Updated: Dec 29, 2020
Sunny San Diego is often depicted as a place with miles of picture-perfect coastline and small coastal towns. Just an hour and a half east of the beach, you can find the perfect day-trip mountain getaway. Tucked high in the San Diego Mountains is the charming 1800s gold-mining town of Julian, CA. Once a bustling mining town, today Julian is a seasonal tourist destination known for its fresh-baked apple pie. What most visors don’t know is that this tiny town is packed full of one-of-a-kind things to experience all year long.
California Wolf Center
California Wolf Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping wild wolves return to their natural habitat. The center offers a variety of public and private tours. (Reservations required for all tours.)
One of the many gems the San Diego backcountry holds is its night sky. At the Observer's Inn, every sky tour is a unique experience. In their private observatory, there are over 64,000 objects in the sky you can look at.
Pan for Gold at the Eagle Mine
Ever wonder what it was like to work in an 1870 gold mine? Come tour the Old Hardrock Tunnels in the Eagle Mine with their knowledgeable staff. It’s just five blocks up C Street from Main Street, and it will make you truly feel like you stepped back in time. Explore the mine and see the equipment required to mine gold.
Ride and Feed the Camels at Oasis Camel Dairy
Yes, that's right! There are camels in San Diego. Once a month, Oasis Camel Dairy (13 miles west of Julian) holds its Open Farm Days. You can feed, pet, and ride the camels. How cool is that? The camels even have their own skincare line made right on the farm. You can buy Milk Soap, Camel Milk Lotion, Camel Milk Bath Bombs, Camel Milk Lip Balms, and Camel Milk Serum. Check their website for more details.
Have a Milkshake at a 1929 Soda Fountain inside Miner’s Diner
Pick a bar stool, sit back, and watch as the soda jerks make you delicious milkshakes the old fashion way. Milk, ice-cream, and a little bit of elbow grease is the recipe for a milkshake made to perfection. Here you can also find ice-cream sodas, sundaes, and banana splits.
Candy Mining (inside Miner’s Diner)
Located in the back of Miner’s Diner is one of the visitors’ favorite attractions in Julian. This gold mine-themed candy store is like no other you have experienced. As you walk down the steep stairs, you will immediately notice the candy shimmering in the dim light. Here all ages are guaranteed to find the motherlode. Stocked with all shorts of modern-day candy and the hard-to-find old-fashioned goodies.