Top 22 Things To Do In Santee CA 92071
Santee California, lovingly known as the “La Jolla of the East” is just a short 18-mile drive east of the Pacific Ocean (via the 52 West freeway). With a population of around 60,000 residents, it has some of the top-ranked schools in all of San Diego County. There are PLENTY of fun things to do in Santee for both residents and visitors, and (in no particular order) we’ve compiled a list here!
#1 Santee Lakes
Santee Lakes is 190 acres of serenity in the middle of Santee California. These man-made lakes are drought proof using reclaimed water. Guests can enjoy:
- Camping with full RV hookups
- Paddle Boarding
- Bird Watching
- Awesome events all year round
Kyle Whissel of Whissel Realty talked with Laura Evans to get an inside scoop of what is going on in Santee Lakes.
Santee Lakes also hosts annual events, from the Easter Eggstravaganza to Movie At The Lakes during the summer!
In addition to all of the fun activities at Santee Lakes, they also host an amazing Teen Center. For a small yearly fee, the Teen Center is open for teens 12-17 (grades 6-12). Not only do they encourage outdoor activities with their peers, but the Teen Center also focuses on study time and are able to help with homework!
Santee Lakes Address: 9310 Fanita Pkwy, Santee, CA 92071
Santee Lakes Website: http://www.santeelakes.com/
#2 Mission Trails Regional Park
Mission Trails Regional Park is one of the things that Santee citizens love most about Santee. With over 60,000 miles of trails and well over 7,000 acres of land, people come from all over to hike, bike, bird watch, take photographs, or hang out at the dam.
Mission Trails Regional Park Website: https://mtrp.org/
#3 Santee Trolley Square & Santee Trolley Center
The Santee Trolley Center is what some may consider the hub of Santee, California. Shopping, dining, and entertainment, this center has it all! Managed by Kimco Realty, we sat down with Kim to learn a little more about the history and tenants of the square.
To see the current directory of Santee Trolley Square, visit: http://www.shopsanteetrolleysquare.com/directory.aspx
#4 Walker Preserve
The Walker Preserve Trail is the most recently completed section of the San Diego River Trail. This 1.3-mile trail section encompasses over 100 acres of mixed sage scrub, riparian and wetland habitat capable of supporting at least 3 federally protected bird species (the Southwestern willow flycatcher, the California gnatcatcher, and the least Bell’s viero). This area was once part of the Walker Family Dairy Farm, and until recently was off-limits to the public as it was used for sand mining. A combination of funding from the City of Santee and various grants were used to purchase the land and construct a beautiful riverside trail that was opened to the public in April 2015.
Santee Walker Preserve Address: 9500 Magnolia Ave, Santee, CA 92071
Check out Walker Preseve’s Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Walker-Preserve-Trail-Santee/1444274725872574
#5 Santee Summer Concert Series
The Santee Summer Concert Series happens in Santee California on Thursday nights during the summer. Starting in June and ending in August, they host bands from all over the world. Previous bands have included Santee’s own Ramshackle, The Catillacs, The Kings of 88, Fortunate Son, James Kruk and The Big Boss Men, Three Chord Justice, Upstream, The Mighty Untouchables, and MANY more! Thousands of people from all over San Diego County flock to Town Center Community Park to hang out with friends, listen to great music, and eat some great food truck munchies!
Also during the summer at Town Center Community Park, keep an eye out for the beloved Bluegrass Festival and Fido Fest!
#6 Santee Restaurants
While Santee may not be known as the mecca of eateries, we have PLENTY of awesome food in 92071. Here are just a FEW of the restaurants that we’ve featured on East County Eats and on #SanteeSaturdays.
