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Backcountry hidden pleasures:   Our guide to unique lodging adventures in San Diego’s beautiful backcountry 

By Bobbi Zane

When Pat and Darrell Straube opened Orchard Hill Country Inn in 1994, they created a whole new style of lodging for the area that goes beyond the typical B&B in Julian. They have a most beautiful Craftsman setting, amenities go beyond expectation, and they are known for their customer service.

The Orchard Hill experience starts when you arrive and get a warm welcome in the Craftsman lodge, a typical architectural design in southern California in the early 1900s, but never built in the town of Julian in those days. You can spend plenty of time in the lodge’s great room or dining room, enjoying comfortable furnishings, forest views, super sunset views, a flagstone fireplace, and the best stocked bar in Julian (for guests only).

 Beautiful guest rooms are scattered through the gardens and near the lodge. The rooms and cottages invite privacy and seclusion. The setting sun fills the sky every evening. Rooms are appointed with king or queen beds, standard or with whirlpool baths, refrigerators, gas fireplaces, coffee makers, and complementary beverages. Three have private patios, with fireplaces, and bars.  Most have porches with sunrise and sunset views.

Outdoors, the grounds in wet years have a babbling brook meandering through pine trees, with Adirondack chairs to while away an afternoon reading or nature watching.

 You will not go hungry when you stay at Orchard Hill, according to Pat.  It’s the only B&B in Julian that goes beyond the B in B&B.  

 Every morning Pat serves a full breakfast buffet style to all guests the in the dining room. It gives guests time to share their plans for the day. By afternoon platters of complimentary hors d’oeuvres, house wine, beer, juices and sodas appear in the lounge and in rooms on request. 

The inn is the only one that offers dinners to guests on during weekend stays. “Our wonderful chef, Doris, has served a four-course beef tenderloin, fresh fish, and vegetarian/vegan to our guests or more than 10 years,” Pat says.

The inn is also within easy walking distance to the Julian Pie Company, Julian Grille, shops, galleries and seasonal entertainment in Town Hall.

 Important Information

Room rates range from $225 to $450 inclusive except weekend dinners, $45 per person.Business casual attire requested on weekend dinners

ADA is available in three rooms

Parking free

760 765-1700, 800 716-7242

2502 Washington St.


East County Magazine gratefully acknowledges the County of San Diego for providing a Community Enhancement Grant to support our “Backcountry Hidden Pleasures” weekend getaways coverage.


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