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East County Neighborhood Guide


Rural living for nature lovers

East San Diego County contains a wide range of rural and urban communities, including a diverse wilderness of mountains, lakes and canyons. For the outdoor enthusiast or lover of nature, East County may prove to be an attractive home. Both the 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Cleveland National Park can be found in this part of the county. Several Native American tribes also make their home on reservations in the area.

Alpine is a small community of about 14,200 people in the Cuyamaca Mountains some 25 miles east of San Diego.

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El Cajon, nicknamed ‘The Big Box’, is located in a valley and ‘boxed in’ by surrounding mountains.

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Jamul is a small rural town of 6,100 or so people located in the hills about 20 miles east of San Diego city.

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Julian is a small town (population 1,502) in the Cuyamaca mountains, about 4,235 feet above sea level.

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La Mesa is a suburb of San Diego located about 9 miles east of Downtown.

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Lakeside is a rural community of the outskirts of San Diego, about 20 miles northeast of the city.

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Lemon Grove is a small town of about 26,500 people located 9 miles east of downtown San Diego.

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Santee is an expanding community with a growing list of amenities to its name.

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Spring Valley is an unincorporated suburb of San Diego about 12 miles east of downtown.

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