Trading Ocean Waves for Some Lake Ripples

San Diego is world famous for its 70 miles of stunning coastline, where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the sand and surf 365 days a year. No mater how spectacular our beaches, sometimes you want to enjoy the water…but just in a different way.

How about a road trip to one of more than 20 fresh water lakes dotting the San Diego County landscape? No matter where you go in the county, you’re just a short drive from a pristine lake where you can fish, boat, hike, or just lounge.

Here’s the exclusive on 5 magnificent lakes in the San Diego area, plus a bonus lake that’s a little bit farther, but definitely worth the trip.

Lake Murray

Pretty much smack dab in central San Diego, about 12 miles east of downtown, this freshwater reservoir lies in the shadow of Mt. Helix. Lake Murray is loaded with a variety of fish and open daily for fishing, boating, kayaking and canoeing. Rental boats are available at the concession stand. Discover more about Lake Murray!

Sweetwater Reservoir

In southern San Diego, in the town of Bonita so aptly named ‘pretty’ in Spanish, a 500-acre regional park surrounds the Sweetwater Reservoir. Besides more than 100 campsites, there are areas for horseback riding and mountain biking. Plus, there are ample pavilions and picnic areas. Find out more about Sweetwater Reservoir!

Lake Jennings

In East County, the stunning Lake Jennings features a variety of campsites, plus motorboat, paddleboat and rowboat rentals. The lake is stocked with 37,000 pounds of channel catfish, and fishable by boat or from shore. A 5.5-mile hike around the lake offers breathtaking views of nature. Discover things to do at Lake Jennings!

Dixon Lake

Nestled among the mountains and hills of Escondido, this gorgeous lake offers fishing, camping, horseback riding and boating. A 750-square-foot cabin is also available for renting for those with impaired mobility. The Dixon Lake area features trails to mountain bike, hike and explore, as well. Discover more about Dixon Lake!

Lake Cuyamaca

About an hour east of San Diego, just outside the town of Julian, this 110-acre lake is surrounded by prime forestland. Lake Cuyamaca is full of adventure such as hiking, boating, camping, bird watching and picnicking. If camping in the outdoors isn’t your thing, you can rent a furnished cabin. Explore activities at Lake Cuyamaca!

BONUS – Salton Sea

It’s worth the 3-hour trip from San Diego to visit the largest lake in California and one of the largest inland seas on the planet. Water had flowed in and out of the region for millennium, but the current salty body of water is the result of a botched irrigation project in the early 1900s. This once thriving tourist area is now mostly a ghost town, and the aroma is quite unforgettable. Learn more about Salton Sea!

As Memorial Day weekend nears and summer activities get in full swing at all these San Diego lakes, it’s time to get the car all ready – self-service washed and oil changed – at one of our 8 San Diego locations and hit our local roads to enjoy some freshwater fun.

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