5 Best Places to Stop on the Short Trip from San Diego to Alpine CA

StaxUP Storage | October 29, 2021 @ 12:00 AM

The drive from San Diego to Alpine, California, takes between half an hour and an hour, depending on traffic and the route you choose. While it’s a short drive, there are many interesting places to visit between the cities. 

So, if you don’t mind taking a little longer, make it a day trip and see the sights.

Here are five attractions we like that we think you will, too.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park covers a huge area in San Diego and includes many attractions. Honestly, you could spend a week or more checking out all it offers. Museums include the Comic-Con Museum, Fleet Science Center, Institute of Contemporary Art, San Diego Automotive Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, and more.

Plus, Balboa park has trails, fountains, playgrounds, statues, and beautiful natural settings like the Japanese Friendship Garden, the Balboa Park Archery Range, and Nate’s Point Dog Park.

While the park is public, and therefore free to visit and explore, you will need tickets for individual performances, museums, and so on.

San Diego Zoo

While part of Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo deserves its own entry here. The zoo has eight major sections where you can see all sorts of wildlife: Africa Rocks, Asian Passage, Discovery Outpost, Elephant Odyssey, Lost Forest, Northern Frontier, Outback, and Urban Jungle.

You’ll find bonobos, mankind’s closest living relatives, cheetahs, Chinese alligators, grizzly bears, elephants, and dozens of other animals. Want a preview before you go? The website lets you watch the animals through live cams.

The zoo features programs for kids and teens, so if you’re traveling with children that’s worth looking into. Shop for books, art, and more on the site or in the zoo store.

Heritage of the Americas Museum

Closer to Alpine, at Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego, you’ll discover the Heritage of the Americas Museum. If you’re interested in the pre-colonial American world, this is a great place to see ancient art, learn about older cultures, and more.

The museum has four wings: the Natural Wing, the Archaeology Wing, the Anthropology Wing, and the Art Wing. You’ll find meteorites, gemstones, fossils, ancient American artifacts, as well as recent Western art. Not everything comes from the Americas, as you’ll find a collection of Chinese artifacts, including dynastic jade art, and other art from all over the world.

Jingle Bell Hill

From Black Friday to New Year’s Day every year you can visit Jingle Bell Hill. This isn’t a park or a specific attraction but the area in and around Pepper Drive in El Cajon is where the residents put up fantastic Christmas lights every year. You can drive through the neighborhood between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. to enjoy the displays.

Want a good idea of what’s in store? Check out their Instagram page or Facebook group for dozens of pictures. Of course, there’s nothing like seeing the lights in person.

Haunted Amusement Park

Traveling between Alpine and San Diego some October evening? Do you like a good Halloween scare? Then check out The Haunted Amusement Park in El Cajon. It’s at the site of the abandoned Marshal Scotty’s Playland Park, and we can’t think of a better place for seasonal frights.

Follow the scare trail and enter the haunted houses, then join the clown party. Check the site for additional info, including where to park and how to purchase tickets.

Now, you have plenty to do in the area between San Diego and Alpine. If you live in the San Diego area and need a storage solution, visit us at StaxUp Storage. Whether you want to store your Halloween and Comic-Con costumes, have a place to stash Christmas presents, keep your overstock inventory safe, or store several other belongings, we’ll help you get into an affordable and safe storage unit.