The 10 Best Lake Murray, California Vacation Rental Spots

Located in beautiful Mission Trails Regional Park just northeast of downtown San Diego, Lake Murray provides a number of engaging activities along its shoreline and on the water. The lengthy paved trail around the lake is popular with casual walkers, joggers, and cyclists. You can also go swimming or rent a boat and explore the lake, and you can try your hand at fishing from a boat or from the shore. The lake abounds with trout, bass, bluegill, catfish, and crappie. If you are interested in spending a lot of time here, there are many vacation rentals near Lake Murray to stay at for your getaway. Here are the ten best places to look for a vacation rental near Lake Murray.

1. La Mesa

la mesa

Source: Flickr/David Foltz

Known as the jewel of the hills, La Mesa lies just south of Lake Murray and 9 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Pleasant urban walking trails, including a number of “secret stairs” traversing various hilly neighborhoods, characterize vacation rental areas throughout the city. It abounds in picturesque small parks where you and the kids can stroll, play, and have picnics in the wonderful warm Southern California climate. Enjoy a round of golf at Sun Valley Golf Course in MacArthur Park, which is right in the middle of La Mesa.

2. El Cajon

swan

Source: Flickr/Nick Chill

Located just east of Lake Murray, vacation rentals in the city of El Cajon bask in a warm Mediterranean climate for most of the year. The freeway system allows you easy access to the lake, the Pacific Ocean, downtown San Diego, Scripps Ranch, and other attractions. Within El Cajon, visit the Knox House Museum, St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center and Garden, and the El Cajon Farmer’s Market.

3. Santee

santee

Source: Flickr/Linda Balon

Santee is a beautiful suburb northeast of Lake Murray that lies along the San Diego River. Step out of your vacation rental, and stroll along the trails and through the parks lining the river. Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve offers opportunities for fine fishing. Try out your rock climbing skills at the famous Santee Boulders. Enjoy the free concerts at the 10-week annual Santee Wine and Bluegrass Festival.

4. Clairemont

tecolote natural park

Source: Flickr/MR MAO PICS

Clairemont is a neighborhood that lies west of Lake Murray, a stunning area of rolling mesas cut by steep canyons. Many vacation rentals in Clairemont have stunning views of the Pacific Ocean or the mountains to the east of San Diego. Besides easy access to Lake Murray, while is only a few minutes away by freeway, Clairemont has Marian Bear Memorial Park and Tecolote Canyon Natural Park, both of which offer opportunities for hiking, cycling, jogging, picnicking, and bird watching. Play 18 holes at Tecolote Golf Course, which is in a beautiful location in Tecolote Canyon.

5. Mission Valley

presidio park

Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

Located a few minutes west of Lake Murray along Interstate 8, the Mission Valley neighborhood lies along the San Diego River just north of downtown San Diego. Vacation rentals in the area have prime access to quality sightseeing and shopping. To the southwest is Presidio Park, and just next to the park is the fascinating Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, with its well-preserved adobe buildings and abundant historical museums. Mission Valley is shopping paradise, featuring three major shopping malls: Westfield Mission Valley, Fashion Valley Mall, and Hazard Center Mall.

6. Mission Beach

mission beach

Source: Flickr/slack12

Due west of Lake Murray at the end of Interstate 8 is pleasant, laid back Mission Beach. Many of its entertaining attractions lie within walking distance of your vacation rental, including the world-famous SeaWorld San Diego. Stroll, cycle, skateboard, or rollerblade along the boardwalk that parallels the waterfront. Thrill to the Giant Dipper Roller Coaster in Belmont Park amusement park. Ply the Pacific Ocean waves with your boogie board or surfboard. The Wave House features wave machines where enthusiasts can flow-board or body-board in controlled safety.

7. Pacific Beach

pacific beach

Just to the north of Mission Beach, and also within easy reach of Lake Murray, is enigmatic Pacific Beach, known to locals as PB. Whereas Mission Beach has a laid-back atmosphere despite its many attractions, PB is more active and dynamic. Wide beaches near your vacation rental give the kids plenty of space to play, and shops renting gear and accessories for any type of water sports line the boardwalk. A multitude of restaurants caters to every culinary whim. At night, PB abounds with nightlife, with many clubs and bars from which to choose.

8. La Jolla

la jolla

Surrounded by hills, La Jolla lies on the coast north of Pacific Beach and northwest of Lake Murray. Vacation rentals in this charming, upscale suburb have easy access to many unique sights as well as quality shopping opportunities. A number of coves and beaches are family friendly. The Scripps Institute of Oceanography is host to the fascinating Birch Aquarium. Art lovers can find endless enjoyment in the vast Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Golf enthusiasts won’t want to miss playing 18 holes at world-famous Torrey Pines Golf Course.

9. Kensington

kensington

Source: Flickr/Ken Lund

Located just a few miles west of Lake Murray, Kensington is a quiet urban neighborhood with Spanish tiled houses. Step out of your vacation rental, and take some of the most pleasant, peaceful walks in San Diego along attractive winding streets. Just to the north is Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, the first mission established in the area in 1769, and to the east is the beautiful campus of San Diego State University.

10. North Park

north park

Southwest of Kensington and Lake Murray lies the pleasant cottages and bungalows that comprise the neighborhood of North Park. Your vacation rental here is walking distance from Balboa Park, one of the highlights of San Diego. This fascinating area features over a dozen museums, including the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Art, and the San Diego Air and Space Museum. It has many botanical gardens where you can wander and enjoy the flora. It’s also home to the San Diego Zoo, one of the largest and most renowned zoos in the world, with over 3,500 animals to view.