Apple Days Are Here Again

The Julian apple orchards are open for business, and we’ll be there early this year.

Last year I purchased a voucher from Living Social for a bag of apples from Raven Hill Orchards, and its 8,000 dwarf trees were picked bare before we made it out. I guess it was a mistake trying to wait for a cool day to visit the historic town of Julian. There’s a Living Social deal for 1/2 priced bags now, so if you get one, don’t wait.

This year we’re going to head out in September — whether it feels like fall or not — to avoid disappointment. And while we’re there we’re going to check out some of the other fun things Julian offers families.

As you drive up to Julian you’ll pass the breathtaking Lake Cuyamaca. This year we plan to stop and check it out. There’s a free fishing class every Saturday and a fishing derby for kids on September 22nd, but you can get a permit and rent a pole anytime. To save time, they suggest purchasing a license online, but permits can also be purchased on site.

My neighbor swears that panning for gold is a must-do activity in Julian. The Julian Mining Company is open to visitors on the weekends and offers gem and gold mining. Pioneer Ways offers gold panning as well as a 1-mile train ride on the Smith Ranch & Julian Railroad.

I know my kids would love to visit the California Wolf Center, a one-of-a-kind education, conservation and research center that was founded to educate the public about wildlife and ecology. The Center currently exhibits several gray wolves.

While we’re in the town of Julian itself, I think we’ll take the 15-minute, narrated carriage ride offered by Main Street Carriage Company. But one of the things we likely will not do is eat pie, even though it’s readily available in many of the town’s charming shops and restaurants.

Why? Well, when we get home with 2 bags of apples we will have enough to bake several pies of our own. It will be a nice way to wrap up one of our favorite fall outings. We’ll talk about gold and wolves and fish as we watch our pies baking.

Happy Fall!

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