After spending nine months in the city of eternally 70 and sunny, center-city San Diegans flock inland this time of year to get their fall fix. From pumpkin patches for the family, breweries and hard cideries for the craft enthusiasts, to hikes and campgrounds for the outdoorsy type, Julian has everything you need to get in the fall spirit. Whatever your fancy, we’ve rounded up your ultimate guide for an Autumn getaway.
EAT & DRINK:
Chef Jeremy Manley found his calling at a young age, starting off in the kitchen at 11 and fully catering weddings by 13. He went on the graduate from the prestigious Cordon Bleu and opened Jeremy’s on the Hill in 2007. Manley specializes in farm to table cuisine, and the chef’s passion and attention to detail shines in his signature dishes. The perfectly cooked rack of lamb is crusted in pistachios, drizzled with Dijon sauce, and accompanied by organic potatoes and locally grown garden vegetables. Find your perfect pairing on the sommelier curated wine list.
A favorite for fresh local cider, homemade caramel apples, raw honey, and nostalgic candies for over 40 years, the Julian Cider Mill is the model of a hardworking family business. In the family for generations, the gas station turned cider mill has been processing cider the same way for decades. For authenticity, the cider is made from fresh fruit from local growers, unpasteurized and unsweetened with no preservatives. There’s truly an art to it.
Though times have changed, this family run business’s goals still remain the same: produce a pie that would capture the essence of the small mountain town of Julian. Julian Pie Company has retained the same basic traditions that they have held for years. Kick up your feet on their relaxing back patio and enjoy eldest son, Dave Smothers’ personal favorite, original apple with homemade whipped cream.
Nestled in the world-famous Julian Station, Julian Hard Cider is Southern California’s first hard cider company. Sample their award-winning, fresh pressed hard ciders in their laid back cidery. Kick back and take in the backcountry charm while enjoying live music on their pet-friendly outdoor patio.
Weekends in October, Julian Farm and Orchard is your one stop shop for family friendly activities. The patch offers free admission and parking. Peruse the pumpkin patch, meet farm animals in the petting zoo, hop aboard a hayride, or press your own apple cider. Plus, axe throwing, archery, apple picking, and more will keep the family busy all day long.
The trail starts in the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve and has views of Iron Mountain and Mount Woodson. You can’t miss the unique gateway designed by local artist James Hubbell. The 5.5 mile round trip hike is dog friendly and perfect for hikers looking for a moderate workout.
Just a block above Main Street sits a Victorian home with four guestrooms that offer all the comforts of home. You can expect a pack of Golden Retrievers to check you in upon your arrival at Eaglenest. Relax on the extensive decks with mountain views and cozy up by the in-room fireplace.
Situated 4,200 feet above sea level in a forest of pines sits William Heise County Park. Sleep under the stars in one of their 42 tent sites, complete with a table and fire ring for smores and stories. Heise also offers 14 cozy wilderness cabins with fireplaces. The park spans over 1,000 acres, so make sure to check out all the sites there are to see!