Hi everybody! This week will be about a weekend trip I went on to Julian, a small mining town in California. From Los Angeles the drive is around about a couple of hours (the town is an hour east of San Diego). I have been visiting Julian ever since I was a small child, so I know all the good places to visit and shop. Whenever my family and I visit Julian, we stay at Orchard Hill Country Inn, which is one of the cutest hotels I have ever stayed at. Since Julian is such a small town, the hotel is more similar to a bed and breakfast, with many separate cottages and then a main lodge where breakfast is served. The hotel is up from the main road a little bit, so there is a lot of the elements of nature and wilderness that are present when you stay there. The room I was in for this weekend even had wild turkeys outside the window in the morning! And as my family has been going to Julian and staying at this hotel for at least the last 15 years, I can tell you that I have some not so fond memories of posing for Christmas card pictures near the water feature (and no I will not be including any of those pictures in this post) but that also means I do know my way around the hiking trails that start behind the lodge. I would recommend taking the trail that leads up the small mountain, because you get some extraordinary views of Julian and the surrounding forest on clear days! For those of you not familiar with Julian, I will note that there were some big fires that hit the area many years ago, so a lot of the trees in the area are blackened and a kinda greyish color. There are some new plants growing up between the trees, so it gives a really cool contrast for taking pictures if you are interested in photography. I will also note that Julian has some spectacular sunsets, even when it’s cloudy outside!
A crazy beautiful sunset!
And I will say my iPhone captured it pretty well!
Now onto the shopping in Julian! The town was an old mining town that was founded in the 1800s during the California Gold Rush (which you can ask me all about because literally all of my 4th grade was spent studying it) but they have managed to keep a lot of their old town feel, making it seem like you stepped back in time when you visit. The town is set up mainly around Main Street, with some smaller offshooting streets, but most of your time shopping in Julian will be centered around the places on Main Street. One of the most important places you can go is Mom’s Apple Pies, which as the name suggests, sells pies. In San Diego, Julian is kind of famous for how good their apple pies are, as there are a lot of apple orchards in the surrounding areas. There are a couple of other pie shops in Julian, but I really recommend going to Mom’s if you have the time! In terms of other stores that sell food of some sort, the Cider Mill and the Candy Bucket are two places you definitely can not skip! The Cider Mill is modeled after a general store, and has a lot of variety in jams, preserves, honey, and of course lots of candy and dried nuts and things like that. I would recommend getting some of the apple cider that they have and also getting a snack in the chocolate covered pretzels or the homemade licorice! The Candy Basket, obviously sells candy of all sorts. A lot of what they have is older candy that is hard to find at regular grocery stores! They also have a lot of older kind of soda that were popular in the 70s and 80s. My recommendation for here is to be sure to get some of the fudge, because it is all made locally and is seriously some of the best fudge I have ever had!
Mom’s Apple Pies! Amazing! Delicious! Extraordinary!
Seriously, you guys do not want to see just how much candy I buy from here
You can spy the amazing apple cider in the left of the picture!
I was tempted to add ‘Lab-opoly’ to my collection
Another small glimpse at the assortment of items you can buy
For clothing stores, Julian is a bit weird in that a lot of these stores are similar to thrift stores or antique stores. So don’t go to Julian and expect to see modern clothing, but instead spend some time in the antique stores and you could find a really cool leather jacket for a great price! If you walk further south on Main Street, that’s where you run into a lot of the clothing stores. One of my favorite places to browse is a store right next to Ruby’s Diner. I don’t think it has a name but it is basically a giant antique store with lots of unique items. I really enjoy just taking some time to see what unique kind items they might have. I have gotten some really cool jackets there and one time I even bought Dog-opoly, which is a version of Monopoly with dogs instead of buildings. The times they have there are such a random assortment of things, it’s fun to go in and see what they have in store.
Just to give you an idea of what Main Street looks like…
At lot of the stores are almost exactly the same as from when I was a kid, so nothing changes too drastically around here
Julian is a really cute little town, that you could do as a day trip, or as a weekend getaway. There is a lot to explore with all of the stores and the hiking trails that lead through the forest that surrounds Julian on all sides. Well that is all for this week, and I hope you enjoyed reading! Next week you will get to hear a bit more about a certain band that I may be a big fan of.
This is from a trip a few years ago, but I felt it really showed the spirit of Julian