Highway 78, California, USA
San Diego County has some of the best roads in the world. One destination for many 911 owners and car clubs in automobile-mad California is the town of Julian, just north-east of San Diego.
Famous for its apple pies, Julian is truly a town out of the Old West. It experiences some of the most extreme temperatures and precipitation in Southern California, so check before embarking on your excursion. The drive takes approximately 56 minutes, and begins at Highway 78 in the city of Escondido, just east of the 15 Freeway.
This expedition takes you past the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in San Pasqual Valley. Continuing on, you are propelled past the San Pasqual Battlefield State Park, named after a military engagement that took place on the site during the Mexican-American War in 1846.
With avocado and orange orchards on both sides, you begin the climb up the mountains. The silky-smooth road continues as you come to the town of Ramona. Turn left, and cruise through the tiny town. Be careful to observe the posted speed limit, as the sheriff won’t be afraid to target you.
Location: Julian, San Diego County, Southern California
Latitude: 33.0708N, 116.5856W
Length of drive: 39 miles
Points of interest:
San Diego Zoo Safari Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
San Pasqual Battlefield State Park, 15808 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
Food and accommodation:
Julian Gold Rush Hotel
2032 Main Street
Exiting the town and continuing the climb to Julian, be sure to glance to your left, and you will see a few wineries hidden off to the side of the road. The ascent to Julian continues past horse and cattle ranches – this is without doubt cowboy territory!
The journey twists and turns up the mountain, keeping your senses on full alert up to the town of Santa Ysabel. Highway 78 has long straight sections that allow you to engage in bursts of acceleration, but before the last seven miles to Julian, stop off at the Santa Ysabel General Store. The store was built in 1884, and boasts a wide range of goods and souvenirs.
Departing Santa Ysabel, the final leg takes you up to 4,000 feet and provides you with twists and turns that spring you right into the centre of Julian. Driving through the main road, your 911 will garnish the stares and smiles of admiration you have come to expect as a Porsche owner. Welcome to Julian: a town on a road as American as apple pie itself.