By Miriam Raftery
Looking to cool off? No need to battle crowds at the beach. Check out our editor's "cool picks" for places to beat the heat in San Diego's eastern areas.
MAKE A SPLASH AT THE SANTEE AQUATIC CENTER:
|Waterslide and in-pool playground, Santee Aquatic Center|
East County's best-kept aquatic adventure area features a spiral slide plus children's play equipment--all built into a swimming pool. The facility also offers water aerobics classes for adults. Great family fun!
10123 Riverwalk Drive, Santee
CHILL OUT AT KROC CENTER ICE:
Public ice skating, figure skating lessons, hockey and broomball are offered at the NFL-sized ice rink located at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. Skating competitions and private party ice rentals are also available.
6737 University Ave., San Diego
DIVE IN AT LA MESA RECREATION CENTER:
Year-round swimming and aquatic exercise classes are available at La Mesa's public pool, which features a diving board and large shallow area for kids. You can even rent out the entire swimming pool area at La Mesa Recreation Center for a private pool party!
5100 Memorial Drive, La Mesa
SAMPLE A SUNDAE ATH THE MINER'S DINER:
This old-fashioned soda fountain adjacent to the Julian drugstore offers malts, ice cream sundaes and more in a historic setting featuring the oldest marble-topped soda fountain in San Diego County.
2130 Main Street, Julian
KEEP KIDS COOL AT SANTEE LAKES "SPRAYGROUND".
Kids 13 and under can frolic in the sprayground for $2 per person. There is also a vehicle entry fee for the park ($2 weekdays, $4 weekends). Pop-jet fountains and spray nozzles make this a hands-down favorite among youngsters seeking to beat the heat. Pedalboat rentals are also available at the lake for an additional fee.
9310 Fanita Parkway, Santee
COOL ZONES FOR SENIORS:
Cool places for senior citizens in East County and throughout San Diego County are listed at this website, which includes recreation centers, malls, senior centers, libraries and other "cool" locations:
The City of La Mesa lists additional cool zones throughout East County, including the Mission Trails Regional Park visiting center which has a visitor center with spectacular views, museum, library/reading room and observation decks:
GO JUMP IN THE LAKE:
San Diego's eastern region has many lakes offering a variety of fun activities. For a complete listing, see these three sites:
Other Lakes in San Diego County
Local and State Agencies
Services and rules vary by location and season, so check the lake's website before visiting. Rentals of some types of boats and equipment are available at certain lakes, others are open to private watercraft. Some lakes lack concession services, so bring water, snacks or a picnic lunch. Here are a few highlights of activities you can enjoy at our local lakes:
Waterskiing, wakeboarding and float tubing at Lake Vicente:
Jet ski at El Capitan Reservoir:
Rent a sailboat, motorboat, pedal boat or rowboat at Poway Lake:
Rent a canoe or rowboat at Lake Murray or Lake Miramar (Saturdays and Sundays only) or bring your float tube!
CHECK INTO WELK RESORT AND RIDE THE WATER SLIDE:
Vacationers staying at the Welk Resort can indulge in family fun at the Boulder Springs Club House and Waterslide -- a 140 feet-long, rock-encased slide into a lavish swimming pool. There is a 42-inch minimum height requirement to use the waterslide. The resort also features a large clubhouse with plasma screen TV, library, Foosball, Air Hockey, and kids' game room as well as golf, tennis and more outdoor activities. Click "tour the resort"and "photo gallery" to view the waterslide: 8868 Lawrence Welk Drive, Escondido
POOLSIDE CABANAS AT PALA RESORT:
Thee four-diamond Pala Casino Spa & Resort rents poolside cabanas for guests complete with ceiling fans, private mini-bars, pay-per-view movies, TV, Internet access, and complimentary fruit and cheese trays.
35008 Pala Temecula Road, Pala