Discover the Best Things to Do in Valley Center, CA

things to do in valley center ca


Valley Center, located in San Diego County, California, is a charming town that offers visitors a variety of activities to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or something in between, Valley Center has something for everyone.

One of the top attractions in Valley Center is the Valley View Casino & Hotel. This casino offers a wide range of gaming options, as well as live entertainment and dining experiences. If you’re looking for a night out on the town, the casino is a great option.

For those who prefer outdoor activities, Valley Center has plenty of options. The town is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, including parks, trails, and lakes. Visitors can hike, bike, fish, or simply enjoy a picnic in the great outdoors.

Additionally, Valley Center is home to several golf courses, making it a great destination for golf enthusiasts.

Things to Do in Valley Center CA

Valley Center, CA offers a variety of activities for visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, wine tasting, animal interactions, events and venues, or family fun, there’s something for everyone.

Outdoor Activities

Valley Center is surrounded by natural beauty, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some activities to consider:

  • Hiking: Explore the trails at Hellhole Canyon Preserve or Bates Nut Farm.
  • Horseback Riding: Take a scenic horseback ride through the countryside with Rockin’ R Ranch.
  • Golfing: Tee off at The Woods Valley Golf Club, which offers 18 holes of championship golf.
  • Fishing: Cast a line at Lake Wohlford, which is stocked with trout and catfish.

Wine Tasting

Valley Center is home to several wineries and vineyards. Here are a few to check out:

  • Triple B Ranches: This family-owned winery offers tastings of their handcrafted wines.
  • Keys Creek Winery: Enjoy a glass of wine while taking in the stunning views of the surrounding hills.
  • Hill Top Winery: Sip on award-winning wines while relaxing in the tasting room or on the outdoor patio.

Animal Interactions

things to do in valley center caIf you’re an animal lover, you’ll enjoy these activities:

  • SoCalMiniPigs: Visit this attraction farm to interact with adorable miniature pigs.
  • Bates Nut Farm: Feed the farm animals and take a tractor ride through the orchards.
  • Lions Tigers & Bears: Take a guided tour of this animal sanctuary and meet the rescued big cats and bears.

Events and Venues

Valley Center hosts several events throughout the year. Here are a few to mark on your calendar:

  • Valley Center Western Days: This annual event features a parade, rodeo, and live music.
  • Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch: Pick out the perfect pumpkin and enjoy fall activities like hayrides and a corn maze.
  • Valley View Casino Center: Catch a concert or comedy show at this venue.

Family Fun

Valley Center offers plenty of activities for families. Here are some to consider:

  • Valley View Casino & Hotel: Play the slots, enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants, or catch a live performance.
  • Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden: This free attraction features a unique collection of sculptures and mosaics.
  • The Farm Stand West: Take the kids to pick out fresh produce and enjoy the petting zoo.

Valley Center, CA offers a wide range of activities for visitors and locals. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, wine tasting, animal interactions, events and venues, or family fun, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Restaurants and Bakeries

Valley Center is home to a variety of restaurants and bakeries that offer delicious food and desserts. Whether you’re in the mood for Mexican cuisine or a sweet treat, there is something for everyone.

Mexican Cuisine

If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food, Cenote Grill is a great option. This restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including fish tacos and Camerones modelo.

The prices are reasonable, and the food is delicious. Another option is Pho Saigon Express, which serves Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai food in addition to Mexican cuisine.


For those with a sweet tooth, Roselys Eats and Sweets is a must-visit bakery. They offer a variety of desserts, including cupcakes and beignets. Little Hunnys Cakery is another great option for custom cakes and cupcakes. If you’re in the mood for carrot cake, Lala’s Signature Cakes is a great choice.

