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North County and Around Travel Guide

Plan Your North County and Around Vacation

A whole world of scenic grandeur, fascinating history, and scientific wonder lies just beyond San Diego’s city limits. If you travel north along the coast, you’ll encounter the great beaches for which the region is famous, along with some sophisticated towns holding fine restaurants, great galleries, and museums.

Learn about sea creatures and the history of music in Carlsbad, home

of LEGOLAND, LEGOLAND Water Park, and Sea Life Aquarium. If you travel east, you’ll find fresh art hubs in Escondido, home of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a pair of world-class destination spas, a selection of challenging golf courses, and nightlife in bucolic settings. Inspiring mountain scenery plus beautiful places to picnic and hike can be found in the Cuyamaca Mountains, the historic gold-rush-era town of Julian (now known far and wide for its apple pies), and Palomar Mountain, home of the world-famous telescope. The vast wilderness of the Anza-Borrego Desert holds a repository of ancient fossils like no other, and is also home to one of the most colorful displays of native spring flowers. Just beyond the county limits in Temecula you can savor Southern California’s only developed wine country, where more than three dozen wineries offer tastings and tours.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Talk to the animals Get almost nose to nose with giraffes, lions, tigers, and rhinos at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido.
  2. Build a dream at LEGOLAND California Resort Explore model cities built with LEGO bricks, including New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
  3. Be a beach bum Surf Swami’s for towering blue-water breaks, tiptoe through the sand at Moonlight Beach, cruise the coast in a sailboat, or spot a whale spouting.
  4. Tour SoCal-style wineries Savor the red and white wines while touring in Temecula, home to more than 35 wineries as well as boutique lodging and classy restaurants.
  5. Discover the desert wilderness Anza-Borrego Desert State Park encompasses more than 600,000 acres, most of it wilderness. Springtime, when the wildflowers are in full bloom, is glorious.

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Fodor's Northern California 2015

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