Attractions + Things To Do in Escondido
Escondido may mean “hidden” but it’s no secret there’s a lot going on here!
With a beautiful year-round climate there are many attractions and experiences to explore! We're home to two of North County's three major attractions... the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens and we have the amazing California Center for the Arts performing arts, museum and conference center complex.
There’s something here for everyone… we appreciate your visit and invite you to Explore, Experience and Enjoy Escondido!
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an expansive not-for-profit wildlife sanctuary located just 6 miles east of downtown Escondido. The Safari Park is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 300 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.75 million specimens. Over half of the Park’s 1,800 acres (730 hectares) have been set aside as protected native species habitat.
Enjoy the fun with a day pass, which includes the awesome animal encounters, safari tram, and lots of play areas and cafes... or add on a special safari adventure like the Caravan Safari, Cheetah Safari, Jungle Ropes, Flightline, Behind the Scenes, and you can event spend the night at the Roar & Snore Safari!
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027
Enjoy your day at the Safari Park and combine it with local activities close by, such as wine tasting or strolling historic downtown Escondido with its great eateries, arts and culture.
Welcome to the “home tap” of Stone!
Stone Brewing in Escondido includes the beautiful Bistro and Gardens restaurant, brewery Tours, the Stone Company Store, which features awesome clothes, souvenirs, and, of course, growler fills! They also have outstanding events!
Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens, Escondido proudly specializes in locally grown, small-farm ingredients and feature an eclectic menu of world-inspired cuisine and our unique take on comfort food. As strong advocates for environmental responsibility and high-quality food, they are now the largest restaurant purchaser of local, small-farm organic produce in San Diego County. With 36 craft and specialty beers on tap, an extensive wine list, and distinctive banquet and wedding accommodations, the Bistro has become one of the premier culinary destinations in San Diego County.
Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens
Open Daily: 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
(Store open until 10pm)
1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido, CA 92029
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, Música en la Plaza, Independence Day Festival, Día de los Muertos Festival, Holiday Tree Lighting and First Wednesdays performances.
California Center for the Arts, Escondido
340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025
Ticket Office, or buy tickets online:
Open: Tuesday through Saturday, 12–6 PM and Sunday 12–5 PM
EXPLORE! IMAGINE! EXPERIMENT! DISCOVER!
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum inspires children to learn about our world through exploration, imagination, and experimentation. The Museum remains the only hands-on educational children's museum in North San Diego County, serving children ages 0-10 with interactive exhibits and programs focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Experience daily activities, attend educational camps and special events, and book your child's next birthday party at the Museum!
Kids of ALL ages love this park… bring your family, friends, imaginations and cameras! Docents will be on hand for questions.
The “snake wall” opens into a maze whose walls and floors are covered with black, white, and mirrored tiles. Once through the maze, visitors enter into the central courtyard. There are nine freestanding sculptures in the garden. The imposing mosaic sculpture of Queen Califia standing on the back of a five-legged eagle commands the center of the garden.
Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is the only American sculpture garden and the last major international project created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002).
Inspired by California’s mythic, historic, and cultural roots, the garden consists of nine large-scale sculptures, a circular “snake wall” and maze entryway, sculpturally integrated bench seating and native shrubs and trees planted within the interior plaza and along the outer perimeter. The garden bears the brilliant, unique mosaic ornamentation that is an unmistakable part of de Saint Phalle’s later work.
The garden is open to the public, weather permitting*, with free entrance, on:
- Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am to Noon
- 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 9:00am to 2:00pm
Kit Carson Park - click through for a map of the park
(In the Iris Sankey Arboretum)
3333 Bear Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025
*Weather Permitting: After recent rain or heavy fog, there is chance that the sculpture garden will be closed, due to safety issues, usually 24-48 hours after a rain event, while it dries.
FOR MORE INFO... including history, artist, etc. go to our News Post
The Escondido History Center museum complex is located in Grape Day Park in historic downtown Escondido!
The museum complex includes the original Escondido Library building, an interpretive Victorian country home, the Penner Barn, the working Bandy Blacksmith shop where you can watch our blacksmiths and wheelwrights create amazing pieces of art, the Santa Fe Depot, and a Pullman railroad car complete with a model railroad. The area also has a handful of smaller structures including windmills, a tank house, a Native American stone artifact and agricultural machines all on display.
The staff and volunteers host field trips, lectures, tours, and events.
Escondido History Center
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday
321 N Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025
This amazing living reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods museum has over 200 Animal Ambassadors! On a tour through the museum, you have the chance to pet and hold 15-20 trained Animal Ambassadors with one of their awesome tour guides.
EcoVivarium is a 501c3 nonprofit Living Museum featuring reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods. They started in 2008 as a mobile education outreach program serving schools, community and special events as well as birthday and corporate parties. The Animal Ambassadors are primarily rescues (98%) with approximately 2% of our Ambassadors being donated to our organization.
