9 Places You Must Visit in Fallbrook, CA
Known as the “Avocado Capital of the World,” Fallbrook is a small community of just over 30,000 people 50 miles north of San Diego. The Santa Margarita River, the San Luis Rey River, the rolling hills of citrus orchards and avocado trees, and the rugged terrain keep it isolated from its surrounding neighbors like Bonsall. Though avocados are its trademark product and the suburb hosts an Avocado Festival each spring, nursery plants and olives are also significant to Fallbrook’s revenue.
Fallbrook’s Downtown isn’t located on any major route, but there’s much to see and much to do in Fallbrook, making it well worth a trip. Though it may be isolated, it hides a treasure trove of wonders not only for residents but also for visiting tourists.
Downtown Fallbrook Main Street, Jackson Square, and Village Square
Fallbrook’s Downtown has art galleries, 18th century restored buildings and locally owned shops on Main Street. While fountains, cafes, and boutique shops make up its Jackson Square, Village Square has murals, sculptures, and other community art. Plaques on storefront benches and Hollywood-style stars add to the character and charm of the area. A farmers market is available on Sundays.
A cornerstone of Fallbrook, Live Oak Park is 27 acres of ancient oak tree forests, creating a canopy of oaks amongst streams. Its hiking trails are great for strolling, and its grounds are ideal for picnics on a nice day with six picnic areas available to reserve. This park also has two playgrounds, three softball fields, a volleyball and basketball court, soccer fields, a dance pavilion, and an amphitheater.
In the heart of Fallbrook lies a 46-acre preserve, full of tree groves, ponds, wildflowers, and wetland areas. Old farming equipment adds to its aesthetic, as it was initially a farm and an orchard. Two miles of trails are available for trekking, taking you through riparian forests and fields. This preserve makes for a great outing for birders, bikers, joggers, and walkers.
Named “Luisenos” by Spanish explorers, this stretch of river valley consists of 221-acres of preserve and epitomizes the nature of Fallbrook and San Diego County. Its trails are accessible to hikers, horseback riders, and mountain bikers. The river attracts wildlife, providing a chance to see raptors, deer, and other animals. Horse corrals, an equestrian staging area, portable restrooms, and 2 miles of non-motorized multipurpose trails are also available.
Railroad Heritage Park showcases the rail industry’s role in the history of Fallbrook, including how its rail line played a part in World War II as it shipped munitions to the coast from the Naval Weapon Station.
Located at Elder Street and Main Avenue, visitors can enjoy performances on the station platform. It also has a replica waiting station that tells of Fallbrook’s train history and a train mural. Recently, the Fallbrook Railroad Heritage Park began fundraising for the purchase of an authentic caboose as an addition to the park.
Learn about the history of gems and mining of Southern California at the Gem and Mineral Society Museum. Founded in 1957, this museum covers not only gems and minerals, but also geology, lapidary arts, jewelry, earth sciences, and paleontology with specimens from around the world.
You will also find expert speakers here as well as workshops for hobbyists, street fairs, gem shows, silent auctions, potlucks, and field trips that focus on collecting and learning. Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, museum entry and parking is free.
Established in 1976, the Fallbrook Historical Society Museum offers views of a restored Victorian farmhouse, a dozen miniature models of early Fallbrook buildings from 1882 to the early 1900s, a research library, and exhibits of artifacts from Native Americans and early settlers. Docent-led tours of the museum are available along with tours of the Ford Room—an exhibit featuring three antique Ford vehicles and historic posters from the Vintage Car Club Car Shows and the Pittenger House.
This visual arts center has rotating exhibitions not just by local artists but internationally recognized artists as well. Its 20-foot cathedral ceiling and dropped LED lighting allows for stunning art displays in its 3,500-foot space. The gallery includes the Rosalie & Spencer Lehmann room, often with two-dimensional art featured, and the Salon, which also serves as the dining room for the cafe. They have 7 annual shows in their main exhibition space—the Janice Griffiths Gallery.
Given the same name as the creek running through it, Myrtle Creek Nursery offers a view of the early 1900s with its sprawling property full of gardens, oak trees, shrubs, and varying flowers.
There’s also a historic barn built in 1895 made of old-style wood planking with a small petting farm, a plantation-style home, a carriage house, a cafe, a historic gift shop built in 1899, and of course, a nursery with a variety of botanicals on 30 acres of Fallbrook’s Myrtle Creek Valley. Its pond, water wheel, and the water for the gardens come from 130-feet deep, hand-dug water wells.
Open daily from 9 to 5 p.m., this garden has free parking and admission so that residents and visitors can enjoy the serene ambiance of its wooden bridges, statues, and fountains. The grounds also house a Butterfly Garden as well as a Wild Bird Sanctuary.