For a constantly updating playlist of Santee Restaurants, check out: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHEmW00i3ch5s_QwLfQpKIzDywkY1I_tb
Anny’s Fine Burgers Santee Address: 9862 Mission Gorge Rd #D, Santee, CA 92071
Sandwich Bags Deli Address: 10769 Woodside Ave, Santee, CA 92071
The Omelette Factory Address: 8860 Magnolia Ave, Santee, CA 92071
Kung Fu Tea Santee Address: 9535 Mission Gorge Rd suite i, Santee, CA 92071
52 East Address: 9621 Mission Gorge Rd Ste 101 Santee, CA 92071
The Lean Bean Address: 9181 Mission Gorge Rd, Santee, CA 92071
#7 Santee Sportsplex
Sportsplex USA Santee is a 20-acre facility that hosts many leagues, tournaments, and corporate events. They also have a large air-conditioned sports pub which is great for grabbing a draft beer before, or after an event. Catch a game in the sports pup, practice your batting at one of the 4 slow pitch batting cages, or get a team together for indoor soccer.
Sportsplex USA Santee Address: 9951 Riverwalk Dr, Santee, CA 92071
Sportsplex USA Website: http://www.sportsplexusa.com/content.cfm?n=santee
#8 Mary’s Donuts
But wait! We’ve already covered food. Why are we bringing up a Donut shop? For Santee residents, we all know Mary’s Dounts is WAY more than just a donut shop, but a community landmark. We were lucky enough to film at the original location on Mission Gorge, as well as their new location on Carlton Hills Blvd.
Yeah, not only do they do amazing donuts, they also do specialty donuts – this bacon maple donut is as big as Kyle Whissel’s head!
May’s Donuts & Coffee Address: 8959 Carlton Hills Blvd. Santee CA 92071
#9 Santee Rocks
Santee Rocks is fun for the entire community – think of it as Pet Rocks playing Hide & Seek! The breakdown is fairly simple – you paint a rock, you hide it, someone finds it and posts a photo of it on the Santee Rocks Facebook group. Then, they re-hide it!
According to their Facebook Group Description: “Santee Rocks exists to spread joy, kindness, and a sense of community through creativity and random acts of kindness. The goal is to paint rocks and hide them in various locations to bring joy to the finder. For longevity, rocks should be covered with a sealer. On the backs of your masterpieces please write, “Take picture & post on Facebook in Santee Rocks group. Re-hide.” If you find a painted rock that you can’t bear to part with, please keep it, but replace it with one of your own creations.”
Santee Rocks Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/santeerocks/
#10 Family Friendly Parks
Santee has GREAT parks all around the city where it’s visitors can come to picnic, hike or walk, play on playgrounds, take your dogs, and play sports such as basketball, football, soccer, disc golf & more! Here are links to a few of our favorites!
- Mast Park
- Woodglen Vista Park
- Shadow Hills Park
- Town Center Community Park
- Sky Ranch Park
- Big Rock Park
- West Hills Park
- Dog Parks
#11 Woodglen Vista Skate Park
While registration is required for all skate sessions at Woodglen Vista Skate Park in Santee is free! They have 2 different sessions: Skate Session (which include scooter sessions and rollerblade sessions) and BMX session and they alternate every hour. In addition to the awesome park, they have a variety of camps and lessons for participants as well!
Address: 10250 Woodglen Vista Dr, Santee, CA 92071
For more info on the Santee Skate Park located at Woodglen Vista Park, check out their website at: http://cityofsanteeca.gov/our-city/skatepark
#12 Uptown Jungle Fun Park
Uptown Jungle Fun Park (previously Urban Jungle Fun Park) is a great place for children of all ages to run (or jump) off some of their energy! They have low pricing and are open every day, with activities including trampolines, obstacle courses, climbing walls, life-sized video games, super slides and mega play structures!
Uptown Jungle Fun Park Address: 8711 Magnolia Ave #300, Santee, CA 92071
Uptown Jungle Fun Park Website: https://santee.uptownjungle.com/
Santee LOVES our beer, and to show it we have a ton of local breweries! Here are a few videos on our favorites!
Although Pacific Islander Beer Company (PIB for short) is in the heart of an business park in Santee, California, the atmosphere and people transport you to a laid back beach environment where you can even bring your own food, kids, and dogs! Kyle met with one of the owners to get the scoop on this Santee favorite!
Address: 8665 Argent St, Santee, CA 92071
Previously known as Butcher’s Brewing, Fines Made Ales takes a culinary approach to brewing and have plans to pair food & beer!
