San Marcos

Stunning wonder of natural preserves, nurseries, sprawling lakes, and expansive mountain views.


Welcome to San Marcos

A natural wonder surrounded by cultural diversity, expansive mountain ranges, and pristine parks
A nature lover's paradise, the San Marcos neighborhood is a stunning wonder of natural preserves, nurseries, sprawling lakes, and expansive mountain views. Nestled in the foothills of northern San Diego County, San Marcos is a fantastic place to live, work, and play. Offering miles of trails to explore, unique dining and shopping opportunities, and culturally diverse communities, San Marcos has everything you would need in order to live a beautiful life.

What to Love

  • Abundant outdoor recreational opportunities
  • High-performing and top-rated local schools and higher educational institutions
  • 63 miles of trails, 35 new parks, and 11 recreation centers, all constructed over the last 25 years

Local Lifestyle

Residents of San Marcos can choose to live in the exclusive lakeside community of Lake San Marcos or San Elijo Hills, both offering the best of luxury living with gorgeous (and affordable) views. The neighborhoods of this unincorporated community feature diverse housing options from brand new luxury homes to cozy bungalows or single-family residences. The draw of San Marcos is primarily its location — minutes from downtown San Diego and steps away from the beach.
Residents enjoy easy access to amenities of both but have no shortage of their own things to do within the community. From delicious, diverse restaurants to a plethora of outdoor recreational opportunities, San Marcos has it all. Relax in the peaceful, laid-back neighborhoods and enjoy the best life has to offer in San Marcos, California.

Dining, Entertainment, & Shopping

Overlooking Lake San Marcos is the impeccably authentic Amalfi Cucina Italiana Restaurant, an upscale dining experience specializing in artisan pizzas, homemade pasta, and the best wine options around. At Amalfi, you’ll feel like you’re dining in Italy — the atmosphere is perfect, right down to the wine selection, background music, and decor. You are guaranteed to “leave full, in body and heart” after dining at Amalfi. 
A leader of fresh seafood for over three decades, Fish House Vera Cruz at Restaurant Row offers rustic, ocean-inspired dining with an extensive menu. Whether enjoying a meal inside their gorgeous space or sipping a cocktail on the outdoor patio, Fish House Vera Cruz is the ultimate atmosphere for an upscale dining experience. Another tremendous culinary destination is Love Boat Sushi offering creative sushi rolls and Asian-inspired fare. But be warned — their presentation is so beautiful, you may not want to eat your meal!

Things to Do

In addition to exploring the beauty of Lake San Marcos, there are many ways to get outside and discover the enchanting wonders of San Marcos. Visit Double Peak Park, one of San Diego’s hidden gems, to enjoy breathtaking sunsets along a panoramic hilltop view. Dogs are also welcome along this path, so bring your furry friend for an easy hike with rewarding views!
The Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve offers 11 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails through their protected natural landscapes. Guests can walk through the wilderness or enjoy picnic spots throughout the reserve to relax and take in the natural beauty of their surroundings and maybe even spot a few elusive creatures!
San Marcos is just a few minutes away from Cal State University San Marcos and Palomar College, making it easy to attend their public events, workshops, concerts, and sporting events during the school year.


San Marcos is served by the San Marcos Unified School District, home to a number of excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:

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