Travel Spotlight: Julian
Fall leaves, cool breeze, and pie… oh geez. If you’re having a major case of the fall-weather blues living in always Sunny San Diego, then Julian is your one-stop shop to seasonal weather. Instead of paying $500 for a round trip to the east coast, put $20 in your gas tank and drive the serene and windy two hours to the quiet town of Julian, California. As someone born and raised in the south, seasons are something I crave, especially fall. Julian is a must-do every year around this time. Yes, it can get a little crowded, but I’ve got the tips you need to make your stay worthwhile:
Do high-tea at Julian Tea & Cottage Arts
This quaint lil' tea house will make all your mini sandwich dreams come true. Select your tea (they've got dozens to choose from, but their loose-leaf Blackberry Sage is delicious), and don't be afraid to add a splash of milk and sugar. Enjoy some tasty sandwiches and soup; I highly recommend the pumpkin chowder. Drink with your pinkie in the air and buy your own tea set when you're all done. I'll admit, I caved and purchased a four-leaf clover pattern for when I eventually become a tea-drinking fiend. Yum!
Sleep at Eaglenest Bed & Breakfast
If you're a dog-lover, or a lover of great home-cooked breakfasts and nighttime apple cobblers, then Jim and Julie's Eaglenest B&B is the place to be. With five golden retrievers, you'll get your pupper therapy, and every morning a fresh and warm breakfast to start your day. It's not your average continental either; they make omelettes and cinnamon bread, breakfast quiche and baked pears... it's a feast. The owners live across the street so as to keep your privacy high, and the suites all have their own bathroom (priorities). | Golden Retriever photos courtesy of Eaglenest
Eat pie from Mom’s
Alright, so you've probably heard of the Julian Pie Co., which is also great, but I want to introduce you to your new favorite pie place in Julian— Mom's. It's small, smells of cedar wood, and closes at 5pm every day. The pie is to-die-for, especially topped with their homemade cinnamon ice cream. What better way to kick off fall than with a warm slice o' pie and some hot apple cider?
Relish in the stars
Perhaps the thing I miss most about the south is the stars. Julian easily quenches this need, with stars spreading for miles like white freckles across a huge indigo face. If work is caving in on you, if your bank account is crying, if you think everyone hates you (they don't), then a nice long look up at the sky and all those stars will quick-start your recovery, and remind you of what's really important.
Take a 15 min detour to Lake Cuyamaca
Okay, THIS is a must. Whether you stop on your way in to Julian, on your way out, or make a day trip while you're there, you need Lake Cuyamaca in your life. It may seem hard to access, but walk behind the restaurant and you'll find a path to the small wooden dock. Sit and enjoy the water, take some photos, watch the sunset... it's a fall necessity. | Photos taken Sep 2017 & Oct 2015
Grub on steak and mashed potatoes at Jeremy's On the Hill
This place is a treasure. The service is wonderful, and the food is great. With live music and brick interiors, you'll fall into a great fall food coma.
Visit the California Wolf Center
"The California Wolf Center is dedicated to the recovery of wolves in the wildlands they once roamed. We envision a landscape where wolves thrive in healthy ecosystems and wolves and people successfully coexist." —CWC Mission
Who didn't love Balto? Take a trip to Julian's Wolf Center and visit these beautiful canines in their natural habitat, learn about preservation efforts, and find out what you can do to help.
Take Instagram worthy fall look books
Does this need much explanation? Julian is picturesque in all the right ways, and every corner is a new backdrop to use for all your favorite fall looks.
Explore all the nook n' cranny stores
From used bookstores to local wineries to antique shops, there's so much to explore. I'm not going to link anything here because I want you to discover these places for yourself— you'll find something new every time you go.
Take. Your. Time.
Julian is not to be rushed. Do what you can while you're there, but try not to cram in everything. Savor the parts of Julian you do experience, and save the other things for another time. It's a special mountain town that will leave you refreshed, ignited, and ready for sweater weather.