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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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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 29, 2020

San Diego area residents and visitors are in for a special treat in February! Pick up your Museum Month discount pass at participating libraries or when you stay at a Hilton to enjoy 50% off the cost of admission at more than 40 San Diego Museum Council member museums. The San Diego Museum Month pass is free; one pass can be used at several museums* throughout the month of February.

Whether you are an art aficionado, history buff, science or nature lover, the San Diego Museum Council has a variety of member organizations that are bound to capture your interest.

Take advantage of this annual program to visit both old favorites and new attractions you have never even heard of!

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Taste of Julian

May 16, 2020

Taste of Julian gives you the opportunity to sample many of the culinary delights Julian has to offer all at once, including apple pie. This year, many of the town's restaurants, wineries and breweries will be participating in this self-guided culinary tour of the historic mountain town's unique restaurants.

Tickets are $25 per person in advance. Printed receipts for tickets purchased online will be validated when brought to the event at the Julian Town Hall, corner of Hwy 78 & Main Street.

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Green Day at the Lakes

Apr 25, 2020

Come join other volunteers as we pick up litter, sanitize playgrounds, and other projects to support the environment here at the Lakes! Check in at 8:30AM and event begins at 9:00AM and runs untill 12:00PM. We will meet at Lake 4 in the Kiwanis Playground parking lot. We are partnering with I Love A Clean San Diego and the following link will go live on April 1, 2020 and you can sign up to volunteer! https://www.ilacsd.org/volunteer/

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30th San Diego International Jewish Film Fest

Feb 13 - Feb 23, 2020

The San Diego International Jewish Film Festival, presented by the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture (CJC), returns for its 30th anniversary February 13-23, 2020. The festival annually showcases a selection of the best contemporary Jewish-related films in multiple genres and aims to educate and illuminate the diverse Jewish experience through evocative, independent narrative and documentary films.

 

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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 29, 2020
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Taste of Julian

May 16, 2020
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Green Day at the Lakes

Apr 25, 2020
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30th San Diego International Jewish Film Fest

Feb 13 - Feb 23, 2020
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East County on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Venues

Drink of the Day

Rockin' Baja Coastal Cantina - Gaslamp
Valid: May 29, 2019 - ongoing

Every Day we offer a delectable exotic cocktail for only $8.99. Changes Seasonally. Always Delicious

Venues

Whole Lobster Wednesday!

Rockin' Baja Coastal Cantina - Gaslamp
Valid: May 29, 2019 - ongoing

Whole, Flash Fried, Baja Style Lobster served w/ Rice, Beans, Tortillas & Honey Chili Butter. Only $24.99, Every Wednesday! While they last.

Group & Charter Transportation

10% off All our February Craft Brewery Tours

Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
Valid: Feb 7 - Feb 29, 2020

Save 10% off any of our Craft Beer Experiences at Five Star Tours.  Learn how beer is made and how to taste it. Get special behind the scene access to breweries and brewers and find out the...

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