Surrounded by mountains and desolate desert landscapes, El Cajon, California, is packed full of modern attractions but never compromises its small-town charm. "The Big Box," less than 20 miles from San Diego International Airport, is a city proud of its heritage, with museums and galleries celebrating the history of the American frontier. Stay in El Cajon hotels and discover California's Wild West past. Cowboy boots are optional!
Travel back in time and visit the Knox House Museum, the first commercial building erected in the city; it was constructed just 11 years after the end of the Civil War. This two-story, nine-room structure is a relic from yesteryear, with bright exterior walls that can be seen from a distance. Stay in cheap hotels in El Cajon if you're on a budget but still want to be close to Sophie's Gallery, less than half a mile from Knox House Museum, where local artists display their work. No trip to El Cajon would be complete without visiting the Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center, which exhibits paintings from artist Olaf Wieghorst. Pioneer settlers and cowboys are common themes in his work; you can explore his pastoral home and studio, both located on the museum grounds. Then head back to your hotel to relax.
Hotels in El Cajon put you within easy reach of many breweries where you can sample delicious local ales. San Diego County is known for its craft beer production, so try one of the many intensely aromatic, double IPA beers. Feeling hungry? Head over to Main Street for a hearty down-home cooking. Most restaurants in El Cajon serve Western-style snacks, such as meat, chili, corn fritters, and beans.
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