Drive an hour from downtown and you’ll be transported to a totally different world with
everything from desert landscapes to pumpkin patches and good ol’ apple pie.
HIT THE ROAD
59-Mile Scenic Drive
Take in the city’s greatest attractions on this loop that starts
at Harbor Drive, travels up the
coast and ends in the Gaslamp
Quarter. You can power through
it in about three hours, but it’s
best to divide the drive over
several days. ( sandiego.org)
Charming towns, hot springs,
casinos and historical points of
interest are sprinkled along this
200-mile drive spanning from
Yuma, Arizona to the Pacific
Ocean. Along the way, you’ll see
changing environments, from
lush valleys and sand dunes
to prehistoric ocean beds and
Palomar Mountain Loop
This drive through the Cleveland
National Forest to the Palomar
Mountain Observatory serves
up stunning views of lush
vegetation and spectacular
panoramas. Take Highway 76
east to County Route S7, stopping at lookouts along the way.
Return via County Route S6, a
twisty road that climbs down the
mountain back to the highway.
Experience a slice of rural life at Oma’s
Pumpkin Patch (14950 El Monte Road, Lakeside)
and Bate’s Nut Farm (15954 Woods Valley Road,
Valley Center) during pumpkin season (late
September through October). Both farms offer
hayrides and fun activities for kids.
THREE SISTERS FALLS
The 4-mile hike from the trailhead to the falls is
challenging, but worth it to experience the view
of three cascading waterfalls.
14850 Boulder Creek Road, Julian
Palm Canyon Hotel & RV Resort’s vintage
Airstream trailers are a fun alternative to
camping with more creature comforts. Guests
get access to amenities including laundry, a
fitness center and a pool.
221 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs
CALIFORNIA WOLF CENTER
See Alaskan and Mexican gray wolves up
close at this conservation center. Or, go inside
the fence on a private guided photo tour.
Reservations are required.
K Q Ranch Road, Julian
ALL THINGS APPLE
Julian is the apple capital of San Diego County.
Get pie at Mom’s Pie House (2119 Main St.), a
caramel apple at Candied Apple Pastry Company
(2128 Fourth St.), fresh-pressed cider at Julian
Cider Mill (2103 Main St.) and spiked cider at
Julian Hard Cider (4470 Julian Road). Or, pick
fresh fruit at local orchards like MJ Ranch and
Orchard (1070 Farmer Road) and Volcan Valley
Apple Farm (1284 Julian Orchards Drive).
This 10-acre lake, 4,600 feet above sea level, is a great
place to fish, hike and play in the snow during winter.
15027 Highway 79, Julian
Desert State Park