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  • Writer's pictureHaley

San Diego Weekend Away: Julian, CA

If you are planning your next getaway, Julian is a fantastic option located right here in San Diego County. Whether you're looking for all-day hikes, an afternoon at the wineries, or camping by a bonfire, Julian's got you covered.

The best part, it's totally drivable (under 2 hours from most places in SD), allowing you to feel like your on a far-away adventure without the actual "travel." After spending a weekend in Julian, I'm breaking down all the fun activities you can do if you're craving a day or two out in nature.

Historic Julian

This little downtown area will be your first stop if you want to explore the town of Julian. There is an abundance of shops offering local delicacies and goods, from a picnic basket shop to a store filled with jams of all varieties! These boutiques and shops are fun to explore - be sure to keep your eye out for Julian-apple themed anything, it's sure to be delicious.

The Julian Book House is a must-visit if you are a book lover, offering vintage to new books of all genres. The Julian Cider Mill is filled with all sorts of treats and handmade items, from locally sourced honey, fudge, to Julian apple cider. If you're looking for gifts to bring back to friends and fam, this is your stop. Finally, if you are looking to stay the weekend right in the heart of the town, the Julian Gold Rush Hotel is an adorable B&B decorated all in the victorian style.

Spend a couple hours wandering the little downtown area and popping in and out of shops. It's a great way to spend an afternoon and meet town locals! Once you're done doing you're shopping, you'll be ready for some food and beverages.

Food & Drinks

I ate lunch at the Julian Grille, which offered a peaceful garden patio where we could enjoy our food! It had a beautiful outdoor space, and because I visited in the spring, all the flowers were blooming. This is a great spot if you want to enjoy a delicious and quiet lunch in the sun.

If you are looking for local beverages, the Julian Beer Co. is right across the street. Their brewery uses local honey, fruit, and herbs in their beers, and is a must-try if you are into the San Diego brew scene.

Julian also offers a variety of wineries. This may require a little drive out of the town, but is definitely worth the trip! I stopped by the Volcan Mountain Winery for some tastings. Don't leave without trying the Julian Apple wine (although I always fall for a good rose).

Camping & Hiking

Julian has so many beautiful opportunities to get out into nature, which was by far my favorite part of the visit. We camped at the William Heise County Park which offered tent camping, trailer and RV camping, as well as cabins for rent. It was a beautiful campground with no shortage of open space for exploring, and access to an abundance of hiking trails. We were able to reach three awesome trails just feet away from our campsite.

Spend the night with a campfire and s'mores and a night sky full of stars. It makes it easy to forget you're only an hour from home! This is a great place to camp with friends as they offer sites right next to each other that allow you to spend time together without wandering across the campground. (The bathrooms were also very clean - a necessary factor in my book.)

If you are looking to spend time in nature enjoy the local flora and fauna, Julian is the place to do it.

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