Studio 747 - A Lifestyle Blog for Creative Minds: Retreat and Recharge: A Quick Day Trip to Julian, California

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Retreat and Recharge: A Quick Day Trip to Julian, California


I don’t care who you are - an artist, entrepreneur, busy mom, or student - everyone needs a break once in awhile.

Every week I take one day to break out of the monotony of sitting in front of the computer all day writing and working. As someone who works from home and enjoys what I do, it’s easy to get caught up in the work. At the same time, though, I can burn out real quick. So when a friend invited me to do a quick day trip out of the city to the sleepy town of Julian, I was game.

Sidenote: Julian was #6 in my post about 20 free and cheap things to do in San Diego.


Julian is nestled in the Cuyamaca mountains about 45 minutes east of downtown San Diego. Famous for its apple pie and gold mines, this is the place where city hustlers and creatives go to retreat, recharge, and soak up some inspiration even if just for the day. If you want to go for more than a day, there are plenty of campgrounds and even a small inn or two available in the area.

Historic Downtown Julian
Downtown Julian

Plenty of inspiration for artists and photographers
If you’re a nature photographer, you’ll love the sights along the way up to Julian. Lake Cuyamaca offers a plethora of landscape scenes, plus a chance to just take a deep breath and enjoy the picturesque zenful atmosphere.

Lake Cuyamaca
All kinds of good vibes at Lake Cuyamaca

Another great spot for taking landscape photos is Julian Pioneer Cemetery, a historic site dating back to the 1870’s when people migrated to the area in order to strike it rich with gold.

Views at Pioneer Cemetary in Julian
My friend snaps photos in Pioneer Cemetery

On my to do list for a future visit: A stargazing tour offered by the Observer’s Inn.

Where to eat
My friend and I had lunch at the Candied Apple Pastry Company, a quaint little restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, and sweet treats. I had the “Le Vegetarien” crepe filled with portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, and cheese.


After we let our lunch settle in and wandered around the shops, a stop in the Julian Pie Company was an absolute must. As many times as I’ve been to Julian, I actually have never eaten in their bakery. The company is famous in our corner of the world, and they ship their pies to many of the supermarkets in San Diego.

The crust is absolute perfection. And I highly, highly recommend having the apple pie with cinnamon ice cream.

Applie pie a la mode at Julian Pie Company


Where to shop
Warm Hearth will suck you in and it will take a huge amount of willpower not to walk out with at least one item. It consists of a large store up front and a huge warehouse in the back full of everything from eclectic home decor, art, clothing, books, fashion accessories and housewares...oh my!

Rest and relaxation complete
Just a few hours in Julian was enough to detox and recharge my batteries. If you’re ever in the San Diego area and love mountain scenery, step into the Julian time warp for a quick day trip and get a glimpse of what California looked like during the days of the early settlers.