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Discover San Marcos, CA | DrinkTanks

Road Trip Series: San Marcos, CA

Over the next month and a half, we are going to highlight six locations throughout the western United States that you should consider for your next road trip. We’ll share great places to eat, drink, rest, and of course, play at each stop. Check out these tips to make sure you are prepared for your next road trip. 

Up first is San Marcos!

Located about 30 minutes north of San Diego, San Marcos is a great spring road trip destination. Especially if you like being outside. Nicknamed “San Parkos,” San Marcos boasts 19 major parks and 19 mini parks — an impressive number for a city its size. 

San Marcos is known for its commitment to education. Home to Palomar College and California State University San Marcos, it has become the education hub for the northern part of San Diego. 

Places to Stay:


  • Lakehouse Resort: It’s going to be hard to top the view at this contemporary and chic hotel and resort. That’s because it overlooks Lake San Marcos, which also means easy access to water sports! But Lakehouse Resort is also a prime spot for poolside lounging if that’s more your pace. One thing is for sure relaxing will be a breeze at this bright and fun hotel.
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites: This isn’t your typical Marriott experience. If you are wanting something delivered to your room, you can enlist the service of Hubert — a guest service robot! How cool is that? The Fairfield Inn & Suites is also conveniently located near some of San Marcos’ biggest attractions. You won’t regret staying here while you are in San Marcos.
  • Escondido RV Resort: Located in nearby Escondido, this RV park looks like a little slice of paradise. If you’re living that van life, this RV resort is a must-stay. It features all the amenities you could want (pool and spa) — and then some. Got a furry friend along for the road trip? This place features a fenced dog area! Everyone can enjoy the sunshine.

Places to Eat:


  • Wild Barrel Brewing: Whether you prefer lighter beers like Kolschs or darker ones such as stouts, you’ll find that and everything in between at Wild Barrel. Its impressive tap list includes bold creations called Not Last Year’s Fruitcake Old Ale and Hipster Marshmallow Stout. And if you like Weisse beers, you are in luck, they are one of this brewery’s specialties. 
  • Fish House Vera Cruz: Being so close to the Pacific, you’ve got to enjoy some Seafood while you are in San Marcos. Fish House Vera Cruz boasts a truly impressive menu featuring just about every kind of fish. It’s mind blowing. If you like fish or shrimp tacos, good news — they are specialty items at Fish House Vera Cruz. But what really caught our eye was the appetizer list. Check it out for yourself!
  • Mama Kat’s: A great breakfast sets the tone for the day, right? You’d be hard-pressed to find a place that does it better than Mama Kat’s. You’ll find classic, hearty breakfast favorites here from waffles to chicken fried steak. Or maybe you want to try a breakfast bowl or loaded potatoes for a different experience. And the best part? Mama Kat’s features baked goods including pie! Pie for breakfast is always a good choice. 

Places to Adventure:


  • California Center for the Arts, Escondido: A quick drive from San Marcos, you’ll find a little bit of everything at this arts center – museum exhibits, educational programs, and even musical performances. Be sure to check the California Center for the Arts, Escondido’s events calendar to find out what’s happening during your visit or planned one!
    • Double Peak Park: Like we said, San Marcos is a park haven. A must-visit is Double Peak Park. It’s a perfect picnic spot and is great for families as it has play equipment and a picnic shelter. There’s also an amphitheater. And if you are up for a little hike, there’s also a trail connection to the park. The 4-mile Double Peak loop is considered moderately challenging and takes about two hours to complete.
    • Discovery Lake: We tried to warn you, so don’t be surprised but here’s yet another park. Enjoy the view of Discovery Lake as you walk around it — a journey that’s a little under a mile, making it perfect for the entire family. Another bonus is that you can walk to Double Peak Park from here. Give us all the parks while we are in San Marcos, please.

    Wherever you end up in San Marcos, don’t forget: Road trips are an adventure. Drink them up! 

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