Julian is a year-round getaway for the day, a weekend or longer. Overnight guests can stay in romantic bed and breakfast inns. Its tiny, four-block long Main Street is home to country stores, wineries, bed and breakfasts, galleries, romantic restaurants, real estate offices and a small gas station.
Julian is also well-known for its famous homemade apple pie served year-round. It was also a gold mining town back in the 1880s.
Getting to Julian is easy and it takes less than an hour from almost anywhere in San Diego County. Refer to the county map in Neighborhoods for directions. Then take either Highway 67, 79 or 78.
Where to Stay
Butterfield Bed & Breakfast (1), 2284 Sunset Dr., Julian, CA 92036 (800-379-4262). ($135–$185). Celebrating its 26th year, this charming inn has five guest rooms. It also features fireplaces and gourmet breakfasts. AAA approved, three diamond rating. [butterfieldbandb.com]. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.
Eaglenest Bed & Breakfast (11), 2609 D St., Julian, CA 92036 (760-765-1252). ($165–$185). Townsite Victorian with great views. Four guest rooms, fireplaces, A/C, pool, spa, patios, full breakfast and desserts. [eaglenestbnb.com]. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.
Julian Gold Rush Hotel Bed & Breakfast (4), 2032 Main St., Julian CA 92036 (760-765-0201). ($135–$210). Sunset Magazine’s “Best of the West Bed & Breakfast.” [julianhotel.com]. Credit cards: AE, MC, VISA. Oak Hill Farm Lodging (5), 2333 Sunset View Dr., Julian, CA 92036 (760- 522-9021). ($85–$95). Private baths and entries, pool, continental breakfast. Credit cards: AE, MC, VISA.
Orchard Hill Country Inn (6), 2502 Washington St., Julian, CA 92036 (760-765-1700). ($195–$450). Features 22 rooms. AAA approved, four diamond rating. [orchardhill.com]. Credit cards: AE, MC, VISA.
Pine Hills Lodge (7), 2960 La Posada Way, Julian, CA 92036 (760-765- 1100). ($80 –$180). Cozy cabins in a rustic country setting. Sunday Brunch is served in the lodge with its stone fireplace. Have cocktails in their bar open Fri.–Sat. Plenty of space for weddings and special events. [pinehillslodge.com]. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.
Shadow Mountain Ranch Bed & Breakfast (8), 2771 Frisius Dr., Julian, CA 92036 (760-765-0323). ($135–$150). Themed cottages on 15 acres in the Pine Hills area. Features pool, hot tub, wedding chapel, archery, badminton, croquet and horseshoes. Country breakfast and afternoon tea. [shadowmountainranch.net]. Credit cards: none.
Wikiup Bed & Breakfast (10), 1645 Whispering Pines Dr., Julian, CA 92036 (760 -765-1890). ($185– $195). Secluded and romantic five-bedroom B&B located in the woods one mile from Julian. Features private hot tubs, fireplaces and featherbeds. AAA approved, and three diamond rating. [wikiupbnb.com]. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.
What to See and Do
Country Carriages (12) will pick you up in front of the Julian Drugstore at Main Street and Washington Street and take you on a two-mile ride out into the country (760-765-1471). The half-hour ride is ($30) per couple. Tours are available Saturdays and Sundays 11:30 a.m–7 p.m. Credit cards: MC, VISA.
You’ll step back in time when you pay a visit to the historic Santa Ysabel General Store & Backcountry Visitor Center (21), at 30275 Hwy 78 at the Hwy 78 and 79 junction west of Julian (760-765-1270. It’s open Fri.– Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Back in 1884, this general store was brimming with heirloom and artisanal foodstuffs. The new store, which belongs to the historically significant Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO), has reopened it as a general store and Visitor Center offering maps, guidebooks, practical gear, binoculars, scopes, and information for hikers, mountain bikers, bird watchers, and other nature enthusiasts.
Also open for business and owned by the Save Our Heritage Organization is another nearby historic site. It’s the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House just off Hwy 79 in Warner Hot Springs, which is 11.5 miles away. It’s on the S2 a half mile east of the 79 Junction at 29181 San Felipe Rd. It served as the Butterfield Stage Stop from 1858 until the beginning of the Civil War in 1961. The historic setting has changed very little from the time of the great western migration and presents a rare opportunity to experience the past.
A great historic adventure is taking a tour of one of Julian’s original gold mines. The Eagle & High Peak Mine (2) is located at the end of C Street (760-765-0036). Tours are given daily at 10 a.m. till closing and cost ($10) for adults; ($5) for children five years and older; and under five years ($1).
Another sure bet is horseback riding. For reservations call Julian Stables (760-765-1598) [julianactive.com] or by appointment only for Kenner Ranch (13) at 17550 Harrison Park Rd. (760-473-5681).
The newest back country casino is Santa Ysabel Resort & Casino (19) at 25575 Highway 79 in Santa Ysabel (760-787-0909). See map. They feature 371 gaming machines and 6 gaming tables with a poker room. Dine at Orchard Restaurant and don’t miss the Seven Oaks Tap Room featuring a bar, cocktails and more than 20 drafts on tap. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.
