Escondido, California, is full of endless activities, entertainment and attractions for seniors to pursue. This beautiful city, located just around 30 miles from San Diego and around 100 miles from Los Angeles, has plenty of restaurants, wineries, breweries, galleries, museums, parks and nature to explore.
Here are some of the top things for seniors to do in Escondido CA and nearby San Diego.
1. See Art at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido
The California Center for the Arts, Escondido, pictured above, is Escondido’s premier visual and performing arts venue. The center presents four to six visual art exhibitions each year in its museum, spotlighting contemporary artists and their work. There’s also an Emerging Artist Gallery Wall dedicated to exhibiting young community artists.
In addition to visual arts, the center has a 1,500-seat concert hall and a 400-seat theater, presenting singers, ballets, symphonies, musicals and theater productions. Visitors can also enroll in one of the center’s education programs, including visual arts workshops for adults and families, plus artist-led master classes.
2. Visit the San Diego Zoo
If you’re an animal lover, the San Diego Zoo definitely lands among the best things to do in San Diego. In 2022, “Time Out” ranked the San Diego Zoo as the top zoo in the United States. This massive space has been around since 1916 and features more than 12,000 animals in conservation-focused spaces.
It’s easy to spend hours and days wandering the zoo and its wide variety of habitats. Seniors can get discounts on memberships that offer unlimited annual visits and other perks.
3. See a Show at The Welk
The Welk Theatre hosts entertaining concerts and shows, including tribute band concerts with music by groups like the Beatles, Journey, James Taylor, Neil Diamond and Creedence Clearwater Revival. The 2,200-seat space also has theater, magician and musical productions.
Located at The Welk Resort, theatergoers can make a staycation out of their visit, play golf before a show or engage in one of the resort’s other amenities.
4. Sip Wine at a Winery
Escondido is home to more than a dozen vineyards and wineries that produce delectable varieties of wine. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, each winery has a unique ambiance and picturesque settings in which to relax and enjoy the view.
Some of the top Escondido wineries include:
- Orfila Vineyards and Winery, featuring a patio, family-friendly picnic area and tasting room on a 70-acre estate
- Cordiano Winery, which has a full kitchen serving up pizza and pasta dishes
- Deer Park Winery & Auto Museum, which features local wines and has a vintage auto museum on-site
- Espinosa Vineyards, open weekends for wine tastings
- Hungry Hawk Vineyards & Winery, open on weekends for those ages 21 and older, with a spacious patio with gorgeous valley views
Some wineries allow you to bring your own food, or stop by for a live music concert. Make a day out of wine tasting by creating your own Escondido winery itinerary.
5. Enjoy Nature at Daley Ranch
Daley Ranch is one of Escondido’s most notable nature areas, spanning more than 3,200 acres with a variety of natural vegetation and riparian areas. There are more than 25 miles of multipurpose trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Trails like the Boulder Loop Trail provide pretty Escondido views, while the Ranch House Loop trail winds around two ponds.
Every second Sunday of the month, visitors can attend a ranger-led tour of the historic Daley Ranch House. There’s also a redwood barn and historical outbuildings. Tourgoers can learn about the unique history of the ranch.
6. Spend Time in Historic Downtown Escondido
For those interested in shopping, dining and public art, historic downtown Escondido has plenty to offer. There are more than 20 delicious restaurants to choose from, as well as vintage buildings that today are home to diverse shops and art galleries. There’s also a self-guided Escondido public art tour, which visitors can take to see more than a dozen stunning artworks.
Downtown Escondido is right by the Old Escondido Historic District neighborhood, which has hundreds of historically designated homes, some of which date back to the mid-1880s. Both the self-guided Old Escondido East and Old Escondido West tours each take about an hour to tour each 1.5-mile route.
7. See Artifacts at the San Diego Archaeological Center
The San Diego Archaeological Center in Escondido is a museum and education and research facility that displays artifacts dating back 12,000 years from the area. Exhibits include a By Land and By Sea exhibit on the first people to come to the Americas, an Archaeology 101 exhibit on the study of human history and prehistory, an exhibit on local pottery and an exhibit that looks at the socioeconomic lives of people who lived in Downtown San Diego in the 1880s.
The center also hosts a 2nd Saturday lecture series with speakers who are archaeologists, experts and authors. Adults can also book tours and programs. Admission to the center is free, with a suggested donation.
8. Connect with a Senior Center
Escondido is home to several senior centers in the area. These are spaces seniors can visit for free or low-cost activities, including bingo, fitness classes, dances, billiards and community-building meetings.
The Park Avenue Community Center is home to the Escondido Senior Center, which provides programs and services to those ages 50 and older, including shuffleboard, a library and reference center, a cafe and a resource office. There are also lounge areas for meeting with friends and building relationships with other seniors in Escondido.
9. Head to the Beach
From Escondido, you can drive to the Pacific coastline and beautiful San Diego beaches in less than an hour. Whether you enjoy lounging on the beach with a good book, or you love swimming or boating, there are lots of water activities close by when you live in Escondido.
Another perk to living near the water are the views. When you want to enjoy a meal out by the water, there are lots of beachfront restaurants where you can relax, savor local seafood and take in the breathtaking ocean sights.
Check Out Activities at Felicita Vida
In addition to all these things to do in Escondido, the assisted living and memory care accommodations at Felicita Vita provide a full schedule of programming for seniors. Activities focus on building community and supporting physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health.