Welcome to San Marcos
A lovely hillside retreat just minutes from San Diego.
San Marcos offers the best of Hill Country living without the high price tag or bumper-to-bumper traffic. The area is also North County’s educational hub and is home to Palomar College and California State University San Marcos. These prime educational institutions also contribute to the thriving economy of the area.
What to Love
- Plentiful education opportunities for all ages
- Great food and drink options to choose from
- Lots of ways to get outdoors
San Marcos has a great small-town vibe and hosts several annual events every month, giving residents ample opportunities to get out and participate in the community and get to know their neighbors. Having many ways to meet and greet each other helps residents here feel truly at home.
Dining, Entertainment, and Shopping
On the sunny shores of Lake San Marcos is the fantastic Decoy Dockside Restaurant. With delicious food and their fun floating lakefront bar, this restaurant makes for a great night out.
Mama Kat’s Restaurant is one of the many reasons that San Marcos has a charming small-town feel. This old-fashioned, family-owned and operated cafe takes its name from the hobo code that transient workers used to tell each other about the inhabitants of different locations using symbols. The cat in hobo code meant that a kind woman lived there, and the name Mama Kat’s is a lovely homage to the spirit of the owner’s mother. No visit to Mama Kat’s is complete without a piece of their tasty pies.
Alongside the wonderful local eateries, San Marcos also has a thriving craft beer and wine community. Rip Current Brewing is an award-winning brewery located in the heart of what is known locally as the Hop Highway off Highway 78. They offer a large variety of beers from around the world, including 19 on tap. Make sure you check out their expansive beer bottle collection!
Mediocrity Mead is another great location to seek out in the San Marcos area. Originally having begun as a beekeeping operation with more than 6 million bees, this unique brewery’s “bee-to-bottle” approach has brought a spirit of innovation to a drink that has been made for thousands of years.
The Sunshine Mountain Vineyard is located near the world-famous Temecula vineyards. This vineyard stretches across 10 acres of California hillside and produces wines that combine California wildness with European sophistication. Visitors can enjoy a tasting on their patio while they take in the views, or they can join one of many wine clubs.
Things to Do
The Buena Creek Gardens is a part nursery and part garden that specializes in rare and unusual plants and is known as one of the hidden gems of San Marcos. Visitors are more than happy to while away an afternoon surrounded by nature, whether they are there to indulge their green thumb or not.
Another fun outdoor attraction is Sunset Park, which stands out because of its striking snake sculpture and mix of entertaining activities, from the splash pad to the playground to the multiple lighted sports fields and courts. Woodland Park and Pool is a safe and serene location to get out in nature. The pool has swim classes for all ages and the park has a duck pond, well-outfitted playgrounds, and an open play area.