North County and Around

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Fodor's California
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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, fine restaurants, great galleries, and museums.

What these towns shared was at least a half-century’s worth of Southern California beach culture—think Woodies (wood-bodied cars), surfing, the Beach Boys, alternate lifestyles—and the road that connected them. That was U.S. Highway 101, which nearly passed into oblivion when I–5 was extended from Los Angeles to the Mexican border. If you venture off the freeway and head for the ocean, you can discover remnants of the old beach culture surviving in the sophisticated towns of Del Mar, Solana Beach, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas, Leucadia, Carlsbad, and Oceanside, where the arts, fine dining, and elegant lodgings also now rule. As suburbanization continues, the towns are reinventing themselves—Carlsbad, for instance, has morphed from a farming community into a tourist destination with such attractions as LEGOLAND California, several museums, and an upscale outlet shopping complex.

If you travel east, you’ll find art hubs and organic farms in Escondido, 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 and in the surrounding areas near the historic gold-rush-era town of Julian (known for its apple pies). Just beyond the county limits in Temecula you can savor Southern California’s only developed wine country, where dozens of wineries offer tastings and tours.

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Electrical Outlets

120 V/60Hz; Type A plugs have two flat prongs. Type B plugs have the same two flat prongs with a third round prong; together the three form a triangular shape.

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Electrical Outlets

120 V/60Hz; Type A plugs have two flat prongs. Type B plugs have the same two flat prongs with a third round prong; together the three form a triangular shape.

Currency

US Dollar

Discover the best neighborhoods in North County and Around with curated recommendations from our editors.

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Discover the best neighborhoods in North County and Around with curated recommendations from our editors.

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Discover the best neighborhoods in North County and Around with curated recommendations from our editors.

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Fodor's California
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Fodor's Southern California
Whether you want to wander the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, lounge poolside in...

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Fodor's Northern California
Whether you want to camp in Yosemite National Park, go wine tasting in Napa, or see live...

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