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Posted by on Jul 3, 2016 | 78 comments

Julian Dressed in Red, White and Blue

This 4th of July we celebrated early.

My husband and I were off Friday and Saturday.  Sunday and Monday are working days for my husband (technically, he is not off during holidays). Given the circumstances, we had two days to do get out of the city.

We ended up driving around the windy roads of northern San Diego County.  Friday, around 3:00 p.m., we entered the historic center of the tiny, mining town of Julian.

To our surprise, the town was dressed in red, white and blue.  The colors of the national flag were sprinkled everywhere.

Turns out the town has a parade and BBQ every 4th of July. All businesses on Main Street were ready for the action. That was perfect for us since we were able to breathe the Independence Day atmosphere three days before the actual event.

You may not be aware but Julian is famous for the one thing that it is said to be the most American of all: apple pie.

And, let me tell you something, the pies sold in the town’s bakeries are smashing! Pie is not even my favorite dessert and right now, my mouth is watering because I am thinking about all the delicious slices I consumed during my visit.  As soon as you get out of the car, the cinnamon and sugar scent hits you.  You stop to inhale the aroma and proceed to make the line to get your slice (better if it is served with cinnamon ice cream).

It is not only the pie.  There are so many elements that make you feel like in a movie dedicated to all things Americana.

Apple Cider


Soda Fountain




Baked Apples




Giant Flags

I leave you with several photos I took during my visit.  Hope they give you a sense of how Independence Day is celebrated in the United States.

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Julian, San Diego, California

Happy 4th of July to all my friends in the United States (and to expatriates too)!

What reminds you of the United States?



This post is part of Monday Escapes at My Travel MonkeyTravel Tuesday at Bumble Bee MumOur World Tuesday, Wanderful Wednesday at Lauren on Location, Wordless Wednesday at Image-in-ing, Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox , City Tripping at Mummy Travels / Wander Mum,  Photo Friday at Pierced Wonderings,  Weekend Travel Inspiration at Reflections Enroute, The Weekly Postcard at Travel Notes and Beyond  and Weekend Wanderlust at A Brit and a Southerner. Pay a visit to these wonderful blogs!

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    • Yes, great to get the celebration feeling.

  1. What a fun town to visit. You got a little Americana to celebrate the 4th early, that’s a fun treat. I think I need to add this town to my California see list. Hope you have a Happy 4th!

    Lisa @ Life Thru the Lens

    • It is a nice little town surrounded by natural, open spaces. Is ideal for people who like the outdoors.

  2. I’d LOVE to go there, The Candied Apple Pastry Company, yip. Nice find and a fun and fitting way to celebrate the holiday. I like how you made a list of things tasty about Julian and the US. Wonderful post and wonderful little town.

    • Well, it was a short list. I think we can come up with more of a hundred things that are tasty in the United States.

  3. Oh goodie, I will have to take my husband here. I am not into pies (am a cake gal) but he’s on a quest to find the best tasting apple pie. This is prolly where he will find it.

    Happy 4th!
    Photo cache recently posted..The Blessings of the Past 10 YearsMy Profile

    • I am not into pies either but the ones made in this town are so good that you will feel like a pie aficionado. Your husband will love those pies for sure.

  4. I used to live in SD and would drive up into Julian whenever I got an urge for apple pie. I would eat a fat slice there and take a pie home to finish for breakfast! Its a beautiful drive. What a great day you chose to visit – getting to experience some real Americana.
    Jo @ Jo Jacks Travel recently posted..Preschools in Riyadh for Expats in Saudi ArabiaMy Profile

    • Oh Jo! So great somebody get the feeling of going to Julian and enjoying a big slice of pie. I wasn’t expecting all the red, blue and white colors but I enjoyed them.

  5. It indeed looks and sounds very Americana! I’ve never heard of it. But I love apple pie so am going to have to check it out next time I’m in Cali! #mondayescapes

    • Definitely, a great place to check if you like apple pie.

    • Thanks! Glad you like the photos.

    • Ja, ja! Great way to summarize things up!

