San Marcos is one of the fastest growing cities in San Diego County. Located 12 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the city's 34 square miles of rolling hills and valleys provides affordable housing and a supportive business environment.
The area was named by Spanish soldiers riding after cattle take by the Indians. They found the fertile valley in 1797 and named it Los Vallecitos de San Marcos--Little Valleys of St. Mark. In 1840, the valley was deeded to Sgt. Mario Alvarado. After Alvarado was killed at San Pasqual, his widow sold the land to Larenzo Soto. In the late 1850s, Maj. Gustavus F. Merriam arrived from Kansas and started the first permanent settlement.
San Marcos is seeing few effects from the state's economic downturn. The city, located on the I-15 inland corridor, has developed a unique niche approach to its economic development. It tries to attract industries and retailers who are not overly represented in the surrounding areas. This strategy means that San Marcos is rapidly becoming a regional hub for such products as electronics, home furnishings, recreation vehicles and motorcycles.
Fry's and Best Buy both recently opened up large stores in San Marcos offering the area access to large selections of electronic merchandise at discount prices. There are two large RV dealerships and several motorcycle dealers within the city limits. Residents and visitors can find a large selection of furniture stores and designer outlets along the frontage road the borders I-15 in San Marcos. Lowe's, Staples and Kohls are all currently under construction and will open sometime in the next year.