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Getting There -- You can make the 90-minute trip on Hwy. 78 or I-8 to Hwy. 79. You can take one route going and the other on the way back. Hwy. 79 winds through Rancho Cuyamaca State Park. Hwy. 78 traverses countryside and farmland severely burned by the Witch Fire, one of Southern California's epic wildfires in 2007. If you come via Cuyamaca, you'll still see residual damage from the 2003 fire.

Visitor Information -- The Julian Chamber of Commerce is at 2129 Main St. (tel. 760/765-1857; www.julianca.com); staffers always have enthusiastic suggestions for local activities. The office is open daily from 10am to 4pm. Main Street in Julian is only 6 blocks long, and shops, cafes, and some lodgings are on it or a block away. Town maps and accommodations fliers are available from Town Hall; public restrooms are located here as well. There's no self-service laundry (so come prepared), but you'll find a post office, a liquor store, and a few grocery stores.

Special Events -- Apple Harvest Days take place mid-September through October and include lots of special events, including an Arts and Crafts Show, the Grape Stomp Festa, Bluegrass Festival, and even an old-time melodrama. There's also plenty of cider and apple pie, plus brilliant fall foliage. The Wildflower Show, sponsored by the local Women's Club, features displays of native plants; it was begun in 1926 and is held in early May at the historic Town Hall. And year-round (weather permitting), Doves & Desperados -- performers in Old West costume -- present skits and stroll the streets on Sunday from noon to 4pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.