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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.

Discover East County

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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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La Mesa's Holiday in the Village

Dec 3, 2022

The 7th annual La Mesa Holiday in the Village will once again be ringing in holiday cheer for everyone far and near!

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PRIVATE SHUTTLED COASTAL GEMS TOUR

Sep 27, 2022 - 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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LEARN YOUR CAMERA - PRIVATE TRAINING SESSION

Jun 15, 2022 - ongoing

Raise your photography to the next level with a private photography training session or a photography tour led 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.

The instruction is completely customized to your abilities, interests, and goals; so you get the maximum amount of one-on-one instruction tailored to suit your needs. Personal instruction and the ability to shadow a skilled professional photographer allows you to receive immediate feedback as you shoot and get on-the-spot guidance as to how to improve.

Julie works closely with you before the session 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 and your boost your shooting skills!

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Lights at the Lakes, A Holiday Light Show

Nov 28 - Dec 24, 2022

Join us this holiday season, for a dazzling drive-thru light show event! Select dates from November 25 - December 24, 6:00PM-7:30PM (7:30PM is our last time slot for tickets).

This one mile drive-thru event will feature colorful twinkling light displays set to music through your car radio.  The show will feature unique winter scenes that blink, swirl, and dance to holiday tunes.
Best of all, the combination of lights and music change, creating a unique experience each visit.

This is a ticketed event, you must purchase your tickets before attending.  Purchase yours online at santeelakes.com. 

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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

La Mesa's Holiday in the Village

Dec 3, 2022
Discover

PRIVATE SHUTTLED COASTAL GEMS TOUR

Sep 27, 2022 - ongoing
Discover

LEARN YOUR CAMERA - PRIVATE TRAINING SESSION

Jun 15, 2022 - ongoing
Discover

Lights at the Lakes, A Holiday Light Show

Nov 28 - Dec 24, 2022
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East County on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Tours & Sightseeing

Save 20% on an Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Jan 3 - 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...

History & Heritage

Save 10% off any San Diego Walks Tour

San Diego Walks
Valid: Feb 22 - ongoing

We offer tours of Balboa Park, Old Town, Liberty Station and Coronado. Use code BEST10 at time of booking to save 10%    

Team Building

MRDRinSD - 10% Discount from Murder n' Mayhem

Murder n Mayhem
Valid: Jun 24, 2022 - ongoing

Use discount code: MRDRINSD for 10% off tickets for all Tours & Experiences with Murder n' Mayhem. Redeem online at murdernmayhem.com or via phone 619-781-8013 with Discount...

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