North County Inland is San Diego’s country getaway!
Your discovery of the cities and suburbs along North County Inland’s Interstate 15 Freeway is a delightful experience. There are attractions galore here including four impressive Las Vegas-style casinos. Wine lovers will enjoy discovering award-winning wineries as well.
The two southernmost communities on the I-15 corridor are Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch. The latter is strictly a bedroom community.
Mira Mesa, on the other hand, has a thriving commercial zone. At the Mira Mesa Boulevard exit off of the I-15 freeway is the impressive Mira Mesa Market Center (9). It’s anchored by San Diego County’s largest cinema center, the Edwards Mira Mesa Stadium (858-635- 7716). Complimenting these two shopping centers is the Mira Mesa Shopping Center East (14) at 9460 Mira Mesa Blvd., which is just across the street from the Mira Mesa Market Center. This center is home to an In-N-Out Burger Restaurant and a Shell gas station, an Applebee’s Restaurant and a GNC Store (858-549-3774). GNC stands for General Nutrition Center and it’s everybody’s favorite shop for nutritional supplements to make your body healthier.
The heart of Mira Mesa is the Mira Mesa Mall (11), which is located at Mira Mesa Boulevard and Camino Ruiz. It has more then 50 shops and services, a Vons supermarket, a CVS/pharmacy and an abundance of restaurants.
The Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (13) is only 1.3 miles west of Interstate I-15 at Miramar Road. It’s also home to The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum (13) (858-693-1723). The outdoor museum features more than two dozen vintage and historically important aircraft. It’s open Tues.–Sun., 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. and offers free admission. Plus, it’s the only command museum dedicated to the history of Marine Corps aviation. Mention the SAN DIEGAN for 20 percent off gift shop merchandise. See Historical Museums.
Also calling Miramar Road home is Miramar Speed Circuit (13) at 8123 Miramar Dr. (858-586-7500). It’s great for birthday parties, corporate events or just plain fun. It’s open daily. See Sports & Recreation.
Pomerado Road, Mira Mesa Blvd. Caroll Canyon and Scripps Poway Parkway all offer direct access to Scripps Ranch, a bedroom community in the true sense of its description. The focus of the community is on the family, yet, oddly enough it has no main shopping mall or common gathering place. Yet, it has flourished as one of the most sought after communities in which to raise a family. And being in the Poway School district, which is the top school district in the state for SAT scores, it offers the best of the best schools and a healthy life style.
So if you are looking for a home in Scripps Ranch to raise your kids, then you are fortunate to have a local resident as a realtor who is also on the staff of the highly-acclaimed Coldwell Banker of La Jolla as your neighbor. This Scripps Ranch resident is Lydia Hwang Vosovic (858-472-0608) [411SanDiegoHomes.com]. She is the recipient of the prestigious San Diego Magazine 5 Star Agent Award distinguishing her as being a top 4% Agent as well.
Rancho Peñasquitos is a masterplanned community located on the west side of I-15 across from Poway. An ideally located new home development minutes from the ocean via Highway 56 and only 16 minutes and 9.7 miles from the nearby Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is called Latitude (18). They are being offered by Pulte Homes and are located of f Camino Del Sur (See map). Three spacious models ranging in size from 2,606 sq. ft. to 2,977 sq. ft. are now available (866-779-1941).
A fun outing is a visit to the historically significant adobe Los Penaquitos farmhouse. It’s the oldest private private residence in San Diego County dating 100 North County Inland back to 1824 when it as part of a 4,243- acre land grant.
Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve (10) is at 12020 Black Mountain Road (858-484-7504). The preserve is home to perennial streams and steep slopes, where there are many rare plant and animal species. Lots of hikers, off-road bicyclists and equestrians come here to enjoy the scenic beauty. Free docent-led tours are offered on Sat. at 11 a.m. and Sun. at 1 p.m. Call or visit [penasquitos.org] for closing hours, hikes and event information.
The City of Poway, is known as the “city in the country.” It has a population of more than 48,000 affluent residents with a median household income of $97,400.
Poway is best known for having one of the top school districts in the state and nation. The Poway Unified School District office is located at 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128 (858-521-2800) and has a student enrollment of 35,000 students.
The biggest annual attraction each year is Poway Days (858 -748-6360). Poway Days celebrates the area’s historic roots with the Old West. This festive celebration includes the 41st Annual Poway Rodeo (760-736-0594) will be held Sept. 27–28.
Another great destination in this kids friendly community is My Kids Club House at 12636 Poway Rd. (858-668-2838). This kid-friendly resource for moms of fers summer camps, a kids club, birthday party venues and more. For details be sure to visit them online at [mykidsclubhouse.com].
Escondido, which means “hidden” in Spanish, was once a tiny rural agricultural town. Today, it’s the hub of commerce with I-15 and Hwy. 76 running through it. It’s also the most northern and largest North County Inland 101 city in North County Inland, with a population in excess of over 140,000 people. Yet, it still retains much of its small town charm with tree-lined streets in its downtown area.
Here too, is the cultural center for North County Inland. It’s the magnificent and beautiful California Center for the Arts, Escondido (3) at 340 N. Escondido Blvd. (760-839-4100). This state-of-the-art complex includes a 1,500-seat concert hall, a 408- seat center theater and a museum.
Rarely is a restaurant a major attraction, but this one is just that. The unique Original Sand Crab Tavern (7) at 2229 Micro Place (760-480-2722) is a casual Escondido seafood eatery that has been a local and internationally known favorite for over 25 years. This restaurant is so special that it defies an adequate description. But 25 years in business and international recognition should give you a clue as to why you should dine here! They offer great seafood entrées for lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch. Their always popular Sunday “Big Easy” brunch with live Blues music make this place “the coolest little seafood joint in North County” and well worth the effort to find it. Fresh oysters, too! Call them at (760-480-2722) for perfect directions, or visit [SandCrabTavern.com].
More good reasons to visit Escondido is to say that you have been to the stunning 55,000 sq. ft. Stone Brewing Co. and World Bistro (2) at 1999 Citracado Pkwy. (760-471-4999). In addition to their daily brewery tours, they also offer a fabulous bistro with produce from their own 19-acre vegetable farm, a bar and beautiful one acre organic beer garden, which is the site of summer evening movies.
Hamburgers, hamburgers and more great tasting hamburgers are what you can expect when you dine at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (4) at 200 East Via Rancho Parkway (760-747-7112). This well-known restaurant is ideally located in the Westfield North County. They are open daily at 11 a.m. Closing hours vary with the day of the week. Check out their frequent online coupon specials, and if it’s your birthday month, go online and get a coupon for a FREE burger.
Escondido also has one of the highest per capita retail sales totals in North County Inland. The biggest contributor is Westfield North County (4) at 272 E. Via Rancho Pkwy. (760-439-0641). This mall is the largest enclosed shopping mall in the county, which has 150 stores, including Nordstrom and Macy’s, and impressive places to dine. Here too is a free standing BJ’s Pizzeria Restaurant.
North County’s most visited attraction. It is the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (5) (see map) at 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd. (760-747-8702). This 1,800-acre park is home to more than 3,500 animals, representing 260 species. A money-saver for purchasing tickets is via CityPASS. For details visit them at [CityPASS.com] or call (888-330-5008).
En route to or from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and Westfield Shoppingtown (8) is Orfila Vineyards and Winery (6) located at 13455 San Pasqual Rd. (760-738-6500). They feature award-winning wines and daily tours at noon. Plus, by using their discount coupon in this book you’ll get a two for one wine tasting. And bring your I.D. See San Diego Wineries.