In addition to these options, there are several other bakeries and restaurants in Valley Center to explore. Conchitas Bakery, Harlow’s, and Pahua’s Bakery are all worth a visit. Whether you’re in the mood for a savory meal or a sweet treat, Valley Center has something to offer.


things to do in valley center caValley Center is home to several wineries that offer a unique tasting experience. Here are a few of the top wineries to visit:

Hill Top Winery

Hill Top Winery is a cozy and inviting winery that offers a variety of wines, including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery is situated on a hilltop, surrounded by oak trees and beautiful views of the valley.

Visitors can enjoy a tasting at the circular bar and sample some of their seasonal beers. The winery also offers a charcuterie board to pair with their wines.

Sunshine Mountain Vineyard

Sunshine Mountain Vineyard is a family-owned and operated winery that produces small-batch wines. The vineyard is located on a hilltop and offers stunning views of the valley.

Visitors can taste a variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The winery also has a picnic area where visitors can enjoy a glass of wine and take in the beautiful scenery.

Jacked Up Brewery

Jacked Up Brewery is not a winery, but it offers a unique tasting experience for beer lovers. The brewery specializes in seasonal beers and has a rotating selection of brews on tap. Visitors can enjoy a flight of beer at the circular bar and take in the rustic decor. The brewery also offers a food menu that pairs well with their beers.

Stone and Glass

Stone and Glass is a glassblowing studio that also has a tasting room for their wines. The studio produces handcrafted glassware and visitors can watch the glassblowers in action. The tasting room offers a variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Visitors can also purchase unique glassware to take home.

Rancho Guejito Vineyard

Rancho Guejito Vineyard is a historic vineyard that has been producing wine since the 1800s. The vineyard is located on a ranch and is home to red-tailed hawks. Visitors can taste a variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The vineyard also offers tours of the property, where visitors can learn about the history of the vineyard and the winemaking process.

Valley Center’s wineries offer a unique tasting experience that is not to be missed. Visitors can taste a variety of wines and take in the beautiful scenery of the valley.

Valley View Casino

Valley View Casino & HotelValley View Casino is a popular entertainment destination in Valley Center, CA. The casino offers a wide range of games, dining options, and venues to cater to the needs of its visitors.

Games and Slots

Valley View Casino has a variety of table games and slots to choose from. The casino has over 2,000 slot machines and 22 table games, including Blackjack, Baccarat, and Roulette. The circular bar in the center of the casino offers seating for those who want to take a break from the gaming floor.


Valley View Casino offers several dining options, including the Maine Lobster Buffet, Black&Blue Steakhouse and Lounge, and BLD’s Cafe. The Maine Lobster Buffet is a popular choice for those who love seafood, while Black&Blue Steakhouse and Lounge offers a fine dining experience. BLD’s Cafe offers free breakfast for hotel guests.


Valley View Casino has several venues that host live entertainment and events. The Main Stage Bar is a popular spot for free live entertainment, while The Pavilion hosts concerts and other events. The casino also has a ballroom that can be rented for private events.

Valley View Casino offers valet parking and handicap parking for those who need it. The casino also has designated smoking areas for smokers. Prices for games and dining options vary, so it’s best to check the website or ask a staff member for more information.

Overall, Valley View Casino is a great option for those looking for entertainment in Valley Center, CA. With its wide range of games, dining options, and venues, there’s something for everyone at Valley View Casino.

Bates Nut Farm

If you are looking for a unique and fun experience for the whole family, Bates Nut Farm is a great place to visit. This farm has been welcoming families for over 50 years, offering a variety of nuts, candies, homemade fudge, gourmet treats, and gift items. Here are some of the highlights of the farm:

Petting Zoo

One of the main attractions at Bates Nut Farm is the petting zoo. Kids and adults alike can enjoy interacting with a variety of animals, including goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, and even a miniature donkey. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they are always happy to answer any questions you may have about the animals.

