Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this


By Miriam Raftery

February 2, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) -- What better way to infuse passion into your relationship than to slip away for a Valentine weekend stay  at one of East County’s romantic inns, cabins or lodges? Or give a getaway gift for later in the year as the perfect way to say”I love you.”

Here are few idyllic places to rejuvenate your spirit with that special someone:

Sweetheart package at Santee Lakes:  Snuggle up in a waterfront or floating cabin. Cabins include barbecue rings, big-screen TVs, kitchens and pedal boats to explore the lakes and isles. Single-night rates range from $104 to $149 a night.  Or sign up for the “Sweetheart package” – a two night stay in 2015 as a gift for your Valentine.  This $400 package includes a gift basket with a bottle of wine, assorted goodies and two fishing permits, plus a one-pound box of chocolates and a gift certificate to delight your darling.

Julian retreats:  Julian, the historic gold rush mining town, has a wealth of options for weekend getaways .  While there you can enjoy a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride,  go wine-tasting, tour a gold mine, hike in the woods, shop in one-of-a-kind boutiques and savor dinner at local restaurants away from the hustle and bustle of city life.  Options range from the historic Julian Hotel to bed and breakfast inns or cozy cabins—and many are very affordably priced. For a list of currently available rooms, visit

Jamul Haven, Jamul:  This elegant restored Victorian home has rooms for $199 weeknights, $219 weekends in a sumptuous setting.  All rooms include a private full bath, a porch or balcony, antique furniture, inlaid marble mosaics, mahogany wainscoting and molding, tin-tile ceilings, hand carved doors, stained glass windows, and authentic Victorian wallpaper. Amenities include a stone-lined pool and spa, English gardens, farmhouse kitchen, game room and disco to dance the night away.


La Casa del Zorro Resort, Borrego:   This upscale desert resort, recently renovated and reopened, is a tradition dating back to 1937. Choose from casitas, deluxe rooms or garden rooms plus amenities that include golf at nearby locations, a full spa for the utmost in pampering, and Valentine’s dinner specials. It’s posh but pricey, with current available rooms ranging from $179 to nearly $800, with most rooms priced around $250 and up. 

Orchard Hill Country Inn, Julian:  This four-diamond inn overlooks the historic gold rush town of Julian just one block off the main street in town, nestled among fruit trees, gardens and pine trees.  The inn is offering a Valentine’s special that includes champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, rose and full five-course dinner ($55 plus two night’s lodging; lodge rooms run $195-$295 a night; cottages are $295-450.

Viejas Casino & Resort, Alpine:  This sophisticated new resort hotel includes a lush sparkling pool with hot tub and fire bowls, fitness gym, and proximity to the casino as well as the Viejas Outlets Centers across the street.  Viejas offers a Romance Package a luxury or executive suite, $100 food or beverage credit that can be used at restaurants such as the award-winning Grove Steakhouse or on room service, chocolate-covered strawberries, romance-themed turn-down service,and late checkout.

Barona Resort & Casino, Lakeside:  Barona’s resort includes a full-service spa (how about a his-and-her massage to set the mood?), lakes for romantic strolls,  a variety of restaurants from Italian to a steakhouse, golf course, and comfortably appointed rooms. There’s even a wedding chapel on site if you feel inspired to say “I do” or renew your vows.  Rooms range from $129 to $179 a night.  The website showed it booked up on Valentine’s weekend, but it’s worth checking for cancellations – it’s a large resort adjacent to the casino, so you just could get lucky!



Error message

Support community news in the public interest! As nonprofit news, we rely on donations from the public to fund our reporting -- not special interests. Please donate to sustain East County Magazine's local reporting and/or wildfire alerts at to help us keep people safe and informed across our region.