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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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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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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 22 - Sep 29, 2019

The 15th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, September 22 through Sunday, September 29 for a delicious dining experience! With over 180 participating restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County, you’re sure to find the perfect place to satisfy any craving.

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La Mesa Oktoberfest

Oct 4 - Oct 6, 2019

Since 1973, the La Mesa Oktoberfest has featured hundreds of exhibitors, family friendly activities, German food, music, dancing, games and of course beer. Celebrating its 46th year in 2019, the locally loved La Mesa Oktoberfest is going back to its roots to bring guests more entertainment, more vendors, more beer, and more "Prost!” (Cheers!) than ever before. From endless rows of vendors featuring incredible craftwork and knick-knacks, to scrumptious sausages, food truck favorites, and live entertainment – La Mesa Oktoberfest promises to be back and better than ever this Fall!

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Borrego Days Desert Festival

Oct 18 - Oct 20, 2019

The 54th Annual Borrego Days Desert Festival takes place this year on October 18, 19, and 20, 2019.   SAVE THE DATES!

Expanding on our mega wildflower bloom last spring, our theme this year is Bloom In Borrego.  This free event is completely homegrown, planned and executed by an all-volunteer group here in Borrego Springs.

We love celebrating our town and the end of summer!  It is our annual salute to Borrego including the beautiful State Park that surrounds us, with an open invitation to come and share the Borrego Experience.

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Oktoberfest in El Cajon

Sep 27 - Oct 6, 2019

San Diego County's most traditional Oktoberfest - fun for the whole family! Live German Oom-Pah music, awesome German food, German beers on tap, and so much more!

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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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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 22 - Sep 29, 2019
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La Mesa Oktoberfest

Oct 4 - Oct 6, 2019
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Borrego Days Desert Festival

Oct 18 - Oct 20, 2019
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Oktoberfest in El Cajon

Sep 27 - Oct 6, 2019
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East County on Instagram

 

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History & Heritage

Kids Go Free to the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House

The Warner-Carrillo Ranch House
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2019

Built in 1857, the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House served as the Butterfield Stage Stop and was California's first regular overland stage connection with St. Louis. With its multilayered history, the...

Camping & RV Parks

Kids Stay Free at San Diego RV Resort!

San Diego RV Resort
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2019

A convenient place to kick back and unwind, San Diego RV Resort is your home away from home during a stay in America’s Finest City. Our resort is only a short trolley ride from the city’s...

Wineries

Wine Tasting Special Offer

La Finquita Winery & Vineyard
Valid: Jul 25 - Sep 30, 2019

Enjoy wine tasting in the country with this special offer for tasting for 1, 2 or 4 guests, with a gift certificate towards a bottle! See the Groupon link for full details!

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