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Welcome to

East County

San Diego's wild and wonderful backyard

San Diego's East County wilderness is one of the most diverse areas in the county featuring rolling hills, majestic mountains, sparkling lakes, deep canyons and desert landscapes plus Indian casino gaming. 

Photo By Lou Mora

Get outside and discover your wild side

In sharp contrast to San Diego's beaches to the west, the rolling hills, majestic mountains, sparkling lakes and deep canyons make east county one of the most diverse areas in San Diego County to explore. The area offers hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, fishing and camping in the vast and beautiful wilderness. Spend an afternoon hiking Cowles Mountain, mountain biking through Mission Trails Regional Park, strolling along Lake Murray or fishing on El Capitan Reservoir. For flower lovers, don’t miss the spring wildflower bloom in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, where a blanket of color covers the desert floor.  

In addition to outdoor adventures, East San Diego County boasts plenty of entertainment. Sizzling Las Vegas-style Native American casinos, luxurious resorts tucked right into the rugged landscape, challenging golf courses built around natural obstacles, historic sites and highways, and annual festivals and rodeos can be enjoyed, all within the expansive landscape of this California wilderness country.

A favorite day trip in East San Diego is to the historic mining town of Julian. Set against the backdrop of the Cuyamaca Mountains and countless apple orchards, this friendly, walk-back-in-time town is as famous for its apple pie as it is for its collection of gold mines (several offer tours geared toward children). Julian has a variety of restaurants, bed & breakfast hideaways, antique stores, art galleries, nearby hiking and nature walks, along with the California Wolf Center for conservation.

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Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Getting to East County

East County is an expansive region, encompassing more than three quarters of San Diego County. The area can be accessed by heading east on Interstate 8, and California highways 94 and 52, 78 and 76. If you have a few hours, head up to the mountains and into the desert - Julian and Borrego Springs can be accessed from Highways 78 (off Interstate 15) and 79 (off Interstate 8). A bit closer to the city center, Lemon Grove, La Mesa, El Cajon and Santee can be reached via the Orange or Green lines of the San Diego Trolley.

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San Diego Casinos

Try your had with lady luck at one of the many Indian Las Vegas style gaming casinos.

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Explore Julian

This historic mountain hideaway is rich with natural beauty and entertaining adventures, whether you want to take a day trip in search of sublime apple pie or get away for a romantic weekend in the tranquility of the great outdoors.

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Wine Tasting in Ramona

Eight great Ramona Valley wineries that are worth a try.

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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2021

Our annual San Diego Museum Month program may look a little different this year, but February remains the perfect month to discover (or re-discover) the story of San Diego as told through our diverse range of museums, historic sites, gardens, zoo/aquariums and more.

Join us every day in February as we explore a rich world of cultural experiences, including virtual activities, behind-the-scenes tours, and other special museum moments you can only find in San Diego.

Follow San Diego Museum Council on social media for daily updates and happenings, and check back here soon for details. #SDMuseumMonth

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Virtual Encounters: The Regional Music of Mexico

Jan 31, 2021

This 50-minute live-hosted music and discussion event will explore the human experience as expressed through three styles of Mexican regional music. Hermanos Herrera, along with Dr. Rice, will explore the lived meanings of son jarochoson huasteco, and accordion-based norteño music, from northern Mexico. They will discuss each genre’s history as well as the stylistic differences among them. They will also tell the story of how they came to dedicate themselves to performing these particular styles. After each prerecorded performance segment, the group, with instruments in hand, will answer any questions you may have about a particular instrument, music style, and the personal and social significance of their music.

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PRIVATE SHUTTLED COASTAL GEMS TOUR

Jun 24, 2020 - ongoing

Breezy palm trees, captivating coastal vistas, postcard perfect cliffs, colorful beach umbrellas, hidden sea caves, picturesque ocean coves, crashing waves... Need we say more? This is the quintessential southern California beach and seascape tour you’ve always wanted to do. On this private tour, check out the affluent lifestyle of La Jolla with its Mediterranean architecture, unmatched coastline and delightful wildlife. Experience primo Southern California beach culture at a bustling three-mile boardwalk filled with skateboarders, runners, inline skaters, bikers, and sun worshippers as well as one of the top surfing spots on our 70 miles of picturesque coastline. Step back in time viewing Coronado’s charming beaches, elegant residences; and partake in other seaside surprises! 

Live the California Dream!

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The Julian Daffodil Show

Mar 20 - Mar 21, 2021

Visit Julian to marvel at Daffodils on display and have any questions about daffodils answered by National Daffodil Society experts.

This events draws many entrants and has a strong youth entrance as well.

It will also feature Children's Art - Water Colors of Daffodils.

Springtime is a lovely time to visit the beautiful town in the mountains of San Diego.

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What's Hot

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San Diego Casinos

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Explore Julian

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Wine Tasting in Ramona

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What's On

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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2021
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Virtual Encounters: The Regional Music of Mexico

Jan 31, 2021
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PRIVATE SHUTTLED COASTAL GEMS TOUR

Jun 24, 2020 - ongoing
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The Julian Daffodil Show

Mar 20 - Mar 21, 2021
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East County on Instagram

 

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Tours & Sightseeing

Family Friendly- Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Sep 14, 2020 - ongoing

Enjoy an Amazing Race type adventure with your family and Save 20% when you use Promo Code SDFUN. Only $39.20 for a Team of 2-5 people. Have fun and do something unique! Covid Friendly outdoor...

Tours & Sightseeing

Save 20% on an Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Jan 1 - ongoing

Turn San Diego's Old Town or Balboa Park into a giant game board with this fun Scavenger Hunt Adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart...

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