Updated: Jan 26
Whether you’re looking for a one-night getaway or an extended vacation, the San Diego Backcountry has many enchanting places for you to visit!
Gold Rush Hotel
Located in the town's historic district, the Julian Gold Rush Hotel is the oldest operating hotel in Southern California. This local landmark was established by Albert Robinson, a former slave, and his wife, Margaret. It wasn’t long before the couple became famous for their hospitality. Together, they ran this popular hub for both visitors coming into town from the Butterfield Stage Route and local residents alike until Albert's death in 1915. Margaret continued to operate the hotel until 1921 when she sold it to the foreman of the Stonewall Mine, Martin Jacobs. In time, the Jacobs family renamed the landmark the "Julian Hotel." Today, Steve and Gig Ballinger work hard every day to keep the Robinsons’ dream alive.
The Julian Inn
Tucked away down a single-lane country road, the Baldwins are waiting to welcome you to The Julian Inn. Surrounded by mature oak and pine trees, you’d never guess the property is only about a 5-minute walk to the Julian Historic District. The inn features four rooms all with private bathrooms. Each room comes equipped with a TV, internet, a coffee maker, a microwave, and a mini-fridge. Coin laundry machines are available on-site. Please note this property has stairs.
Cottage on the Rock
This may be a cabin in the woods, but when you stay at Cottage on the Rock, it’s not exactly roughing it. It is a newly renovated cottage fully equipped with all your basic needs plus a few bonuses! The cabin sits on a hilltop lot with an amazing treetop view. Outside, there are multiple seating areas. Throughout the yard, there’s a fire pit, a hammock, an inviting deck, and a recently added hot tub!
Crooked Pine Farmhouse
This rental takes a regular San Diego “staycation” to a new level. The secluded and rural feel of this property makes it hard to believe that it’s located in the heart of Julian’s Historic District! Walk three blocks down to the Main Street business district or walk up the block to tour the Eagle Gold Mine. On a clear day, the home offers spectacular mountain views from the front and ocean views from the second-floor deck. The interior is decorated with a modern farmhouse feel and lots of Julian charm. This home is perfect for anyone seeking to experience Julian’s small-town lifestyle.
For those looking for a no-hassle camping experience, check out Alter Experiences. They operate in the Cleveland National Forest campgrounds under permit from the USFS. When you stay with them, they provide everything—even an outdoor kitchen sink. Sleep up in the trees or on a comfortable bed inside a fully decorated bell tent. Either way, you’ll wake up to the birds singing and the fresh mountain air!
Camping is one of the most affordable ways to stay overnight. There are so many beautiful campgrounds nearby to choose from, and these parks are surrounded by stunning scenery and wildlife. Not only is camping a good social-distancing activity, but it is also a great way to get some extra vitamin D! You can learn about the different campgrounds here.
YOUR JULIAN GETAWAY AWAITS!
Julian is a must-visit small town in California known for its gold hills and freshly made apple pies. This mountain town is just an hour-long drive away from San Diego’s beaches and 20 minutes from the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It’s safe to say that there are plenty of things to do in Julian and nearby!
Now that Julian is on your must-visit list and I have put together all the local insights in one place, all that’s left to do is for you to book one of these amazing rentals. If you can’t decide where to spend your weekend or vacation, you might just have to try all of them. New AirBnB accounts created through my link get $55 off their first trip! What are you waiting for? Your Julian getaway awaits!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are AirBnB affiliate links, meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through them and make a purchase. This is great for both of us, as I was going to share these resources with you anyway and you get a discount!