Each animal goes through necessary rehabilitation (both for physical and behavioral issues) and then receives a minimum of 100 hours of specialized training to become a public Ambassador.
You can also book EcoVivarium for private parties and special events!
641 E Pennsylvania Ave
Escondido, CA 92025
Wednesday- Education Programs
Thursday- 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Friday- 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Saturday- 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Sunday- 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Group Tours- Walk-ins Welcome
Silver Tour- 1 hour $12/person
Gold Tour- 1.5 hours $15/person
The San Diego Archaeological Center is a curation facility and museum where visitors can learn the story of how people have lived in San Diego County for the past 10,000 years.
In addition to its role as a museum, the Center serves as an education and research facility and is the only local organization dedicated to the collection, study, curation and exhibition of San Diego County's archaeological artifacts.
The museum also hosts many fun and educational annual events, lectures, tours and a gift shop.
San Diego Archaeological Center
16666 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
Monday - Friday
9AM - 4PM
Saturday 10AM - 2PM
$2 per person
$5 per family
Day Trip Idea!
The San Diego Archaeological Center is close to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park, and beautiful wineries. Historic Downtown Escondido is about 8 miles away with great eateries, arts, museums and shopping.
Spanning over 144 acres, Bandy Canyon Ranch is nestled in the heart of San Pasqual Valley. Set deep in Bandy Canyon, this Southern California ranch is adorned with rustic cabins, a dramatic pool for lounging and entertaining and an authentic 1930’s adobe lodge with two kitchens, antique stoves, and multiple fireplaces. A charming terrace and wedding ceremony site are also available for wedding ceremonies, receptions, retreats and special events.
There are fifteen cabins, such as the Eagle Cabin located among the beautiful eucalyptus trees. The cabins amenities include one bedroom plus a loft, one bath, and a small kitchen. The views from the second deck overlook the pool and creek area. With 2 queen beds and a pull out sofa, the cabin can sleep up to 6 adults and is perfect for larger families.
The Equestrian Center provides property trail rides, wine & cheese trail rides, equestrian lessons, horse boarding, pony rides, and a petting zoo.
16251 Bandy Canyon Rd, Escondido, CA 92025
Day Trip Idea!
The Ranch at Bandy Canyon is close to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the San Diego Archaeological Center, and many beautiful wineries. Historic Downtown Escondido is about 9 miles north west with great eateries, arts, museums and shopping.
Opened in May 2009, this stressed ribbon style bridge is 990 feet long and 12 feet wide. The bridge was designed by T.Y. Lin International. The advantages of the stressed ribbon style bridge are that it will enable a long span (330 feet) between piers, so that there are only two piers in the lake; and it has a narrow profile, only 16 inches deep. In 2009 there were only 4 stressed ribbon style bridges in the western hemisphere. When the Lake Hodges Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge was completed, it was the longest stressed ribbon bridge in the world.
The official name of the bridge is the "David Kreitzer Lake Hodges Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge" in honor of David Kreitzer, long-time park supporter, volunteer and 21-year County planning commissioner.
The bridge includes gates that will automatically lock people out between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. The south entrance to the bridge is just off Pomerado Road at I-15, and the north entrance is at the end of a mile-long paved path that begins near Sunset Drive and Via Rancho Parkway.
North Side Parking:
Go to the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead and park in the lot there for the Farmers’ Market (the market and Farmstead are only open on Sundays). There is a paved path that goes under the I-15 freeway to the bridge.
Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead
12655 Sunset Dr, Escondido, CA 92025
From I-15... take Via Rancho Parkway exit, go east toward Westfield North County Mall… Sunset Drive is on the right (south side) across from the Mall.
Sunday Funday Idea!
On Sundays, within walking distance of the bridge, the North San Diego Farmers Market is open from 10:30am to 3:30pm at the Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead, and the San Dieguito River Park hiking trails are near by as well... a great group of fun things to do!
Day Trip Ideas!
This awesome bridge is close to Queen Califia's Magical Circle, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the San Diego Archaeological Center, and many beautiful wineries. Historic Downtown Escondido is just a few miles north (Valley Center Pkwy exit) with great eateries, arts, museums and shopping.
The Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead is a historic resource, and California Point of Historic Interest, within the San Dieguito River Park.
The adobe was built by Zenas and Eliza Sikes around 1870. The Sikes Adobe Historic Farmstead features one of the oldest surviving structures in North San Diego County, and one of the few remaining adobes in the region. The farmstead represents both a legacy of 19th Century California and our pioneer farming history.
The Farmstead is currently open on Sundays from 10:30am to 3:30pm and for special events.
Open: Sundays from 10:30am to 3:30pm, free entrance
12655 Sunset Dr, Escondido, California
The Farmstead is also available for birthday parties, group events, weddings, and meetings. For more information about hosting your group, event, or for volunteer and support opportunities please contact the Park Ranger at (760) 432-8318.
