"Julian" Top 5 Page for this destination Julian by ranger49

Julian Travel Guide: 68 reviews and 163 photos

An historic little town

I had read quite a lot about Julian before my first visit back in 2003 and felt sure I would like it.
I am always attracted as much to to smaller places as to big cities - perhaps even more so.
Julian seemed to have everything - a lovely mountain location, surrounded by apple orchards - and a well preserved Main Street dating from the 1870s and its time as a gold mining town.

So it was disappointing that as we got closer driving along the 78, having left hot sunshine behind us on the coast we ran into some filthy weather. By the time we arrived on Main Street it was snowing, a wet sleety snow that quickly turned to heavy rain. We decided to take reguge in the famous Julian Pie shop so turned the car and drove back down to the little cafe.
Once there we had to sit in the car for several minutes for a lull in the downpour.
Eventually we were seated in the welcome warmth of the cafe enjoying for the first time a generous slice of Julian apple pie with cream and hot coffee.

We considered afterwards dashing across the road to the interesting second hand bookshop we had spotted but decided that even in that short distance we would get to wet to be comfortable browsing amongst books.

We drove slowly up and down Main Street barely able to see through the windows because of the rain, sleet and snow. so we decided to come back another day.

The return visit

Well it took a bit longer than I had thought it might. It was not until 2010 that we had an opportunity to make another visit and the day we chose - April 13th - could not have been better.. This time we had time to wander in warm spring sunshine - to discover more of the history of the town and its early settlers,to visit the Library and talk with the nice volunteers in the shop, do some shopping and, of course, enjoy some more of Julan's delicious pies.

Frary House

This small building - now used as an office - is typical of the buildings to be seen in Julian. It was built in 1897 ( the year of my father's birth) by Almon Phineas Frary Jnr. and his wife Elizabeth. They constructed it on the site of a demolished hotel by bringing together Al's old miner's cabin and an abandoned one-room school.
Al was brought to Julian by his father at the age of 15 in the 1870 Gold Rush and worked in most of the mines in the area before he became the successful owner of two local mines.
He lived until 1943 and throughout his long life did much to promote the historical importance of Julian as a centre of the Californian Gold Rush and mining community.
He and Elizabeth had no children but their legacy was the contribution they made to Julian's preservation.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:An historical and well preserved country, market town
  • Cons:Changeable weather
  • In a nutshell:Well worth a visit - lots to see and enjoy.
  • Last visit to Julian: Apr 2010
  • Intro Updated Dec 7, 2011
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Reviews (7)

Comments (3)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Barbara, excellent little page about this off the beaten path gem. Visiting a public library is probably always a good idea.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Dec 8, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    Hi, Barbara! Thanks for sharing your story here!

  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo
    Dec 6, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Julian is truly a little gem - while in San Diego we drove up there on Sunday morning to attend church at Shadow Mountain Church. Of course we had a lovely lunch with Apple Pie for lunch!!

ranger49

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