Ramona: San Diego’s Must-Visit Town

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As a San Diego native, I have become pretty familiar with the things to do and see within this fabulous county. Many tourists come for the beautiful beaches. La Jolla Shores and Fletcher Cove are two favorites. Of course, there are many fun things to do around downtown including beautiful Little Italy, The Gaslamp District, Liberty Station, and who could miss Old Town. Inland, many tourists and residents travel the hour or so east into the mountains to get a taste of the famous Julian apple pie. Julian is known for its pie, small mountain boutiques, and snow in the wintertime. There will be more to come on Julian, undoubtedly as we transition into apple season where the orchards will become alive with families of pickers.

As folks head out to Julian, they usually take highway 67, which leads them right through the town of Ramona. While it’s not the destination in these cases, it often gets added to the list for future exploration. Ramona has grown tremendously over the last decade or so. Known for its countryside and large homes with big front yards, which is unique in San Diego, the real estate market has brought many potential buyers to Ramona. For those that like a country drive and small town feel, Ramona is the perfect place to settle down. But what to do in Ramona?

Turtle Rock Ridge Wine
Photo taken by Jessie Marchese

Because there is room for many many grapevines, some fabulous wineries have come to be. Wine connoisseurs have definitely taken notice of what Ramona has to offer, especially with over one hundred wineries to visit. One of my personal favorites is Turtle Rock Ridge Winery. I am in good company. Laurie of Turtle Rock Ridge began in 2008, and has not skipped a beat. Now, not only is Turtle Rock Ridge a popular destination for both tourists and locals, but its love has spread to major distributors and tasting rooms. Ramona restaurants pour the signature “Hello Gorgeous” red blend with pride. You can find Turtle Rock Ridge varieties in Costco, Rose’s Tasting Room in Old Town, and The Barn of Northpark.

Happy Hens at Eben-Haezer Poultry Ranch
Photo by Amanda Colwell

Because Ramona has an abundance of land, its no surprise that there are family owned vegetable stands where you can pick up the freshest produce around. There are also ranches where you can get farm fresh eggs, and not just any eggs. Free range takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to this Ramona egg ranch. Eben-Haezer Poultry Ranch Happy Hens has made it their ultimate goal to create an environment devoted to raising happy and healthy chickens. Of course, the proof is the perfect eggs that you can pick up when you make Ramona a destination. If you visit Ramona, be sure to visit Eben-Haezer. Their farm to your table is their ultimate goal. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Brussel Sprouts at Marinade on Main
Photo taken by Jessie Marchese

If you are looking for a fabulous meal in Ramona, be sure to visit Marinade on Main. This quaint gem, established in 2016, is a must taste when it comes to Ramona eats. If you are a vegetable lover, try the Brussels Sprout Salad with a poached egg. Delicious. However, don’t stop at vegetables. Marinade on Main has an award winning burger, and is known for serving the “Best Dinner” in Ramona. From the modern rustic farmhouse feel to the five star dishes, Marinade on Main has been a real hit for both Ramona residents and visitors. Small town takes on new meaning at Marinade. They pour Turtle Rock Ridge wine among other local wines and brews. They also only serve the best farm fresh veggies from local farmers, and eggs that come from none other than Eben-Haezer.

Travis, Chef at Marinade on Main
Photo taken by Jessie Marchese

Jennifer, Owner of Farrellsstyles Salon
Photo taken by Jessie Marchese

Ramona has it all, from antique stores to beauty shops. Speaking of beauty, one special business owner has gained quite the following with the locals. Jennifer of Farrellstyles Salon always sends her clients off with a fresh new look and a smile on their face. Whether you are looking for a Friday evening up-do or a full on makeover, Farrellstyles will not let you down. Be sure to book in advance; this place is popular!

Before heading home, if you are in the mood for a ridiculous cup of coffee, Packards is a well-loved and absolutely delightful little coffee shop. Known for their Alaskan Mocha, a creamy chocolate frozen drink blended to perfection and topped with the thickest whipped cream ever. Nora, the owner aims to please. If you can make it for Sunday morning crepes, you are definitely in for a treat. It’s hard to find hand pulled espresso this good. Packards opened in 1993 and has served the town of Ramona well. Enjoy!

They say it’s not always about the destination, but rather the journey. In this case, they may be right. Enjoy what treasures you may find along the way, no matter where you’re headed!

Jessie Marchese is a native San Diegan with love for health, wellness and good eats. See her lifestyle blog here: She can be reached at





Writer, painter, hiker, foodie, and lover of all things fabulous! Be sure to check out my lifestyle blog at

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