1. P Mountain
When you are in San Marcos, you absolutely cannot miss P Mountain.
The letter P is spelled out with white rocks and lights up the hillside.
The landmark can be seen from all over town and sooner or later you’ll want to get close to it.
It’s a very easy hike up P Mountain and your kids will have a blast.
What does the P stand for? Well, it stands for Palomar of course, as in Palomar College right next to it.
Address: W Borden Rd & Comet Cir W, San Marcos, CA 92069
2. Sky Zone
This is a popular trampoline park in North County San Diego.
Sky Zone is basically a giant playground where you can just let go of your kids and let them have lots of fun.
Conveniently, they also sell food and drinks.
Also great for birthday parties!
Address: 860 Los Vallecitos Blvd, San Marcos, CA 92069
3. Jack’s Pond
Jack’s Pond is a nice park with lots of room for the kids to play and a nearby pond with hiking trails.
Address: 986 La Moree Rd San Marcos, CA 92078
4. Double Peak Trail
This is one of the most stunning hikes in all of San Diego County.
The Double Peak Trail starts down at Discovery Lake and goes uphill to Double Peak. When you arrive at the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas of San Marcos and the surrounding areas.
It’s not a difficult hike but it can take quite some time. Set aside about 3 hours, which would be 1.5 to 2 hours on the way up and about 1 hour back down.
Address: 944 Mendocino Dr, San Marcos, CA 92078
5. Discovery Lake
Discovery Lake is a perfect place to relax with the family.
The kids can have fun with the ducks or do some fishing on the pier.
There’s also a really cool playground for them.
The path that goes around the lake makes for an easy enjoyable walk.
Address: 650 Foxhall Dr, San Marcos, CA 92078
6. Double Peak Park
This is your destination when you hike up the Double Peak Trail but you can also drive to it directly.
There’s plenty of parking usually.
Double Peak Park includes a playground and an amphitheater.
There’s also a caretaker’s residence. (I believe they get to live there for free as part of their job. That must have been like winning the lottery!)
Most people come for the 360-degree views you get of the surrounding area and the Pacific Ocean.
The free telescope is a nice touch.
Address: 900 Double Peak Drive, San Marcos, CA 92078
7. Walnut Grove Park
Walnut Grove Park has got to be the biggest park in the Twin Oaks Ranch area of San Marcos.
It’s very expansive to say the least.
Lots of space to picnic, bbq, play soccer and enjoy the day.
There’s even an equestrian center if your kids like to ride or watch horses.
Be sure to check the calendar. The city organizes special events in this park, like Easter Egg Hunts!
Address: 1950 Sycamore Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069
8. Golden Door Country Store
The Golden Door Country Store belongs to the Golden Door Luxury Resort & Spa.
The resort is world-famous and frequently attracts celebrities for extended stays.
As you can imagine, it’s not cheap to spend a week at the Golden Door resort.
The Golden Door is known for healthy living and in fact grows their own organic fruits and vegetables.
Their country store is your chance to get a small taste of that quality produce even of you are not staying at the resort.
Address: 314 Deer Springs Road, San Marcos, CA 92069
9. Ding Tea
If you are new to the world of bubble tea, you might not know it but there’s a lot behind the Ding name.
Ding Tea is actually one of the leading bubble tea chains in Taiwan, the homeland of bubble tea (also known as boba).
The San Marcos location is one of their first establishments in North America and has quickly made a name for itself in the local community.
Whether it’s your first time or you are a long-time boba fan, Ding Tea is your chance to taste some of the best bubble tea there is.
Address: 6 Creekside Drive, Suite 500, San Marcos, CA 92078
10. Cal State San Marcos
California Sate University, San Marcos is the major university in North County San Diego.
If you are in San Marcos, it’s definitely worth exploring.
Schedule a tour or check out their Featured Events calendar for things to do on campus.
Address: 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd. San Marcos CA, 92096
11. Bradley Park
Bradley Park is one of the original neighborhood parks in San Marcos, CA.
If your kids like baseball, this is the park you’ll want to take them to.
But really the number one reason why Bradley Park makes this list is because it’s host to the annual San Marcos July 4th fireworks show.
Celebrating July 4th at Bradley Park is an experience you don’t want to miss.
Of course, the fireworks show is spectacular. There’s also a fair with great food, drinks and games. And to top it all off, you have the mayor giving a speech and a local high school student singing the national anthem!
Address: 1587 Linda Vista Drive, San Marcos, CA 92078
12. Palomar College Arboretum
The Palomar College Arboretum is a hidden gem of North County San Diego. It’s completely free to the public. Enjoy the walk through nature.
Address: 1140 West Mission Road, San Marcos, California 92069
13. Las Posas Pool
This city-run neighborhood pool is the perfect place for your kids to learn swimming and take a break from the summer heat.
Address: 1387 W. Borden Road, San Marcos, CA 92069
14. Lake San Marcos
Enjoy upscale dining, stroll around or better yet, ride a boat on Lake San Marcos.
You can even go for an Italian gondola cruise!
Address: 1035 La Bonita Dr San Marcos, CA 92078