Edit ModuleShow Tags

Easy Road Trips: On the Road

Make it home in time for sunset! These three destinations are a just a scenic day trip away from San Diego.


Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

What: This psychedelic art installation in the Imperial Valley desert was created by local resident Leonard Knight. It’s a surreal-looking fantasy land of religious messages, frequented by hipsters, backpackers, and feral cats. Follow the yellow brick road to the top, or explore the equally quirky caves surrounding the mountain.
Where: Take the scenic State Route 78 east all the way to SR 111, then go north and follow signs toward Niland. Coming home, the I-8 freeway will be the fastest route back to San Diego. Or make it a weekend trip by heading north and spending a night in Palm Springs.
Eat: Your best bet is to bring your own lunch, picnic-style. Restaurants in this area are few and far between, but there is an In-N-Out Burger just south of where Route 86 crosses I-8.



What: Built in the 1940s, this small desert town was originally designed as a Western movie set. These days, it’s mostly abandoned but still well worth a visit. Stroll down Mane Street and take a picture in the town jail, buy some local handmade goods, and catch the weekly Old West reenactment by the Mane Street Stampede (Saturdays at 2:30 p.m., April through October).   
Where: Pioneertown is located just 15 minutes from Joshua Tree. From Route 62, turn north on Pioneertown Road and drive for about 4 miles.
Eat: Despite its outlaw biker vibe, Pappy & Harriet’s (53688 Pioneertown Road) is a family-friendly restaurant and concert venue, and the obvious place to stop for some BBQ fresh off the outdoor grill.

Jacumba Hot Springs

Pacific Southwest Railway Museum

What: During the 1920s, Jacumba Hotel, a once famous resort in this sleepy town just north of the Mexican border, has hosted some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. The property was destroyed in a fire in 1983, but you can still see its remnants. Stop at the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum in Campo (750 Depot Street) on the way for more sightseeing.
Where: It’s the journey, not the destination—or a little bit of both. Half the fun of this road trip is the scenic drive. From San Diego, take Old 94 east to Old Highway 80 and follow the signs for Campo and Jacumba.
Eat: Jacumba Hot Springs Spa & Resort (44500 Old Highway 80) serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a Southwestern twist. Wash off that car smell in one of the resort’s mineral water pools for an additional $25.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

3 Days in Amador County: Where to Eat, Drink, and Stay

Just one hour from Sacramento, Amador County is known for its rich Gold Rush Country and even richer reds

Exploring West O'ahu: Where to Eat, Stay, and Get Pampered

The lesser known island oasis of Ko Olina is the perfect place to get in an aloha state of mind.

A Family Afar: Seattle Is So San Diego

From the far ends of the West Coast, the two cities are strikingly similar
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2018
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. First Look: Cloak & Petal
    The owners of Tajima bring Japanese small plates to Little Italy with Cloak & Petal
  3. Your Guide to San Diego's Best Happy Hours
    Here's where to throw back a cold one while the sun's still out
  4. 15 Coolest Jobs in San Diego and How to Get Them
    We asked 15 San Diego professionals with the coolest jobs in town how they landed their gigs—and how we could steal them
  5. Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out: Which Burger is Better?
    Pitting NYC’s burger icon against the king of SoCal
  6. The San Diego Lager Boom
    Why light, crisp, and flavorful is the next “new” thing
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags