Off the Beaten Path, San Marcos

Off the Beaten Path, San Marcos

I would imagine that San Marcos, California doesn’t show up on many preferred vacation lists.  It is just some random city in Southern California.  However, it does have a lake and would you believe that it has a resort that was named in the top 25 hotels in the U.S. by Trip Advisors in 2014?

For us, it is more of a staycation, a one day visit that will take us off the beaten path to not one but two lakes, although one of them only covers about five acres and probably barely shows up on a map.

Education, Eats, and Electronics
The town of San Marcos has a population of about 95,000 and is situated in the North County part of San Diego County.  It is home to the illustrious Cal State San Marcos University and Palomar College.

There are plenty of modern shopping centers in the area plus a few stores only exclusive to San Marcos. I’m talking Fry’s Electronics where you could browse the television section for hours or gaze at the giant fish tank that greets you when you walk in the door.

The other is, the eclectic Hobby Lobby which is right down the road from Fry’s and where you will find all sorts of decorations for the home or patio plus brilliant ideas if you are so inclined to be creative.   There are not that many of these arts and crafts stores around Southern California, so San Marcos does have one up on the other cities in the area.

Just off of San Marcos Blvd sits Old Restaurant Row which features 14 different eating establishments and a huge movie complex.   From Sushi, to hot wings, to Mexican and much more, you should be able to find something good to eat!

Scenery and Serenity on a couple of Lakes
Away from the restaurants and the shops, we decided to head off the beaten path to visit Lake San Marcos and Discovery Lake.

Discovery Lake is a small lake right in the middle of a residential area.  Just off of the 78 freeway, you will have to use your GPS to find it, as it takes you through a neighborhood of homes until you end up in front of the parking lot.

You don’t even see the lake until you get out of your car and walk a little. This five-acre lake is surrounded by a park plus hiking, biking, and walking trails. Dogs are allowed with a leash.

The trails around the lake are paved and make it really easy for all fitness levels to enjoy the scenery.    There are other trails spread out beyond the lake with some that extend higher into the hills. If you huffed and puffed on the lake trail, maybe you will want to stay away from those.   The paved trails make it so easy to walk with your family, dogs, kids in strollers, and wheelchairs.

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