Gift Shop

The gift shop at Bates Nut Farm is a great place to find unique and interesting gifts for friends and family. They offer a wide variety of items, including nuts, candies, homemade fudge, gourmet treats, and gift baskets. The staff is always willing to help you find the perfect gift, and they are very knowledgeable about the products they sell.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Bates Nut Farm:

  • What are the farm’s hours of operation?
    Bates Nut Farm is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, seven days a week.
  • Does the farm offer tours?
    Yes, the farm offers tours for groups of 10 or more people. Reservations are required, and tours must be booked at least two weeks in advance.
  • Are there any admission fees?
    No, there are no admission fees to visit Bates Nut Farm. However, there may be fees for certain activities, such as the petting zoo.
  • Who are the owners of Bates Nut Farm?
    The farm is owned by the Bates family, who have been in the nut business for over 90 years.
  • How hard do the staff work?
    The staff at Bates Nut Farm work very hard to ensure that visitors have a great experience. They are knowledgeable, friendly, and always willing to help.

Safari Park

Valley Center is home to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a wildlife sanctuary that covers over 1,800 acres. The park is home to over 3,000 animals from more than 300 species, and offers visitors a chance to see some of the world’s most exotic creatures up close.

Animal Exhibits

The Safari Park is divided into several different areas, each of which features a different collection of animals. Visitors can explore habitats such as the African Plains, Tiger Trail, and Elephant Valley, and see animals like lions, tigers, cheetahs, and rhinoceroses. The park also has an aviary that is home to over 350 birds from 60 species.

Butterfly Interactions

One of the park’s most popular attractions is the Butterfly Jungle, a seasonal exhibit that runs from mid-March to mid-April. During this time, visitors can walk through a greenhouse filled with thousands of colorful butterflies. The exhibit also includes educational displays that teach visitors about the life cycle of butterflies and the importance of conserving their habitats.

Spring Exhibit

In addition to the Butterfly Jungle, the Safari Park also hosts a seasonal Spring Fling exhibit. This exhibit features baby animals, such as chicks, piglets, and lambs, and allows visitors to learn about the animal care and breeding programs at the park.

Red-Tailed Hawks

The Safari Park is also home to a number of birds of prey, including red-tailed hawks. Visitors can watch these majestic birds in action during daily falconry demonstrations, where they will learn about the birds’ hunting techniques and the important role they play in the ecosystem.

Overall, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an educational and entertaining destination that offers visitors a chance to see and learn about some of the world’s most fascinating animals.

Harrah’s San Diego

Harrah’s San Diego is a premier resort and casino located in Valley Center, California, offering an outstanding experience for visitors. The resort features a casino, several restaurants, and an events center, making it a one-stop destination for entertainment.


The casino at Harrah’s San Diego is a great place to try your luck and have some fun. With over 1,700 slot machines and 60 table games, you’re sure to find something that suits your style. The casino also features a private high-limit slot area, where you can enjoy higher stakes and more exclusive gaming.


Harrah’s San Diego offers several dining options to suit every taste and budget. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a gourmet meal, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings. The restaurants at Harrah’s San Diego include:

  • Fiore Steakhouse: A fine dining restaurant offering prime steaks and fresh seafood
  • ‘ritas Cantina: A casual Mexican restaurant serving tacos, burritos, and margaritas
  • The CafĂ©: A 24-hour restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Earl of Sandwich: A sandwich shop offering hot sandwiches, salads, and wraps

Events Center

The events center at Harrah’s San Diego is a great place to catch a show or attend an event. The center features a 1,200-seat theater, where you can enjoy live music, comedy shows, and other performances. The center also hosts conferences, meetings, and other events, making it a versatile space for any occasion.

Overall, Harrah’s San Diego offers a unique and exciting experience for visitors. Whether you’re looking to try your luck at the casino, enjoy a delicious meal, or catch a show, Harrah’s San Diego has something for everyone.

Escondido and Palomar Mountain

Palomar Mountain

Palomar Mountain is a beautiful mountain ridge located in northern San Diego County. It is known for its stunning natural beauty and for being the location of the Palomar Observatory and Hale Telescope.

The Palomar Mountain State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and picnicking. Visitors can also enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from the scenic drive that winds its way up to the summit.


