Welcome to San Marcos!
San Marcos can be considered a hidden gem in North County San Diego. The city is bordered by Escondido to the east, Encinitas to the southwest, Carlsbad to the west, and Vista to the northwest. It is an area that holds some of the best “city life” and ranch style aspects in an individual county. San Marcos is known for its own California State University, its renowned restaurants, and breathtaking views. Just about 10 minutes north of Cal. State San Marcos lies the quaint Twin Oaks Valley. This particular area is a horse lover’s dream. Twin Oaks Valley is home to numerous horse properties, training facilities, and trails. This county has something for everyone! If you’re looking for the equestrian lifestyle, or San Marcos horse properties, read on….
San Marcos is mainly home to equestrian centers- large equestrian properties equipped with facilities in order to have a training and boarding business- and some small, privately owned horse properties. San Marcos is one of the main inland areas to have a large variety of trainers. There are scattered private properties and breeding farms, but the area is mostly concentrated with trainers and large equestrian centers.
There are a handful of wonderful trainers in the San Marcos area of all disciplines. Rising Storm Stables is located just off of N. Twin Oaks Valley road. It offers a variety of trainers, hunter/jumper and dressage alike. Eric Vawter of Bay Point Farms and Sarah Baldwin of Brookwood Stables both train at Rising Storm Stables. Each are well known in the hunter/jumper world and have competed at the highest caliber of showing.
World Renowned rider and clinician, Bernie Traurig, resides in San Marcos. He offers clinics to all levels of hunter, jumper, and equitation riders.
Donna Richardson of Fox Run Farms teaches dressage on her farm in San Marcos. She has competed all the way up to Grand Prix level with great success.
San Marcos’ diversity in horse life is what attracts riders of all disciplines to this area. One can begin training with a top instructor, or take a more casual path and ride for leisure on one of San Marcos’ many horse designated trails.
The Twin Oaks Valley Equestrian Association (TOVEA) holds a big influence on the San Marcos horse community. TOVEA advocates for the equestrian and rural lifestyles in the San Marcos area and its surrounding communities. They have helped preserve Walnut Grove Park as a designated public equestrian facility in North County San Diego and designed an emergency evacuation plan for those who have horse properties. TOVEA has also created a Community Trails and Pathways Plan that is intended to develop a series of interconnected regional and community trails. Membership is open to all who are interested. Meetings are held the first Monday of every month at 6:30 pm at the Welcome Center in Walnut Grove Park. The passion and dedication that this association has surely makes a positive mark on the San Marcos horse community.
The “City Life” of San Marcos
One of the unique features of San Marcos is its diversity. We have talked mostly about the horse aspect of the county and not about the other wonderful qualities that this particular area has. Some traits that make San Marcos stand out is the modern neighborhoods, diverse lifestyles, and the multitude of recreational activities.
San Marcos is a great place to stay if you’re visiting the San Diego area. Its a little over 30 minutes to downtown San Diego, 20 minutes from the beach, and offers its own flavor of local activities such as golfing, farmer’s markets, and street fairs. There are many fine hotels to choose from, including The Lake House Resort on Lake San Marcos, Residence Inn, Hampton Inn, and many more. San Marcos is also said to have some of the best restaurants in North County. It offers a vast array of both familiar and exotic cuisines. If you have reached San Marcos Boulevard, look no further! Old California Restaurant Row is exactly what its name denotes: a section alongside the main street that has nothing but restaurants. Looking for a romantic dinner? Head to Carmela Cucina Italiana on Grand Avenue. Wanting to try something new? How about Pho San Marcos or Curry and More. San Marcos offers almost every style and flavor when it comes to restaurants.
This county offers many attractions for outdoor enthusiasts. Tucked away in the mountains is the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. It borders with Escondido and has many beautiful hiking trails. You can hike to see an overlook of Escondido and San Marcos. There are also trails closer to the University that lead up to Double Peak Park. Rated the #1 attraction of San Marcos, Double Peak Park is located just before the center of San Elijo Hills. It has one of the most spectacular views in the area, overlooking Carlsbad, San Marcos, Encinitas, and parts of Escondido.