Everything You Need to Know about Moving to San Marcos, CA

Home to both a community college and a state university, San Marcos is an educational hub in Southern California, just north of San Diego County. It is where you will find a diverse blend of residents interested in traditional small-town life and access to culture, arts, and intellectual pursuits.

This growing city continually adds new outdoor recreation experiences to its thriving parks and trails system. Moving to San Marcos is an obvious choice for newcomers longing for a quiet, suburban life that offers upscale dining and shopping as well as outdoor activity close by.

Interesting facts about San Marcos

While many rapidly growing cities in San Diego County offer a kind of escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city, San Marcos is an interesting amalgamation of both the quick and the quiet.

Because it houses both Palomar College and California State University San Marcos, the city offers rich opportunities for new businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups to foster growth here, particularly in technology and medicine.

Buying a home in San Marcos appeals to those seeking an active lifestyle. The city has 35 miles of trails and dozens of family-friendly parks. It currently has a handful of new recreational projects underway, including the San Marcos Creek Project, which will improve flooding issues, preserve wildlife, and add more walking and biking spaces for residents.

The median housing price is $616,600, despite most homes for sale coming in at or above the one million mark. The diversity in housing, options for higher education, and access to arts, entertainment, and activity mean that many parents raising children to adulthood can expect their kids to remain close as they will have everything they might need right here within the city limits.

What to do in San Marcos 

There’s something to do for everyone and all interests in San Marcos, making moving here a smart idea for everyone

Discovery Lake

A nature oasis with a .8-mile paved path perfect for walking, running, or biking, Discovery Lake offers a break or even a day spent in the sun for those who love the outdoors. Visitors can relax for a delightful picnic with spectacular lake views or enjoy catch-and-release fishing off one of the docks, or both.

Double Peak Park

For more nature options, Double Peak Park is conveniently located within the city limits and climbs to a 1,700–foot summit, with views of the entire valley that stretch to Catalina and San Diego. The trail is easy for most people and can be taken on foot or a bike.

The Links at Lakehouse

Located at the Lakehouse Hotel and Resort, this 18-hole, par-71 golf course is challenging enough to last more than four hours, but the views make it feel like a retreat rather than a workout. Golfers can get lessons with a private instructor, hit some balls at the range, and enjoy an elegant meal at the restaurant after a nice long day on the green.

Sunshine Mountain Vineyard

When it comes to views, the scenery from this hilltop vineyard is hard to beat. Sample wines, learn about distinctions among local varietals, and bask in the glow of the ten acres of Sunshine Mountain Vineyard that overlook the Southern California coastline.

The California Center for the Arts

For a little arts and culture, right next door in Escondido, this venue is situated on 12 acres of parkland right next to the Escondido City Hall. Visitors enjoy live music at the concert hall, educational programs, a summer jazz concert series, and even an annual ceremony for lighting a Christmas tree.

South Carlsbad State Beach

Only 20 minutes away, South Carlsbad State Beach is a perfect getaway for San Marcos homeowners longing for the ocean. With white sand, sweeping views, and relatively warm water, this Pacific coast attraction is a regular refuge for many locals.

Where the locals eat in San Marcos

At the end of a busy day or weekend night out, San Marcos residents have plenty of fine dining and upscale restaurants to choose from.

Aria Restaurant

For a taste of the Mediterranean, Aria offers diners Persian plates and other fresh combinations of interesting flavors and aromas. The dining room is elegantly set with white tablecloths and wine glasses, and the food is overwhelmingly delicious. You’ll be grateful for the generous portions with their bright pops of color and scents of fine cuisine at its best.

The Bellows

As San Marcos is still rapidly growing, you will find fine dining establishments tucked into the most unlikely places. Such is the case with The Bellows, almost hidden in a strip mall. With its mood lighting and specialty dishes, this classy restaurant is a true gem for those who come upon it. Locals love the whiskey sour and the old-fashioned alongside a plate of pastrami drunken noodles or an artisanal flatbread.

Amalfi Cucina Italiana

With a hip, modern vibe reflected in the exposed hardware on the ceilings, the plants interspersed along countertops, and the interesting shapes and textures of the furniture, Amalfi Cucina Italiana offers locals both flavor and atmosphere. Overlooking Lake San Marcos, with outdoor seating, this upscale Italian restaurant wants you to come in for a memorable evening in style.

Getting around in San Marcos

Because San Marcos is home to two colleges, the transportation system is one of the better ones in Southern California. Students can get around without a vehicle. In terms of driving, this bustling little city is situated right on Highway 78, which stretches west to east from the 5, on the coast, to the 15, which runs the length of the valley, from south to north.  All of this is to say that getting around San Marcos is intentionally effortless.

The Ken Follis and Sharon Robinson Group

As experienced realtors serving the city of San Marcos and surrounding areas, it is our pleasure at the Ken Follis & Sharon Robinson Group to provide our clients with a glimpse into life in this delightful city. We have built a reputation as local real estate experts in the field of luxury real estate in San Marcos, and we have a rich inventory of homes to show. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your next home in San Marcos.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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