10 Things to Do in Escondido That You Shouldn't Miss

December 31, 2017 Leonarda Pillsbury

Escondido (/ˌɛskənˈdiːdoʊ/ ES-kən-DEE-doh) is a city located in San Diego County's North County region, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Downtown San Diego, California. The city occupies a shallow valley ringed by rocky hills. Incorporated in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County. The city had a population of 143,911 in the 2010 census.
Restaurants in Escondido

1. San Diego Zoo Safari Park

15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027-7017 +1 760-747-8702
Excellent
68%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Step into an adventure like no other at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park! Your exciting safari experience includes seeing herds of rhinos, giraffes, antelope, zebras, and more roaming natural habitats, a choice of guided safari expeditions, and beautiful walking trails to see exotic animals. Come experience the excitement of getting up close and personal with rare Sumatran tigers at Tiger Trail, the Safari Park's newest experience!

Reviewed By den r - Los Angeles, California

We've been to many zoos and animal parks and enjoyed the San Diego Zoo Safari Park immensely. All the keepers/staff were eager to help in giving directions or detailing an animal's behavior. Of all the parks in SD, we found the staff in this park to be superb in attitude and knowledge.

TIPS:

1. Don't miss the cheetah run and be sure to not stand where the trucks will enter. Across that area is the best for photography. Especially at the end when the cheetahs get a snack.

2. For the safari tram, sit on the left side to be closest to the animals.

3. Tram ride in the early evening is best as the animals are most active and sometimes getting fed.

4. The small critter shows are informative and let you see the animals literally an arms length away.

5. The gift shops have some unique items not found in the other SD parks.

Easily walkable for any ages. Even my 80 year old Mother and 9 year old niece had no problems ambling around this bite-sized park.

2. Double Peak Park

900 Double Peak Dr, San Marcos, CA 92078-2805 +1 760-744-1050
Excellent
76%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 103 reviews

Double Peak Park

Reviewed By ExploringViking96 - San Diego, California

This is the perfect park to check out the best views you can find in the entire county. You can see on a clear day from Mt. Laguna to Catalina Island and all of downtown San Diego. By far a great location to soak up the views and check out the sunset!!!

3. Stone Brewing

1999 Citracado Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92029-4158 +1 760-294-7899
Excellent
60%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 365 reviews

Stone Brewing

Stone Brewing was founded in 1996 by Steve Wagner and Greg Koch in North County San Diego, CA. It is the largest craft brewery in the southwestern United States and has been named "All-Time Top Brewery on Planet Earth" by BeerAdvocate magazine - TWICE! A recently announced $26.6M expansion plan (that includes a hotel among other lofty ventures) is underway, as are developments to become the first American craft brewery to open a brewhouse in Europe. The adjacent Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens plays host to countless wildly popular beer and dining events, and is the largest purchaser of local, organic produce in San Diego County, including a growing amount from their own Stone Farms! In addition to promoting ethical eating, the restaurant boasts a lush one-acre outdoor garden as well as a line-up of 32 rotating taps and 100+ bottled craft beer selections for guests to enjoy.

Reviewed By mtjtkd - Phoenix, Arizona

This will surprise you if you think you're going to a typical craft brewery tasting room. This is a really nice restaurant with outstanding food, most of it Asian inspired, although not traditional by any means. Beer is good too with a strong emphasis on IPAs. Has a nice gift shop. Indoor and outdoor seating.

4. Orfila Vineyards & Winery

13455 San Pasqual Rd, Escondido, CA 92025-7833 +1 760-738-6500
Excellent
50%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
5%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 205 reviews

Orfila Vineyards & Winery

Reviewed By mj45cal

What a winery. They have beautiful tasting room with all kinds of neat Knick knacks for sell. Clothing, food, chilled wines and a outdoor area to nosh and drink wine. Food trucks and entertainment. But the wines were the let down. Maybe it’s because we went to two other wineries prior to visiting Orfila which had some of the best Ramona/Escondido had to offer. The wines in one form or the other did not impress. We bought 6 tastes. The Viognier held promise as it filled the mouth but disappoints on the way down. It seemed to finish a bit short. The two Chardonnays were okay but for the price they were not worth it. The Lotus was a nice wine but seemed a bit flat. The rose really is a version of white zinfandel. For a first time wine drinker this is the wine to buy. The only red we liked was the Montepulciano. It was a nice wine. A bit tart but nice fruit. This is not the best representative of the Ramona/Escondido area wineries.

5. California Center for the Arts, Escondido

340 N Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025-2600 +1 760-839-4178
Excellent
64%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 118 reviews

California Center for the Arts, Escondido

With a mission of bringing people together to discover, create and celebrate both the visual and performing arts, the California Center for the Arts, Escondido is the cultural center of North San Diego County. The Center's unique campus includes a 1,500-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theater, a contemporary art museum, art and dance studios, and a full-service conference center with meeting and banquet facilities ready to host corporate gatherings, weddings and other special life events. The Center also runs an extensive education program and produces free community events, such as the Jazz Jam Sessions, 4th of July celebration, Day of the Dead Festival, Holiday Tree Lighting and WOW First Wednesdays performances.