Day Trip Idea!
The North San Diego Certified Farmers Market is held on site every Sunday from 10:30am to 3:30pm. This historic location is also close to the Lake Hodges Pedestrian Suspension Bridge and Kit Carson Park, home to Queen Califia's Magical Circle.
Come Fly With Us! As San Diego's only trapeze school, we offer flying trapeze classes to all ages and skill levels. Join in the challenge, thrill, and fun!
Participants 7 years and older learn to swing, fly and catch under the coaching of trained instructors. Safety lines, a body harness, and of course ALWAYS a net will allow you to fly through the air with the greatest of ease.
Trapeze High offers individual classes and workshops, groups, parties, events and camps. It's a great way to bond with family, friends and work mates. Check flying trapeze off your bucket list or join the TRAPEZE HIGH CLUB to fly regularly!
2470 Melru Ln, Escondido, CA 92026
Check the class schedule online or call to schedule your group.
It's a race against time!
You have 60 minutes to unlock the mysteries and puzzles of an Escape Room. Each room is catered to evoke your senses and push you to a level of uncertainty. You are in for a fully immersive adventure! So, bring your friends, co-workers, family or anyone else that can aid you in discovering a way out of our escape rooms. Both are located in our historic downtown district, close to awesome restaurants, arts, and shopping.
Escape Rooms are perfect for a night out with friends, a distraction from daily life, or to help your business build teamwork, problem solving, and communication. They also make perfect gifts and a great way to celebrate your special occasion.
Clue Avenue Escape Room
201 E Grand Ave, Ste 2G
Escondido, CA 92025
317 E. Grand Ave, Suite 3.5 & 4
Escondido, CA 92025
San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park, east of Escondido, honors the soldiers who fought in the battle between the U.S. and Californio forces on December 6, 1846 in the midst of the Mexican-American War.
Generals Stephen Kearny and Andres Pico both claimed victory. The battle was only one of the military encounters in California in the war, but it proved to be the bloodiest and most controversial as to the outcome.
The park has been set aside, not as a monument to war, but as a reminder of the human ideals, actions and passions that can drive nations to bloodshed.
The Park's Annual Battle Day is typically held in December. Living History Day events are held throughout the year.
Saturday & Sunday only
10:00am to 4:00pm October - March
10:00am to 5:00 pm April - September
15808 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027
Available Activities and Facilities at San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Env. Learning/Visitor Center
Exhibits and Programs
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Drinking Water Available
Day Trip Idea!
The San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park is close to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the San Diego Archaeological Center, and beautiful wineries. Historic Downtown Escondido is about 8 miles west with great eateries, arts, museums and shopping.
Deer Park is a place to quiet the mind, look deeply, and enjoy the wonders of life within and around us through the practices of sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindful eating, deep relaxation meditation, and sharing togetherness. We invite all who wish to cultivate peace and happiness in their lives to plan a visit — for a day or for a retreat.
This 400-acre sanctuary rests peacefully in the chaparral mountains just north of downtown Escondido, surrounded and protected by oaks and the natural landscape. It is a safe and serene refuge for many practitioners to come and learn the art of mindful living and to practice with a community, a Sangha.
Guests are welcome to visit Deer Park on designated Days of Mindfulness or to register for an overnight retreat. You do not need prior meditation experience to visit us, but we do ask that you plan your visit for times when the monastery is open and receiving visitors.
Please go to the website to see scheduled days open to the public or call to book an overnight retreat.
Deer Park Monastery
2499 Melru Lane, Escondido, CA 92026
Palomar Observatory, located atop Palomar Mountain east of Escondido is a center of astronomical research owned and operated by Caltech.
Research at Palomar Observatory is pursued by a broad community of astronomers from Caltech and other domestic and international partner institutions.
Conceived of almost a hundred years ago, Palomar Observatory has been at the forefront of astronomical research since mid-century. Today, the Observatory operates every clear night and is an iconic facility for scientific advancement, instrument development, and student training.
The Observatory is home to three active research telescopes: the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope, the 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope, and the 60-inch (1.5-meter) telescope.
With some exceptions*, Palomar Observatory is open to the public daily for Self-Guided Tours. The Observatory is open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm PST (9:00 am to 4:00 pm PDT).
Public Guided Tours (April – October) of the 200-inch (5.1-meter) Hale Telescope are available to visitors on the weekends (Saturday and Sunday) spring through fall—typically from the first weekend in April to the last weekend October.
The complex also has a museum and gift shop. There are no gas stations on Palomar Mountain, please check your fuel before driving to the Observatory
Please visit our driving directions page for instructions and a map.
*Open House exceptions are for December 24 and 25, certain maintenance operations, and for possible weather emergencies.