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  • Writer's pictureHannah R-Reyes

DAY TRIPS | Julian, CA

SandSilkSky is a celebration of nature. It is also an ode to our free spirit, of manifesting our dreams, and of exploring the world around us. DAY TRIPS is a new series highlighting towns around America that are just off the beaten path, but offer majestic natural scenery that is worth taking a day or two (or more) to explore.

Julian, California is a beautiful mountain town sandwiched between the surf mecca of San Diego, and both the desert treasures of Anza Borrego Desert State Park and the Coachella Valley. It's tourism hits highest in Autumn, with overflowing pumpkin patches and heavy-weighted apple trees that you can pick yourself! Hard cider and apple wine pours to thirsty patrons in every tasting room, and, of course homemade apple pie delivers at every stop in town!

But for the rest of the year, Julian is a beautiful escape from the bustle of city life, offering the tranquility of pastoral living and serene wildlife. Its perfect for a weekend of camping in the forest, fishing at Lake Cuyamaca, glamping in one of Julian's eclectic Airbnb's, or staying in town at a century-old hotel. And the best part is, the touristy offerings of Julian in Fall remain open and operating year-round, but without the lines, the over-burdened families, and all the waiting in between!

Arrive during the week, and you'll be intrigued by the dozen or more backpackers you'll see around town, sunburnt and pensive, making one of their first resting stops along their journey of the PCT, or Pacific Crest Trail. At 77 miles into the trail, these hikers are warmly welcomed by Julian locals, and usually provide jovial conversation with anyone willing.

There are, of course, a dozen or so shorter hikes in Julian that you can take for an hour or a few of sunshine and exercise. Bring a hat and layer-up, as temperatures can swing from cool, crisp shade under the oak trees, to an intense, baking sun on the meadows and rock faces.

We always stop for pie at Mom's, where we call their Apple Dumpling the "Apple Awesome!" Its tough not to face-dive the Apple Awesome, which is absolute perfect mastery of fresh-baked apple pie topped with homemade cinnamon ice cream! No doubt every restaurant, hotel and pit stop across town has equally good apple pie, but we can't resist the Apple Awesome, and it brings us back every single time!

Of all the amazing vineyards in town, Volcan Mountain Winery has always given us the brightest greeting. They know their regulars with Heart, and treat every new customer as their new best friend. Its rare that you find a group of people so consistent in hospitality, and it makes stopping in for a taste of their seasonal yieldings a true delight.

That's why I'm so grateful that SandSilkSky was invited to hold a DIY Dream Catcher Workshop in their Tasting Room on April 28th!

Proceeds of Workshop sales go to both the Julian Arts Guild, as well as The Freedom Story.

SandSilkSky dream catchers and DIY Kits can be found at Crow & Lilac in the heart of Julian, a small gifts boutique run by Sonja, who carries art and all natural home goods in her shop.

Sonja opened Crow & Lilac five years ago. What started as a pop-up space to showcase her ceramics and paintings, her store has since expanded both in size, and volume.

Crow & Lilac specializes in handmade products and unique gift ideas by Californian artists, including soaps, candles, bath and home goods made by Sonja herself. Sonja collaborated with local breweries to craft many of the soap bars she carries in her store, including Julian's own brewery, Nickel Beer! She is now offering subscription services for monthly refills of her best-selling home + bath products.

Julian is a town definitely worth checking out any time of year! I look forward to more DIY Dream Catcher Workshops in the near future!

You don't have to wait for the next workshop!

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