Where To Go In California: 4 Reasons to Visit Julian, California (Staff Picks)

man climbing rocks in Julian, California during trip

It wouldn’t be a California vacation without some glamping, and I’ve got a special treat for you. While I’d love to keep the charming town of Julian in California, a secret just for me and my family, it would be wrong of me not to share why you should visit Julian, Southern California, if you were thinking of where to go in California. From the town to Julian Mountain, San Diego is not far from this idyllic spot in the great outdoors.

Beautiful view of Lake Julian from the tree house California cabin and another reason to visit Julian, California

Keep reading to find out more about glamping California and why you need to visit Julian, CA, in 2021

So where is Julian, California? This stunning spot is just an hour outside of San Diego, and some great trails for hiking near, Julian, CA, tourism doesn’t get much better. With stunning mountains as well as a lake, Julian, CA, has epic views of nature around every corner, the US’s best apple pie (yum!), deer sightings almost every hour, and one of the best glamping sites I have visited to date. For a town of only 1,502 residents, Julian sure has a lot to offer glampers looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. There too many reasons to visit the city of Julian, CA, but I’ve managed to get that down to just four! Glamping California really is something everyone should try at least once in 2021!

1. Looking for fun things to do in Julian, CA? Stay in one of the best tree houses in California

I have had my eye on this accommodation, one of the best tree houses in Julian, California, but quite possibly one of the best tree houses in California as a whole, for quite some time. Boy, did it exceed my expectations! From waking up to woodpeckers in the trees to enjoying the sunset from the Jacuzzi after an excellent day of Julian, CA, hiking, this tree house cabin was the perfect place to call home for the week. Having been passed down for generations, Rick has made this glamping accommodation a true haven for families to spend some quality time with each other. Can you think of any better things to do in Julian, CA?

A photo of the author in front of the tree house California during visit-Julian experience.

All bundled up around the kitchen table playing board games, catching up, making new memories, and sharing laughs that could probably be heard across the canyon is exactly what glamping with the family is all about. When visiting this cabin be sure to ask Rick for the grand tour—it is worth hearing all the fun facts about the previous owners’ family stories. This will not be my last visit to this tree house cabin.

View from one of top unique rentals California has to offer during chance to visit Julian glamping.

2. So why camping near Julian? Try some of the best food in California with Julian Apple Pie in 2021

So, why Julian? San Diego is close by, after all. Well, are looking to try some of the best food in California? One reason to pick a trip to Julian is the food; it doesn’t get much better than a slice of Julian apple pie! Fall is probably the best time to visit Julian, CA, so you can indulge in Julian, California, apple pie, or two. If you have heard of Julian, apple pie was probably mentioned in the same sentence. Why is Julian, CA, so famous for apple pie, you ask? During the Gold Rush, Julian arose as a charming mountain town and along with it came an outstanding number of apple trees. As the saying goes, when life gives you some Julian, CA, apples, make apple pies—and so they did. Camping near Julian has many perks but this one is undoubtedly one of the best!

Julian apple pie store offering some of best food in California for vacations CA.

When you head to Julian, CA, pie enthusiasts are in for a treat. With over five different pie companies in Julian, California, glamping enthusiasts will have to make a day of touring the different cafes to find out which is really the best apple pie in Julian, CA. We found our answer, but I will keep that an insider’s secret for now. Needless to say, once you’ve tried one or seven of the unsurpassable Julian pies, San Diego and its delights will be long forgotten in exchange for a cabin or tree house with a warm hearth. Julian is so much more than apple pies, however. Go hiking near Julian, CA, and you’ll be in for many adventures yet!

Best food near Los Angeles, CA from Julian Apple Pie Company.

3. Amazing things to do in California: Julian antiques and antiquing for vacations, CA

Once you’ve filled up on some pies, there are some other wonderful places to visit in Julian, California. There is nothing I love more than a good shopping trip, and downtown Julian, California, is filled with the cutest antique stores There are so many things to do in California during your vacations, CA really has it all. However, when it comes to Julian, CA, antiques, my favourite would have to be The Warm Hearth of Julian. With cookbooks, kitchen products, clothing, and home goods galore, it was hard not to spend more than an hour browsing the trinkets and collectables this store has to offer. I wouldn’t be the shopper I am if I did not pick up a few collectables to fill my house with.

A view from the top of Stonewall Peak hike and another reason to visit Julian, California this year.

4. Hiking Stonewall Peak – one of the top Julian, CA, hikes for California places to visit 2021

The exquisite views that stretch from Julian, CA, to the Pacific Ocean are worth the hike up Stonewall Peak, California. Places to visit here don’t come much more inspiring. A good hike for beginners and intermediate hikers, it takes about two hours and 30 minutes from start to finish. I would not recommend hiking this trail on a very windy day, as the top of the hike requires stairs and holding onto rails, but on a sunny day like ours, it could not be beaten. I cannot wait to go back and visit more trails surrounding this peak and will never forget one of the best Julian hikes available!

A view from the other side of Stonewall Peak hike, during the California places to visit trip

From a lovely stay at Rick’s tree house cabin to the yumminess of apple pie and the breathtaking views of Southern California, Julian, California, is one for the books.


Be sure to check out more amazing, one-of-a-kind getaways in Southern California, including this amazing Julian tree house rental for your next getaway!

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