Address: 9962 Prospect Ave, Santee, CA 92071
BNS Brewing & Distilling Co is another of Santee’s favorite breweries! After a major overhaul,
Address: 10960 Wheatlands Ave Suite 101 Santee, California 92071
#14 Santee Drive In & Swap Meet
The Santee drive-in has been around since 1962. This gem is open 7 nights a week and has two different screens each playing 2 movies per night(insider tip: the first movie usually always plays again as the last showing). You can bring your own food and beverages, but there is a concession stand that closes halfway through the second movie if you’ve got to get your movie popcorn fix. In addition, there’s an “Old School” Swap Meet every Saturday and Sunday morning from 6:30 AM – 2:00 PM.
#15 Carlton Oaks Golf Course
Looking for the BEST (and only) golf course in Santee – look no further! Carlton Oaks Golf Course is a beautiful greens and is San Diego’s only Dye-designed championship course. In addition to golfing in 92071, they have fantastic lodging, food (check out their Prime Rib nights on Wednesday nights) and live music on Friday nights!
Carlton Oaks Bar & Grill Address: 9200 Inwood Dr, Santee, CA 92071
#16 Santee Farmer’s Market
From fresh produce, AMAZING strawberries, cooked food and other vendors to shop from (hummus, olive oil, clothing), the Santee Farmer’s Market has a little something for everyone. Held in the Pathways parking lot on Wednesday evenings from 3-7 PM, this market is a great way to support local businesses.
Santee Farmer’s Market Address: 9280 Mast Blvd, Santee, CA 92071
Santee Farmer’s Market Website: https://santeefarmersmarket.com/
#17 Santee Library
The Santee Public Library is a great family-friendly option for something to do. There are events for all ages happening every Monday-Sunday. The events are ever-changing but here is a link to their calendar.
Santee Public Library Address: 9225 Carlton Hills Blvd #17 Santee, CA 92071
The Cameron Family YMCA has been open since 2003. The Y offers programs that foster youth development, promote healthy living and advance social responsibility. Their amenities include outdoor pools and waterslide, fitness center, group exercise, gymnastics center, and childcare.
The Cameron Family YMCA Address: 10123 Riverwalk Dr, Santee, CA 92071
The Cameron Family YMCA Website: https://www.ymca.org/locations/cameron-family-ymca
#19 Off Broadway Live
The theater has evening Theatrical Performances most Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and many Sunday afternoon matinees at 3:00 pm. Encore Supper Club Shows are at 6:30pm (Sundays @ 5:00pm). Some “Special Theatrical Dinner Shows” are earlier. See calendar for specific dates and showtimes here. They now offer a dinner before the show, in addition to wine, beer, coffee, and soft drinks.
Off Broadway Live Address: 9490 Cuyamaca St, Santee, CA 92071
Off Broadway Live Website: https://www.offbroadwaylive.com/
#20 Starlight Circle
Starlight Circle in Santee has been a Santee tradition for over 2 decades and is located in the circle composed of East and West Glendon Cir (right off North Magnolia, about a block North of Santana High School). The entire neighborhood dresses up their homes for the holidays (quite a few for Halloween too). Lights are typically up starting December 1st and go through December 25th.
Starlight Circle Address: East & West Glendon Cir. Santee, California 92071
Starlight Circle Website: https://www.facebook.com/starlightcirclesantee/
#21 Santee Street Fair
The Santee Street Fair closes down Town Center Parkway one Saturday in May and hosts over 30,000 people! From the Craft Beer Garden, local businesses with booths, music and dance performances, food trucks, and carnival rides, the Santee Street Fair is fun for the entire family!
Santee Street Fair Address: Town Center Parkway & Riverview Parkway Santee, CA, 92071
Santee Street Fair Website: http://santeestreetfair.com/
#22 Santee Santas
Santee Santas has been around since 1953 when there was only 1 school in the town, there were 5 people in the program, and the gifts were delivered by firetruck. They help the Santee community and provide food and toys & books to seniors and low income families. Now, they help over 300 families & 400 children EACH YEAR. They are always looking for volunteers to help pack boxes, deliver, or donate toys and food. To sign up to be a family receiving help or to sign up to volunteer, visit their website linked below.
Santee Santas Website: http://www.santeesantas.org/
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