Introduction to San Marcos, California
Located in the northern portion of California's San Diego County is the city of San Marcos. Situated 35 miles north of San Diego and about 95 miles south of Los Angeles, San Marcos is bisected by California State Highway 78. Adjacent to Interstate I-15, the city is also easily accessible to I-5, I-805, and State Highway 76. Nearby towns include Vista (to the northwest), Escondido (to the east), and Rancho Bernardo (to the south). The city is home to the local campus of California State University (Cal State) and also to Palomar College.
San Marcos derived its name from the name given to the surrounding valley by Spaniards in the late 18th century ("Los Vallecitos de San Marcos", which translates to "Little Valleys of St. Mark"). Settlement began nearly a century later when the San Marcos Land Company bought the former Los Vallecitos de San Marcos land grant and divided the land into tracts and sold them. Arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad nearby spurred the area's development, and by the early part of the 20th century farming, dairy and poultry production became prominent elements of the San Marcos economy. Incorporated in 1963, the city began to grow rapidly and by the 1980s became one of the fastest growing cities in California. Cal State's decision to build its new campus in San Marcos in 1989 was a turning point in ushering in the city's current state of fast-forward development.
San Marcos Attractions
Music and fine arts are active in San Marcos and North San Diego County. Theatre West is the city's youth drama program, offering five elaborate shows per year at the Hearth Theater. The Performing Arts Center at Palomar College showcases student and professional dramatic works. For outdoor recreation enthusiasts, San Marcos boasts 22 golf courses within a 30-minute drive of the city, including the course at Lake San Marcos and the Aviara and La Costa resort golf courses. Hiking, camping and biking are available nearby; and skiing and snowboarding can be found only two hours to the north in the San Bernardino Mountains. Events in San Marcos include the Grand Summer Festival, an August celebration featuring specialty foods and micro-brews, live blues & jazz performances, and one of the largest classic car shows in San Diego County. In March, the city celebrates its Carnival of Cultures, an international carnival where representatives from different ethnic groups host booths featuring international cuisine, traditional arts & crafts, and children's activities. Performances by multi-cultural dancers, singers, and musicians take place throughout the event.