Top 10 Things to do in San Marcos, United States

December 8, 2017 Sheron Bogner

San Marcos is a city in the North County region of San Diego County in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 83,781. It is the site of California State University San Marcos. The city is bordered by Escondido to the east, Encinitas to the southwest, Carlsbad to the west, and Vista to the northwest. Lake San Marcos is an enclave, or county island, in the southwestern part of the city, within San Marcos' sphere of influence but technically an unincorporated community.
Restaurants in San Marcos

1. Moonlight Ampitheatre

1200 Vale Terrace Dr, Vista, CA 92084-5249 +1 760-639-6199
Excellent
85%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 113 reviews

Moonlight Ampitheatre

Reviewed By davishert - Vista, California

The Moonlight amphitheater in Vista has become the pride of Vista. Their summer productions continue entertain even as their reputation grows. Indeed, as their reputation has grown, it has provided them increased opportunities to reach out and get new talent. If you're in the area during the summer months, it's a must do.

2. The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum

3190 Lionshead Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92010-4701 +1 760-727-9492
Excellent
80%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 128 reviews

The Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum

The museum features wood and metalworking craftsmanship at the small end of the size scale. Exhibits include running internal and external combustion engines, model ships, aircraft and autos, tools, clocks, jewelry, guns and dollhouses. Small Engines are run in our working machine shop each day at 10, 12 and 2 PM. Admission is free, and regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday 9 to 4. The museum is sponsored by the non-profit Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship and partially funded by Sherline Products Miniature Machine Tools.

Reviewed By Brackstead - Carlsbad CA

Great small (but not tiny) museum tucked away in Industrial buildings. Its inland Carlsbad near Bressi Ranch.

Fascinating to me and sons and Grandsons. Anyone who appreciates engineering and making precision working models to scale will totally appreciate this. Some of the models take your breath away particularly the miniature cars with working engines. There must be thousands of people years invested in creating this stuff.

There are Dolls house and other models so all can appreciate this.
Children can take away a lot from the experience regarding design, mechanical engineering, patience and dedication to perfection etc. plus respect for craftsmanship.

Leave a donation.
Docents very helpful. Its fun for children plus they do have some working demos. There is a very Heath Robinson style clock which is set off from time to time. Phone and ask whats on before going. Lots of Parking beside Museum. No food in Museum but jugs of coffee.

3. Double Peak Park

900 Double Peak Dr, San Marcos, CA 92078-2805 +1 760-744-1050
Excellent
76%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 103 reviews

Double Peak Park

Reviewed By ExploringViking96 - San Diego, California

This is the perfect park to check out the best views you can find in the entire county. You can see on a clear day from Mt. Laguna to Catalina Island and all of downtown San Diego. By far a great location to soak up the views and check out the sunset!!!

4. South Carlsbad State Beach

Carlsbad Blvd. and Hwy 101, Carlsbad, CA 92008 +1 760-438-3143
Excellent
65%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

South Carlsbad State Beach

This nearly five-mile stretch of beach is popular with families but also draws surfers and skin divers to the water and runners and cyclists to the boulevard bordering the beach.

Reviewed By Chip B - Powder Springs, Georgia

This is a lightly-traveled beach area, and was certainly not overcrowded during our February visit. We were at the "North Ponto" area of the beach. The kids enjoyed climbing on some of the boulders and rocks holding back the coastline from erosion, but there was plenty of sand for walking along the seashore. We parked near a bathroom facility and also noticed a lifeguard stand. Short drive to the rest of the Carlsbad area (within five minutes). A nice visit!

5. Stone Brewing

1999 Citracado Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92029-4158 +1 760-294-7899
Excellent
60%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 365 reviews

Stone Brewing

Stone Brewing was founded in 1996 by Steve Wagner and Greg Koch in North County San Diego, CA. It is the largest craft brewery in the southwestern United States and has been named "All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth" by BeerAdvocate magazine - TWICE! A recently announced $26.6M expansion plan (that includes a hotel among other lofty ventures) is underway, as are developments to become the first American craft brewery to open a brewhouse in Europe. The adjacent Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens plays host to countless wildly popular beer and dining events, and is the largest purchaser of local, organic produce in San Diego County, including a growing amount from their own Stone Farms! In addition to promoting ethical eating, the restaurant boasts a lush one-acre outdoor garden as well as a line-up of 32 rotating taps and 100+ bottled craft beer selections for guests to enjoy.

