Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Ramona, CA

  • Published 2022/08/26

In San Diego County, California, the town of Ramona goes by the name “The Valley of the Sun.”

Situated along the foothills of the famous Cuyamaca Mountains, the place has a rural atmosphere with a good climate.

Did you know about the origin of its name?

Ramona once went by Nuevo.

However, the town became Romina after one of the inspiring works of the writer, Helen Hunt Jackson.

Ramona’s wine culture makes it more unique.

The birth of many wineries and vineyards in Ramona made it a staple in California Wine Country.

If you travel there, you’ll find most of its attractions relate to grapes and winemaking.

Check out the best things to do in Ramona, CA, to help you get started.

Join a Tour at Ramona Grasslands Preserve

Dirt trail at Ramona Grasslands Preserve

Sherry V Smith /

Located north of Highland Valley Road, Ramona Grasslands County Preserve remains a favorite for hikers and cyclists.

This park’s astounding 3,521 acres contain sensitive natural habitats, including wetlands and grasslands.

Within these environments reside approximately 408 plant varieties.

Likewise, the preserve supports a vast collection of categories, from butterflies to reptiles.

Lone tree and boulders on the grounds of Ramona Grasslands Preserve

Sherry V Smith /

Ramona Grasslands County Preserve aims to help conserve the population and habitat of these wildlife species.

Hike past the trails and spot a mountain lion or a bobcat while exploring the wilderness.

Try to visit on your own, with a group, or follow a guide along your excursion.

Equestrians are also welcome to practice their sport or take their horse for a ride.

Trail lined with fence at Ramona Grasslands Preserve

Sherry V Smith /

Sample the Wine Collection at Pamo Valley Winery

Pamo Valley Winery is one of the most memorable winery-turned-tourist spots in Ramona.

Known as the first woman-owned winery in the San Diego County area, this winery has served the community since 2000.

It got its name from the first location of its vineyard, overlooking the Pamo Valley.

Now, the winery stands four miles further on Black Canyon Road on Main Street, but the name remains popular.

Pamo Valley Winery specializes in handmade and locally-made wholesale wine from small wine producers.

Its notable partners include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.

Feel the privacy and high-end wine sample experience in its tasting room and wine bar.

The wine menu frequently changes, depending on the available wines for tasting.

Enjoy Nature and Wildlife at Dos Picos County Park

Take your trip outdoors with a camping journey at Dos Picos County Park.

This RV park on Dos Picos Park Road is an open site with partial hook-up sites and ADA-accessible cabins.

It derived its name from Spanish, which means “two peaks” in English.

This is because of the two prominent mountains right within the park.

Aside from the usual camping setup, you can also find traditional park amenities within the grounds.

These amenities include a pavilion, soccer fields, and picnic tables for a high-standard recreational encounter.

If you’re an animal lover, you’ll also love this park!

Coyotes, foxes, and skunks are only three examples of the many animals roaming Dos Picos County Park.

Birds like blue herons and woodpeckers also live in the trees lining up the site.

Meet the Animals at Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery

Ramona’s lined-up vineyards always have a trick up their sleeves!

This is true with Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery, which mixes a vinic excursion with animals and a farm.

Starting in 2006, this ranch and winery has raked in numerous awards in the past, including the 2014 Estate Tannat in the Sonoma County Grand Harvest.

If this doesn’t convince you of this place’s top-notch wine services, join its wine club and see for yourself.

Since Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery is along the riverbanks, it’s a familiar spot for animals too!

Eagles and exotic birds pop by from time to time to join the fun.

However, the fun really begins at the park.

This vineyard prides itself in having a farm that’s the ideal home for horses, cows, and goats.

You can take a quick peek at these wondrous animals while you enjoy the wine samples.

This winery is along the dense tree-lined Julian Road in Ramona.

Relax at the Stone Veranda on Vineyard Grant James

If you want a nostalgic wine sampling trip, put Vineyard Grant James on top of the list.

