SoCal Refreshment at Santee Lake Recreation Reserve
Nestled in the foothills above San Diego, just 20 minutes from the big attractions this fun-filled downtown has to offer, lies the scenic Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve. With seven glittering lakes on 190 acres, including an island, amphitheater and lakeside gazebo, this preserve offers a boatload of picturesque lakeside settings to suit any mood or personality.
Pack up the RV to camp on a picturesque lakefront spot or enjoy an affordable stay at one their floating or waterfront cabins. All ten units have full utilities and even offer their guests free use of their paddleboats. Bask in the warmth of a late-night lakefront bonfire, take a hike around one of the lakes, or cast a fishing line out in one of the many well-stocked lakes. No matter what you choose to spend your time here doing; you will fall in love with the area and its natural beauty surrounding you.
The Santee Lakes offer countless fun outdoor recreational activities for the family. Choose from one of the three fitness loops, where you can run, walk, or bike for 1 kilometers, 3 kilometers or 5 kilometers. Stop by the General Store, which proudly offers boat, bike and kayak rentals for those who want to experience the lake from different perspectives while also getting a mild to moderate workout.
Located throughout the premises are five different modern playgrounds where the kids can burn some energy. The Sprayground is a 1,300-foot interactive water playground for those looking to cool off on a warm and sunny afternoon. For those with furry friends who require exercise, there’s a pet walk around lakes 6 and 7, with four convenient pet stations providing bags and trashes available for easy clean-up along the way.
The seven lakes boast lots of fish for anglers to catch, including Catfish and Rainbow Trout on a seasonal basis. There are also Bass and Bluegill, with day use fishing offered at Lakes 1-5 and fishing for campers only at Lakes 6 and 7. Purchase one of the permits required to fish, with prices varying depending on your age and whether you want to night fish or fish during the day. No state fishing licenses are required, but there is a limit of 5 of each, Catfish and Trout, that you can catch, with a strictly enforced “catch and release” policy for all Largemouth Bass caught.
The General Store has all of the equipment and tackle you might need while on your vacation at the Santee Lakes. Also visit the wetlands for some wildlife viewing, boating, or fishing. While cruising through the wetlands by boat, you’ll spot many native plants, some of the 175 species of water birds and migratory birds, butterflies, and much more that live and thrive here.
For just $3-$5 per vehicle (depending on the day), you can experience the gorgeous beauty that Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve has to offer its visitors for a day spent in its lovely outdoor setting. Many will find that one day is not nearly enough time and they will inevitably look into the affordable camping and cabin rental options available for their next visit. One thing that is for sure, there will be a “next visit,” and very soon at that.