Rancho Santa Fe
3 hotels in this place
North San Diego is the northern region of San Diego, consisting mostly of hilly terrain and suburbs. For the purposes of this travel guide, "North San Diego" contains just about everything north of Mission Valley and east of I-5. North San Diego contains the communities of: Clairemont, a large suburban area located east of Pacific Beach, west of Kearny Mesa, and south of SR-52. Kearny Mesa, located on a wide, flat mid-city plain, this neighborhood just south of Miramar is one center of San Diego's Asian population. Miramar, home to the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. Mira Mesa, an inland suburb located just north of Miramar. Poway, technically a separate municipality from San Diego, is a large suburb off of I-15. Rancho Bernardo, a master-planned community in the northern part of the region, near Escondido. Rancho Penasquitos, a large suburban community west of Poway. Rancho Santa Fe, a bedroom community in the hills north of SR-56. San Pasqual Valley, the northernmost neighborhood of San Diego, home to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Sorrento Valley, located closer to the coast, near the I-5/I-805 intersection. (less...) (more...)
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Points of Interest in Rancho Santa Fe
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park (formerly the San Diego Wild Animal Park), 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road (in the San Pasqual Valley, east of Escondido on SR-78), ☎ +1 760 747-8702. Winter: 9AM-5PM, Summer: 9AM-8PM. Sister park to the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, the Safari Park is a massive (1,800 acres) zoo with large, naturalistic free-range enclosures containing animals from all over the world. Highlights include the huge Africa area, the California Condor exhibit, and a tram ride which takes you past some of the large free-range areas (extra admission required). $44 adults, $34 children, free for children under 3 (Parking is $10/vehicle, $15/RV).
- San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park, 15808 San Pasqual Valley Road, ☎ +1 760 737-2201. Sa-Su 10AM-5PM. On December 6, 1846, one of the bloodiest battles of the Mexican-American war took place here. The visitor center on-site has displays on the history of the site. Free.
About Rancho Santa Fe
North County San Diego encompasses many different suburban communities and is the home to miles of popular beaches.
- Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, Visitor Center, 12020 Black Mountain Road (take SR-56 to Black Mountain Road exit, turn south, and proceed into the park), ☎ +1 858 484-7504. Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. A large park stretching several miles between the I-5/I-805 intersection and I-15, just south and roughly parallel to SR-56. There is much beautiful scenery which can be explored via the system of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The park also contains a few historical landmarks, including the Rancho de los Penasquitos, one of the oldest surviving homes in the region, dating back to 1823. Tours of the house are available every Saturday at 11AM. Free.
- Marian Bear Memorial Park, 5544 Regents Rd, ☎ +1 619 525-8213. Located in the San Clemente Canyon along SR-52 from I-5 to I-805, this large park contains some very scenic trails.
- Mission Trails Regional Park, Visitor Center, One Father Junipero Serra Trail (take Mission Gorge Road from either Mission Valley to the southwest or Santee to the east and proceed into the park), ☎ +1 619 668-3281. Located along the San Diego River between San Diego and Santee, this massive park is a hidden jewel among the city's park system. Consisting mostly of rugged, hilly scrubland, Mission Trails offers an excellent diversion from the hustle and bustle of the city. Numerous trails criss cross through the park, and there's an excellent visitor center with exhibits on the flora, fauna, and the human history in the area. You can also see the Old Mission Dam, which once provided water to the original mission community of San Diego just to the west in Mission Valley. Cowles Mountain, the tallest point in the city (1,591 feet above sea level), offers a lovely view of the surrounding area clear out to the ocean and is popular with runners and hikers, with several challenging trails ranging from three to five miles (round trip) featuring steep climbs, wooden steps, and rock crossings. Mission Gorge is one of the most popular rock climbing spots in the area, with over 150 routes from 5.0 to 5.12 grades, and suitable for the novice and the experienced climber. In the summers the gorge can be extremely hot in the direct sun, but the crag stays cool and shaded in the until around noon or 1PM. The rest of the year you can climb all day. Also within the park is Lake Murray Reservoir, which is open to boating and fishing. Free.
- San Diego Ice Arena, 11048 Ice Skate Place, ☎ +1 858 530-1826.
- Tecolote Canyon Natural Park, Visitor Center, 5180 Tecolote Road (take I-5 to the Tecolote Road exit about a mile north of I-8, then proceed east on Tecolote Road), ☎ +1 858 581-9944. Located in the neighborhood of Clairemont, Tecolote Canyon is a narrow coastal valley which offers miles of trails open to hiking and biking. The visitor center at the mouth of the canyon offers exhibits on the flora and fauna found in the park. Free.
- Vertical Hold, 9580 Distribution Ave (in Miramar), ☎ +1 858 586-7572. The largest full service indoor climbing gym in the San Diego area.
- 99 Ranch Market, 7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd (in Kearny Mesa), ☎ +1 858 565-7799. A mostly California chain of Asian supermarkets. Here you can come face to face with your dinner - live! The entire back wall of this full-size supermarket is the fish department - and many of them are still swimming. This is such a special and unique market that a local cooking school offers group tours.
- Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens, 9675 Scranton Road (in Mira Mesa), ☎ +1 858 587-2739. Closed Saturday. Hidden behind the trees in the San Diego Tech Center, Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens feels more like a high-end sushi place than a brewery/restaurant complete with a koi pond. Lots of outdoor seating. Gets very crowded during the week for lunch & dinner. They serve their own beers on tap and have an extensive menu.
- Chorus Karaoke Bar and Cafe, 4428 Convoy St. Ste. 290, ☎ +1 858 576-0700. Korean food and a great place for karaoke.
- K Sandwiches, 7604 Linda Vista Rd (just south of the I-805 and SR-163 intersection), ☎ +1 858 278-8961. M-Sa 6AM-9PM, Su 8AM-8PM. A local favorite, with incredibly good, cheap, and authentic banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches).
- Pearl Chinese Seafood, 11666 Avena Pl (just off of the I-15 near the Bernardo Center Drive Exit), ☎ +1 858 487-3388. M-F 11AM-10:30PM, Sa-Su 9AM-10:30PM. Good Cantonese (Chinese) dim sum with a good view of Webb Park.
- Rosa's Pizza, 3860 Convoy St. (805 & 163 Freeways), ☎ +1 858 278-1222. 11AM-10PM. Large Pizza with Cheese & 1-Topping (special) $9.99. $1 internet delivery special. $9.99.
A surprise find is Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa, home to dozens of excellent Asian restaurants that cater primarily to the lunch crowd from the surrounding commercial areas. Having a job in the Kearny Mesa area can be a joy just for the ability to eat oneself from one end of Convoy to the other, and not hit the same spot twice in a month.
- Green Flash Brewery, 6550 Mira Mesa Blvd (in Mira Mesa; the entrance is actually behind the building on Sequence Dr.), ☎ +1 858 622-0085. One of San Diego's many microbreweries that has a tasting room that lets you sample their beers. Food isn't sold here, but there are usually food trucks.
- O'Brien's, 4646 Convoy St (in Kearny Mesa), ☎ +1 858 715-1745. This place has a great low-key friendly atmosphere. There is outdoor seating and a wonderful selection of Belgian local microbrews, with an extra emphasis on hoppy brews. They have a surprisingly good bar food as well.
- The WineSellar & Brasserie, 9550 Waples Street (in Mira Mesa), ☎ +1 858 450-9557.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article San Diego/North on Wikivoyage.