East County has been described as "the home of big country, with wide open spaces and a family-comes first disposition."
This is so true. With its lakes, mountains and spectacular changes-of-season, a typical garage will sport a pick-up truck, an SUV, a boat, two bikes and a dune buggy. Here, you'll find mountaintops with endless vistas and regional parks with hundreds of miles of trails. Sovereign Indian tribes have lived here for 10,000 years. And the beauty of the back country cane seen on bike or with a pack.
Although Interstate 8 starts in Ocean Beach, it weaves east through San Diego, El Centro and into Arizona. It is the perfect route for seeing East County. Starting in Mission Valley, you'll venture up the hill into San Diego State University and then down past La Mesa and into the call of El Cajon. Breathtaking hills surround you.
Venture east and you'll pass Indian casinos and horse country leading past Alpine and up into the pristine mountains, valleys and lakes of Pine Valley. Are we in Oregon?
Go north on State Highway 79 and you'll soon enter a series of serene little mountain towers near lake Cuyamaca. Somehow, it seams like a drive through Napa wine country. Loop back onto what becomes Highway 67 and you'll slowly enter civilization again.
In Lakeside, country music and cowboy boots rule. And Santee boasts one of the few remaining drive-in movie theaters in the county. What could be more American than three kids in their pi's watching a disney movie from the bed of their truck on a Saturday night in July?
East County retains an old-style homespun feel under its huge sky. Progress can't touch it—and that's why living here is so special.
Looking Towards El Cajon