Wednesday, October 9, 2013

31 Days of Halloween: Apple Festival in Julian, CA

Cute roadside pumpkin patch!

This past weekend I finally got to cross something off my bucket list...a trip to Julian, California to visit their world-famous apple orchards and attend their 100+ year-old apple festival! I have always wanted to visit Julian during the fall, when the colors on the leaves are changing, temperatures are cooler and the apples are ripe for picking!

Mister Spooky and I were actually visiting San Diego for a concert, and so did a little sight-seeing / food-eating there before heading up into the mountains to Julian. Our first stop on the way down was at Stone Brewing Company, a craft brewery that makes Arrogant Bastard and other awesome beers (that also happen to be vegan, huzzah!). When we arrived, we grabbed a few beers from their awesome bar and strolled their beautiful grounds. I got an Autumn Maple brew from The Bruery and sat in a shady spot overlooking their turtle pond - it was bliss! We then took a tour of their brewery where we learned all about their production and even had a beer tasting! So fun! For lunch, we dined at their restaurant since they had vegan options (huzzah again!)! I had the vegan tempeh shepard's pie and it was delicious!

Enjoying The Bruery's Autumn Maple beer on the banks of
the turtle pond, my tempeh shepard's pie and taste-testing
Stone Brewing Co.'s Leviathan IPA after the brewery tour!

Stone Brewing Co. - (clockwise, left to right) - the bar, their gargoyle
 mascot, beers on-tap and their fermenting tanks!

We continued on our way to San Diego, then spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Old Town and then headed off the the concert later that night.

Seeing the Whaley House never gets old! If you look closely, 
you can see one of the tour guides dressed in period clothes!

Psyclon Nine at Brick by Brick!

The next morning, we grabbed some coffee and vegan donuts from Dark Horse Coffee and then grabbed some lunch at Evolution Fast Food for our drive up to Julian. I couldn't resist trying the vegan soft serve at Evolution, too! I have a sweet tooth is insatiable! 

Vegan Pumpkin Spice, French Toast and Chocolate Frosted
Donuts with some cold-brewed iced coffee! So good! 

Vegan fast food at Evolution! Vegan chocolate-vanilla soft serve, 
bacon cheeseburger and their drive-thru! If I lived closer I would
definitely be here everyday!

We then took the drive up to we climbed in elevation on the narrow road, the temperature dropped from the 80s down into the felt so nice! The scenery was beautiful, turning from a rocky, dessert landscape to grassy prairies to pine trees and oaks. 

Such lovely scenery on the road to Julian!

We pulled into Julian in early afternoon and it was packed! We headed up to the apple orchards, but didn't stay too long because of the large crowds there for the apple festival. Still, we stopped long enough to snap some pics of the famous apple trees! We also had a great time just driving around the backroads and enjoying the changing fall colors and crisp air. 

 One of the famous apple orchards of Julian!

We eventually headed back into town and wandered around the quaint main street (though it was packed so we didn't really go in stores), chatted up a cute older local gentleman and explored the pioneer cemetery! Julian was a gold rush town in the 1870s and so lots of tragedies occurred that necessitated founding their own cemetery. 

 "Haven of Rest" - Julian Cemetery

 This gravestone marks the mass burial plot of stillborn
babies from the 1870s.

 Julian Pioneer Cemetery

Julian Cemetery was especially beautiful with the fall foliage!

After a fun afternoon in Julian, we drove back down the mountain (after stocking up on some fresh-pressed Julian apple cider, of course!) towards home. We chanced upon a cute country pumpkin patch on the way, and of course I made Mister Spooky stop! 

 Mountain Valley Ranch's Pumpkin Patch!

So many pumpkins and cute scarecrows in the pumpkin fields!

This was such a fun weekend and I am so glad I got to experience Julian's beautiful town! Next time I hope it is less crowded so I can take the time to experience all the cute shops and the old-time-y ambiance! 


  1. That sounds like fun! I've been to Old Town San Diego, but I'm sure I missed 90% of the good stuff.
    Oh my - french toast donuts??? I may have just drooled.

  2. It looks like you had a fun, scenic outing! I remember seeing The Whaley House on "Most Haunted"! Did you have any ghostly experiences there?

    1. I took the tour a few years ago, but even though it was at night I didn't have any ghostly experiences (sadly!) was really neat, though! They let you wander all through the house and you can spend as much time as you want in there.


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