Updated: Dec 29, 2020
Only have one day in Julian? No problem.
I've put together this guide of good day trip attractions you can experience at any time of the year. Pick one or a few of these actives for your next trip to Julian and you are sure to have a great time! You can find the guide on my website. I just put the link in my bio for easy access.
Our town has a slow start and early bedtime, so I definitely recommend arriving by 10:30 or 11 a.m. so you can get the most out of your day.
Nestled in the breathtaking Santa Ysabel Valley is the town of Santa Ysabel. While this
town may be tiny, its history goes way back to the early 1800s.
Dudley's Bakery was started in 1963 by Mr. Dudley Pratt. According to their website, "Quality, taste, uniqueness, and freshness have always been the hallmark of Dudley's Bakery." While there, you can pick from a variety of freshly baked loaves of bread, pastries, and deli items.
Julian Pie Company has two locations (Julian and Santa Ysabel), and they ship pies all over the county. In addition to their apple pie, they also make yummy apple cider donuts. To skip the line in Julian, head down to their Santa Ysabel location or stop by your neighborhood grocery store. (Yes, it's the same pie sold in Julian.)
The Santa Ysabel Store is a historic hidden gem of 1884, one of those places you don't intend to come across, but once you do, you are sure glad you did. The store is stocked with canned goods, home goods, and antiques, a favorite among my family.
Santa Ysabel Indian Mission first hosted a mass on September 20, 1818. The present church was built in 1924; mass is still said here weekly. In addition to the Spanish-style chapel, you can explore the museum and maybe solve the mystery of the lost bells.
Wynola is the gateway to Julian, just four miles west of Main Street. Its valley is home to
some of the mountain’s oldest fruit trees.
Inaja Memorial Park honors the eleven firefighters who died fighting the Inaja Fire in 1956. This beautiful park is situated above the Santa Ysabel Valley. Whether you're looking for a quick hike, a place to picnic, or a spot to watch the sunset, this is the place for you.
The Barn Vintage MarketPlace is sure to have something you've been looking for. This quaint mother-daughter business is unstoppable. They are always looking for original finds for the Market. Stop by on your way to Julian.
Mom's Pie Wynola location has a beautiful garden you can explore.
The Julian Station is the original 1943 apple-packing facility. Today it’s home to shops and four tasting rooms, including Julian Hard Cider and Mr. Manitas Taco Bar & Fruteria.
Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures is a unique, locally run attraction full of hands-on historic activities. Doreen and Jesse Cross, along with their friends and family, are dedicated to giving their visitors an experience they will never forget.
Julian Mining Company is where you can come to pan for gold and gems. They also put on a variety of American history-themed programs. They are open weekends for tomahawk throwing, hay rides, panning for gold, and more!
Spencer Valley School House dates back to 1876, the Spencer Valley School House currently has around forty K-8 students, making it the smallest school district in San Diego County.
California Mountain Bakery has a wide variety of unique pie flavors, pastries, and loaves of bread. Being just outside the town of Julian means there's little to no wait. Raul and his family are always ready to serve you.
Menghini Winery, Julian's first winery, was established in 1982. Just five minutes outside Julian at 1150 Julian Orchards Drive, you can find Toni and Mike Menghini pouring a fresh bottle of wine. This beautiful winery was once a processing plant and apple orchard that occupied the majority of Volcan Valley. You can see everything from wildlife to vintage cars and equipment here.
Julian, CA is a small town nestled in the mountains 4,200 feet above sea level. It's known
for its gold mining days, late 1800s charm, cattle ranching, snow days, and its famous apples
made into pie, cider, and yummy treats!
Historical landmarks- Each historic landmark throughout the Julian historic district has a plaque with a brief history of that building. Stop by the Julian Town Hall to get a map and a History Hunt answer card. The Julian Historical Society has three fantastic historic locations open to the public: The Witch Creek School House, Julian Stage Line, and the Washington Mine. The museum was once the town's blacksmith shop. Today, it displays local artifacts, Native American history, animal mounts, and much more Julian history. Thanks to volunteers, the museum is usually open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Miner's Diner and Candy Mine- In the diner, you can view the collection of original vintage decor, including a Bob’s Big Boy statue, vintage soda bottles, a US license plate collection, old medicine bottles, and so much more. Don’t forget to look up at the train as it goes throughout the restaurant. You can take a seat at the original 1929 soda fountain or at a table. Either way, you’re sure to have a unique 1930s dining experience. Their gold miners-inspired menu even has gluten-free and vegetarian options.
Boutique shopping- The Julian Historical District has a wonderful variety of art galleries and antiques, candy, vintage, and souvenir shops.
Eating- Feeling like Mexican, Italian, American, or BBQ? Julian has your cravings covered. Our local restaurants offer a variety of eateries to choose from.
Apple Pie- Julian is famous for its freshly made pies. There are over ten places to buy a pie in our five-block town. See our complete guide to Julian Apple Pie.
Eagle Mine Tour- 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 truly make you feel like you stepped back in time. Explore the mine and see the equipment required to mine for gold.
Vista Point lookout- See where the mountain meets the desert. This breathtaking lookout has a view all the way to the Salton Sea.
This cozy lakeside community has a rich history of gold and is full of
outdoor recreational activities.
California Wolf Center- This 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 are required for all tours.)
Lake Cuyamaca Recreation Park- Lake Cuyamaca has many onshore fishing spots as well as boats available to give you an all-round fishing experience. You never know what you might catch! The lake is stocked with bass, catfish, trout, bluegill, crappie, and sturgeon all year long, so there are always fish.
Cuyamaca Rancho State Park- Beautiful meadows, mountain views, 100 miles of trails, and two campgrounds make this one of the best-kept secrets in San Diego County.