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Like many California towns, Ramona owes its beginnings to the California Gold Rush of the 1800s. In 1870, it was a stop on a stagecoach route that ran between San Diego and nearby Julian. At this time, it was known by the name "Nuevo" because a nearby town was already called Ramona. It was not until 1886, after the town of Ramona ceased to exist, that Nuevo assumed "Ramona." Interesting to note is that the name itself derived from the novel by Helen Hunt Jackson, which chronicled the struggles of Native Americans in Southern California. The Native American tribe most closely tied to the area are the Kumeyaays, a once semi-nomadic people once known as the Digueño. However, Ramona's Southwesterly position and close proximity to Mexico has translated to a strong Latin cultural influence. Ramona is only an hour's drive to the United States/Mexico border, downtown San Diego, and local beaches. Moreover, residents and visitors enjoy easy access to the activities afforded by their natural surroundings. Beaches, desert landscapes, and mountains (which receive adequate snowfall for skiing) make Ramona a prime destination.
Ramona was named an American Viticultural Area in 2006 and has since undergone an explosion in its wine scene. There are so many vineyards with tasting rooms, you may not be able to fit them all into one trip! When you need a break from touring wine country, check out some of Ramona's historical buildings, golf courses, and parks.
Only an hour from the U.S.'s border with Mexico, it isn't surprising that there are so many Mexican restaurants in Ramona. All of them work hard to compete for your business, though. There are also several long-standing establishments in Ramona serving traditional American cuisine.
Coffee shops aren't too prevalent in town, but there are a couple of highly-recommended local places as well as a Starbucks. There are also a few breakfast spots that will give you a bang for your buck.
There is really no need to have a slew of nightspots in Ramona. The venues here do a wonderful job of providing you with everything you need to enjoy your night out.
The Main Street of Ramona is lined with fully-stocked antique shops and small, boutique specialty stores. You will be sure to find something to take home from your trip to California.
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