Though the streets in town are very hilly, it is fun to walk around. There are so many things to see and discover that can't be seen when driving through. When I first started coming to Julian in the 1980's the commercial section was mostly along Main Street, but through the years, while many small towns were drying up and closing down, Julian was thriving. It became a popular place to escape the busy city. Every year people would retire, move to Julian and open some quaint little craft shop or some interesting little place to become part of the Julian community.
This caused downtown Julian to swell and spread up and down through the side roads that were once simply the residential sections.
The kids had fun imagining that they were the Beatles on Abbey Road as well as exploring the many shops in town. No matter the age or the interests, there is something for everyone to see or do in Julian.
Take a ride on a horse-drawn surrey. The tour is only about fifteen minutes long--because the town is so small. The ride is narrated and they will tell you about the history of this mountain mining town that has grown into a favorite get-a-way for San Diego City dwellers.
Of course if you're driving around Julian, you'll have to be careful, especially if you get behind one of these surreys. The going is really slow.
The fall is the best time to visit Julian, mainly because the apples and pumpkins have been harvested and are ready for sale. However, for us Southern Californians who live near the Pacific Ocean and almost never see snow at home, we like to drive up to Julian and play in the snow during the winter.
There is not much in the way of skiing, but snowboarding is popular and snow fights are lots of fun, unless you don't know how to bundle up and wear mittens.
SORRY, NOW CLOSED. This quaint candy store was a flagstone of the area around Julian. Fun candy store and makers of some of the finest peppermint candies. The store was closed and the new owners moved the HQ to Henderson Nevada. The KIng Leo line is sold at candy stores, one even in Julian. Most of the sales come from their on line business.
This review was made at the location that was in the Julian area, now closed. Candy still made, but not near Julian. CLOSED.
The tins that the peppermint sticks are packed in are collectors treasures. Why, this store has been making peppermint candy since 1901 in the hills near Julian. If you go during the holidays, these tins make great gifts or maybe stocking stuffers from Santa Claus.
This is a candy store with more than just the peppermint sticks. The peppermint chocolate bark in tins is a favorite. I found the taste to be just the right blend of the two main ingredients. A true candy yummy for the tummy. But, wait, there is more. Fudge, Caramel Apples (what else in Julian, apple capital of Southern California), and both hard and soft candies are waiting to be gobbled up. Factory tours at King Leo Confection are available to watch the candy making process.
Shopping on the main street of downtown Julian is especially fun because so many of the buildings are relics/reproductions of the originals built in the Gold Rush town of Julian. The type of businesses to be found here are actually pretty practical for the residents who live in and around this rustic town.
This is a real town, not a "movie-set-recreation," that has retained it's old time flavor. One of my favorite shops on this, the main street of downtown Julian is the shop that still sells wood burning stoves. It's also fun to look in the window of the Real Estate office and see what is for sale and how much it would cost to buy property or a buisness here.
Quite a few San Diegans have bought little retirement places here and opened cottage business's in town during the past fifteen or twenty years. So, not only is Main Street a place to wander, now there are quite a few side streets full of shops/boutiques that offer all manner of goods including many arts & craft products or materials that one would expect to find in any U.S. Small Town.
What ever you do while in Julian, make sure to check out the Apple pies!
Winter, spring, summer, or fall it doesn't matter at all, hiking is a fun thing to do in and around Julian. If you want to hike in the snow and see your footprints, go in winter. Summer is fine for that feel good mountain air warmth of a hike. Fall brings the crispness and the apple season. I saved spring for last, because this is when life blooms again.
Spring brings the beautiful daffodil blossoms. They bloom leaving a bright yellow haze to the hills and valleys of Julian. Typically beginning in late February into March and sometimes early April are the best months to view the daffodil in bloom. All the credit for this display of nature goes to one woman who wanted to honor her father. Almost twenty years ago, Sally Snipes, a Julian artist and gardener, began to plant daffodil bulbs as a memorial to her father. She organized volunteers to help out and they planted tens of thousands of daffodil bulbs that today number into the millions. One person can make a difference and in Julian, Sally is that person.
I haven't been told, and I have meant to try to reach Sally Snipes to find out, but I believe the poem "JULIAN OF NORWICH" by Sydney Carter was her inspiration for becoming the daffodil lady of Julian in memory of her father. The poem, Julian of Norwich: "Loud are the bells of Norwich and the people come and go. Here by the tower of Julian, I tell them what I know.
Ring out, bells of Norwich, and let the winter come and go. All shall be well again, I know. Love, like the yellow daffodil, is coming through the snow. Love, like the yellow daffodil, is Lord of all I know." Thank you Sally Snipes for the tribute to your father by leaving a legacy of beautiful yellow Daffodils to grace the landscape for the town of Julian, California.
You wanted to get away from the big cities and now you have arrived in Julian, California, a intimate rural town in the mountains located between San Diego and Palm Springs. Snow in the winter and crisp air in the summer, the town-folk are laid back and ready to greet the tourists that flock to the area on the weekends. It does make for a great weekend getaway. Better yet is a weekday visit to see the town in the normal slow paced, friendly neighborly fashion. It is a great apple growing area and the apple is featured in Julian.
One of the things you maybe didn't know is that besides apple cider available in Julian, this small rural town has a couple of wineries near town and a wine tasting room in town. The in town tasting is at the Witchcreek Winery Tasting Room and the two wineries a couple of miles down the road are J. Jenkins Winery and Menghini Winery, located on Julian Orchards Drive. A beautiful rural drive with scenic viewpoints. Nearby is the Wynola Farms Marketplace with wine tasting rooms as well as boutiques and apple products.
