Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!
For those dreaming up an excursion that includes lakefront lodging, look no further than San Marcos! San Marcos has a beautiful lake open to the public known as Lake San Marcos.
You can enjoy all types of water features here including paddle-boarding or even a gondola ride! There are also many land options including dining, golfing and the lovely Lakehouse Hotel, where we stayed!
Lakehouse Hotel offers 144 resort-style rooms which includes either pool-view studios or lake-front cottages. Enjoy extra large balconies, rain shower heads, a Keurig coffee maker & refrigerator and so much more!
There is also a coffee shop on site, two beautiful pools & spas and even tennis courts. And all of this sits directly next to the lake!
Expansive pool decks with two pools and hot tubs (with ADA compliant pool lift)
Marina with boat rentals, kayaks and fishing gear.
Lobby with fireplace, library and board games
24-hour in-room dining with gourmet cuisine
Golf at St. Mark Golf Club and St. Mark Executive Course
Fire pits with waterfront views
Tennis and Pickleball courts at St. Mark Golf Club
Massage services to relax and rejuvenate
Dining: The hotel has 4 dining options which includes The Grill, which offers gourmet meals footsteps off the green at St. Mark Golf Club. There is also the Tap in Tavern which invites guests to enjoy indoor and outdoor seating in a communal setting overlooking the ninth hole of St. Mark Executive Course.
Then there is Canteen Coffee which is located next to their pool. It is open daily at 6am, serving up everything from specialty coffee drinks to grab n’ go lunch and breakfast items to ice cream.
And lastly is Amalfi Cucina Italiana which specializes in handcrafted Italian food including pizza and gourmet salads as well as American-style favorites sitting right alongside the lake.
Some of Lake San Marcos' earliest inhabitants are the Luiseño people. This area was where one of there seasonal villages was.
This area was also once part of the Butterfield stagecoach route. We have covered other places you can visit that were part of the stagecoach route here and here.
In the late 1800's a Spanish Land grant was given here, naming the area “Los Vallecitos de San Marcos” or the “Little Valleys of Saint Mark". The golf club that is owned by Lakehouse Resort is actually named the St. Mark Golf Club as a nod to the past.
Lake San Marcos was originally a creek that was dammed up in the 1940's, creating the lake we see today. It was originally used for irrigating cattle ranches in the valley. Cattle ranching was eventually replaced by growing produce. To this day you can still spot avocado groves on the hillsides nearby.
In the 1960's the land was purchased by developers who put in the lakeside residencies you will see along the lake today. In fact, they actually won a 'Best planned lakeside community in the nation' award at the time. Today there are over 2500 homes in the area, which only recently became open to people of all ages. This was a 55+ living space for many decades.
Personal Experience: We got the opportunity to spend a full 24 hours at Lake San Marcos. Staying at the Lakehouse Hotel helped to make this such a memorable experience. It definitely makes you feel like you're far away from home. It was so peaceful
We visited in December when everything was decorated for the holidays. It made it feel so much cozier being cold out and everything lit up.
We even got to go on another gondola ride with Black Swan Gondola! They offer an authentic gondola experience around the lake. Definitely worth it!
This is far from just a lake though. This is a full-on town! There are plazas for shopping, multiple restaurant options and a bunch of water features to take advantage of.
This is such a beautiful place to visit even if you just come to take a walk around (part of) the lake. Make sure to look out for the black swans! I was told a man used to raise black swans in his yard and eventually set them free in the lake. They now thrive out here.
This is such a great trip for the entire family, pups included! I will definitely be back again!
The lobby was very chic:
We stayed in their Premier Lakeview Room:
I mean, you really can't beat that view!
We were right above the marina:
Gotta love when it's dog-friendly!
In the evening we grabbed some drinks at the Grill. This restaurant sits right alongside the golf course. The fire pits were an excellent touch as it was quite cold!
We then did a gondola ride through Black Swan Gondola!
It's so romantic and such a great way to experience the charm of the lake. Our gondolier even sang and played the harmonica for us! How lucky are all those people to live right alongside the lake?
Later in the evening we made s'mores from the s'mores kit we got from the lobby earlier in the day. I love all the fire pits around the property. This one was my favorite because it felt so campy:
Next morning enjoying those beautiful views!
My friend stopped by to hang out with me at the Lake. We started the morning off at Canteen Coffee:
Then headed over to the Grill for breakfast:
'Til next time!
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