Tecate is relatively safe and a reasonable 45-minute drive from downtown San Diego. I spent half a day there in February. Still, even there, incidents can arise. The police chief of Tecate was murdered by the drug gangs a couple of years ago.
If you decide to chance it, though, Taco el Guero is pretty tasty.
Most of the border cities are shitty at this time, for obvious reasons: they are centers of international drug and human trafficking. Those in the government who are not in league with the thugs are powerless against them, so it's not like there is anyone there who will take care of you if something goes wrong. There are going to be a lot of people there who don't want some guy from San Diego walking around with a camera. Go farther south IMO. I am not one to spread fear, but I feel a good warning is really warranted in this case. Whatever photos you can get there are really not worth it IMO. It is a shithole. It always has been, but now it is a shithole that has been completely infiltrated by murderous thugs and governmental corruption. It's really tragic. Mexico is such a beautiful place and has such lovely people for the most part.
I haven't been in Tijuana since 1966, I know, it was a long time ago. Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, Ensenada. They were fun places to visit. No more. I do go to Tecate every few months, A friend owns a small bar and we go visit and do some shopping, but I don't wander far.
Yucaipa actually being Oak Glen. Accessible from either Beaumont or Yucaipa, depending on which direction you're coming from.
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
>In the San Bernardino Mtns: Big Bear Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Rim of the World Hwy. A short drive east of Big Bear has you going very quickly from mountain vegetation and climate to desert vegetation and climate, even before much elevation change. Beautiful desert vistas. West from Arrowhead and you encounter similar on the way to Silverwood Lake.
>Idyllwild (San Jacinto Mtns.)Hwy. 371 through Anza to Hwy. 74, then 243 at Mountain Center to Idyllwild. Or right on 74 to go to Palm Desert and the Coachella Valley, which is why it's called Pines to Palms Hwy. Same fast change in vegetation and climate.
>Hwys. 76, 78, 79, all scenic and in some places, isolated.
>Palomar Mtn. State Park
>Pala Mission (actually an Asistencia) Pala Indian Reservation
>Missions San Luis Rey, San Juan Capistrano. And of course, San Diego de Alcala.
>Fallbrook and De Luz Road up to Temecula. Very scenic. Get off De Luz near Temecula and stay on back roads through avocado groves and get to the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. From there to Murrieta and I-15, or stay on back roads all the way to Hwy 74. All very scenic and surprisingly isolated. From 74 right to Lake Elsinore and I-15 or left to Capistrano and I-5.
The view from the Palm Springs Tram is stunning; you're at over 8000 ft., looking at below sea level desert. And the terrain on the mountain is gorgeous.
Thanks for asking for insights before going into a drug war zone to shoot some photographs. I'd hate to hear another life was lost to that issue. Popping off a few images in such a hot bed certainly would make a drugged up dope seller think you were with a rival gang, the federal drug agency or the CIA or the like. An AK47 never stops to ask if these photos were just going to be posted on APUG.
Some really good alternatives here in this thread. Some I would really like to do myself and will add them to the long list of places to enjoy.
Yes, I never knew it was THAT scary. I think I am never going to set foot there, now I am too scared. So Tecate is much safer in comparison? Because if we ever go on a trip (and I am sure it will be Vegas again which I don't like), it is much better to go to Tecate?
The Salton Sea is really interesting, and the people there are very friendly. We really enjoyed Bombay Beach and Salton Sea Beach, both communities with lots of decay to shoot. Don't miss out on hanging out in the local bars in the evening. The people there are really great to talk to.
Tecate seemed safe enough to me when I was there in February. It's a nice day trip from San Diego. Park on the California side and walk across. There is a good moneychanging shop on the US side if you need to buy pesos, or you can buy them in Mexico also.
Tecate is a very real-feeling Mexican town. Sure, it has a few shops which are dedicated to the tourist (like the shop where I got a nice Mexican blanket) but it's truly Mexican. Few people speak English, which adds to the fun.
I didn't shoot a single picture when I was there, but I had a good time. Lots of beggars looking for change (one wanted to sell me a Chihuahua puppy - that would have been a fun flight home from San Diego to Saskatchewan). But the people are friendly and not at all rude.
My biggest disappointment was that the Diana bar, just off the town square, had Tecate beer but not on tap! I like my beer on tap. But I had to have a Tecate in Tecate.
I just finished my last can of Tecate from Tecate last night. It's a good beer, and easy to find in San Diego as well.
Anyway, I don't pretend to understand the political climate of Mexico but it seems Tecate is pretty straightforward to visit.
That sounds really good. I am beginning to like Mexican Food now, and I think it would be great paired with Mexican Beer. :) Thanks, I set on going there.