The Best Picnic Spots in and Around Julian


Photo from Al Fresco Laze Picnics

San Diego’s weather sets the stage for year-round picnics with unbelievable views. You can choose from an ocean, mountain, or desert view as you dine! Where else can you do that? Whether you pack a lunch or order takeout, picnics are a quick way to cure cabin fever on the fly. Here are some of our top picks for picnic spots near Julian, CA.


 

Picnic Food

 

You can’t have a picnic without food, so let’s talk about our options:


705 Charcuterie

705 Charcuterie was founded by Diana, who grew up in Julian and is now attending nursing school. When you order one of her boxes, you not only are supporting her higher education, but you also get to sample locally sourced foods from a variety of San Diego vendors! Charcuterie boards are available in multiple sizes and can suit many dietary accommodations. To ensure a spread is ready for your picnic, order in advance. Pre-made boxes can be found at Regulars Wanted located in the Julian's Historic District. Speaking from personal experience, believe me when I say you will not be disappointed! These boxes are full of yummy gourmet finger foods.


Order Takeout

Julian is on its way to becoming a food destination. Not only can you find a variety of cultural foods and meals to suit many dietary needs (vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free), but there are also dog-friendly dining options. Not bad for a tiny town! Learn more about what your takeout options are by clicking here.


Mountain Graze

San Diego Backcountry resident Kayla is supplying explorers with all of their finger food needs. Her charcuterie boards are filled with delectable meats, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables. Pre-order your picnic food today!


 

Picnic Locations

 

Al Fresco Laze Picnics

Do you want a picnic without all the trouble of having to set up and take down? Enjoy an elevated picnic set up by Al Fresco Laze Picnics! Their setups are great for dates, birthday parties, proposals, showers, and more.


Julian’s Pioneer Park

Located in the Julian Historical District, Pioneer Park is dedicated to the town’s history. This one-acre San Diego County park is jam-packed full of museums. It’s a history-lover’s heaven, and it also happens to a great place for a picnic in downtown Julian! There are picnic tables shaded by large pine trees.


Jess Martin Park

Jess Martin Park is a great place for a picnic! The park is just through town on the edge of the Julian Historic District. There is a playground, grassy fields, and a jog-walk trail.


William Heise County Park

William Heise County Park is a one-thousand-acre park tucked away in the northern edge of the Cuyamaca Mountain Range. The park also offers picnic areas, a playground, hiking trails, and camping.


Inaja Memorial Park

Inaja Memorial Park is a tribute to the 11 firefighters who lost their lives battling the Inaja Fire in 1956. The park has nice picnic areas and a few short trails. It is perched up at 3,440 feet in elevation, making it a fantastic place for a sunset picnic.


Agua Caliente County Park

Nestled within the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and on the east end of the Julian zip code, Agua Caliente County Park is best known for its geothermally heated spring pools. During the winter months, visitors can still enjoy picnics, camping, and miles of trails here. Wildlife sightings are also common.


Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

The Paso Picacho and Green Valley campgrounds located in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park have great picnic areas. The park also offers one hundred miles of hiking trails, a number of streams, remarkable views, and features Lake Cuyamaca. This is a great place to see wildlife.


Lake Cuyamaca Recreation

Lake Cuyamaca is one of the most popular sites to see within the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. The lake is operated by the Helix Water District, and recreation is managed by Lake Cuyamaca Park and Recreation District. The recreation area offers camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and picnicking to boot. Note: Swimming in the lake is not allowed.


Laguna Mountain Recreation Area

Mount Laguna is a small community located along Sunrise Highway. The region is surrounded by the Cleveland National Forest. This unspoiled location is one of San Diego's best-kept secrets! The pristine old-growth forest makes you feel like you are hundreds of miles away from San Diego City. The Cleveland National Forest is a hub of outdoor recreation. Visitors enjoy stunning east and west views. There are plenty of designated picnic spots to pick from.


No matter where you choose to picnic, please make sure to clean up after yourself. Unlike in cities, there is no agency in charge of the trash collection in these beautiful areas.


Note: Picnics are not allowed in the San Diego County Open Space Preserves.