Thanks to KUSI for having me on today’s Good Morning San Diego. We talked about a San Diego staycation… having a vacation right here in San Diego County, your home.

There’s no need to drive for hours or suffer through the hassle of air travel. Want a change of scenery without that long travel? San Diego County is almost the size of the state of Connecticut, so there’s a lot of land to cover.

We have beaches, mountains, the desert and everything in between.

Here are some of my tips for a San Diego staycation.

San Diego Day Trips

  • Let’s go for a drive! It always surprises me that locals haven’t explored San Diego’s backroads. That’s what I do in my new Joyrides Around San Diego book. I’ve been combing backroads for 17 years in my Weekend Driver column in the San Diego Union-Tribune column. Check out the drives on this site and pick up the book to get you started.
  • Your car, truck or SUV is much more than something for commuting or hauling the kids to ballet practice. Get off the freeway!
  • Do Google searches for unusual locations. My niece spends a lot of time on Google looking for events and places to take her kids… and she finds them!
  • Be patient… events and activities can be hard to find. Organizations are not always sophisticated in their use of the web.
  • Some examples
    • The Julian Womens Club has a full slate of events.
    • Look for ongoing events… hikes, day camps for kids, car shows.
    • Check the car show calendar in the Union-Tribune.
    • For July 4, try the Julian parade, which has been going on in the small, mountain town for more than 20 years. Events start at 10 a.m., parade at 11:45.

Weekend — or Longer — Getaways at Home

  • Look for local hotel deals. San Diego has a lot of hotels that cater to businesses and might offer discounts on weekends. You can get a free breakfast, a pool and enjoy a couple of nights where somebody else makes the bed.
  • Check the casino resorts.
  • Check campgrounds at parks on the beaches and mountains. I had friends with an RV who used to spend a couple of weeks at the Silver Strand State Beach. They’d take their car and RV and still go to work every day, but their nights were on the sand. You can also rent an RV for a week or two; you’re enjoying the RV but skipping the driving.
  • Look for off-the-beaten-track accommodations, such as the Laguna Mountain Lodge (in photo above) or Bailey’s Palomar Resort. Our county parks have rustic cabins at some locations.

Websites to check out


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