Hidden Gems in Carlsbad

North San Diego County––not only a nice place to live, but a great place to vacation too.  On a recent visit, our son introduced us to a couple of gems that we would never have found on our own.  “Do you know the difference between a model and a miniature?”  IMG_5134Hidden away in a business park near the Palomar Airport is the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum, filled with tiny machines that actually work.




Volunteer guides provide commentary if you want, and demonstrate concepts in their machine shop displays.

A fun field trip for kids and adults interested in how things work.   We found the whole place fascinating.


The Birk Petersen collection includes  a couple of tractors plus more than 150 engines, guns, clocks, and toys.

If you can’t get there in person, the Craftsmanship Museum’s website has plenty of information and demonstration videos, and is worth a visit too.

Tucked away in the rolling hills close by is the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park, the country retreat of actor Leo Carrillo. IMG_5094Carrillo played Pancho in the old TV series The Cisco Kid and served as Goodwill Ambassador for California, too. IMG_5096The restored 27-acre park, owned by the City of Carlsbad, is promoted as a wedding venue and offers free tours on weekends.IMG_5105

We didn’t see any resident peacock spread his plumage, but we did capture the albino bird.  Can you imagine how frustrating it must be to live as an albino peacock?
The ranch grounds include nice walking paths.

See a short video about the ranch.

North County is the land of surf and sun.  Nearby activities include a walk on the Oceanside Pier, where we saw egrets and pelicans waiting for tidbits from fishermen.


Just south of Carlsbad, visit Encinitas. On Sunday mornings, eat and stroll through the popular Leucadia Farmers Market at the Paul Ecke Elementary School just off North Vulcan Avenue in Encinitas.  We had a beignet, or two, and bought a bag of sweet navel oranges.

You can eat oysters on site, or take a sea urchin home with you.

At the south end of Encinitas, stop by famous Swami’s Beach,

Park at the top of the cliff and take the stairs down.  Lots of steps.

We visited late in the afternoon, at low tide. IMG_5022

A great place to watch the surfers and enjoy the sunset.

Surfers trying to catch one more wave before the sun sets.
Looking for anemones in the tide pools.

Even the library in Encinitas has a view.

View from the library’s reading room.

Date of visit:  January 2019.       IMG_5051



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