Julian is a beautiful mountain town located in the Cuyamaca mountains. The town dates back to the 1870’s gold rush in the early days of California and has a rich history. As a result, Julian has shops housed in historic buildings, a historic hotel, and many restaurants. It’s also known for its famous apple pies that attract visitors worldwide. 


Julian is a perfect place for any van or RV nomad to explore and spend the day. The surrounding mountains offer a lot of excitement and adventure. The main activities of the area are exploring, shopping, eating apple pies, camping and hiking. 

There are several good hiking trails in the area that range from easy to hard. Look at AllTrails.com to get a list of trails in the area. Several campgrounds are located within a short drive, including one of my favorites;  William Hess County Park.

Anza-Borrego Desert

If you’re willing to drive a little further, you can stay in the Anza Borrego desert. The Anza Borrego State Park is located 30min from Julian and offers a desert landscape that anyone will love to explore with multiple boondocking sites and county campgrounds. The park provides amazing wildlife viewing and stargazing at night since minimal light pollution.

Visit: Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Julian Pie Company

One of the highlights for any visitor to Julian is a visit to the Julian Pie Company. The Julian Pie Company has been in operations since 1986 and producing the best apple pies in the world. People from all around the world come to the Julian Pie Company to taste these amazing pies.


Several campgrounds are located around Julian that provide a good place to stay while exploring the surrounding area. 

References and Other Adventures:


Top 11 Adventures on San Diego Route S2 (Pony Express)

Can you recall a time when the old pony express piqued your curiosity? If so, perhaps a journey down Route S2 in San Diego County is what you need. From Ocotillo to where Highways 79 and S2 meet in Warner Springs is a distance of roughly 65 miles. With no detours, the total time to complete the journey is just over 1 minute and 20 seconds.

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Agua Caliente County Park

Agua Caliente County Park is a great place for any van or RV nomad who wants to explore the desert and all it has to offer. The campground is located in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park and is best known for its geothermally heated springs and rugged desert hiking.

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