Escondido is one of the most vibrant cities in San Diego County. Located 30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, it offers unique arts and culture, fun festivals, historic sites and structures, and a variety of other attractions.
For example, it’s home to the California Center for the Arts, a world-class cultural institution that draws over 300,000 visitors annually for concerts, theater, and educational events. It also boasts a thriving craft beer scene, thanks to the city’s many breweries and wineries.
1. California Center for the Arts
The California Center for the Arts is a 12 acre cultural hub that houses a 1,523-seat concert hall, 400-seat theater, a visual arts museum, art and dance studios, and a conference center. They also offer a variety of performances, educational programs, and community events that aim to bring people together to discover, create, and celebrate both the visual and performing arts.
The center is owned by the city of Escondido and operated by a nonprofit foundation under a volunteer board of trustees. The center receives annual support from the city in the form of a management fee and in-kind contributions, including payment of utility bills, maintenance and information technology support.
2. Queen Califia’s Magical Circle
The only American sculpture garden and the last major international project created by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is a hidden treasure in Escondido California. It is inspired by California’s mythic, historic and cultural roots and consists of nine large scale sculptures, a circular “snake wall” and maze entry way.
The garden’s imposing mosaic sculpture of Queen Califia atop her five-legged eagle commands the center of the garden. Eight large totemic sculptures surround her, each adorned with symbols and forms freely drawn from Native American, Pre-Columbian and Mexican art as well as the artist’s own fantastic imagery.
Queen Califia’s Magical Circle opened in October 2003 and is part of a 12-acre habitat within Kit Carson Park. It is located five minutes from the Via Rancho Parkway exit of I-15 on the corner of Bear Valley Parkway and Mary Lane.
3. San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum is a unique institution that inspires kids to learn through exploration, imagination, and experimentation. Founded in 1999, it remains the only hands-on educational children’s museum in North San Diego County.
This curated collection of science, art, and world culture exhibits aims to spark a love for learning. Exhibits are divided into four categories: Science and Math, Cultural and History, Creativity, and Outdoor Activities.
The outdoor Trudy Bronner Discovery Garden is where kids can participate in the outdoors and interact with their surroundings, learning about environmental science along the way. The interactive displays include a Water Wise Table, Pollinator Garden and more.
4. B Brigantine
B Brigantine is an award-winning seafood restaurant in San Diego that has been around for forty years. It’s known for its signature Clam Chowder and trendy seafood dishes, but it’s also a great place to try their seafood tacos, oysters on the half shell or surf ‘n’ turf.
The best time to visit Brigantine is during the summer, when the weather is warm and sunny. However, spring and fall are also excellent times to explore the town, when local wildlife is more active.
The town also boasts a small museum that displays photographs and old relics from the area’s past. Visitors can also check out the North Brigantine State Natural Park Area, one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline in New Jersey. This beachfront attraction features a two-story wildlife viewing tower and hundreds of bird species that make an appearance year-round.
5. Filippi’s Pizza Grotto
If you’re looking for a delicious and affordable meal in Escondido California, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto is the place to go. It’s a chain outpost that serves pizza & red-sauce Italian staples in generous portions.
Filippi’s is a great place to stop for some pizza and drinks with your family or friends. The restaurant has a comfortable setting and serves everything from gluten-free to low-fat options. It’s also family-friendly, so little ones are welcome to join in the fun. Guests love the prices here, which are affordable and reasonable. The menu includes classic Italian favorites like lasagna, spaghetti and meatball sub. In addition to savory dishes, the restaurant also offers desserts and beverages. The staff is friendly and the decor is beautiful. The food is served on a first-come, first-served basis, so show up early on busy weekends.