So you want to come to Julian? You're my kinda person. This tiny town has a lot to offer. Over my lifetime I have seen many visitors make wonderful memories here. One thing I often hear tourists say is "I wish I knew about (fill in the blank)." To all of you who have shared what you wished you knew before you visited, I have listed. Bellow, I have shared all my local knowledge on everything one should know before visiting Julian. Enjoy!
Plan your trip in advance.
Many trips to Julian are made on a whim, but a little planning beforehand allows visitors to have a more pleasurable experience. I recommend looking up some attractions you would wish to partake in. Make reservations if necessary. The advice below all emphasizes the need for advanced planning.
Always check the weather.
Always, always check the weather before heading to the east. San Diego County has many microclimates. Julian and the surrounding area is a four-season climate. We get snow in the winter and triple digits in the summer. Overdress for colder weather. You will thank yourself later. In the warmer months, layering is best. For more on what to expect in the fall, winter, spring, and summer, see my guides linked.
Visit during slower seasons.
Julian is a very popular tourist destination from September through the New Year, on holidays, school breaks, and when there’s snow. If you visit during these times, expect large crowds with additional traffic. To have a more enjoyable experience, I encourage you to visit during the week or throughout the slower months. Note: The businesses that are not open seven days a week are usually closed Tuesday and Wednesday.
When visiting in peak tourism times:
Arrive by 10 a.m.
Get your pie right away. The line gets longer throughout the day.
Know what you want to see.
Bring snacks and drinks to hold you over restaurant wait times.
Over-packing is better than under-packing.
Being that Julian is a small, rural town, conveniences are few. Local stores carry very limited selections. If you think you are going to need it, bring it. Otherwise, you may have to live without it.
The region has a bathroom shortage.
Yes, Julian has a bathroom shortage. It’s a long story that you can read