Welcome to the city of San Marcos, California, where natural beauty, a warm community spirit, and exciting opportunities abound. San Marcos offers a unique blend of small-town charm and modern amenities. Whether you’re a long-time local looking for something new to do or you’re relocating to the area and checking out San Marcos apartments, this Redfin article is for you. From picturesque outdoor adventures to cultural delights and hidden gems, here are some of the top things to do in San Marcos, California.
1. Raise a glass to San Marcos’ impressive craft beer scene
“San Diego County is home to more than 150 breweries, and some of the most impressive and award-winning can be found in San Marcos,” says Brandon Hernández, Executive Editor of San Diego Beer News. “The city is home to 11 breweries, brewpubs, and tasting rooms, offering everything from traditional Old World beers to cutting-edge ales, and anything to best suit your sudsy style.”
2. Visit an aesthetic and Instagram-worthy coffee shop
“One of the best things to do in San Marcos is TERI Common Grounds Café & Coffee Bar. Situated on a 20-acre campus designed to provide enhanced opportunities for all guests, this charming café offers a memorable experience with live music, educational opportunities, delectable meals and brunches, and breathtaking hilltop panoramic views—all in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere,” suggests Lina Cardenas from TERI Common Grounds Café & Coffee Bar
3. Conquer Double Peak Park
Go on a rewarding hike to the summit of Double Peak Park, a prominent peak in San Marcos. Trek along well-maintained trails as you ascend to breathtaking heights, treating yourself to panoramic vistas of San Diego County, including coastal views and rolling hills. Capture a perfect photo at the summit, especially during golden hour, when the surrounding landscapes come alive with vibrant colors.
4. Stroll through Cal State San Marcos’ enchanting campus
Take a walk through the picturesque campus of California State University San Marcos. Admire the stunning Spanish-influenced architecture and tranquil surroundings, including a serene pond and meticulously landscaped gardens. Don’t miss the Kellogg Library with its impressive design, offering a peaceful atmosphere for reading or studying. Consider checking out any ongoing art exhibitions or cultural events hosted on campus for a glimpse into the vibrant campus life.
5. Retreat to Lake San Marcos for a day of relaxation
Escape to the tranquil oasis of Lake San Marcos for a day of relaxation and outdoor activities. Rent a paddleboard or kayak to explore the calm waters, enjoying the picturesque surroundings of rolling hills and lush greenery. Cast your fishing line and try your luck at catching bass or catfish. Unwind by the lakeside with lunch or hike along the scenic shoreline. For a unique experience, consider booking a sunset cruise to witness the stunning colors painting the sky as the sun dips below the horizon.
6. Explore the San Marcos Farmers Market
Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture by visiting the San Marcos Farmers Market, held every Saturday morning. Wander through the bustling stalls, filled with an array of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and delectable treats. Engage with local farmers and artisans, learn about their crafts, and savor samples of farm-fresh fruits, vegetables, and homemade delicacies. As you browse the market, be sure to pick up unique souvenirs and handcrafted items that capture the essence of San Marcos.
7. Visit Old California Restaurant Row
Indulge in a culinary adventure at Old California Restaurant Row, a vibrant dining destination in San Marcos. This eclectic collection of eateries offers a wide range of cuisines and atmospheres to suit all tastes. Savor authentic Italian flavors at a family-run trattoria, sample mouthwatering sushi rolls at a contemporary Japanese restaurant, or enjoy a hearty steak dinner at a classic American steakhouse. With its diverse culinary offerings, Old California Restaurant Row promises a delightful dining experience that will satisfy even the most discerning food enthusiasts.
8. Unleash your skills at San Marcos’ premier golf courses
Experience the ultimate golfing adventure in San Marcos by teeing off at one of its premier golf courses. Feel the rush of excitement as you navigate through championship-level courses, such as the renowned The Links at Lakehouse or the picturesque span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Twin Oaks Golf Course.
From the perfectly manicured greens to the scenic vistas that unfold with each swing, these premier golf courses in San Marcos offer an unforgettable experience for golf enthusiasts of all skill levels. Whether you’re seeking a friendly round with friends or aiming to improve your game, these courses provide the ideal setting to hone your skills while indulging in the beauty of the game.
9. Uncover the rich history of San Marcos at Heritage Park
Step back in time and into the rich history of San Marcos at Heritage Park. This stunning park showcases meticulously preserved historic buildings, offering a glimpse into the early days of the community. Wander through the corridors of the original town hall. Explore the quaint schoolhouse, envisioning the laughter and excitement that once filled its classrooms.
Marvel at the craftsmanship of the blacksmith shop, where skilled artisans once forged tools and implements that shaped the town’s growth. To truly delve into the stories of the past, join a guided tour led by experts or engage with interactive exhibits that bring history to life. As you wander through Heritage Park, you’ll develop a deep appreciation for the pioneers and the enduring legacy they left behind, painting a vivid picture of San Marcos’ fascinating history.
10. Explore the vibrant art scene at San Marcos Art Center
Indulge your senses and ignite your creative spirit at the San Marcos Art Center, where the vibrant art scene comes alive. The art center is truly a world of artistic expression as you wander through the center’s galleries, filled with captivating local artwork that reflects the diversity and talent of the community. Marvel at the brushstrokes of masterful paintings, the intricate details of sculptures, and the innovative techniques showcased in mixed-media creations.
Expand your own artistic horizons by participating in art workshops led by skilled instructors who share their expertise and passion. The San Marcos Art Center serves as a dynamic creative hub, fostering a welcoming environment where art enthusiasts and artists can connect, collaborate, and explore the boundless possibilities of artistic expression.