San Diego's Lake Morena Vacation and Entrepreneur Retreat
- Airport Shuttle
- Pets Allowed
- Swimming Pool
- Smoking Allowed
The Retreat is a short 55 minute, traffic free drive from downtown San Diego. This Private Vacation Retreat with it’s main Cabin and private “Doll Houses” is located on the historic Pacific Crest Hiking Trail, across the street from Lake Morena Park and adjacent to the Cleveland National Forrest that boasts boating, bicycle trails, hiking trails and off highway vehicle areas.
The property and grounds is named “San Diego's Lake Morena Vacation and Entrepreneur Retreat” because the property a great place to take a retreat to “get away from it all” and “Old Towne” because the property design and layout is inspired by an old western town “main street” and small mining villages and "Entrepreneur Retreat" because property is frequented by business owners, inventors, investors, university groups, business coaches, musicians, professional athletes, etc.
The property is comprised of multiple lots on two of the larger parcels nearby the lake frontage so it has an “estate” sort of feel but also direct access to lake, hiking and biking trails and the Pacific Crest Trail that runs from Mexico to Canada which travels directly in front of the property. The property sits across from the county park and campground facilities so there is plenty of activity to watch from the front or quiet, private seclusion in the back.
The Cabin was originally built as a family summer vacation spot and the second owners custom built three “doll houses” that housed an award winning, million dollar, private doll collection that many locals in the area still talk about. Some memorabilia from the doll collection remain but the “doll houses” have been repurposed to antique displays, play areas, art studio, a media room. The “church” is a place where mediations or private ceremonies can be conducted.
The recently updated cabin has a kitchen, living room, breakfast area, main bedroom with queen bed, bathroom downstairs and an upstairs loft that sleeps two adults or more kids. The cabin was built by the owner of a local lumber company and constructed with custom "ship lap" lumber whose craftsmanship is like a work of art and enjoyable to sit and look at. There is a small TV and DVD player upstairs but no other TV in the Cabin to distract from the natural beauty. Cabin does have wired / wireless high speed ATT internet available (and included) and ATT mobile phones are really the only wireless carrier that works well in the area (and works well w/ full bars 4G). So you can make calls via Skype, etc and there is a “hard line” phone in the cabin you can use to make and receive calls. See more about the property and area services (fire, sheriff, medical, communications, etc.) at end of property description at “Property, Travel, Communications, Security and General Information” section.
The Three “doll houses”…
Custom crafted structures built for practicality and fun. They range in size from the smallest, “Lucy’s Toy Shop” (which has toys and games for guests to use), to the “Mountain Empire General Store” which has food, drinks and has a media center. “The Church” is built on a raised foundation and large enough to accommodate small group events or other activities.
There is a Carriage House (Utility Building) at the rear of the property that contains a vehicle storage, work shop and attic. The storage attic and attached balcony deck is not available for guest use and the shop is used by facility maintenance and owner storage so access is not normally included.
Who Is The Property A Correct Fit For?
1. Individual or Couple that wants some alone time, away from the city, to get a new perspective, do some reading or do some adventuring.
2. Entrepreneur, writer or artist desiring the creative space for ideas to flow.
3. Family with kids looking for a place to get away from ‘mainstream’ vacation spots so focus can be on family, relationships and outdoor activities.
4. Outdoor enthusiasts; bicyclists, trail hikers, fishermen, ATV enthusiasts and even Pacific Crest Trail Hikers that would rather sit on front porch and watch hikers going to and from Canada and Mexico.
5. A out of state or international visitor (or even local San Diegan) that wants a staging spot to explore the east county, learn about its history, weather, geographical beauty and people.
The property is great for a family get together where the parents want to sleep comfortably in the cabin and the kids sleep and play outdoors, in one of the “doll houses” or at the campground across the street.
Also perfect for the family or group of friends sending off or welcoming back a hiker from the Pacific Crest Trail. You can meet them as they walk by, hold up signs of encouragement or just surprise them with a warm bed and roof over their head for their journey that is just starting off or about to finish. If hikers are finishing the trail they can drop their excess gear and you can pick them up at the Mexican Border the next day and have a celebration!
What To Do at and Around Property?
Casual - Activities…
- The obvious relax stuff… read a book on the deck, sun bathe, take nap a 20 foot granite boulder… you know… the usual.
- Walk the property grounds and check out…
- The oak trees and how they have grown around and sometimes leaning on the boulders.
- Bird watching – Woodpeckers, Blue Jays and lots of other song birds and birds visiting during seasonal migrations.
- Go flower, bug and butter fly watching.
- Have a picnic or cold beverage on the grass or on top of boulders.
- Check out the ‘doll houses’, how they were constructed and what is inside.
- Watch hikers walking in front of cabin on Pacific Crest Trail. If they are walking south… they will look well worn, very tan and usually smiling since are just about one day from being done with the 2,650 journey. If they are walking north they are at mile 20, just starting the trek, so full of smiles, energy, optimism and enthusiasm (at least for now).
- Watch one of the local wild turkey rafters (wild turkey pack called a “rafter”) of around 15-20 turkeys walk around feeding on grass and things with the Toms puffing up their feathers guarding over the hens and poults (baby turkeys). Around sunset the turkeys take off from the field and road behind the cabin and fly up to the top of a large oak tree on property of neighbor to the south. It is quite a site to see and if you don’t see it you will hear it happening as it takes a lot of flapping and squawking to get a big turkey up to the top of a tree!
- Take some pictures… Exit front of cabin, turn right, then left to follow Pacific Crest Trail to grove of trees and boulders that have nice view of lake and mountains behind. Great place for family photographs, wedding pictures, etc.
Intermediate - Activities
• Walk to park and take the 20 minute ‘interpretive’ hike that shows the local varieties of plants, trees and brush along with nice views of the area.
• Rent a boat at Lake Morena Park.
• Hike the trails nearby lake.
• Hike the trail that goes towards Lake Morena Dam and an abandoned hunting lodge.
• Continue on that trail and go left at the fork towards the Morena Butte Trail and Hauser Overlook Trail. This is a loop trail that takes you through meadows and groves of huge old growth pine trees.
• Drive to one of the three museums in Campo…
o 1. Train Museum
o 2. Mountain Empire History Museum
o 3. Motor Transport Museum
• Drive to the US / Mexican border and take photo in front of metal fence. Border patrol agents do not mind but will make sure you are not picking up any packages or bringing back additional guests.
• In Campo, near the post office and Sheriff substation, see historic Camp Lockett where during WWII Italian prisoners of war were held.
• Drive north to Pine Valley or Mount Laguna to explore or eat.
• Drive east to Jacumba on Highway 94, see where the historic San Diego and Arizona Railway was built and where it crosses the road in multiple places.
More Vigorous - Activities…
o Bring your own 4WD, ATV or rent them and explore around Corral Canyon OHV (Off Highway Vehicle Area) and local “truck trails”.
o Find, climb and take your photo on top of skull rock! (20 minute walk from cabin)
o Rock climb up rock face to Morena Butte Trail.
o Hike to Mexican Border on Pacific Crest Trail (20 miles, a full day hike).
o Drive to Tecate, Mexico, park on US side, cross border and take short walk to downtown central park and 5 minutes past downtown to free Tecate Beer Brewery Tour.