Thousands will head out to the beach or parks this weekend for the Fourth of July traditional picnics and barbecues. Here are my suggestions for parks run by the County of San Diego;  parks may charge an admission fee and many close at dusk.

  • San Dieguito County Park: On the west edge of Rancho Santa Fe, it might be a bit warmer than the beach but cooler than many spots inland. Located in a small ravine, the park has kids play areas, picnic spots. 1628 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Del Mar, CA 92014.
  • Tijuana River Valley Regional Park: Between Imperial Beach and the border, this park is part of the valley’s open space area. Bring a horse if you have one; there are spots in the valley that will rent. 2721 Monument Road, San Diego, CA 92154.
  • Eucalyptus County Park: One of the oldest in the county (my 88-year-old mom remembers coming here when she was a kid), it’s built on a rolling hill between Casa de Oro and Mt. Helix. 9125 Edgewood Drive, Spring Valley, CA 91977.
  • Pine Valley Community Park: Combine a day in the country with a trip to this 17-acre park. You can even take my Towering Old Highway drive and make the park your mid-day stop. 28810 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley, CA 91962.
  • Palomar County Park: Up at Mt. Palomar, this 8-acre park is in addition to the state and National Forest parks, plus the observatory, that are on top of the mountain. Check out my Highway to the Stars drive for more to do. 21818 Crestline Rd., Palomar Mountain, CA 92060.


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