About Escondido, Julian, Santa Ysabel
This section covers the best places to visit between Palm Springs and San Diego, revealing a diverse assortment of landscapes, with winding country lanes climbing into the hills dividing southern California’s heavily populated coastal areas and its thinly-inhabited inland deserts.
You’ll see apple orchards, woodlands and tiny rural settlements that often comprise no more than a few ranch houses grouped around a road junction. The sizeable towns, such as Julian, offer pleasant accommodation. It’s an enjoyable place, filled with Victorian wood-framed houses and countless shops offering fresh-baked apple pies – archetypal backwoods California.
If you’ve got the time, make sure you visit the world-famous Palomar Observatory, and a couple of branch (or asistencia) missions. These minor Spanish-founded churches may be ignored by the history books, but they are still used by the local Native American community.
It is not possible to travel by public transportation between Palm Springs and San Diego, although Greyhound (www.greyhound.com) run as far as Escondido, and the San Diego buses (https://www.sdmts.com) run between San Diego and Santa Isabel, Ramona and Julian.