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Living In San Marcos

Ideally located along the 78 freeway between the coast and the mountains, San Marcos is one the most desirable communities in North County San Diego, boasting excellent public schools, beautiful homes, and outstanding community amenities. Notable local landmarks include Lake San Marcos, Discovery Lake, Double Peak Mountain, the picturesque San Elijo Hills Town Center, and the sprawling campus of California State University-San Marcos.

$1,000,000 Median

$725,000 Median

San Marcos Unified

23 Min to Beach

40 Min to Downtown

40 Min to Airport

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About San Marcos

Ideally located along the 78 freeway between the coast and the mountains, San Marcos is one the most desirable communities in North County San Diego, boasting excellent public schools, beautiful homes, and outstanding community amenities. Notable local landmarks include Lake San Marcos, Discovery Lake, Double Peak Mountain, the picturesque San Elijo Hills Town Center, and the sprawling campus of California State University-San Marcos.

First established in the late 1800s, the original town of San Marcos sat near the intersection of present-day Grand Avenue and Rancho Santa Fe Road. When the Santa Fe Railroad extended its line through the area around 1890, the residents were dismayed to learn the tracks would be laid one mile north of their town. Determined to keep San Marcos thriving and surviving, the inhabitants relocated all of the businesses and establishments closer to the tracks, near Mission Road and Pico Avenue. By the early 1900s, the survival of the town seemed assured. Today, some remnants of early San Marcos still remain including the Richland School building, the second school opened in San Marcos in 1889. The old schoolhouse has most recently been used as a wedding venue.

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San Marcos
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San Marcos Education

San Marcos Schools

The local public schools are one of the reasons so many people choose to buy a home in San Marcos, CA. A-Rated on Niche.com and named one of the Top 5 School Districts in San Diego, schools in the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) have earned numerous awards and distinctions that rival those of San Diego’s other top-rated school districts, where homes tend to be less affordable. Home prices in San Marcos have risen steadily over the past two decades due to demand, though there are still some good deals to be found. See the below section on San Marcos real estate for more information.

Notable schools in San Marcos include Discovery Elementary School, Double Peak School, San Elijo Elementary School, San Marcos Middle School, San Elijo Middle School, Twin Oaks Elementary School, Woodland Park Middle School, and San Marcos High School. SMUSD manages a total of nineteen schools which serve over 19,000 San Diego students!

Schools In The Area

Browse local schools, complete with ratings and contact info.

San Marcos Living

San Marcos Shopping & Local Businesses

As San Marcos had grown in stages over the century and a half since its founding, there are a number of places to shop and dine throughout the community. From local strip malls to town squares, no matter where you buy a home in San Marcos, you can enjoy every convenience and amenity.

Notable shopping areas include Restaurant Row, which is near the original San Marcos town site. Formerly the home of many locally-famous restaurants and small businesses, the new owner of the Restaurant Row site has redevelopment plans in the works so watch for that news to emerge in the months to come! Additional shopping centers flank both sides of the 78 freeway, filled with a mixture of big box stores, chain restaurants, and local establishments.
CSUSM has expanded its offering in recent years, adding more residences and commercial business space which is enjoyed by both students and locals alike. Popular dining spots at CSUSM include Buona Forchetta, Umami Japanese, and Wynston’s Ice Cream.

In the upscale community of San Elijo Hills, you’ll find the San Elijo Hills Town Center which has recently entered its second and final phase of building. In addition to strolling around and enjoying the classic small-town charm with its striking central fountain and lush park, you can dine at a number of local restaurants and shop at small boutiques and businesses in the San Elijo Hills Town Center.

Around The Area

Browse through the top rated businesses that San Marcos has to offer!

Surf, Relax, and Enjoy Coastal Bliss

Del Mar Lifestyle

Life is better at the beach! For those that can afford it, the ability to live the quintessential Southern California beach lifestyle is one of the many things that draws people to Del Mar. You can wake up, catch a few waves, shower, and be out the door for work. In the evening, a stroll through the Del Mar village or along the sand is the perfect way to unwind.

Although life in Del Mar is generally laid back and peaceful, there’s still plenty to see and do all year long. The county’s biggest attractions all land at the nearby racetrack including the annual San Diego Fair. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club meets twice a year, in the summer and the fall, at the place where the “turf meets the surf.” In addition, numerous fairs, festivals, and sporting events visit the track facility as well. The Del Mar Village also hosts several iconic events including the Powerhouse Park Summer Concert series, the Del Mar Summer Solstice event, the Taste of Del Mar, and an array of holiday celebrations.

Love to get outside? The iconic Torrey Pines State Reserve offers challenging trails and beautiful views of the rugged San Diego coast, not to mention the rare Torrey Pine. People also love to bike through Del Mar and head up the coast along the picturesque Highway 101. Of course, many Del Mar residents spend nearly every weekend at the beach surfing, swimming, boogie boarding, and more!

Local News & Advice

Read helpful resources and articles related to the area.

San Diego Home Prices Continues to Climb

San Diego Home Prices Continues to Climb

The San Diego housing market continues to sizzle, especially as we enter the peak selling season. This trend …

1st Annual Torrey Highlands Garage Sale

1st Annual Torrey Highlands Garage Sale

Hello Neighbors, the OFF THE 56 Home Team will be organzing a Neighbohrood wide Garage Sale in the Community of Torrey …

Construction Begins on 56 Freeway Widening

Construction Begins on 56 Freeway Widening

Construction Crews have begun work on a $23 million project, which will see the construction of new HOV …