Click on the names of the wineries, showcased in the color "Blue", for their websites that will give you directions and hours of operations. Remember to drink responsibly and if possible have a designated driver. That way you can taste as much as you like and even have a bottle of wine without breaking the law and becoming or having someone else become a road casualty statistic. This area may be rural but the roads do curve and with distractions like beautiful scenery, animals in pastures, apple groves and grape vines, a clear mind is needed to enjoy the drive.
This early 20th century building, was the first to be made of brick in Julian. It was built for an Austrian immigrant, Adolph Levi at the kiln his brother Ike had established in Julian.
Adolph opened a store here with a partner, Joseph Marks, who came from Mississippi. Later Marks became the sole owner and continued the business until he retired in 1921.
Today it is a popular busy Soda Fountain store and stands next to a building of a similar period - the old Julian Garage now an antique and collector's centre..
A Historical Society plaque can be seen to the right of the Soda Fountain entrance behind the white car.
I love reading, books, book shops and libraries and whenever I am visiting my sister she always takes me to a local American Public Library.
She is a regular visitor to Julian and, as a member of San Diego County Library, is a frequent user of the Library there with full access to all its facilities..
This was a really special one to find in such a small town - a lovely building, a great stock of books and other printed publications as well as DVDs ; Wifi and other excellents community facilities with a gallery space for local and visiting artists. Many specifc activities for the younger generation as well as adult literacy classes and English Language courses
Talks by the authors of recently published books - fiction and non-fiction - are given here on a regular basis too.
And there is a shop selling used books at bargain prices, and useful souvenir items - run by volunteers.
The Library is situated on the left after passing the Post Office on the right. It was built on land next to the secondary school in open country on the road out of town.
It was interesting talking to the friendly Volunteer on duty in the shop to learn how this library had originally been established by local community action and public subscription.
Now there are fears that cutbacks in the State budget could affect the Julian library. That would be a great pity.
If you walk down Main St and turn left before you reach the Julian Pie Co. Cafe a you will come to a cluster of small museums.
I call it Disappointment Corner because on both of my two visits to the town not one of them has been open.
The first is the Julian Pioneer Museum and I'm sure it will be full of interesting exhibits....
The building itself has an interesting history.It had two-feet thick walls made od shist and adobe and was sold in 1888, by Drury Bailey (one of the founders of the town) to
a blacksmith, who used it as a smithy for three years . It then became a brewery for 8 years until it was bought by another smithy, Christian Grosskopf. He restored it and lived there with his wife, Annie, whilst employed as a blacksmith in the mines.
It fell into ruin after his death in 1941.
Eventually local civic groups restored the building and opened it as a museum in1952.
It is run entirely on voluntary grounds which probably explains why it only opens on Saturdays and
Standing next the museum is a replica of the Grosskopf House - also closed
Behind them stands the Julian Stage Line Museum - closed.
And nearby the plaque commemrorating Drew Bailey, the Founder of the town, can be seen at all times.
The original Jacoby building ( now the Market and Deli) was built in 1897 but like many of the early buildings in Julian it has been burnt down. Sometimes fires are caused accidentally, sometimes buildings are caught up in the wild-fire flames that sweep across California after long dry summers. After this one was burnt to the ground in1996 it was rebuilt as closely as possible to replicate the original.
Its first owner was Morris Jacoby, a German immigrant who, as well as running the store, was prominent in the development of local facilities and amenities including the SantaYsabel Water Co.
His shop is till used as a general store.
In the long view of Main St at the right hand end (3rd and 4th pictures) you can see another building that dates from 1872. The Julian Cafe and bakery was burned down in 1957 and restored in 1978.
Even if you have only a short time to spend in Julian do look out for the information plaques placed by the local historical society as you walk around town. They do a great job, and in a few, pithy sentences provide you with a picture of some of the pioneers who rushed to Julian when gold was discovered there in 1869. Others who came were soldiers fleeing north after the Civil War. Together they created a thriving town.
Howevr the Gold Rush here was relatively shortlived and within about 35 years few of the remaining mines were productive. But during those busy profitable years the town was also settled by merchants and traders, builders and blacksmiths, hotels, lodging houses keepers and publicans. The surrounding land was farmed and orchards planted and by 1909, when the first Apple Day celebration was held, the town was ready to become a rural market town that gradually turned also into a tourist attraction.
Photo No1. Pays tribute to the Black Americans who settled here. The Robinson Hotel was established by one of them - Mr Robinson and is now the Julian Hotel.
Photos No2. &3 The Julian Hotel today.
The hour tour was very educational as we learned the history of gold mining. The best part was going into a mine. Unfortunately, photography of any kind was prohibited during that segment of the tour. We got to pan for gold at the end, but didn't get to keep the gold.
Hours: 10:00am to 3:00pm
$10 per person
My rating: 4 stars out of 5
What describes a rural community more than a Town Hall. This is the gathering place for the folks that call the town of Julian, home. It was built over 100 years ago. You might be fortunate enough to be in Julian when the Town Hall is open and displaying local arts and crafts. This is where another Grandma Moses may be found. Walk around the large display room and enjoy the many objects made by the townsfolk. Hey, you may spot something that tickles your fancy and a purchase will be made to remember your visit to Julian.
I've hiked this trail twice now, The Five Oaks Loop Trail on Volcan Mountain. It's a five mile round trip all up hill and then down on the return. A very pretty hike through trees and fields and great views. I like to take the trail up and return on the fireroad for a change in scenery. There are no restrooms or water on the trail. The fire road can be a bit steep. Park on the street, (I've never used a Wilderness Pass and have never been ticketed) and access the trail head after walking through an apple grove. Fun!