We're coming up on the most patriotic day of the year, and it's not too late to make plans for a very special Fourth of July. Certain towns and places in California have better patriotic vibes than others and, if you're interested in a Mayberry USA Fourth of July — or some time paying homage to one of our nation's great military generals — we have some suggestions for you. First a couple of patriotic towns:
A trip to the small town of Julian will transport you back through time and offer a glimpse of post-Civil War life in San Diego County. The journey will also take you through terrain that, at times, seems more like the Sierra Nevada range than the foothills east of California's southernmost major city.
Whether you come from the L.A. area through Warner Springs, or from the San Diego area through Ramona, the drive to Julian takes you through mountains, valleys and meadows, and then along forested hillsides as the two-lane road snakes its way up to Julian's 4,000-foot elevation. The views change from minute to minute as you pass farmhouses, horse ranches, cabins and the occasional outpost diner.