SAN DIEGO INLAND
The inland area of San Diego covers the entire northeastern portion of the county and is home to the largest state park in California. The area is suburban and is surrounded by an area of California grasslands and a portion of the Colorado Desert. There are plenty of things to do in this area that people of all ages will enjoy.
Natural Parks and Trails
The largest state park in the state is the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It covers over half a million acres and takes up more than one-fifth of San Diego County. It's approximately 2 hours away from the city of San Diego proper. Over 110 miles of hiking trails will lead to breathtaking mountaintop views of the desert below.
This park is one of the few places in America where you will be able to observe desert bighorn sheep, which are counted as an endangered species. In fact, the park is named Borrego, which is Spanish for “sheep.” One special thing about this park is that it is a designated dark-sky preserve. This means it is a perfect place for stargazers and astronomy students alike to see a beautiful night sky.
Towns and Cities
There are not many cities in this area of San Diego, but the small area called Borrego Springs stands out. Borrego Springs sits right in the middle of the state park mentioned above and is a dark-sky community. This means that the town keeps light at night time to a minimum to help keep an unobstructed view of the sky. In the whole town, you won't find a single traffic or street light. This unique way of life makes Borrego Springs a great tourist destination.
Another town to visit in this area of San Diego is La Mesa. La Mesa is home to a huge antique mall where you can browse its inventory filled with all sorts of vintage things. Another city that might spark your interest is Lemon Grove. This small town is famous, naturally, for lemons and is even home to “the world's largest lemon,” a 3,000lb 10-foot wide sculpture of, you guessed it, a lemon. These local towns might not have big city entertainment, but each of them carries its own small-town charm.
Rock Climbing Spots
If you are looking for more than a casual hike, the San Diego inland region is a perfect spot for you. Multiple mountain ranges surround the desert of the area, which is plotted with boulders and badland cliffs that are perfect for amateur and experienced climbers. Mount Woodson is a great place to start as it has over 500 distinct climbs on one mountain. For a rock climbing experience that is less intense, the Santee Boulders are a popular spot where amateurs can have a good time without dropping the cash on rock climbing gear.