Updated: Aug 17, 2019
Fall, fire season, or Apple Days as it's all known as, is the busiest time of the year for our little town. Thousands of visitors flock to our mountain community to see the changing of the seasons and for apples! If you'd like to be in on the festive fun, we highly recommend coming on a week day or early on weekend days.
With every season, comes it's own weather patters. Fall weather really has a mind of its own up here. The morning and evenings are around 50-60 degrees. Sometimes the days heat up while others are chilly. This is also the time of year when Santa Ana conditions are common...meaning it can be quite windy.
Things To Do
As you're driving up and around the mountain, keep an eye out for trees changing colors. It's such a beautiful transformation.
Fall is the only time of year our local u-pick orchards are open. The orchards open when the fruit is ready (usually mid-to-late August) and close when they sell out (early October). Be sure to check to make sure the orchard of your choice is open before you make the drive. This is a great family-fun activity for all ages. I definitely recommend coming during the week. If you can only come on a weekend, try to get to the orchard when they open. By noon everywhere is crowded during Apple Days. Might want to wear closed toed shoes. Note: Many of the orchards only accept cash.
In hopes of getting a fresh baked pie made with Julian apples, many visitors wait in a 2+ hour line for pie at one of our many bakeries. You can find a list of local bakeries here. If you want to avoid the line, get your pie first thing in the morning, stop by Jacks, The Corner Market, or Don's Market, order online, or stop in at a Wynola/Santa Ysabel bakery location.
In addition to baked goods, there are many seasonal beverages offered by our local businesses. Julian Apple Lane Orchard uses local apples while the year's crop lasts. The Julian Cider Mill's all Julian Apple Cider hits their shelves this time of year too. For seasonal alcoholic options check with the individual wineries, brewers, and tasting rooms.
Every year Lake Cuyamaca holds it's annual O.P. Ball’s Kids Fishing in the Pines Derby sometime in September. This free event (for 15 years of age and younger) has lots of drawings/handouts for participants! It starts at 6 a.m. and awards are handed out at 1 p.m. Hope to see you there!
The Julian Grape Stomp is an olde-world style event at Menghini Winery. Kick off those shoes, role up your pants, and put those feet to work stomping grapes. There's plenty of food, music, shopping, and of course wine to taste. It's a good idea to bring cash.
Julian’s Old Fashioned Country Fair is a new two day event with antique displays, activities for kids, beer and wine garden, food, and merchandise vendors. There is something for everyone. This year the event is held at the Julian Farm & Orchard.
For those who have come up in the past to The Julian Apple Days Festival at Menghini Winery, that event is no longer taking place.
The Melodrama is a must see show. It has a been a Julian tradition for over 60 years. Every year, the Julian Triangle Club and other local volunteers work hard to put together a one-of-a-kind original old-style performance. The story is loosely based upon Julian history. Come cheer on the hero, boo the villain, and "awww" at the heroine. All proceeds go to provide local scholarships. This family friendly event is always so much fun.
Every year in the beginning of October Julian High School Students show off their Eagle Pride at our small town homecoming celebration. The students spend the week building floats and nominating their Homecoming Court. On Friday, the community lines Main Street, Julian to cheer on the different classes as they compete for first place. Later on in the evening crowds gather to cheer on the Julian football team at our only night game for the season.
Fort Cross has two family fun events for you to enjoy. Come join them at the Julian Autumn Jubilee every weekend beginning September 29th thru October 28th, 10 am - 5 pm. Their U-Pick Veggie & Pumpkin Garden will be open!
Then on October 6, come join them again for their Haunted Hayride. This spooky night is a great way to get you in the Halloween spirt! Prepaid reservations are required for this event.