Summer giving way to fall means apples are ripening in our favorite nearby mountain town of Julian. From U-pick apple farms, digging in to the best slice of apple pie and a ‘Cutie Pie’ class where kids learn how to bake their own apple pie and piecrust cookies, we’ve found the perfect autumnal experiences for the apple of your eye. Peak apple season is now through October, so it’s time to head to this charming historic town for a family getaway that’s just what the doctor ordered (an apple a day!). Read on to learn more about these fruitful adventures.

Gastil Mountain Farms Apples & Art Orchards

This U-pick orchard only offers tours and picking for groups of 20 or more pickers. We think it’s a great idea for Scout troops, playgroups and homeschool cohorts. Tours take place daily at 1 and 3 p.m. The adventure includes an apple fact lecture and quiz (yikes!), apple picking, group cider making and tasting. The cost is only $10 per person. Gastil never uses pesticides or herbicides either. Be sure to book your reservation soon, as they fill up during the fall season and are only open until the apples are gone.

Dates: Call for reservation.

1052-1055 Julian Orchards Dr.
Julian, Ca

photo: Leah Singer

Getting to Julian:
From San Diego, take the I-8 East to Highway 67 (heading toward Ramona). Highway 67 turns into Highway 78 in Ramona. Simply follow it to Julian. Alternatively, you can take I-8 East to Highway 79 and enjoy a drive through Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, which will lead you to Julian.

From Carlsbad or Vista, simply take the 78 East to Julian. You can pick up the 78 East from the I-15 in Escondido or the I-5 in Carlsbad.

Learn more about Julian in our story: The Best One-Hour Road Trip to Find Fall in San Diego.

Featured photo: Jeremy Fitzhardinge

Where do you find apples in Julian? Give us the scoop below.

—Nikki Walsh