It is one of my fav places of all time. Kevin and I used to go there every winter when we started dating. It was just two 16 year-old kids cruising up for warm apple pie and time to browse through the shops. There is just something different about Julian. The air is crisp, the skies are blue, and the people still have small town folk charm.
Now we pack our minivan with the boys and cruise up to Julian. Although the experience is different, it is just as special.
If you visit sans kiddos, you can stay at a quaint Bed and Breakfast and enjoy wine tasting at a variety of local wineries.
Now that we have kids, we take advantage of the hiking, sledding (during the winter), and of course, the apple pie. It is what Julian is famous for. And for a good reason...it is the best (well, minus my father-in-laws)!
This time we tried something new...apple picking and panning for gold.
We 1st headed to Raven Hill Orchard where there's an abundance of varieties to choose from. The best part? It is super cheap. Unlike most farms, they only charge $10 per bag instead of charging per person.
If you head up this way, I recommend three things:
1. Pick a cool day.
2. Arrive when the farm opens. The crowds add up quickly.
3. Call ahead of time to make sure they are still open.
We skipped heading into town and instead visited the Julian Mining Co. They offer hay rides, a petting zoo, pick from the vine pumpkin patch, and gem and gold mining. Of course, my kids just preferred the giant rocks to climb. If you go, I recommend gem mining for the littles. It is MUCH easier. We gave up on the gold mining and switched to gems. It saved us a lot of time and frustration. My kids don't last too long, you know?
And to finish off a perfect day, we headed for pie. MOM's in town usually has a super long line out the door, but there is a MOM's outside of town by the Julian Mining Co. They were sold out of Apple this time, so we headed to the base of the hill and found some equally delicious pie at the Julian Pie Co.