So, you’re bummed because you don’t have a 2-week tropical vacation planned, like you did last year. Well, if you live in or are planning to visit San Diego… bum no more. The best part about being in So Cal is that the adventures are endless and easy to get to.
Follow us to four of our favorite spots So Cal has to offer and remember to enjoy the ride…
1. Rosarito Beach, Baja Mexico
The seaside town of Rosarito Beach is just 30 miles south of San Diego, in Baja California, Mexico. It’s a scenic drive along the coast, with roadside taco shops for a quick bite along the way. The Rosarito Beach Hotel is the perfect place to stop and stay the night, so you can enjoy long days at the pool, just steps from the beach, to soak up the Mexican sun with an ice-cold beverage in hand.
After a solid day in the sun, walk just a few blocks to find local hot spots for dinner and dancing. It’s easy to get lost in the historic charm of the area. Rosarito is an ideal place for any occasion, with ample amounts of art galleries, night clubs, authentic fare and biking activities.*
*A passport is required to get in and out of Mexico. If you’re driving, be sure to bring the vehicle registration or title with a driver’s license.
2. Borrego Springs
90 miles northeast of San Diego sits a small oasis of luxury nestled between the Anza-Borrego Desert and the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains. The road to Borrego Springs boasts spectacular desert vistas with neighboring desert landscape and wildlife, resorts and golf courses.
Venture into the community of Borrego Springs which offers an impressive selection of cultural and recreational activities to enjoy during your visit. There are seven art galleries featuring local and nationally renowned artists, as well as opportunities to explore the great outdoors on horseback or “safari-style” through various tours and self-guided adventures.
The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, part of the Colorado Desert, encompasses 600,000 acres and provides visitors with 110 miles of riding and hiking trails, 500 miles of roads and two huge wilderness areas where you are likely to encounter desert wildlife. If you’re looking for a change of pace, about 20 miles west is the mountain community of Julian, an historic gold-mining town well known for apple-picking ventures (and a cute little town with homemade apple pies!).
Wine-os rejoice – you have found your heaven, and it’s called Temecula. Located in southern Riverside County, Temecula is considered the Wine Country of So Cal and is just an hour north of San Diego. Tastings and winery tours abound for adult visitors with dozens of spots to choose from; each just a few miles from one another. Our favorite spots? Wilson Creek Winery for its Almond Champagne, Leoness Cellars for its stunning views from the patio, and Longshadow Ranch Winery for its rustic, country vibe.
Families or those looking for historic sights won’t be disappointed in the slightest. Temecula’s Old Town District is a unique blend of past and present, with over 600 antique dealers, horse-drawn carriages and historic architecture all along the streets. To see the sights from a truly remarkable view, you can take a ride in a hot air balloon at multiple local spots. Up, up and away!
Nestled in the San Jacinto mountains, Idyllwild is the perfect getaway for a day of relaxing or adventuring in this small town. Just a 2-hour drive from San Diego and surrounded by gorgeous pine trees and cedars, you just might forget you’re in Southern California for a while.
Want a hike to remember? Fill out a permit at the ranger station and head over to the starting point for Deer Springs Trail, hike to Suicide Rock — now, don’t let the name scare you off. The rock received its legendary name from a story of an American Native Princess who threw herself off the rock with her lover rather than being separated as the Tribal Chief had ordered. This hike is doable for the novice hiker who can commit to 6 miles round trip and who will enjoy stunning scenery and wildlife along the way. Best time to go is when the snow has just melted, but the mountain peaks are still capped. Breathe in the fresh mountain air and enjoy.