In San Diego’s East County, you’ll
discover slower-paced lifestyles,
close-knit communities, bucolic
farmlands, desert landscapes and
vast, open space. Escape the urban
hustle and bustle on a scenic drive
and explore San Diego County’s
country living and natural splendor.
ALPINE BEER COMPANY
Some of San Diego’s finest are brewed
here, including Pure Hoppiness, Nelson
IPA and Hoppy Birthday. Come for the
suds, then head down the road to their
pub (1347 Tavern Road) for delish brisket
and pulled pork barbecue on the dog-friendly patio.
2363 Alpine Blvd., Alpine
LA MESA OKTOBERFEST
German brats, cold beers, live music,
family fun, and more than 200 vendors
make for a fabulous small-town festival.
Dust off your lederhosen and head to La
Mesa September 30 and October 1.
La Mesa Blvd. (between Acacia Ave.
and Fourth St.)
Rocking two locations in Santee, these
24/7 donut shops are known for their
ginormous apple fritters, French crullers,
buttermilk bars and fruit burritos.
9031 Mission Gorge Road and
8959 Carlton Hills Blvd., Santee
Experience a slice of rural life at Oma’s
Pumpkin Patch (14950 El Monte Road,
Lakeside) and Bates Nut Farm (15954
Woods Valley Road,
Valley Center) during
Both farms offer
hayrides and fun
activities for kids.
the streets of
“Sky Art” Collection
This collection of steel
129 different life-size
sculptures by artist-
welder Ricardo Breceda
is a sight to behold. From
prehistoric beasts to
giant birds and dragons,
(or larger) pieces are on
display along Borrego
Desert State Park
With 500 miles of dirt
200 Palm Canyon Drive
roads, 12 wilderness areas
and miles of hiking trails,
it’s the largest state park
in California. Hike the
Pictograph Trail to see
ancient artwork, camp out
under a blanket of stars or
four-wheel it out to Fonts
Point, a mini Grand Canyon
that will blow your mind.
Rams Hill Golf Course
1881 Rams Hill Road
Tom Fazio–designed golf
awaits at this gorgeous
green oasis set on a
hillside overlooking the
desert floor. The clubhouse
patio is a perfect 19th-hole
perch for drinks, gourmet
eats, sunset views and
Step into the past in this charming mountain town, home to historic
1870s buildings and world-famous apple pie. Pan for gold at the
Julian Mining Company (4444 State Highway 78), hit the tasting room
at Julian Hard Cider (4470 Julian Road), and grab a warm slice with
cinnamon ice cream at Julian Pie Company (2225 Main St.).
Jamul’s new casino will sport 1700 slots, 43 live gaming tables and
myriad restaurants and bars, just 20 miles east of downtown.
14191 Highway 94, Jamul
This quirky desert town, 80 miles from San Diego, has an abundance of hidden treasures.