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Exploring San Diego: Lakeside remains an escape from downtown

Posted: 3:45 PM, Jul 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-26 15:59:59-04
Where to camp in San Diego County

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — Lakeside began as a destination town for San Diegans and has continued to be that escape.

Located about 21 miles east of downtown San Diego, Lakeside is an easy trip through Central San Diego down Interstate 8. The city is prime as an escape from the hustle of the Gaslamp District, something many San Diegans took advantage of in the city's early days.

It's four lakes make Lakeside perfect for outdoor recreation, including boating and fishing, camping, and hiking.

Part of that outdoor heritage is the Lakeside Rodeo and equestrian activities. Lakeside is full of farms, ranches, and dairies and home to the second largest Western parade in the state.

And of course, for those looking for a little fun, Lakeside is home to Borona Casino and Resort.

Brief history...

Lakeside wasn't a "place to live" until about 1886, when the El Cajon Valley Land Company began promoting the town. Even still, there were few residents and homes in the area.

As small businesses cropped up through the late 1800s, and San Diego's population skyrocketed between 1886 and 1887, Lakeside became known as a resort town. The railroad line into Lakeside became the most traveled in the county — before the railroad, daily stages took four hours between San Diego and Lakeside.

But as time went on, Lakeside became less of a resort destination and more of a small town in its own right. By 1937, one man remarked in the Lakeside Farmer that the region looked very different from 1898, "with its paved highway and autos standing on both sides ... there was lots of business in the old days."

Things to do...

Lakeside Rodeo: The first organized rodeo was held in Lakeside in 1920 and remained a big part of the town's history and annual calendar. The rodeo today celebrates the sport's history in Lakeside while providing not only rodeo events, but hosting numerous other community events, concerts, and fundraisers.

Lake Jennings: A trip to Lake Jennings gives families the ability to camp, hike, boat, and fish in a scenic areas like Cloister Cove, Siesta Point, Hermit Cove, and Eagle Point. Families may also catch a glimpse of the abundance of wildlife surrounding the lake.

Borona Cultural Center & Museum: A dose of history awaits at the Borona Cultural Center & Museum, where guests learn about Native American culture and history in San Diego County. The center includes more than 3,000 artifacts, photographic displays, and archives among its treasures — some pieces dating back as far as 10,000 years.