Introduction to Santee, California
Santee is a city located in the eastern part of California's San Diego County, about 20 miles northeast of the city of San Diego. Nestled between hills and surrounded by lakes, the city is serviced primarily by California State Highways 52 and 125. Other nearby thoroughfares include State Highway 67 and Interstates I-8 and I-15. Neighboring communities are El Cajon (to the south) and Lakeside (to the east).
Known as Cowleston, the town was originally named for one of its founding fathers, George A. Cowles. Three years after Cowles' death in 1887, his widow married Milton Santee, a local realtor and surveyor. In 1891, she received permission to operate the post office under her new husband's name and two years later, the community followed her lead and changed the town's name to Santee. Prior to its incorporation in 1980, Santee had seen many of its choice areas annexed by its neighboring city of El Cajon. With approximately half of its land still undeveloped today, Santee is one of the few cities in the county with space to grow. No longer just a bedroom community of homes, the city now boasts major commercial centers in its downtown area and a business community which employs thousands.
Recreation in Santee
Santee has two major regional parks: Mission Trails Regional Park and Santee Lakes Regional Park. Started in 1974, Mission Trails has become one of the largest urban parks in the nation with over 40 miles of hiking trails, boating on Lake Murray, and camping at Kumeyaay Lake. Santee Lakes Park offers camping, fishing, and is the site of numerous annual events such as Spring Eggstravaganza at Santee Lakes, Movies by The Lake, and Santa at the Lakes. Another outdoor venue is the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve and Goodan Ranch, which offers over 5,000 acres of both natural and developed recreational acres.