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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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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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PRIVATE CUSTOMIZABLE ICONIC CITY HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

Mar 7, 2019 - ongoing

Journey with award winning tour guide Julie around San Diego’s cultural and historic sites—on a private tour of fun and informative must-see sightseeing hotspots.

OLD TOWN:   Take a trip into the past and learn about our rich Spanish and Mexican heritage and why we are the “Birthplace of California.” Experience our original city—colorful and festive now, but find out why it wasn’t always that way.

DOWNTOWN:  Explore these San Diego Downtown essentials: scenic San Diego Bay’s Embarcadero waterfront, the famous and vibrant Gaslamp Quarter, hip and historic Little Italy, and Petco Park.

BALBOA PARK:  The cultural heartbeat of our city; you will fall in love with the country’s largest urban cultural park and be dazzled discovering its origins as you take in its incredible vegetation, gorgeous flowers and ornate architecture.

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THE SECRET LA JOLLA TOUR

Mar 7, 2019 - ongoing

This private tour showcases some of the outstanding yet hidden scenery of the La Jolla area, plus funky, quirky and mind-boggling art. You’ll also experience “San Diego’s newest tourist attraction” – a remarkable treasure that even locals don’t know about!

On this private tour, you’ll stroll through a vast outdoor public art collection specifically designed for the landscape and surroundings. Learn about the origin of the collection, how the artists are chosen, and the meanings of the selected pieces.

The La Jolla area is home to some of the most unique structures in the country, including a Brutalism-style gem with a tie-in to Dr. Suess and an architectural wonder which is one of the American Institute of Architecture’s “31 Buildings That Changed Modern Life.” 

But Shhhhh…. don’t tell anyone about these places….they’re secret!

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Creek to Bay Cleanup

Apr 25, 2020

Our freshwater habitats need your help. We hold this annual event to take care of Los Coaches Creek. We'll provide water, snacks, gloves, and enthusiasm. Bring your energy and an open mind, and together, we can make an impact.

This event is free and all ages are welcome! Day-use parking is $3. Inclement weather may cancel.

For more information, please contact the park at (619) 561-0180.

Flinn Springs County Park
14787 Olde Hwy. 80
El Cajon, CA 92021

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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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PRIVATE CUSTOMIZABLE ICONIC CITY HIGHLIGHTS TOUR

Mar 7, 2019 - ongoing
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THE SECRET LA JOLLA TOUR

Mar 7, 2019 - ongoing
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Creek to Bay Cleanup

Apr 25, 2020
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East County on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Group & Charter Transportation

10% off for Senior Citizens

Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
Valid: Feb 7 - ongoing

Our special offer is for our very special seniors that visit our city of San Diego. Enjoy 10% off any of our exciting tours in San Diego.  We offer a wide selection of activities from daily...

Tours & Sightseeing

10% off our San Diego Grand City Tours

Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
Valid: Feb 7 - ongoing

San Diego Shore Excursions for Cruise Ship Guests! Known As "America's Finest City", San Diego offers a full selection of things to do and see for visitors to California's second largest city. For...

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.

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