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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.

Find a place to stay

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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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 26 - Oct 3, 2021

The 18th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, September 26th through Sunday, October 3, 2021! This foodie-favorited week is the perfect time to take a culinary tour throughout the diverse and thriving food culture of San Diego. With over 90 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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Private Coastal Wine Tasting Tour

May 4 - ongoing

Cruise South along the San Diego coast in our private van to visit our three Carruth Cellars Tasting Rooms in Carlsbad, Solana Beach and Little Italy; enjoy an in-depth dive into Carruth Cellar's wine, winemaking practices, history and our communities!

$138 non-members | $110 for members
(Members, check your emails for the discount code)

Available for groups of 4-6. Includes a tasting flight and glass of wine (6 tastings + 1 glass), charcuterie board, wood fired pizza, transportation and private tour guide/wine educator. Receive an additional discount on any wine purchases made the day of your tour!

* Please note that tours start at our CARLSBAD VILLAGE Tasting Room! Coming from downtown? We recommend taking the coaster (our Tasting Room backs up to the Carlsbad Coaster Station) or an Uber to Carlsbad!

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75th Annual Mother Goose Parade

Nov 21, 2021

The Mother Goose Parade is San Diego's East County's annual holiday kick-off celebration featuring whimsical floats, clowns, bands and equestrians.

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PRIVATE SUNSET AND NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Nov 4, 2020 - ongoing

Learn how to capture the essence of the late-day light and magical nighttime beauty of America’s finest city, on an Instagrammable private photography tour. Whether mastering how to shoot our outstanding coastal scenery or our lit-up fairytale-like urban wonders, your private tour will be led personally by Julie Kremen, an award winning professional photographer and certified tour guide. Read the reviews and see why she is top-rated on TripAdvisor, and Yelp.

Julie works closely with you before the tour to nail down exactly what you want to concentrate on so you can get the most out of your experience. Contact us to book a private session, boost your shooting skills and make your friends say “Wow!” when they see your photos!

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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

View All

San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 26 - Oct 3, 2021
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Private Coastal Wine Tasting Tour

May 4 - ongoing
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75th Annual Mother Goose Parade

Nov 21, 2021
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PRIVATE SUNSET AND NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Nov 4, 2020 - ongoing
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East County on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

History & Heritage

Kids Go Free to the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House

The Warner-Carrillo Ranch House
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2021

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...

Galleries & Museums

Kids Free Welcome Gift at Barona Museum

Barona Cultural Center & Museum
Valid: Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2021

Barona Cultural Center & Museum is dedicated to the perpetuation and presentation of the local Kumeyaay-Diegueño culture. The Museum's collection represents thousands of years of history -...

Activities

Receive 10% Off!

Children's Nature Retreat
Valid: Jul 19 - ongoing

Enter the coupon SAN10 at check out and earn 10% off!

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