California Travel Expert Veronica Hill of http://www.CaliforniaTravelExpert.com and the California Essential Guide (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id428163062?mt=8) app visits Julian California in this episode of “California Travel Tips.”
This charming little ghost town — located an hour from San Diego — comes alive during the fall, when it celebrates the famous Julian apple harvest. Bring along a light jacket as you explore the town’s quaint stores, restaurants and delicious homemade apple pies.
Julian’s mining history dates back to 1869, when San Diego experienced its first (and only) Gold Rush. Today, Main Street is filled with dozens of fun shops and attractions. You can hitch a ride on a horse and buggy, do a bit of wine tasting, or get a Western-style portrait taken at Grandpa’s Old Time Photo. To learn more about Julian’s mining history, join a tour at Eagle and High Peak Mine, located at the end of C Street. Train rides are available on the Smith Ranch and Julian Railroad by appointment.
Kids will enjoy panning for gold at the Julian Mining Company, or getting an old-fashioned phosphate at the Miner’s Diner soda fountain. But the real draw in Julian is the apple pie, and visitors are fiercely divided on who makes the best. I’m partial to Julian Pie Company, a cozy little diner with a loyal following. Be sure to get here early, as lines quickly form out the door.
Once you’ve had your fill of pie, walk off the calories with a tour of Julian’s pioneer cemetery and historic Gold Rush buildings. The Jacoby Building, built in 1897, was the town’s original general store. The Wilcox Building, which dates back to 1872, once served as a stage coach stop and Julian’s post office.
If you want to spend the night, consider staying in the Julian hotels. The Julian Gold Rush Hotel, which was built in 1897, is one of California’s best B&Bs, and well worth a visit.
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