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Escape to Escondido

Bountiful landscapes, alluring charm

With its temperate year-round climate, varied terrain and abundance of outdoor activities, Escondido is the perfect launchpad for exploring North Inland’s vast open spaces.

Hotels, Activities, Restaurants, Events & More!

Nestled within the foothills of North Inland San Diego, Escondido is rich in history and culture. One of the oldest cities in San Diego County, it is home to the world-class California Center for the Arts, Niki de Saint Phalle’s vibrant sculpture garden, and a charming downtown lined with restaurants, museums, art galleries and eclectic shops. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a must-see attraction and Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is serving up the best food to pair with their world-class beers. You also don’t have to venture far to find yourself hiking and mountain biking at Daley Ranch, fishing at Dixon Lake or wine tasting at a local vineyard.

Rancho Bernardo Inn

Hotels

California Center for the Arts Escondido

Activities

  • Escape to the savannas of Africa at the 1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park where you’ll witness more than 3,500 rare and exotic animals roaming free within several large habitats. Venture into the enclosures aboard the African Tram to view giraffes, rhinos, antelope and more; come face-to-face with animals from a Caravan, Cart or Behind-the-Scenes Safari; and soar like a California condor over the wildlife with a Flightline Safari.
  • From Broadway musicals and dance performances to heart-felt theatrical experiences, the California Center for the Arts, Escondido showcases a vibrant and eclectic season of world-class entertainment in its large concert hall and 400-seat theater. The 12-acre campus also boasts a museum featuring painting, sculpture, photography and installations highlighting the art of this century.
  • Tucked away in Escondido’s Kit Carson Park, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is the only American sculpture garden created by internationally acclaimed French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle. The garden is filled with nine monumental sculptures covered by reflective colored tiles and stones that symbolize mythic figures related to California’s history. A maze-like pathway guards the entrance, while playful serpents encircle the garden walls.
  • Mountain biking and hiking enthusiasts can head to Daley Ranch, a 3,058-acre wilderness preserve with over 20 miles of trails winding through Engelmann oaks, coastal sage scrub, chaparral and grasslands. On the second Saturday every month, take a break for a ranger-led tour of the Ranch House and other period outbuildings.
  • Whether you’re looking to hook a record-breaking trout or catch something to fry up for dinner, a trio of trout-stocked lakes—Dixon, Hodges and Wohlford—provide the perfect setting for your next fish tale.
  • Test your luck at one of several nearby casinos, including Harrah's Resort Southern California, Pala Casino and Valley View Casino.
  • Relive Escondido’s early days at the Escondido History Center, a museum complex comprised of the city’s first library, a Victorian house, the 1888 Santa Fe Railroad Depot, a railroad car with model train and other buildings of historical interest.
  • Bringing the joy of discovery to little minds, the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum offers unique, hands-on exhibits where children learn through play in an indoor and outdoor setting. Experience-based programs encourage lifelong learning and awareness about cultures, science and nature.
  • Touch the past at the San Diego Archaeological Center, where you’ll find comparative collections of geological, shell and historical specimens documenting 10,000 years of regional history.

Stone Brewing Escondido

Restaurants, Breweries, and Wineries

  • Recognized as one of the nation’s best breweries, Stone Brewing produces rich, sophisticated and expertly handcrafted microbrew. Accompanying its signature beers, the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens offers an innovative, organic menu that leans heavily toward items that are locally fresh and naturally raised, tossed liberally with spices, unique sauces and influences from around the world, all served in a stunning setting that features award-winning architecture and a gorgeous al-fresco patio.
  • Perched atop a Lexus Dealership, Vintana Wine + Dine serves modern California cuisine along with stunning floor-to-ceiling views of the Escondido Valley. Chef Deborah Scott crafts the up-scale seasonal menu filling it with bold flavors, including her signature Pepita & Sesame Crusted Brie and Skirts on Fire Salad.
  • Further north in Escondido within the resort founded by the legendary accordionist, bandleader and show host Lawrence Welk is the Welk Resort San Diego Canyon Grille restaurant. While serving up innovative California cuisine seven days a week, plus a first-rate Sunday Brunch, the menu still contains classics like Mrs. Fern Renner Welk’s Chicken and Dumplings and Lawrence Welk’s favorite Club Sandwich.
  • Set in the rolling hills of the San Pasqual Valley, the 70-acre Orfila Vineyards & Winery is situated within a 10,000-acre agricultural preserve. Tour the winery, taste their award-winning varietals and then picnic while soaking up views of the valley. Escondido's wine region offers over 20 diverse experiences from cool urban wineries with tasting rooms to hilltop terraces and spectacular vineyard views! A must-visit is the new Forgotten Barrel Winery that recently opened in the historic Ferrara Winery property.
  • A relative newbie to the craft brew scene, Jacked Up Brewery opened in early 2017. With their motto "Brew Drink Relax Repeat” and their family and pet friendly setting, they have quickly become a neighborhood favorite.
  • Located in the heart of historic downtown Escondido, Plan 9 Alehouse is a nano brewery and pub that rounds out their own brew offerings with guest craft beers from around the county. At the same time, you can satisfy your comfort food cravings with their special take on burgers and mac ‘n cheese.

Cruisin' Grand Escondido

Events

  • Every Friday night from April through September, hundreds of restored classics, hot rods, muscle cars and lowriders fill the streets of historic downtown Escondido at Cruisin’ Grand Escondido. The event is so popular that it now has special theme nights, featured car clubs, awards and live entertainment.
  • Savor the diverse culinary flavors of Escondido each January during Dine Out Escondido! Restaurant Week. Enjoy scrumptious specials from over 30 of their highly-acclaimed chefs, restaurateurs, and eateries.
  • Whatever your favorite tamale – gourmet, sweet or traditional – you can find it at the Escondido Tamale Festival in Grape Day Park in November. Music, stage performances, and a Chihuahua Costume Contest and Fashion Show are also part of this celebration of the Tamale and other Latin foods that have become iconic staples of California’s culture.
  • Celebrating Escondido’s role as a primary location for the birthplace of California wine-making, the Grape Day Festival, originally begun in 1908, takes place at the aptly-named Grape Day Park. A grape stomp, pie eating contest, chili cook-off between the fire and police departments, entertainment, and craft beer and wine garden are only part of the modern day fun.
  • Each December at the San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park, hundreds of living history devotees reenact the brief but bloody 1846 San Pasqual Battle, part of the army’s war to win California from Mexico. The park also features a Visitor Center overlooking the battle site, the American soldiers’ campsite, a ½ mile historic trail and picnic areas. 

ESCONDIDO VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER

The Escondido Visitor Information Center is open Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and offers visitors guides, brochures, maps and event information.

ESCONDIDO TRANSIT CENTER

The Escondido Transit Center provides multiple connections within San Diego County.

  • The SPRINTER light rail train system connects Escondido and Oceanside along the Highway 78 corridor, with 15 stations on the 22-mile line.
  • Express bus service runs to downtown San Diego and local bus service provides access throughout North Inland San Diego.

Discover other ways to explore the outdoors in North Inland San Diego and make your plans to visit today!

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

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