Fall Fun Just South of the OC!

Day Trip to Julian, CA

Before coming to Southern OC, my family lived in San Diego for years; and while you may think of SD as a beach town, it also has a tucked away small storybook town called Julian!

Julian is about a 2 hour drive from Ladera Ranch, but you feel like you’re in another state!

My favorite time to visit this quaint town is during the holiday season. October through January is truly the best time to experience all that Julian has to offer! And, not to mention, I’ve been there before when it snows! It’s crazy how you can drive just a couple hours away and have completely different weather.

Below is a sample of what I did this weekend in Julian (you can go whenever you like, but I thought a sample day would be helpful!)


***Depending on the time of year, bringing warm clothes is a must! Check the weather app before you get in the car because you can easily hit the 30's in Julian during December-January! Today it was a beautiful REAL fall day with chilly winds, but the sun was out. It was in the low to mid 60's which was such a nice break from the heat we have been having in Orange County.

PACK SNACKS!! It’s a long drive and can get windy, so beware if you get car sick like me😝

Leave OC around 10 am

Get to the beginning of Julian around 12:00pm

12:20pm Stop off at Julian Hard Cider

There’s NO food at the Julian Cider brewing room, but there is a small place that sells basic burgers, fries, etc if you are starving!

Grab a cider or two, maybe grab a burger at the tiny restaurant or save your appetite for the cute spots in the town of Julian.

OR... skip the cider mill as a whole and just get into the tiny town.

As you are driving into the town before you get to the windy road there are pumpkin farms, apple farms, small wineries, and other spots if you feel like stopping along the way.

Once you get to the downtown main drag of Julian, there’s parking you can pay for, but we normally drive up the residential streets and find a spot for free! This also gives you a better chance to explore all the little shops that are on every corner.


Miners Diner: we ate here today and it was great! Don’t be expecting fancy, but expect yummy! I had the veggie burger (went vegetarian on Friday, and so far so good) it was very good!

There’s also a BBQ place, Mexican, Italian, and another country feeling cafe! I would recommend just walking around the main strip and seeing what looks best to you.

After lunch, grabbing a slice of Julians famous pie is a MUST. Whether you go to Julian Pie Company, Apple Alley Bakery, or Mom’s Pie house, you are in for a treat. Julian is known for their apple pie, but I love the strawberry rhubarb with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Honestly you could spend a good 1-2 hours just walking around going into the little soap shop, boutique store, antique place, beer company, and a favorite of mine, the Blue Door Tasting Room to get amazing sangria for $8 or do a wine flight with 5 tastings for $12! Such a cute spot owned by an adorable couple and their dog Ollie who just cruises around the tasting room.

As you can tell I do a lot of eating and drinking while I’m in Julian! But, theres also tons of cute little holistic shops where you can buy lotions, essential oils, and more!

Our next spot is the Julian market where you can buy homemade apple butters, jams, marmalade’s, nuts, AND get hot apple cider with whipped cream and cinnamon for $2.50!

Overall such a wonderful day trip or weekend trip!!

Have you been to Julian before? Wheres your fav place to eat/drink/shop while you're in town?


Orange County, CA

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