This nature preserve spans over 1,900 acres and offers 13.5 miles of hiking, from moderate to more advanced trails. It's just one of the natural wonders and striking landscapes that have drawn residents and visitors to Valley Center for years. Start your visit by discovering relics from the area's frontier past at the Valley Center History Museum at the Valley Center Library, including a historic stagecoach that dates to 1848. The museum also has celebrity memorabilia from the likes of John Wayne and Fred Astaire, each of whom visited the area over the years.
The Valley Center History Museum also features a stuffed California Grizzly Bear. The largest bear ever killed in recorded history, weighing in at 2,200 pounds, was reportedly captured in the area. Thanks to this notorious event, the community initially took the name Bear Valley before undergoing a few name changes and finally settling on Valley Center in 1887.
Valley Center has managed to retain its welcoming rural character over the years, and it's economy remains largely centered around farming crops like avocados, citrus fruit, nuts, and lavender. It's no wonder you'll find some of the freshest produce around in Valley Center. For example, at the Bar 2 Ranch, you can stop into the fruit stand to pick up a bucket and then head off into the orchards to pluck your own persimmons. It doesn't get fresher than that!
In recent decades two major casinos have sprung up in and around Valley Center. Harrah's Rincon and Valley View have introduced exciting new nightlife, entertainment, and dining options to the area. Valley View Casino and Hotel is a destination that offers 2,000 slot machines, numerous table games, and 6 distinct restaurants, while Harrah's Resort Southern California brings a bit of Vegas to Southern California with a sleek outdoor pool area and Vegas-style gaming and dining.
Other attractions have sprung up around the casinos as businesses in Valley Center and the surrounding communities have made strides to publicize the area's natural beauty, agricultural tourism programs, and family friendly experiences.
Stone Brewing is a booming world-class brewery located in Escondido which hosts many popular beer-centric events in its one-acre outdoor garden. The brewery offers 32 rotating taps and over 100 bottled craft beers to enjoy. For wine lovers, numerous local vineyards serve up excellent wines under spreading oak trees, such as Triple B Ranches, or Hill Top Winery in Valley Center which also serves brunch and lunch.
Whether you want to hit the tables at the casino, relax at a winery, visit an orchard, or just reconnect with nature, you can do it all in and around Valley Center, California.
When should you visit Valley Center, CA?
Valley Center is a perfect place to visit if you need some Vitamin D. The area basks in a warm and sunny Mediterranean climate nearly year-round. The city's climate is downright idyllic. The rainiest months are typically January through March, when it rains five to six days out of the month. Throughout the year, the daytime temperature rarely dips below the upper 60s, though summers can be hot and reach the low 90s in July and August. Plan your trip around these high temperatures if you intend to spend a lot of time outdoors.
Visit Keys Creek Lavender Farm in May and June to see the lavender in full bloom. While you're there, you can also enjoy some yoga in the facility's Zen garden or wander the labyrinth. You can also shop for locally made lavender products in the shop including essential oils, soap, lotion, and crafts made with lavender blossoms.
Check out Bates Nut Farm if you're looking for nuts, homemade fudge, candies, and other gift items. Kids will enjoy interacting with the animals at the petting zoo, while the huge shade trees and open fields make a perfect picnic spot. Fall is prime time to visit, especially for the annual Bates Pumpkin Patch.
Don't miss a chance to visit Valley Center during Memorial Day to experience the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo, Festival, and parade. All proceeds from the weekend-long festivities contribute to scholarships and club donations for Valley Center youth.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Valley Center, CA:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average price patterns by star rating class in Valley Center, CA. Analyze these charts to calculate the cheapest dates to make a reservation in Valley Center for any future trips.
What are the best hotels in Valley Center, CA for luxury lovers?
4 Star Average Prices: $217.75
For a luxury guest room or luxury cottage rental on Lake San Marcos, head to Lakehouse Hotel and Resort. Here, you'll also be close to California State University San Marcos, Carlsbad Premium Outlets, and the California Center for the Arts.
The Lakehouse Hotel and Resort pampers guests with plush pillowtop beds and complimentary Wi-Fi access, as well as access to the hotel's two outdoor pools, two on-site restaurants, and poolside bar. If you'd prefer to dine in, indulge in the hotel's 24-hour room service at your convenience. If you're traveling with a large party or a family, the pull-out couch in select rooms also allows you to comfortably accommodate everyone for the entire weekend.
Just 15 miles from Valley Center, you can stay in the ultimate luxurious escape at Rancho Bernardo Inn San Diego Golf and Spa Resort. This 4-star luxury resort looks like it belongs on a hillside in Tuscany, perched in a landscape of rolling hills, open terraces, tinkling fountains, and immaculately manicured golf greens. Guests enjoy exceptional views from private patios or balconies in each of the 287 guestrooms.
During your stay at Rancho Bernardo Inn, visit the spa for a massage, put in some time on the golf course, and visit the two outdoor pools. Should you need anything during your stay, contact the concierge at any time, whether you need to confirm the next complimentary shuttle departure or to schedule a meal at one of the resort's two restaurants.
What are the low-cost hotels near Valley Center, CA?
3 Star Average Prices: $137.20
If you'd like to save money but are also looking for a hotel with character, consider Lazy H Ranch Resort in Valley Center. However, this charming and affordable hotel property only offers nine guest rooms, so be sure to lock in your reservation early. Its intimate size, terrace, and garden make it the perfect venue for a small country wedding reception, easily accomplished thanks to the hotel's wedding services.
Once you settle in, you'll feel like you've come home to your own ranch complete with shady porches overlooking an outdoor pool. Be sure to enjoy a meal or a drink at the Lazy H Resort's characterful bar and lounge. Wind down afterward in your guest room which comes equipped with fridges, free Wi-Fi, and satellite television programming.