Exploring the Culture, the Beauty, and the Desserts of a Unique Mountain Town
Julian, Calif. — a small town that’s located about an hour’s drive east of San Diego — can trace its origins to the fateful day in 1869 when a cattle rancher named Fred Coleman found bits of gold in a stream. Prospectors soon flooded into the area to seek their fortunes; many of them were former Confederate soldiers. Nowadays, people flock to Julian for altogether different reasons. The town’s attractions thrill people of all ages and backgrounds — children, shoppers, art enthusiasts, history buffs, and pie lovers included.
Julian is nestled among glorious wineries and the picturesque Cuyamacas. These mountains are ideal for long walks, romantic picnics, and stargazing sessions. Plus, hikers really appreciate William Heise County Park. This preserve is positioned 4,200 feet above sea level, and its trails will take you through pine and oak groves and past the homes of many forms of wildlife — turkeys and bobcats among them.
When you return to civilization, you’ll discover that the past vividly comes to life in many parts of Julian. Thus, you can enjoy a narrated horse-drawn carriage ride or browse specialty stores in buildings that are more than a century old. The town also gives you opportunities to feel like a gold miner. For example, at Eagle Mining Company, you can tour an 1870s mine. You’ll view equipment from the period and journey into deep tunnels. And at the Julian Pioneer Museum, you’ll see a wealth of frontier artifacts, including a genuine blacksmith shop in its entirety.
If all of this roaming around makes you hungry, know that many establishments there sell huge and extraordinary apple pies throughout the year. The Julian Pie Company on Main Street is especially famous for these treats; it sells its pastries across the U.S.
What’s more, Julian has become a haven for artists. Indeed, many visitors are surprised by the quality and variety of its galleries. Two of the standouts are the trendy Art Elite and the Old Julian Photography Gallery. At the latter, you’ll discover plenty of photos showcasing Julian’s flora and fauna in all of their splendor.
Finally, if you’re in Southern California at Christmas time, your best chance of seeing snow is probably to head over to Julian. The community occasionally experiences magical snowfalls during the winter.
The town of Julian is more than just apple pie http://www.julianstarfest.com/julian/julian.htm
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