SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Lilac Oaks Campground, Valley Center

January 28-31, 2019

Tim, Joanne, Karen & Dick at Lilac Oaks Campground

Never ones to turn down the opportunity to get out the door for an RV trip, we jumped at the chance to join our long-time travel buddies, Dick and Karen. This time we were set to explore some sites practically in our own backyard. 

Our destination for the first three nights was Valley Center. Located in San Diego County, it is about a two-hour drive south of our cabin and twenty miles from the Pacific Ocean.

This is avocado heaven, and the surrounding hills are loaded with trees. San Diego County produces one-third of all avocados grown in California, and California produces 95 percent of all avocados grown in the United States. Growers took quite a hit by the recent water shortages in California, but hopefully with our reservoirs now replenished, they can thrive once again.

This is also citrus country. Oranges, lemons, and grapefruit were abundant and the ground was littered with what had fallen off the trees. I hated seeing them going to waste. Wishing a food bank could gather them and provide to those in need.

Lilac Oaks Campground

I’ve got to be honest, the reviews are less than stellar for this place, and there are some valid reasons. The bulk of the RV Park is occupied by year-round inhabitants, and there is a waiting list for full-time slots due to the recent fires.

Campground address and map. We were in sites 47 & 48

Rates, rules and facility information

But if you can look past some of the run down conditions, ongoing construction projects, and eccentric personnel & residents, you will discover a lot to enjoy. And that is just what we did…

Duck Pond

Quite a variety of water fowl

The highlight was the duck pond that we were able to park right along side. With a little juggling we extended the canopies and created our “compound”.

Our compound next to the duck pond

Our camp compound across the duck pond

Sitting along the bank, we  enticed the ducks to come close for a snack. We even stopped at a feed store to pick up special duck treats that included mealy bugs.

Some of the braver ones climbed the bank to say hello

This gorgeous goose ate right out of my hand

We named this one “Blackie” but he obviously has a lot of green feathers in the sunshine

Nighttime was quiet except for the occasional coyote howling. Two large egrets nested in a bald tree at the end of the pond.

Lilac Trail

Lilac Trail

There are several hiking options that we took advantage of. The Lilac Trail covers about one mile. The scenery included passing a couple more ponds, scrub oak, Chaparral, a small creek, tent camping areas, amphitheater, picnic areas, and large granite boulders.

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I read that in the springtime the hills are covered with wild lilac (hence the campground name).

The guys fixing us breakfast

The guys fixed us a hearty breakfast one morning that included bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes and fresh squeezed orange juice.

Pretty nice feast!

Karen prepared the bulk of the evening meals that included BBQ chicken one night and steak another. We do eat well when we travel.

Tim enjoying the rugged setting

Joanne taking in the moment

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we could look beyond what others have found fault with. Sitting by the duck pond, soaking up the sunshine and nature was so relaxing. Enjoying a glass of wine over hors d’oeuvres, playing cards well into the evening and laughing until we cried created more wonderful memories. And of course, sharing the experience with dear friends made it all the richer.

COMING NEXT: A special Travelzoo offer Karen found for a winery and lunch in Temecula.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
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14 Responses to SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Lilac Oaks Campground, Valley Center

  1. sheilsm says:

    Nice to see you traveling again! Nothing wrong with exploring areas close to home!


  2. KT says:

    “Today I am grateful that we could look beyond what others have found fault with.” I think if we can all ingrain the recipe for that, we’d have world peace.


  3. joliesattic says:

    That is a nice area.


  4. mitzybricker says:

    What fun y’all have! Wonderful!

    Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia


  5. Looks like you had a wonderful time and the things for which you are grateful as so important, especially looking beyond things others find fault with or looking past faults as well as being able to laugh together with friends.



  6. Widdershins says:

    We look so long at the horizon, sometimes, that we can’t see what’s right next door. 😀 … lovely shot of Monsieur PompadourDuck! 😀


  7. Melissa Leebaert says:

    I love the way you can turn toward the duck pond to make it a beautiful experience. It looks like fun. oxoxoxxo


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