San Marcos is short for “Los Vallecitos San Marcos” or “Little Valleys of Saint Mark”. It was named by the Spanish who found the valley after chasing Indians away from their flocks in 1797. It changed hands within the Spanish community until the 1850’s when a permanent settlement was built with wine and honey as the main source of industry. In the early 1880’s, the German and Dutch immigrants settled in the area, ushering in the first town in San Marcos in 1883 with a post office, blacksmith, feed store and a weekly paper. In 1887 the San Marcos Land Company bought the majority of the land and sold it in tracts of land for homes. Also in 1887 the Santa Fe Railroad was laying tracks, although, a mile away from the town, causing much disappointment.
By the early 1900’s the town had every amenity anyone could want including mail and telephone services. By 1889 the town had not one but two schools. Farming was the town’s main business in the 19th century and early part of the 20th century. By the mid-20th century, dairy and poultry production was the new focus. 1956 brought reliable water source and ushered in a population explosion. In 1963 the city became incorporated. San Marcos has continued to see a population growth to today where it stands at 83,000 in 24.4 square miles. Educational roots have continued to mature over the centuries and San Marcos is recognized today as an educational hub for the North County. California State University San Marcos and Palomar College along with San Marcos Unified School District all have very high reputations in the county and state alike. The students score higher in the San Marcos School District than anywhere in the state of California. San Marcos has a fresh take on the “food court” of the malls. It has built what is known as “Restaurant Row”, a little village, if you will, of 18 restaurants including cuisine from Japan, Italy, seafood, Mexican, American and more. It also features a 18 Cinema Complex. San Marcos also has amazing shopping options as well. Golf courses, 17 parks, lakes, recreational centers, hotels, trails and more create San Marcos for what it is today. It offers good transportation as well with city bus as well as the Sprinter that runs from Escondido in the east to Oceanside in the west. A few minutes on the Sprinter and you could be enjoying the ocean breeze, beaches and water!
San Marcos has intentionally built the largest sheriff’s contract in the county as well as created the best emergency responses by firemen in the county. The city is proud of this and continues to value keeping its town safe. As a result, San Marcos, enjoys a low crime rate.
The San Marcos Senior Center offers many services including: health, nutrition, driving lessons, dancing, tour and trips, legal services, cards, computer, language, crafts, exercise, music, writing, and more. Here is their website: http://www.ci.san-marcos.ca.us/index.aspx?page=189 San Marcos could be your next town. It is a great place to retire to. It is a safe town with many attractions, places to eat, shopping, parks, lakes, and a focus on education. San Marcos could be just the right place for you!