mountain biking. Julian also boasts over 15 notable hiking trails among its scenic setting. A diverse selection of trails can be found in the forested Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, the meadows of Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve and the woodlands of Santa Ysabel Preserve.


Whatever the season and whatever your interests, there is something for everyone in the spectacular mountain town of Julian. Extend your trip by exploring more of San Diego's East County.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Team Building

SAVE 10% ON ALL CITY TOURS IN SAN DIEGO!

Another Side Of San Diego Tours
Valid: Jul 18, 2023 - ongoing

Looking for an unforgettable way to explore San Diego’s many treasures? With its stunning beach views, vibrant culture, and world-famous attractions, this city truly has something for everyone....

Accommodation

Dana for Dogs Package

The Dana on Mission Bay
Valid: Nov 13, 2023 - ongoing

Eat, Fetch, Love your way to Happiness! Make the Dana on Mission Bay your four-legged-family members home away from home as well, with this special pet-friendly package. PACKAGE INCLUDES: Daily...

Accommodation

Vacay Your Way!

The Dana on Mission Bay
Valid: Sep 25, 2023 - ongoing

Escape to your dream getaway on Mission Bay! Design your perfect Vacation Package by handpicking the ideal guestroom and customizing it with our extraordinary add-on options. Whether you're looking...

Events to check out

Event

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2024

The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed...

Event

Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 25 - Jul 28, 2024

Comic-Con International is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related...

Event

Bike the Bay

Aug 25, 2024

San Diego's finest annual cycling event across the Coronado Bridge and around the bay! Ride the bridge, Bike the Bay for the 17th annual ride on Sunday, August 25, 2024! Cruise around San Diego Bay...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China
Germany
Great Britain
Japan
Mexico
Korea
Switzerland
Brazil
France
Australia
Canada
USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans
Albanian
Arabic
Belarusian
Bulgarian
Croatian
Danish
Deutsch
Español
Estonian
Filipino
Finnish
Francais
Georgian
Greek
Haitian-Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latvian
Lithuanian
Macedonian
Malay
Maltese
Nederlands
Norwegian
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Swahili
Swedish
Telugu
Thai
Turkish
Ukranian
Vietnamese
Yiddish