I had my pick when I called, but I chose Ed's Playhouse mainly because of the private deck with a view. I liked that the Playhouse was smaller, cozy and warmed by a pot bellied stove for my chilly weekend. I pictured a nice glass of wine on the deck in the evening and a mug of coffee in the morning on the loungers. Too bad it rained all weekend! Still, it was a nice view of Main Street and it couldn't get more perfectly located...a short block off Main at C, right around the corner from Witch Creek tasting room and the Cider Mill.
I wasn't sure at all what the check-in or check-out procedure was, so I had to call Jody both times. When I arrived, it was pitch black out as I was late and Julian has no street lights, so beware! Bring a flashlight or at least have a flashlight app on your iPhone like me. Turns out there's a caretaker office/gallery behind the main house and I was escorted by Jody and Ed up to my room the back way. Even better it turned out there was a private dirt drive and parking spot right behind the Playhouse (make sure you're a good backer-upper...it's long and narrow).
The Playhouse is perfect for a single person or a romantic couple who don't mind spending the weekend in the cozy bed watching TV (not many channels), DVDs (bring your own, but there's a built-in player), reading, playing cards or ...whatever. There's really no comfortable place to sit down other than outside.
Tips: Coffee, tea, cocoa, sweeteners, sugar, powdered creamer and giant costco-sized day old muffins are in the room. Instead, I suggest either Buffalo Bill's, a basic old diner where the locals eat (best hot apple cider...it's made by Apple Lane only for restaurants, but you can buy it at Jack's Grocery), or Julian Cafe with the tourists, but take my advice and split everything. Portions are insane and it was tragic to see the amount of food wasted at every table. Order off the menu if it's not listed small enough. I suggest ONE apple oatmeal walnut pancake (as thick as your hand and as big as your head). A "small" is way too much. As for pie, everyone's got their favorite. Mine is the original, Mom's, but holy crap what a line! The line moves fast but you'll never get a seat. Wait until the tourists leave around 4, it empties out.
For dinner, go to Jeremy's on the Hill, about 3-4 miles toward Santa Ysabel. Then order some brussels sprouts and lobster bisque. Your eyes will roll back in your head. There's another Mom's down the road if you can't take the wait in town.
Things to do: shopping, wine tasting, a great museum, hiking, summer paddle boats on Lake Cuyamaca a few miles south on 79, Palomar observatories in good weather, the wolf center (resv. req). Photographers may enjoy walking through Pioneer Cemetery if you like old gravestones.