Updated: Jan 26
The San Diego Backcountry community of Julian is known for apple pie and hills of gold. This charming historical town and surrounding neighborhoods have some of the most unique shops in the county. From art galleries to antiques, and souvenir shops you're sure to fall in love with our local shops as much as I have. In no particular order here are a few of my favorite places to shop in Julian, CA.
Santa Ysabel General Store
Nestled in the beautiful Santa Ysabel Valley where Highways 78 and 79 meet sits the historic 1884 Santa Ysabel General Store. This hidden gem is one of those places you don’t expect to come across, but once you do, you are sure glad you did. Today, the non-profit Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) owns the store and the barn in the back. They have restored San Diego’s only remaining false-front adobe building to its original beauty. The store is stocked with canned goods, home goods, and of course, antiques.
Oak and Olive
Right next door to the Santa Ysabel General Store is the newest Julian-area antique shop, Oak and Olive. They have a wonderful variety of great old gems and new gifts.
The Barn Vintage MarketPlace
Are you in the market for an industrial, primitive, rustic, farmhouse, and/or unique piece of home décor? The Barn Vintage Marketplace is sure to have something you've been looking for. This mother-and-daughter-run business is unstoppable, and the owners are eager to help you find something you love. They are constantly looking for original pieces for the market. Stop by on your way to Julian!
Hidden in the basement of Miner’s Diner is Julian’s famous candy store, the Candy Mine.
This miners-inspired candy store is like no other you have been in. It’s stocked full of classic candies like gum cigarettes and wax bottles as well as modern-day favorites. Watch out for the sound of dynamite—it might catch you by surprise!
Oakwood Creek was once an old dairy house for the local dairy farmer. Today, it’s a stunning “Pinterest Perfect” antique shop. Here you can find home décor, candy, French pressed soaps, and handmade potpourri.
California Wolf Center Nature Store
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). Most recently they have expanded, opening a nature store in the previous location of the Birdwatcher. This store has lots of wolf-inspired items, fun Julian souvenirs, and Mountain Made candles. Best of all, all proceeds go to support the wolves under the center’s care.
Heartland Vestige Home Decor
Heartland Vestige Home Decor travels the country selling home décor at shows. We’re lucky they’ve chosen our town as their home base, and their showroom is on B Street. They have participated in the Silobration Vendor Fair at Magnolia Market in Waco, TX multiple times. How cool is that?! You can also find Mountain Made candles here! So come on by the next time you come up to Julian.
Juliantla Chocolate is an adorable little store and bakery just up B Street off Main Street. Here you can find a large variety of chocolate goodies, pie, and cupcakes. Yesenia even has gluten-free and vegan options! While you're there, look for Mountain Made products.
Julian Mercantile is known for its collection of one-of-a-kind items sourced from around the world, including those made here at home. They have a section dedicated to locally made merchandise. Be sure to check it out.
Merdo Acres specializes in custom wood design projects. Their cutting boards are constructed out of fine quality woods by a husband-and-wife team right here in our local mountains. They do a fantastic job of keeping their work decorative and functional. These distinctive pieces make a great gift for men and women of all ages.