What started as three acres of property in 2009 has evolved into a seven-and-a-half acre expanse dedicated to grape harvesting.

Since its opening, it has striven for sustainability in farming and harvesting with better grape growing practices.

It also coordinates with other wineries across the town for scheduled events and shared altruism.

This place is also a boutique winery on East Old Julian Highway, showcasing Ramona pride with a luxurious view of its Ramona Valley Hills.

Hang around the stone veranda and get a feel of the Sangiovese vineyard at its peak.

Vineyard Grant James has everything, whether you need a vintage bottle or a straight-out-of-the-vineyard glass.

You only need to ask!

Ride a Camel at the Oasis Camel Dairy

If you didn’t put petting a camel on your to-do list on your visit to Ramona, you should.

The Oasis Camel Dairy arranges your camel petting and riding in many different ways.

This unique farm hosts open farm tours for individuals and groups who want to meet the camels and other animals.

For a cultural study, it also allows camels and handlers to wear costumes to honor native and religious celebrations.

Staff members work with professional designers and set masters for live events with the camels.

If you want to stay longer, the camel camp is the right choice.

Ride and feed the camels or, better yet, set up a tent on site where you have more time to connect with the camels.

Nothing beats the adrenaline rush you will feel riding a camel on this farm.

The Oasis Camel Dairy is on Highway 78.

Learn the Winemaking Process at Turtle Rock Ridge Vineyard Winery

Along Woods Hill Lane, you’ll come across Turtle Rock Ridge Vineyard Winery.

This winery started because of an unfortunate disaster in 2007 called the Witch Creek wildfire.

The Turtle Rock Ridge Vineyard Winery got its name from the monolith hovering over the site.

Owners Laurie and Jan have studied grape varieties in preparation and created their first vintage in 2008.

Enjoy exquisite wine sourced from Ramona and the California region at the vineyard’s tasting room.

Follow the guides as you learn more about the wine-making process.

Choose from a wide range of seating options—indoor or outdoor—to savor your red or white wine samples.

If you find them delicious, purchase a bottle to take home with you.

Buy a Handcrafted Gift at La Finquita Winery & Vineyard

La Finquita Winery & Vineyard mixes wine sampling with handmade crafting to create a one-of-a-kind souvenir for visitors.

La Finquita derived its name from the Spanish term for “Little Farm,” which perfectly describes all eight acres of the property.

Purchased in 2013, it shows an excellent view of the Ramona Valley.

Bring your curiosity as you step down the wine cave and watch the wine racks bathed in soft lighting.

What separates this vineyard from its competitors is an onsite boutique.

If you have a wine-lover friend or family member, bring them a custom-etched wine bottle from La Finquita Winery & Vineyard.

You can also buy logo souvenirs for your memorable take-home gift.

Find this winery at Vista Ramona Road.

Admire the Historic Textiles at Guy B. Woodward Museum

Exterior of the Guy B Woodward Museum

JERRY & ROY KLOTZ. M.D., CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On Main Street, the Guy B Woodward Museum is home to various buildings and artifacts meant to demonstrate American heritage.

Guy B. Woodward was an avid artifacts collector in the 40s.

He eventually collaborated with Ramona Pioneer Historical Society to open the Guy B. Woodward Museum.

In 1985, the museum moved from the Ramona Town Hall to the Verlaque House.

This wonderful French-style home features a veranda and a downstairs wine cellar.

When you sign up for a guided tour at the renowned museum, you are also signing up to explore the interior of Verlaque House.

Immerse yourself in history at the Old Steel Jail, which served as the town’s jail in 1915.

At the Millinery Shop, browse the museum’s clothing and textiles collection.

Go Birdwatching at Barnett Ranch County Preserve

Along Deviney Lane, there’s always much to see and explore at Barnett Ranch County Preserve.

This preserve features diverse ecosystems and natural habitats, including open water and woodlands.

This makes it a more conducive environment for thousands of plants and animals.

Birds regularly visit this preserve.

The most common species visitors are the white-tailed kite and the loggerhead shrike.

