Historic Julian for Southern California Fall

  • Horse-drawn carriages through Julian's main street provide an Old West ambiance.

    Go Back in Time to the Old West and the Infamous Gold Rush Era

    Nestled in the mountains of San Diego County is the picturesque town of Julian, California. The town bears the distinction of being an official California Historical Landmark, and visitors to this quaint village will certainly understand why. Stroll through the town, take a romantic carriage ride along the main street, and imagine you were witness to the exciting Gold Rush days in Southern California.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Julian Apple Days celebrates the harvest of the town's signature crop.

    Celebrate Apple Days in Early October

    Apples are definitely not a standard crop in the lowlands of Southern California, but in the mountain region of Julian, they are king....especially in autumn.  The highlight of the harvest is the Apple Days Festival, a two-day celebration the first week of October that features a wide variety of rustic activities that celebrate the apple in all its glory.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Stomp grapes Italian-style at Julian's annual grape stomp festival event at Menghini Winery.

    Is it Tuscany, or Julian? Discover Italy at the Annual Grape Stomp

    For the past 17 years, Julian turns into Tuscany as part of its annual Italian Grape Stomp Festival. The rustic ambiance of Menghini Winery sets the stage for what many believe is the most authentic grape stomp event in the nation. Grapes are brought in from the vineyards and are blessed by a local padre. Two huge barrels invite visitors to experience the big squish, to the tune of a lively Italian band.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Mom's Pie House, Julian

    When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Apple Pie...That's Amore

    Mom's Pie House was created by Anita Nichols in 1984, "Mom" to four children and with a vision to make delicious, homemade pie from the famous Julian apples. Her flaky crusts and not-too-sweet fillings are a hit with locals and tourists. Mom's is one of many Julian bakeries that serve apple pie in all its varieties. The bottom line is, if you are in Julian, eat apple pie!

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Historic Julian Hotel

    The Julian Hotel, Founded in 1897, Welcomes Visitors

    Constructed in 1897 during the gold mining boom, the Julian Hotel is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Southern California and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was a dream come true of a freed Missouri slave, Albert Robinson, and his wife Margaret Tull. Both became famous for their hospitality as well as for their cooking. The hotel was often frequented by prominent senators and congressmen of the era. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Visitors pose with rugged cowboys in the mountain town of Julian.

    Julian's Cowboys Happily Pose with Visitors

    The Julian Chamber of Commerce always makes sure there are a few crusty cowboys or two to greet the visitors, as well as other characters such as colorful--and sassy--saloon ladies. Visitors love getting into the historic mood and posing with these vintage characters.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Historic Julian Cafe

    Historic Eateries Still Dish Out Mountain Comfort Food

    The Julian Cafe, built in 1872, survived a 1957 fire and was restored in 1978. This family-friendly establishment continues to dish out mountain comfort food to this day. Pie specialties include apple and the popular chicken pot pie dish, for which the cafe is renowned.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Spencer Valley schoolhouse, built in 1876

    Vintage Schoolhouse Still Serves to Educate Julian's Children

    You know a town is old when its vintage school house still stands and serves as an educational institution. Built in 1876 as a one-room school, the Spencer Valley schoolhouse was rebuilt in 1906. This unique school continues to educate Julian youngsters to this day as a single school district, one of the few remaining in California.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Panning for gold at the Julian Mining Company

    Pan for Gold at the Julian Mining Company

    One of Julian's favorite family attractions is the Julian Mining Company, which offers adults and kids the thrill of panning for gold and gemstones such as quartz, amethyst, and shark teeth. As an added bonus, you can pick your own raspberries and pumpkins in the fall. Kids love the challenge of actually mining for treasure, and the modest entrance fee even includes a petting zoo. 

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona

  • Julian's historic cemetery

    Julian's Cemetery Provides a Link to the Town's Past

    This historic cemetery was created in the 1870's, and served as the resting place for many of the gold prospectors who combed the hills in search of the mother lode. In subsequent years, the town's pioneers, as well as its citizens across the decades, were buried here. Located high on a hill overlooking the town of Julian, a stroll through this cemetery with its centuries-old tombstones vividly brings back the history of this gold rush town, and the souls who created it.

    Photo courtesy of Joanne DiBona