  6. Looks like everyone is celebrating. I specially like the one with motorbikes 🙂

    • The town was full of bikers. Most of the streets were lined with bikes. I really liked that.

    • Looks like small towns know how to celebrate!

    • It would have been nice to be in town for the actual parade. That would be cool. After the parade, people go to a BBQ and then go back to the coast for the fireworks.

  7. I’ve never heard of this town, even though I’m from SoCal. It looks too cute, and omg just the mention of american apple pie has me drooling. Apple pie is seriously one of my favorite desserts ever, and I miss it so so much when traveling/living out of the country!! I’m drooling at even the thought of cinnamon, sugar, and baked pastry aroma in the air!
    Anna recently posted..More gross, strange, and yummy things to eat in TaipeiMy Profile

    • Every time I mention the town, there are some Southern Californians that have never heard of the town. But, if you love pie, this is the place for you. There are other culinary pleasures too.

  8. What a fantastic taste of America – literally and figuratively! I know we’ve just got back from California but I already fancy a trip to San Diego and around the city so this is right on my list. How fun to see it dressed up for Independence Day too – happy 4th of July! And thanks for linking up with #citytripping
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted..City Tripping #34My Profile

    • I read you enjoyed Southern California a lot. Therefore, you have to make plans to return and visit Los Angeles and San Diego. I bet you would love those places too.

  9. Lovely photos! I had heard of Julian as a destination for apples and pie but didn’t know they did July 4th so big! Glad you had such a fun holiday weekend!

    • I didn’t know either! My findings were a coincidence. I went to enjoy the pie and end up extra happy because of everything that was happening.

  10. What a gorgeous little place. The Americans are so patriotic when it comes to celebrating their heritage. The red, white and blue decorations are so colourful. Apple pie just so happens to be my favourite dessert!

    • Wow! There are more fans of apple pie than I thought. I would have to write a post dedicated only to pies.

  11. My husband really likes apple pies and so do I. I’ve found there are so many different ways they can be prepared. I’ve never thought about where they first came from. It looks like a cute town.
    budget jan recently posted..Fort George and beyond on Vis Island CroatiaMy Profile

    • The interesting thing is that there are different versions of apple pie in this town. They have the original,dutch apple pie, apple and berries and other varieties. This time I tried apple and peach. Is is nice to see what they have in season.

  12. I spent two 4th of Julys in the States – one in NYC in 2009 and one in Florida 2001. Neither of them were anything like your photos, but they were special and fun, nonetheless.
    Trekking with Becky recently posted..Photo Friday: Samurai Home LifeMy Profile

    • Really! You have to celebrate it in California. It is fun in here!

  13. What fun pictures! I love all the red, white, and blue everywhere.

    • The town is pretty but I can argue it looked better with all the flags around.

  14. Loved reading about your celebrations. The description is good and the pics tempt me to have one of them now.Never knew the origin.
    Indrani recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – 384My Profile

    • Thanks Indrani! Glad you learned something new thru the post.

  15. Wow, this town looks a great place to visit – especially in early July! Love towns which have a bit of character, and this one has it in buckets. The apple pie sounds delicious – I’ve never tried American apple pie before, although I’ve tried apple pie in Japan. Not sure if it would be the same thing! If you visit Nagano, do check out the apple pie – apples are the regional specialty so you’ll see a lot of apple-themed stuff. If I ever visit Julian I’ll let you know how compare 😉

    • Thanks for the tip. I need to find more info about Nagano and its apples. Apple deserts are not a thing of the Caribbean and I am not necessarily crazy about them. But the pies in Julian are something else. Just the smell makes you crave a slice.

  16. We literally just got back from visiting our friends in San Diego, and they were telling us about Julian! My husband’s favorite dessert is apple pie, so they promised that they’d take us there next time we visit! It sounds like you stumbled upon Julian at the perfect time for a great Fourth of July parade and BBQ!
    Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders recently posted..Checking In- 2016 GoalsMy Profile

    • Take your friends word and go! It is a nice place to visit year around. Do not miss it next time!

    • I was surprised by the clouds that day. They were fantastic. I have tons of photos of them. I will share them at another time.