Where to Dine
Jeremy’s on the Hill (20), 4354 Hwy. 78, Wynola, which is just west of Julian on Hwy. 78 (760-765-1587). Live music. Happy hour is 2:30–6 p.m. Mon.–Fri. Lunch is served daily 11 a.m.–4 p.m ($8–$21) and dinner Sun.–Thurs. 4–8 p.m. and until 9 p.m. Fri.–Sat. ($11–$31). Destined for greatness is young, talented San Francisco trained Cordon Bleu Chef Jeremy Manley. He was raised in Julian and has been preparing food since the tender age of 10. This California-style farm to the table bistro offers impressive local and regional wines paired with the freshest of fish and meats. Their menu changes seasonally. Childrens menu. Beer and wine. Credit cards: MC, VISA. See Restaurants.
The Julian Grille (14), 2224 Main St., Julian (760-765-0173). Open for lunch daily, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.; dinner Tues.– Thurs., 4:30 p.m.–8 p.m; Fri.–Sat. 4:30 p.m.–9 p.m. This cozy cottage serves steaks, seafood and prime rib. Dog friendly dining is available on the patio. Full bar. Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA.
Rongbranch Restaurant (16), 2722 Washington St., Julian (760-765-2265). Open Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Fri., 11 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sat., 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sun., 10:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Their specialties include steaks and seafood. Credit cards: DISC, MC, VISA.
Blue Door Winery (18), 2608 B St., Julian (760-765-0361). This is the newest winery in Julian and some say it is also the best yet. It’s open daily except Tues. and Wed. from noon–5 p.m. Cost is ($7) for five tastings and ($10) to keep the souvenir Bordeaux tasting glass. They serve an exceptional Merlot. Credit cards: MC, VISA.
Menghini Winery (18), 1150 Julian Orchards Dr., Julian (760-765-2072) [menghiniwinery.com]. Open 10 a.m.–4 p.m. during the week and till 5 p.m. on weekends. Wine tastings are ($5). Don’t miss their annual Grape Stomp festival. Located in the middle of a beautiful apple orchard, this winery produces an extraordinary chardonnay, cabernet rosé, cabernet sauvignon, voignier, Syrah and muscat. This winery has a picnic area and a charming shop offering wonderful cheeses, dips, honeys and jams. Credit cards: MC, VISA.
Orfila Vineyards Tasting Room (17), 4470 Hwy. 78, Julian (760-765-0102) [orfila.com]. Use their discount coupon in this book or online for a two for one wine tasting. This is Orfila’s second wine-tasting location and is open daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Browse their quaint gift shop for gourmet foods and wine related items. You can taste one wine for free or six different reds and whites for ($10). Credit cards: AE, DISC, MC, VISA. See San Diego Wineries chapter.
Calendar of Events
Each September the Julian Chamber of Commerce features a Grape Stomp Fiesta. The event is held at the Menghini Winery (18) located 3 miles north of the town of Julian. The cost to get in is ($10) for adults. Two tons of grapes are stomped. Plus, there is live music, great food and wine tastings from San Diego County wineries. A delicious wine to try is the viognier, from Jenkins Winery. The event is an upbeat, feel great event. Once you attend this annual grape stomp you’ll want to attend every year.
For exact dates, prices and other information, call the Julian Chamber of Commerce (9) at (760-765-1857) [julianca.com]. They are open daily 10 a.m.–4 p.m. The Julian News is also a good source for what to see and do [juliannews.com].
|Every Friday & Saturday||Live Music at Wynola Pizza Express—6 p.m. to 9 p.m.— (760-765-1004)|
|Every Friday||Live entertainment in the Pine Hills Lodge Pub from 8 pm to 12 Midnight—(760-765-1100) [pinehillslodge.com]|
|Every Saturday||Live Music at Bailey’s BBQ (760-765-3757) [baileybbq.com]|
|Every Monday||Live Music/Open Mic on the Patio at Jeremy’s on the Hill starting at 6 p.m.—4354 Highway 78, WYNOLA—(760-765- 1587)|
|Every Sunday||“Music at the Marketplace” (A year-round, family-friendly event with live local music and BBQ at Wynola Farms Marketplace, 4470 Julian Rd. (Hwy. 78), Julian, CA 92036, 3 miles West of Main St.—[wynolafarms.com]|
|July 4||Community 4th of July Parade|
|August||Julian Star Fest|
|Aug. 30-31||Town Hall Crafters Show|
|Sept.-Mid-October (Or When Apples Are Gone)||Apple Days|
|Sept. 7||Grape Stomp Festival|
|Sept. 14||Annual Bluegrass Festival|
|Oct. 1-31||Fall Apple Harvest Season|
|Nov. 30||Country Christmas and Tree Lighting|
|Nov.–Dec. 12th.||Annual Miniature Fine Art Show—Artwork by Julian, Ramona artists—(760-765-2168)|
|Dec. Saturdays Before Christmas||Wandering Julian Carolers 4 to 6 p.m.—Town site|
|Dec. 7||Community Christmas with Santa|
|Dec. 15||Julian Choir’s Handel’s Messiah|
|April 10-14||Julian Family Fiddle Camp (A music camp for fiddle, mandolin and guitar players of all ages—[familyfiddlecamp.com]|