San Diego's East County region conjures up images of the Wild West when cowboys, pioneers and prospectors set their sights on this vast inviting frontier with its quaint rural towns nestled amongst rolling hills, alpine mountains and desolate desert expanse.
Visitors can experience this exciting chapter of San Diego's pastoral past at various historic sites and towns throughout East County, as well as at community events that celebrate the western days of yesteryear.
The historic town of Julian located in the picturesque Cuyamaca Mountains, was founded after the Civil War when displaced Confederate veterans from Georgia headed West to seek their fortunes in this new, mostly unsettled land.
Today, visitors can explore Julian's Gold Rush past at four area gold mines and the Julian Pioneer Museum, as well as on historic walking tours and much more. Julian celebrates its rich storied past with two major annual community events:
Julian Gold Rush Days, which takes place Father's Day weekend in June, celebrates the discovery of gold with a number of fun-filled activities, including gold panning, gold mine tours, historic skits, old fashioned games and more.
While other nearby gold mining towns disappeared over time, Julian's pioneers stayed, farmed the rich land and continued to thrive with the production of its newest asset: apples. The town celebrates the annual Julian Fall Apple Harvest from mid-September through mid-November, a tradition begun in 1909. Autumn is one of the most popular times of year to visit this delightful mountain community steeped in western charm.
For more information on East County and the entire San Diego region, visit www.sandiego.org/eastcounty
For more information about top events in California take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in California.