  17. Ruth, this July 4th we celebrated my Mother and her twins’ 80th birthdays. As a little girl Mum always said one year she would celebrate her birthday in America for the biggest birthday ever. Unfortunately, with the long flights from Perth added with Mum has never owned a passport, I doubt at 80 that will happen. But when I finally get to US I would love it to be July 4th so I can celebrate on her behalf. Thanks for linking with #TheWeeklyPostcard
    Lyn – A Hole in my Shoe recently posted..In search of snowMy Profile

    • Oh Lyn! What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it with. Many blessing for your mom, here sister and your entire family. If one day you find yourself in Los Angeles, please feel free to give me a ring.

    • Yes, they thew the house thru the window. There was a superb attention to detail.

    • Thanks! These celebration are always fun!

  18. Wonderful photos Ruth. As a non American this is how I picture 4th of July celebrations. Love all that apple pie goodness.
    Katy recently posted..Enjoy St Kilda like a localMy Profile

    • Glad you got a glimpse on how it is celebrated in here. In Puerto Rico, we celebrate it but in a very different way.

  19. Love your photos, Ruth! I have never tried apple pie in America. It would be interesting to compare it to the apple pie we eat in the UK. I’ll have to find a recipe and try it out – we always have a ridiculous amount of apples on our trees in the garden in the Autumn.

    • I would like to compare the different versions too. You have to tell me about a place where they make great pie in the UK.

  20. I haven’t been to Julian but sounds like a great little town, much like the one I grew up in. Things that remind me of America….there are so many but a few…food (hamburgers, hot dogs, fruit pie, French fries, cheesesteaks, Key Lime pie, etc.), sports (baseball/football/basketball), displays of patriotism (being in the UK now, it is noticeable the absence of flags etc.), covered bridges and red Mail Pouch barns, films (so many films watched everywhere are American), and clothing (baseball hats, blue jeans, tee shirts). ~ Jessica
    Jessica @ Independent Travel Cats recently posted..Louisiana Plantations Guide: 12 River Road PlantationsMy Profile

    • Wow Jessica! So many things that are so related to the United States! Thanks for the great list. BTW, where you grew up?

  21. I heard of Julian but have never been there. It looks quite nice, I’d love to visit it. 4th of July is a very special day for our nation and I love it when the communities decorate themselves so festively.

    • Anda, you should pay a visit around fall when the apples are in season. They have apple pie (and other products) available all the year but apple picking season is particularly fun.

  22. Wow! Amazing pictures and some true patriotism. You’ve certainly delivered a slice of American culture to my table ; ) I’d love to visit Julian and try the famous American Pie! Happy Independence Day and thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • I have to write more about apple pie. I have written about the pies sold in the town before but another post will be nice. I visited some new bakeries.

  23. I love apple pie, I’d love to try it whenever I’ll visit the US. By the way, as I was reading the post, I saw you mentioned burgers and I was already craving one. Glad there weren’t photos of burgers to feed my craving, haha
    Vlad recently posted..Let’s Be Honest About AirbnbMy Profile

    • You have given me a great idea for a post. Burgers chains seems to be a war in here. They are always discussions on which one is best.

  24. Hi Ruth. This little looks like it takes the 4th of July and its pies very seriously! What fun that you and your husband got to enjoy the festivities. Thanks for co-hosting this week. #TPThursday
    Nancie recently posted..Appetizers from Around the WorldMy Profile

    • There are families that have been baking pies for more than 70 years. They know what they are doing since their products are extremely good (and delicious).

    • Northern and rural San Diego and so overlook. However, they are full of treasures. I visited its beach towns this weekend and had a blast.

    • I think you live not that far away. So, it should be nice every time you are craving pie.

  25. What a fun town to visit.
    It in reality looks and sounds exceptionally Americana! I’ve never known about it.
    Be that as it may, I adore crusty fruit-filled treat

    • Thanks! I hope you have the opportunity to visit one day.

    • I have not taken that into consideration but you are right. This may be more real than what we experience in big cities.

    • Ribs and pies! That sounds like an excellent combination.

    • Ting, I think we are on the same frequency in here ;0)

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