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Wine, Wolves, Water: Daytripping Around Julian

Headed up the mountain for a piece of pie? Check out to-dos beyond the fest.

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Wine, Wolves, Water: Daytripping Around Julian

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Julian Apple Days Festival, which rolls on Oct. 5 and 6, is a pie-riffiic blast, but there are other tasty to-dos in the mountains. One nice choice: wine-tasting.

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A FULL WEEKEND: That funny wit Robert Benchley put it best when he said "there are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe there are two kinds of people and those who don't." Our takeaway from this is that pigeonholing a person never works, right? Indeed. But you can kind of break daytripping down into, if not two categories, then a few. You have the daytrippers who have a single destination and plan in mind, and they'll only stick to that. They want to get to Point B, do the thing they came to do, and then return at once to Point A. Done. Then there are the daytrippers who want to wend, get lost, stop off at every fruit stand and coffeehouse, and maybe not even make their ultimate destination. But we're inclined to say that most people who love to road trip fall somewhere between the two extremes. And when the ultimate destination is as good as Julian, and as sweet as Apple Days, one wants to get there.

THAT SAID... the hilly, higher elevation location offers other pleasures, too, so what we're recommending is to go to Apple Days -- they're set for Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6 -- but also make time and room for a few other local visits while you're up in the mountains. Like...

A WINERY TASTING: There's a bevy of wineries in the area (bevy=over a dozen or so, in this case), and they all have different specialties, from vinos made from Ramona grapes to cider. Wine goes well with apple pie, right? Buy a pie for home at the fest, then pick up a bottle of cabernet.

THE CALIFORNIA WOLF CENTER: This beautiful animal sanctuary, which is home to several endangered Alaskan and Mexican gray wolves, offers public tours on the weekend. It's a good way to see the center's work up close and maybe hear a beautiful bay or two.

LAKE CUYAMACA: There is indeed water in the hills, and thus boating and picnicking and all the other nice weekend-y pursuits one can do around a shoreline. There's a tackle shop, too, in case you are lured by the idea of fishing. Yep, we said "lured."

Happy Apple Days, Julian fans, and happy daytripping, people ready to explore a little beyond!

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