Southern California Day Trips

Lake Elsinore

If you are yearning for a visit to a fresh water lake in Southern California, then a day trip to Lake Elsinore is what you need. The largest natural freshwater lake in Southern California is east of Los Angeles and north of San Diego in the City of Lake Elsinore in western Riverside County. Lake Elsinore has over 14 miles of shoreline and is in a picturesque setting on the eastside of the Ortega Mountains. In addition to the Lake itself, the City also has a minor league baseball team, a poker casino, skydiving and other fun action sports.

Getting There:

This is a Car-Necessary Day Trip, so there are no train options, though this is a popular day trip if you are on a motorcycle too. From Los Angeles you can either take the 10 East to the 15 South or the 91 East to the 15 South, exit on the 74 and head west until you hit Lakeshore Drive.

Things to Do:

Lake Elsinore is ideal for motor boating, jet skiing, waterskiing, wake boarding, kayaking and fishing. It has public beaches with picnic tables, easy-access parking and a three-mile levee for hiking and nature watching. Two separate locations for you to park and access the Lake are 32700 Riverside Drive and Elm Grove Beach at 500 Lakeshore Drive.
Lake Elsinore 2
Lake Elsinore 1
The Lake Elsinore Storm are a minor league baseball team and a Class “A” California League affiliate of the San Diego Padres. They play at the Lake Elsinore Diamond Stadium, a 6,000 seat minor league baseball stadium constructed in 1994 that was once the site of the first train depot in Lake Elsinore. The Stadium can accommodate 8,000 fans with fixed seating, luxury suites, and a grass section located along the right field line. The Storm play starting in April and through September.
The Lake Elsinore Casino is open daily 24 hours and is located at  20930 Malaga Road. The gaming space has twenty-six table games, including 3 Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, Pai Gow Poker and Texas Hold’Em. The casino property also has a hotel with ninety-three rooms and two restaurants. There is also a poolside bar that has quite the scene on a Saturday night.

Lake Elsinore CasinoCasino Pool Bar

For you daredevils and high risk takers, Lake Elsinore is also well-known for its skydiving. Skydive Elsinore is located around the corner from Lake Elsinore Casino at 20701 Cereal Street, (951) 245-9939 . Skydive Elsinore has been in business since 1959 and is well-known for having very friendly staff.
If you are in the mood for a easy, short hike near Lake Elsinore (about 10 miles west on Ortega Highway) then try the San Juan Loop Trail. The trailhead is at the parking lot across the “Candy Store” (Ortega Country Cottage).

A Few Food Suggestions:

For breakfast and lunch at a quaint, rustic, warm atmosphere with amazing views of Lake Elsinore try The Lookout Roadhouse at 32107 Ortega Highway. In addition to its views, the Roadhouse is well-known for both its beer selection and the ribs. 
If you are in the mood for Mexican-Salvadorian food with decor so legitimate it almost helps to remove a hangover instantly, try El Comal Restaurant at 32410 Mission Trail. The Pupusas are highly recommended.

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