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Apple Days are here! Apple pie tasting is an art I could get used to, especially if the pies are baked in Julian, a historic mountain town famous for its apple orchards and home-baked pies. Perched at an elevation of 4,235 feet, 60 miles northeast of San Diego, Julian dates back to the Civil War.

A few miles past Julian Pie Company along Julian Orchards Road, you can pick your own apples at Raven Hill Orchard. It’s run by Patrick Brady, a long-haired Irish sculptor whose metal critters welcome you at the entrance. He’ll hand you a paper bag and direct you to the best trees.

Apples aren’t Julian’s only attraction, though. Taste the wine at one of several local wineries, including Menghini, J. Jenkins and Orfila. Steve and his horse, Lincoln, offer year-round carriage rides, just $30 for two and $10 for each additional passenger. Texas style fixin’s can be had at Bailey Woodpit Barbecue – you’ll need a bib.

Don’t leave without a slice of apple pie from your choice of establishments: Julian Pie Company, Miner’s Diner, Apple Alley, Mom’s Pies, Julian Cafe & Bakery or Cowgirl Cafe. Pick up a pie and a jug of heavenly apple cider. Warning! They might not make it all the way home.

Think you might like to stay awhile? Settle in at one of many historic B&Bs. And check out the Julian website for upcoming events: julianca.com.

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