Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Trip To The Mountains

Just before Halloween my husband and I took a trip to the mountains to visit the town of Julian and experience a bit of Fall weather, along with their famous apple pie. The weather was mostly cloudy and in the high 50s, which was perfect! Among our plans were apple picking and a visit to the pumpkin patch. As it turned out, the crops didn't fare well this year so the apple orchards were closed and the pumpkin patch was pretty much picked over. There still seemed to be plenty to do though, and the drive alone is half the fun for me.

Thankfully, we still got that apple pie and even picked up some cherry cider, which is usually a rare find! It's actually more common in my hometown of Traverse City, MI, which is known as the Cherry Capital. In fact, that's not even where the similarities end. The famous location in Julian for the best slice of pie is the Julian Pie Company, which also happens to be the inspiration behind the popular Grand Traverse Pie Company, founded by former San Diego residents.

Other than apple products, Julian is known for its historical preservations. Once a quaint mining town, strict ordinances prevent the town from many alterations. Shops continue to maintain an old town feel and include a cider mill, town hall, small market and deli, drug store and various little gift shops and restaurants. Even outside the main street there is very little development and a resident has to drive at least 45 minutes to visit any major shopping centers.

Another novelty for San Diegans to make the drive up the mountain is that it is one of the few sections of San Diego County that experiences 4 seasons. Unlike the city of San Diego, Julian produces a mass of foliage as well as snow. Several charming bed and breakfasts make it the ideal getaway without having to travel far. I, for one, can appreciate the luxury of a day trip as we all need to get away once in a while. People spend thousands of dollars on vacations, yet I find it amazing how much they miss what's in their own backyard.

Along the way...

Lake Cuyamaca

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

First we have lunch in Wynola at Pizza Express

The town of Julian

Julian Historical Society

Julian Market & Deli

Julian Drug Store

Julian Pie Company entrance

Julian Pie Company back patio

A little country gift shop

Yankee Candle display

A warm fire on a chilly day

Julian Cider Mill entrance

The cider mill itself

Candy and other assorted goodies...

Heading out of town...

Mountain Valley Ranch in Ramona

No pumpkins to be found! :(

At least we can go through the corn maze

...and the petting zoo

This pig is as big as the mule!

What a wonderful day we had...


Kristin said...

Looks like a fun place! Definitely a western town feel. The scenic areas are interesting -- very different than the mountains here. That pumpkin patch is a riot. Glad you made the most of it. Day trips are rare around here!