San Diego County’s North County Inland region is comprised of several smaller communities, one of which is the city of San Marcos. The total area population is almost 83,000 and is best known as the home of California State University at San Marcos. The university, known as CSUSM or Cal State San Marcos, is a public, coeducational university that is just one out of 23 campuses in the California State University system. Today, the school enrolls almost 10,000 students and offers forty-four undergraduate programs, ten graduate programs, and a doctorate in education. The university is comprised of three colleges and one nursing school. Besides Cal State San Marcos, the city also hosts Palomar College, a public two-year community college, and Coleman College. The abundance of opportunities for higher education has made San Marcos one of the most educated cities in Southern California and has provided affordable educations for those who cannot afford or wish not to travel abroad.
San Marcos has developed a reputation for having some of the county’s best restaurants. The prolific and historic Old California Restaurant Row is composed of several restaurants that specialize in a variety of tastes and cuisines. The city also features a number of top-notch golf courses, the largest and most well-known one being Lake San Marcos Country Club. The smaller and more exclusive alternative is the Lake San Marcos Executive Golf Club. A number of sizeable recreational areas, grassy parks, and other fun facilities serve residents of San Marcos and help to improve the community’s health awareness and willingness to get fit. Bradley Park, La Moree Park, and Jacks Pond Park the three of the better known parks in the city.
The city of San Marcos is joined to the much larger city of Escondido, the largest city in the North County Inland area. One of Escondido’s largest attractions that is actually quite close to San Marcos itself is the San Diego Wild Animal Park, part of the world renown San Diego Zoo. The Wild Animal Park allows guests to view global animals in an open habitat where they are not encaged but rather roam, graze, and fly as they would in the wilderness.