A Gem of a Day

If you’re making the hour-or-so-long trip to Julian to pick apples this fall, you should consider staying a bit to enjoy some of the town’s other family-friendly activities.

We arrived in Julian around 9:30 on a Saturday morning, while the air was still a bit cool, and the orchards were relatively quiet. Each kid got to “pick a half peck” of apples, which took about 20 minutes.

We then spent the next three hours down the street at the Julian Mining Company enjoying a hay ride, throwing tomahawks, panning for gem stones, making apple cider, feeding farm animals and checking out tee pees.

You can’t see it too well, but the above shot is of my son throwing his first tomahawk… the best part of the day for a 5-year-old boy! These activities are part of the Julian Mining Company’s fall tour schedule, and definitely worth the $6 per kid we paid. We paid extra to do the gem panning, and that was well worth it too.

Just next door to the Julian Mining Company is the Wynola Farms Marketplace with a children’s play area, picnic tables, coffee, ice cream, wine tasting and cute little shops. It was a good place to unwind after all of our outdoor fun.

And nearby is Jeremy’s on the Hill, a wonderful restaurant featuring farm to table cuisine. The kids had chicken strips and fries, but the adults enjoyed garlic and leek soup, candied walnut salads, roasted chicken with roasted brussel sprouts.

On our way in and out of Julian we had to stop on the country road for wild turkeys crossing. We passed a group horse back riding and drove past the beautiful Lake Cuyamaca where kids can fish for free every Saturday.

It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. The next time we plan to spend the night at one of the cute B&Bs and make a whole weekend out of it!

4 thoughts on “A Gem of a Day

  1. momsguide says:

    Hi Tiffany! For years we went to Ravens Hill Orchard, but that one was sold last year and I believe now it’s called Volcan. Last year we went straight to Julian Mining Company and they had several variety of apples as well. It wasn’t really an “orchard” like the others we had seen, but the kids were so happy with what they picked we didn’t drive anywhere else.

    Here’s the info. for the former Raven Hill, which was awesome at the time and probably still is…

    Volcan Valley Apple Farm – JULIAN’S LARGEST U-Pick NOW OPEN!!
    Open 9 a.m. To 6 p.m. Daily
    Family Fun! 7000 trellis grown apple trees, 7 varieties easy hand picking by all ages. Contact for “Group” and “Special” needs’ arrangements. $10.00 / purchased bag…
    1284 Julian Orchards Dr. Julian, CA 92036 (not a mailing address)
    Email: volcanvalleyapplefarm@gmail.com

    You can find a list of orchards here: http://www.julianca.com/Orchards.html

  2. Tiffany says:

    Can I ask what location you went apple picking at and how did you like it?

  3. Erin says:

    What a fun day! Thanks for sharing all of these great details.

  4. Traci says:

    How fun! I have been looking into going there for a over night trip. I’m glad you guys had so much fun. Now I need to work it into our schedule. 🙂

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