The Palomar Mountain Valley is just one of the many amazing day trips you can take from the Weston community in Santee, California.

Great Adventures for Outdoor Lovers Nearby Santee

Posted on 11 Aug, 2020

When you live at Weston at Santee, getting away from it all is just a car ride away. Whether it’s the ocean, desert, mountains or forest beckoning, here are four nearby trips to answer the call of the great outdoors.

Great harbor escape.
Newly opened Portside Pier in downtown San Diego makes a great family harbor experience or couple’s date night. The Brigantine’s Portside Pier offers crave-worthy waterside restaurants featuring some of San Diego’s finest surf and turf meals and panoramic views of the bay. There’s something for everyone here from authentic Mexican to refreshing gelato for dessert. Add the pier to your list of local must-sees – you’ll be glad you did!

Achieve a high point.
If summiting California’s high points is on your bucket list, you are in luck near Santee. At 11,500 feet and less than three hours north, San Gorgonio Mountain towers as Southern California’s highest point. If a same-day roundtrip sounds too ambitious, plan ahead for overnight camping at one of two campsites along the route. Get more information about visitation and requirements at the USDA Forest Service website.

Play in the sand.
About two hours east of Santee, the Imperial Sand Dunes offer a stark contrast from Southern California’s beaches and mountains. These golden sand dunes have been the setting for many movies and are known as the “sand toy capital of the world.” Before venturing out, secure a permit and reserve your all-terrain vehicle with one of the many local vendors. While off-roading is popular here, you’ll also find plenty of opportunities for solitude on this moonlike landscape. Learn more about fees and permitting here.

Take a national forest drive.
Getting outdoors doesn’t have to be strenuous. Turn a car ride into a day of non-stop photo opportunities on one – or more – of Cleveland National Forest’s scenic routes. This 460,000-acre gem is less than 20 miles north of Santee. Highway 74 winds through 30 miles of forested land with great views. Take the Highway to the Stars to the top of Palomar Mountain, with a picnic lunch stop at one of many scenic pull-offs along the way.

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