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Explore North County

Story by Nicole Villanueva

You’ve been grinding away at work and/or school and finally have some well-deserved free time. You could attach yourself to the couch and binge on Netflix, but how about mixing it up and exploring local happenings?

This week when your friends hit you back with the old “I dunno, what do you wanna do,” you can be the one with a plan. And – you don’t need to travel far or break the bank to have fun. North county is full of hidden gems and we’ve uncovered some for you.

South county may have us beat on the club scene, but they come with long lines and cover charges. What we have that they are lacking are expansive tucked away vineyards.

Bernardo Winery is a one stop all day fun ticket located in Rancho Bernardo. It doesn’t cost a thing to explore the quaint village and shops. If you go on a Sunday you can catch free, live music from 2-5pm. If you do indulge in wine, the tasting room offers a five part tasting for $16 that includes free chocolate pairings and savory snacks.

Orfila Vineyards and Winery is another local escape. With beautiful views and plenty to indulge the senses this a true gem of Escondido. Yelp has a $15 for two wine tasting deal if you check-in (normally the

The Center For The Arts in the heart of Escondido is an amazing place, with great architecture. Elvin Diego / The Telescope

price of a single tasting.) Take advantage of the free daily vineyard tour at noon and soak up some wine knowledge. You’ll be swirling, sniffing and sipping like a pro.

Want to get in touch with local culture? The California Center for the Arts Escondido is home to numerous weekly events. You’ll find entertainment from concerts, to live theatrical to hands on classes and more. Every first Wednesday of the month you can catch a free live performance. Visit to track the calendar.

Another local spot with plenty to offer is the San Marcos Library. Getting sucked into a good book can be an adventure, but there’s more to explore beyond the pages. The library hosts various classes and activities throughout the month. On March 27th you can take a free veggie gardening class or take part in the free paint n sip class on

Front view of the San Marcos Library. Mariana Melendrez / The Telescope

March 13th. Check the monthly calendar at for more free classes.

Dungeons and Dragons or Magic the Gathering your thing? If so, this is the brewery for you. Visit BattleMage Brewing in Vista and support the local beer scene while you geek on the wizardly decor and maybe take a seat on the Game of Thrones sword throne replica. Every Wednesday enjoy the $20 Draught and Draft tournament. This buys you entry to the Magic tournament along with two beers and a take home deck.

Another local brewery to geek out on is Wavelength Brewing in Vista. This establishment pairs love of craft beer with love of science. Go any Friday night at 8pm to catch a guest speaker deliver a free science lecture. Follow @wavelengthbrewco on Instagram to get details on upcoming topics. You may also get to check out a view of the cosmos with their large telescope that is known to be brought out at random.

If you’re looking to get some fresh air and a dose of vitamin D, visit Kit Carson Park in Escondido. It’s quite popular for disk golf as it has its own 18 hole course along with a place to rent disks if needed. Beyond that, they have tennis courts, a skate park, soccer fields and plenty of walking trails. Though it’s also famous for its artsy sculptures and garden arrangements. Pack a picnic basket and you’re set for a good day.

North county has plenty more to offer. Take it upon yourself to be a tourist in your own city. Explore your surroundings with fresh curiosity and you’re bound to have a new experience and create new connections.

Image Sources

  • Center For The Arts: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
  • Front view of the San Marcos Library.: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
  • Center For The Arts, Elvin Diego/The Telescope: The Telescope Newspaper | All Rights Reserved
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