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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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Borrego Days Desert Festival

Oct 19 - Oct 21, 2018

Borrego Days Desert Festival is filled to the brim with inspiring art, entertainment, delicious food and drink, and so much more!

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72nd Annual Mother Goose Parade

Nov 18, 2018

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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Historical Character Interactions

Sep 5, 2018 - ongoing

The Julian Doves & Desperados are in town every Sunday.*

Captain Cooper, Sadie Cashman, Doc Hopkins, Black Jack David, Si Si Chiquita, Snake and Gypsy Davenporte. Come have your photo taken with them in Julian. 

Sponsored by the Julian Chamber of Commerce

For Information: (760) 765-1857

*Weather permitting.

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Julian Country Christmas Tree Lighting

Nov 24, 2018

Due to its Cuyamaca Mountains location, the holiday time in Julian gets closer to that dream than most spots in Southern California. You’ll feel a nip in the air, sniff wood fires, and maybe catch a glimpse of snow capped mountains surrounding town.

The holiday season in Julian also offers an opportunity to shop at small boutiques and craft shows, without crowds or lines, for one-of-a-kind gifts.

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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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Borrego Days Desert Festival

Oct 19 - Oct 21, 2018
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72nd Annual Mother Goose Parade

Nov 18, 2018
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Historical Character Interactions

Sep 5, 2018 - ongoing
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Julian Country Christmas Tree Lighting

Nov 24, 2018
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