Off the Beaten Path—Valley Center, North San Diego Country
When you think of Valley Center in the North County of San Diego, you think of casinos!! After all, this is where Harrah’s, Pauma, Valley View, and Pala all call home. The hotels and casinos stand out like sore thumbs against the picturesque countryside in this serene valley.
After staying at one of the casinos for the weekend, we decided that on our way home we would take a few minutes and explore some of the “off the beaten path” roads in the area.
Valley Center is 27 square miles of rural land, agriculture, and a few homes here and there. It is also home to Bates Nut Farm, Palomar Observatory, Lakes Wohlford and Henshaw, and a 18-hole golf course.
It sits about forty miles north of San Diego and can be accessed a few different ways but most notably 76 Freeway off of Interstate 15.
The hills, fields, and countryside always remind me of a valley I knew in Hawaii, minus the waterfalls, palm trees, the rich green countryside, but other than that…
However, after much rain in the winter, the hills and meadows were filled with the most vibrant green that challenged anything I have seen in Hawaii, if I squinted I could almost see the Wailua Valley on Kauai, well almost.
Cruising on the 76 Freeway we saw a road that headed into the hills so we decided to explore this first.