Reviewed By mtjtkd - Phoenix, Arizona

This will surprise you if you think you're going to a typical craft brewery tasting room. This is a really nice restaurant with outstanding food, most of it Asian inspired, although not traditional by any means. Beer is good too with a strong emphasis on IPAs. Has a nice gift shop. Indoor and outdoor seating.

6. Discovery Lake

650 Foxhall Dr, San Marcos, CA 92078 +1 760-744-1050
Excellent
53%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 29 reviews

Discovery Lake

Reviewed By ExploringViking96 - San Diego, California

Finding this park will require navigation if your not from the area. It is tucked away in a quiet residential area that is growing FAST! Unfortunately some the beautiful hills surrounding the lake are being developed...

The park and trails are very well maintained and can accommodate any level of abilities. The lake is filled with wildlife and there was plenty of people trying out the fishing dock. By far this is a perfect place to stroll with your dog, go for a run or hike, or see if you can catch a fish or two. There is a playground for the kids with a couple picnic shelters for rent.

7. Museum of Making Music

5790 Armada Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008-4608 +1 760-438-5996
Excellent
65%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 299 reviews

Museum of Making Music

This unique museum provides an exciting documentary of the last 100 years of American music through interactive displays, a focus on six different musical eras and a collection of musical instruments.

Reviewed By Kevin W - Sioux Falls, South Dakota

We went to the Jack Tempchin concert celebrating the 45th anniversary of the release of the Peaceful Easy Feeling song, one that he wrote. The capacity of the concert hall is about 130, so it was cozy and intimate. The concert was outstanding, afterward Jack Tempchin greeted attendees and signed autographs until all were signed. We noted that there were many upcoming concerts for the Museum that would be very entertaining in this atmosphere. If we lived in San Diego we would attend shows at this venue as much as possible. You should just do this one.

8. Rip Current Brewing

1325 Grand Ave, San Marcos, CA 92078-2451 +1 760-481-3141
Excellent
74%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 15 reviews

Rip Current Brewing

Reviewed By Shane M - Tulsa, Oklahoma

As part of a beer tour of Southern California, we decided to stop at Rip Current. Their IPAs are growing in popularity in the craft beer industry so it was worth a stop. They had a taco food truck parked outside dishing out delicious tacos to pair with our drinks.

As with most breweries we found it's located in an industrial park at a non-descript location. Once we parked, we went inside where the place wasn't too busy. They had TV's on with local sports but it wasn't too loud
Their various IPAs were top notch and worth drinking here with Lupulin Lust being the best.

A must visit if you are in San Marcos.

9. San Diego Botanic Garden

230 Quail Gardens Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024-2707 +1 760-436-3036
Excellent
66%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 446 reviews

San Diego Botanic Garden

Explore four miles of garden trails, enjoy restful vistas, flowering trees, majestic palms, and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. Thanks to our mild climate, plants from all over the world thrive here. Our diverse topography provides a variety of microclimates giving the visitor a sensation of going from a desert environment to a tropical rainforest, all within 37 acres.Located 30 minutes north of San Diego in Encinitas, California, San Diego Botanic Garden features numerous exhibits, including rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, a tropical rainforest, California native plants, Mediterranean climate landscapes, succulent gardens, an herb garden, firesafe landscaping, a subtropical fruit garden, and native coastal sage natural areas. In June of 2009, we opened the Hamilton Children's Garden, the largest interactive children's garden on the West Coast.

Reviewed By craftywriter - San Diego, CA

We’ve lived nearby for 15+ years and never went there. So glad we finally did. My sister, cousin, and 5 year old nephew went. Parking is $2 and adult admission is $14. You pay for both at the parking lot building.

The children’s garden is really great for kids. They have a large sand box, drum, triangle, and some noise-making bamboo. Large climbing structure in a tree that reminded me a lot of pirates of the Caribbean or Swiss family Robinson.

They do weddings there as well. Everything was set up for a wedding, looked really nice.

10. Batiquitos Lagoon

Batiquitos Dr, Carlsbad, CA
Excellent
66%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 163 reviews

Batiquitos Lagoon

Reviewed By RetiredHawkeye - Iowa

Batiquitos Lagoon is an amazing place for walking and bird watching in the middle of urban Carlsbad. It is one of our favorite places to visit when in the area. Local volunteers do a great job of keeping up the trail and hosting the Nature Center (with bathrooms). There have been a number of benches added which are great for just sitting, looking and listening. There are no charges but financial support of the Friends group is appreciated and used to improve the facilities.

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