The city of Santee in eastern San Diego County, California, makes for a relaxing and friendly getaway where you can enjoy a mix of urban culture, local hospitality and scenic beauty. Surrounded by rolling hills and boasting one of the lowest crime rates among San Diego communities, Santee's attractions include golfing, boating, fishing and a traditional drive-in movie theater. You can also stock up on supplies in the large shopping center in the Santee Trolley Square.
Carlton Oaks Country Club
Carlton Oaks Country Club, (carltonoaksgolf.com), a 20-minute drive away from downtown San Diego, boasts the only public Dye Design golf course in San Diego and features five sets of tees to accommodate golfers of every level. Players can enjoy the scenic backdrop of meandering creeks, mature trees and majestic lakes while they perfect their game. Lessons taught by PGA coaches are available for members. The club's restaurant is open seven days a week and, if you are looking for a relaxing getaway, you can stay at the country club's guest lodge.
Creation & Earth History Museum
Santee's Museum of Creation and Earth History (creationsd.org) is run by the non-profit Life and Light Foundation Ministry. The 4000-square foot facility presents exhibits, which include a model of Noah's Ark, human and animal skulls and portraits of historical figures, from a creationist perspective. It showcases the six-day young-earth creation model, taking visitors through rooms and hallways that include an Ice Age Room and a Tower of Babel room.
The Padre Dam Municipal Water District built Santee Lakes (santeelakes.com) in 196 as a water-recycling initiative to turn waste water into a recreational and environmental asset. The lakes are situated in Santee State Park, which has camping facilities and cabins to let. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, sporting events and open-air movies during the summer months. The annual Festival of the Lakes, held in June, attracts up to 10,000 visitors. It features a sailboat regatta, carnival rides, craft stalls and a parade, complete with colorful floats, horseback riders and bands. The parade is traditionally led by the newly crowned Queen of the Lakes. The lakes are stocked with catfish and rainbow trout, and fishing equipment is available at the state park's general store; fishing permits can be purchased at the park office.
Santee Drive-In Theater
Sample some '50s nostalgia at Santee Drive-In Theater (santeedriveintheatre.com), which has two theaters and is open seven nights a week year round. Movies are broadcast on FM radio only -- in order to hear the movies customers must bring a working radio. You can sit outside your vehicle in chairs, and a snack bar and bathrooms are located at the center of the building. The theater has a portable jump kit available in the event of a dead car battery.