Bring binoculars and your handy bird study book and journal.

Take a breather after walking around 728 acres of property and multi-use trails.

If you’ve got a bike with you, you can also wander the trails.

Then, find a relaxing area to park your bike and take in nature.

You’ll indeed find the peaceful retreat you’ve been looking for at Barnett Ranch County Preserve.

Wander the Large Golf Course at Mt. Woodson Golf Club

If you want to have extreme fun with a mix of sports polish, let Mt. Woodson Golf Club take you for a joyous ride.

As one of San Diego County’s most scenic courses, this golf course gives you an idea of what playing in the majors is like.

Its 6,000 yards and par 70 holes comprise an ideal practice spot for beginner and expert golfers.

Likewise, it provides a natural preview of lofty trees and the canyon from afar.

A wooden bridge also brings a unique spin to your usual golf game.

Tee shots, such as the Whale Rock and Tree Tops, guide you over to slopes and challenging elevation changes.

Its other target-style challenges keep you guessing the obstacle you will see next.

Bring your clubs and hats to Mt. Woodson Golf Club and experience the thrill yourself.

Learn about Aviation History at Classic Rotors Helicopter Museum

Vertical flight technology wasn’t always a thing during past eras.

At Classic Rotors Helicopter Museum, you will surely appreciate how the rotorcraft came about.

You will also learn how this invention has affected the newer generation today.

This museum is in the Ramona Airport and displays a vast collection of vintage rotorcraft engines and mini-versions.

Check out the designs and power of rotor technology, including tandem, co-axial, and tip-powered.

Watch the museum’s planned airshows and take your educational rotorcraft trip to the next level.

Join fundraising events at the site or participate in volunteer work.

Spend the day at Classic Rotors Helicopter Museum!

Go Mountain Biking at Simon County Preserve

Venture into the wild at Simon County Preserve.

The vast expanse of the preserve gets you an all-access view of the sky during sunsets—the best time to relax and unwind.

You can also bring your mountain bike to zoom around five miles of trails and the inevitable climb to Ramona Peak.

From rolling hills to grassy meadows, the scenery on top is serene and awe-inducing.

Be careful, though, because the rocky trail can be dangerous for those just learning to race on their bikes.

You can hike instead when the trail goes steep and get your muscles working.

Get active at the Simon County Preserve!

Study the Sculptures at Rashelica Winery & Art Garden

Ramona may have a thousand wineries around the town, but you can never encounter two identical ones.

At Rashelica Winery & Art, your winery visit gains new depth with the presence of sculptures.

As you walk to the terrace, you’ll find a variety of statues—works from famous artists, including Herberito Mendez and Rafel Levy.

These works of art can make your wine sampling even more rustic and unique.

Stare at the detailed masterpieces while you play a game of bocce ball.

Otherwise, admire the sweeping view of the spot’s vineyards from the terrace.

Head to the Ramona Hills to reach the Rashelica Winery & Art.

Go on a Bison Tour at Star B Bison Ranch and Hop Farm

Star B Bison Ranch and Hop Farm is an exciting stop you’ll remember for years.

Upon its first purchase in 1979, the 1,050-acre empty property soon developed into a ranch and family retreat center.

In 1980, the site opened to serve families interested in the buffalo industry.

By then, the ranch had expanded into 1,200 acres, a decent size to house various cattle and exotic farm animals.

This ranch-and-farm is also Southern California’s biggest commercial hop farm, especially useful for beer brewing.

If you’re here to see the herd of bison roaming the fields, take a scheduled tour and see them yourself.

You can even avail of the bison consulting services to improve your knowledge on raising bison.

To end your trip, buy buffalo by-products and trinkets to keep as souvenirs of your trip to the Star B Bison Ranch and Hop Farm.

Final Thoughts

Ramona continues to amaze travelers with its wineries and vineyards with its rustic feel.

Book a trip to this beautiful town if you have room for some wine-tasting adventure.

Do you think you can complete this list of the best things to do in Ramona, California?

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