Interstate 8 cuts across the desert borderlands between San Diego and Casa Grande, Arizona, where it connects to I-10 for easy access to Phoenix or Tucson.
If you're traveling with a family along I-8, you may find yourself wanting (or needing!) to stop for a picnic, take a short break from driving, or just to let the children burn off some energy. To help, we've identified ten of the best parks along Interstate 8. Your road trips will never be the same!
From west to east, here's our list of the Top 10 Parks Along I-8:
- Dusty Rhodes Park, just east of the beaches and south of Mission Bay, features two playgrounds and athletic facilities aplenty.
- Plumosa Park in San Diego: Tucked inside a pleasant neighborhood, Plumosa Park's large grassy area is a great place to fly a kite, run around, or walk the dog.
- Lake Murray Park in La Mesa is a great place to walk, jog, or fish -- barely 1 mile from I-8!
- Wells Park in El Cajon offers a large, lighted dog park, playground equipment, and athletic fields.
- Pine Valley County Park has picnic tables, a playground featuring a jungle gym, and tennis, basketball, and horseshoes.
- Desert View Tower and Boulder Park will surely wear the kids out, with boulder climbing, a maze, and silly stone carvings -- not to mention the view from the tower! A modest admission fee is charged.
- El Centro's Bucklin Park, one of the best parks in the Imperial Valley, features relatively new playground equipment, a pond with a fountain, picnic tables, walking paths, and a grassy field. Exit north on Imperial Avenue, then turn right (east) on Aurora Drive; the park is on your left.
- Holt Park in Holtville, California offers shaded picnic seating and a shaded playground area. From I-8, take the Holtville exit (SR 32) north 2.5 miles, then turn right (east) on Evan Hewes Highway. The park will be on your left.
- West Wetlands Regional Park in Yuma boasts over 3 acres of playground with a castle theme! Incredible fun for children of all ages! From I-8, take the Winterhaven exit (Winterhaven Dr.) south, turn right (west) on 1st St., then another right on 12th Ave. PLEASE NOTE: THIS PLAYGROUND IS CLOSED INDEFINITELY FOLLOWING A SUSPICIOUS FIRE (LATE 2014).
- Butterfield Park in Wellton, Arizona offers picnic ramadas, a jungle gym playground, basketball, and volleyball. To get to Butterfield Park from the interstate, take the Wellton exit and travel north for 0.7 miles Turn right (east) on Los Angeles Ave. (Old US 80), then take a left (north) on Dome St. The park will be on your left.
- Burleson Park in Gila Bend features a tennis court, baseball diamond, and more.
- Peart Park in Casa Grande features a playground, shaded picnic areas, and a rec center.
Do you know of another great place to stop along Interstate 8? Let us know!