Escondido is a city located in San Diego County, California. It is known for its rich history and culture, as well as its beautiful parks and gardens. The city is home to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which offers visitors a chance to see a wide variety of exotic animals in their natural habitats. The California Center for the Arts, Escondido is a cultural center that hosts a variety of events such as concerts, plays, and art exhibits.

Peaceful Surroundings

Both Palomar Mountain and Escondido offer visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the peaceful surroundings of the California countryside. Whether you are looking to hike through the mountains, explore the local culture, or simply relax and take in the stunning views, these destinations have something for everyone.

In Escondido, visitors can explore the beautiful Daley Ranch, a nature preserve that offers over 20 miles of hiking trails and stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is a unique sculpture garden that features a variety of colorful and whimsical sculptures.

On Palomar Mountain, visitors can enjoy a peaceful picnic in the shade of the towering trees or take a leisurely stroll through the state park. The Palomar Observatory and Hale Telescope are must-see destinations for anyone interested in astronomy or science.

Overall, Escondido and Palomar Mountain offer visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty and rich culture of California in a peaceful and relaxing setting.

Sample Itinerary For Valley Center

Valley Center, California offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

Here’s a sample itinerary for things to do in Valley Center:

Day 1:

  1. Morning: Start your day with a visit to Bates Nut Farm, a family-owned farm known for its fresh nuts, seasonal produce, and delightful gift shop. Take a leisurely stroll through the farm and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  2. Afternoon: Head to Harrah’s Resort Southern California for a fun-filled afternoon. Try your luck at the casino, relax by the pool, or pamper yourself with a spa treatment. The resort also offers various dining options to satisfy your culinary cravings.
  3. Evening: Catch a live performance at the outdoor venue, The Events Center, located within Harrah’s Resort. Check the schedule for concerts, comedy shows, or other entertainment events happening during your visit.

Day 2:

  1. Morning: Explore the beautiful nature in Valley Center by visiting the Hellhole Canyon Preserve. Take a hike along the scenic trails, admire the diverse plant and wildlife, and soak in the tranquility of the preserved wilderness.
  2. Afternoon: Indulge in a wine tasting experience at one of the local wineries. Valley Center is home to a few vineyards that offer tours and tastings. Enjoy the picturesque vineyards, learn about the winemaking process, and savor the flavors of the region.
  3. Evening: Have a delightful dinner at one of the charming local restaurants in Valley Center. There are several options to choose from, ranging from casual to fine dining, offering a variety of cuisines to satisfy your palate.

Day 3:

  1. Morning: Immerse yourself in history and culture by visiting the Valley Center History Museum. Explore exhibits that showcase the heritage, artifacts, and stories of Valley Center and its surrounding areas.
  2. Afternoon: Spend the afternoon at Keys Creek Lavender Farm, a serene and fragrant oasis. Take a guided tour of the lavender fields, learn about the distillation process, and browse the farm’s boutique for lavender-based products.
  3. Evening: Wrap up your visit to Valley Center with a memorable sunset experience. Head to one of the elevated spots, such as Palomar Mountain State Park or Daley Ranch, and witness the breathtaking views as the sun paints the sky in vibrant hues.

Note: This itinerary is a general suggestion and can be customized based on your interests, the time of year, and the specific days of the week you’ll be in Valley Center. It’s always a good idea to check the operating hours and availability of attractions in advance.


Valley Center is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a relaxing getaway. With its beautiful scenery and friendly atmosphere, it’s no wonder that so many people choose to visit this charming town. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities, delicious food, or simply a chance to unwind, Valley Center has something for everyone.

One of the best things about Valley Center is its pet-friendly attitude. Many of the local businesses and attractions welcome pets, so you can bring your furry friend along for the ride. Additionally, the town has a welcoming and friendly vibe, with wonderful people who are always happy to help visitors feel at home.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed adventure, this lovely town has something for everyone. So why not plan your trip today and experience all that Valley Center has to offer?