Reviewed By travelernottourist - Mission Viejo, California

We had tickets for Pink Martini and loved the show and space. Seats are very generous in width compared to many theaters. The sound is fantastic. The seating is designed with ore Hester’s seating then multiple tiers and box seats. Did not look to be a bad seat in the house. We were in a Row D and when I saw speakers nearby worried about sound but it was great. Love that there is free parking and pleasant walk to theater. Mostly fast food restaurants close by. Bars were set up once doors opened and some snacks available. Restrooms are downstairs but staircase and elevators readily available.

6. Queen Califia's Magical Circle

Kit Carson Park, Escondido, CA +1 760-839-4000
Excellent
64%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 150 reviews

Queen Califia's Magical Circle

Reviewed By Joel K - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

This is a fabulous sculpture garden by Niki St Phalle. This is her fourth major installation. It is extremely creative, colourful, and tells many great stories. The medium and material is also unique. Limited hours of operation Tuesday and Thursday from 9 - 12 and Saturdays from 9 to 5.

7. Cordiano Winery

15732 Highland Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92025-3535 +1 760-469-9463
Excellent
56%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 152 reviews

Cordiano Winery

Reviewed By Jerry S - Elkhorn, Wisconsin

Attended nieces wedding at the winery. The setting certainly steals the attention as the area overlooks the Palomar range. We were fortunate and had a cool evening.

The wine was ok but certainly nothing to rave about. The meal was good. The cheese ziti very good as was the chicken Marsala. The salmon had a good flavor but was over grilled. A bit dry. Servers and staff very friendly and helpful.

8. Palomar Mountain State Park

State Park Road, Escondido, CA +1 760-742-3462
Excellent
52%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 96 reviews

Palomar Mountain State Park

This park's Sierra-Nevada like atmosphere is unique in Southern California.

Reviewed By jenLeCreate - Vista, California

Forgot how much we love this place! Palomar mountain is easily accessible off of I -15 and is over 6,000 feet. Probably best known for the observatory, the state park is something that you should not miss if you like the outdoors. The drive there keeps going up and can check out the views below (and what a view). Make sure you get some gas before going as no stations up here. This is a state park and day use is currently $10 per vehicle.

A few main paved roads go through the park and there is a unpaved road as well. Lots, lots of hiking available - everything from easy to very difficult. There is a campsite (plus a group site) that the sites looked like they were laid out pretty well (we did not camp here). Not just your southern California parking lot style. There is fishing - need CA license if over 16 - in a small stocked pond. A few critters around - deer, squirrels, crows. Lots of trees and other vegetation - berries yumm.

This is actually a place where you can hike, get lost a little and have some quiet. Bring plenty to drink and a snack and enjoy the outdoors! Really nice in the early morning and evening (enjoy a sunset here).

9. Grand Avenue

Grand Avenue, Escondido, CA
Excellent
41%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 111 reviews

Grand Avenue

Several antique stores

Reviewed By 10ringtraveler - Alpine, California

My wife and I were waiting for a lunch spot to open and took a walk for a couple blocks in each direction. There are a good number of shops on the street and a good variety of restaurants available. I understand there are car shows and such on certain nights of the week. Probably a lot more to do on those nights

10. San Diego Children's Discovery Museum

320 N Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025-2716 +1 760-233-7755
Excellent
36%
Good
52%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 76 reviews

San Diego Children's Discovery Museum

The Escondido Children's Museum features interactive, hands-on exhibits and activities that inspire children to learn about our world through exploration, imagination and experimentation.

Reviewed By FoggyMonday - Escondido, California

As expected there were children everywhere! From infants to middle-schoolers. There is so much to do here and there is something for every child’s interest. Our grandchildren loved the science and technology exhibits, especially the magnetic ball wall – where one could design the track a ball would roll on, and the wind chambers, where they could put a bright colored piece of material into the chamber and the wind would move it up and out into the air and they would try and catch it. So much fun!! Outside there is a hydroponic garden. There are portholes so one can see the Tilapia fish that live in the water that “feeds” the plant root systems. Our 2yr old g.son was amazed there were fish in the water and yelled it out to anyone within earshot!

The energy level can be intense with so many children, with their high-pitched squeals of delight and laughter, with the occasional wailing/crying. Probably easier for parents than older grandparents but we muddled through and ended up in a puppet show with our 5yr old g.daughter. There is so much to do here, bring a lunch, hang out for a while. Escondido is fortunate to have such a gem. We will return, this time with earplugs :-)

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