Looks like it’s going to be a beautiful Memorial Day weekend in San Diego County so here are county parks in the four corners of the county that are perfect for taking that picnic out to somewhere unique.

  • Northeast—William Heise Park, Julian: It’s probably too late to snag a campsite or one of the primitive cabins for the weekend, but this is one of my favorite parks in the county.”Forests of oak, pine, and cedar surround peaceful mountain meadows and provide an undisturbed setting for miles of scenic hiking and equestrian trails. Mule deer and wild turkey are frequently seen throughout the park, and rare residents include bobcats and mountain lions,” says the park’s website. I agree.Take the Jaunt to Julian with you on Kindle, or pick up a copy of Joyrides Around San Diego on your way at the Mira Mesa Barnes and Noble location; its website says it’s in stock.
  • Southeast—Pine Valley County Park, Pine Valley: Located just off of Interstate 8 and Old Highway 80 in the town of Pine Valley, this 17-acre park has picnic tables, ball fields and play sets for kids. Grab some burgers at the Frosty Burger across the street or a to-go order from Major’s Diner and have a fun afternoon off the old highway. More Old Highway 80 in Kindle Towering Old Highway or pick up a copy of Joyrides Around San Diego at a bookstore (check for a Barnes and Noble on your way; it has been in stock at Grossmont Center).
  • West—San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve: Adjacent to the sand, enjoy hikes and nature in one of North County’s ecologically unique lagoons. There are 7 miles of trails with benches where you can enjoy a picnic lunch. The interpretive center will educate you on just what our lagoons are all about, and they look nothing like the lagoons on Gilligan’s Island. Check out the drive in Quintessential California; download the drive for Kindle. Or get all the 10 drives in Joyrides Around San Diego at a bookstore (check for a Barnes and Noble on your way).
  • North—Palomar County Park: Close to the Palomar Observatory, enjoy a truly alpine experience at 5,500 feet. Views of the nearby observatory (great for a side trip), Pauma Valley and tall trees greet visitors. The drive up to the mountain is great fun; experience it in Journey to the Stars on Kindle as an instant download or as part of Joyrides Around San Diego in print, available at Barnes and Noble locations on the way.


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