Signup Login

Forgot password? Don't have an account? Sign up here Close
Signup Login


Reset my password


San Marcos Neighborhood Guide: Rock Springs

Nordahl Marketplace

The Rock Springs neighborhood of San Marcos offers its residents the comforts and conveniences of suburban living just a few minutes from city amenities. Locals enjoy plenty of shopping and dining opportunities within a few miles, and outdoor recreational areas are just a short drive away.

Commuters benefit from the close proximity of Highway 78 running along the southern border of the neighborhood, and Interstate 15 is just a little to the east.


The land that is now San Marcos was once inhabited by indigenous people until it was given to a relative of the governor of California in 1840. The land changed hands over the years to eventually end up as part of the landholdings of Cave Couts, who is well known in the San Diego area. The first permanent settlement in the area was established in the Twin Oaks Valley by Major Gustavus French Merriam, which was followed by German and Dutch immigrants moving to the area.

When Barham was established in 1884, it became the first official town in the area. In 1887, the San Marcos Land Company purchased the land from the Couts family, and the land continued to be used primarily for agricultural purposes. It was not until 1963 that San Marcos was officially incorporated.


The Rock Springs neighborhood is mostly made up of single-family homes, including detached homes and mobile homes. There are some older neighborhoods with homes built prior to 1949 and a few pockets of new construction with homes built since 2000, but the vast majority of homes in this community were constructed between 1970 and 1989.

At the time of this writing, there are mobile homes for sale in Rock Springs for less than $200,000 (with a few available for less than $100,000), but most homes in this area start in the $300,000s on the low end, and listing prices go up from there. I noticed just one home for sale in this area for more than $1,000,000, which is a three-bedroom, 2-bathroom home on acreage with a guest house, tennis court and swimming pool on the market for $1,500,000.

For the most part, if your home-buying budget is between about $350,000 and $650,000, you should have no problem finding several homes on the market that may meet your needs.

Woodland Aquatic

Restaurants, Shopping & Entertainment

Most of the Rock Springs community is a residential neighborhood with homes and parks; however, all of the homes in this area are just a short drive from nearby shopping, dining and entertainment opportunities.

Although San Marcos does not really have a downtown area, all that San Marcos offers is within a few miles of this neighborhood. Additionally, residents of Rock Springs can be in Downtown Escondido in just a few minutes, and that means easy access to all sorts of shopping, dining and entertainment options, including boutiques, locally owned eateries and attractions like the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, Heritage Walk at Grape Day Park, California Center for the Arts Escondido and Saturday ArtWalks.

For daily errands and quick trips to Costco or a drive-through restaurant, you will not even need to leave the neighborhood, since there are plenty of big names located at the southern border of Rock Springs near Highway 78.

Aside from Costco, this area is also home to the Vallecitos Town Center and Nordahl Marketplace, where you will find Starbucks, Kohl’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Payless ShoeSource, Rubio’s, Burger King, KFC, Guitar Center, Elam’s Hallmark and more.

Part of the intentions of the San Marcos Creek Specific Plan is to create a downtown area with extended shopping and dining options, so Rock Springs residents can expect to see their nearby options expand as this plan is implemented.

Hollandia Park

Parks & Recreation

Rock Springs is ideally located for anyone who wants to live in town but enjoys spending time outdoors. There are nearby golf courses, such as the Twin Oaks Valley Golf Course, and plenty of outdoor recreational areas within driving distance, such as Daley Ranch, Lake Hodges and the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve.

If you are looking for a place a bit closer to home for a picnic or an afternoon at the pool, Rock Springs also offers plenty of community park space for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Woodland Park and the Woodland Aquatic Facility are popular local hangouts located on Woodland Parkway near the border between Rock Springs and the neighboring Mulberry community. The aquatic center is home to three swimming pools, a diving pool, a children’s pool and a waterslide. The park is home to a playground, an 11-acre open area for picnics and playing, and ponds and fountains. The nearby Woodland Park Tennis Courts facility offers even more outdoor recreation with nine tennis courts available to the public.

Hollandia Park is also located in the Rock Springs community at 12 Mission Hills Court. Visitors to the park will find an off-leash dog park, softball fields, horseshoe pits, a skate park, picnic tables, a multi-purpose field, an adventure playground with a climbing wall and an amphitheater.

There is also Knob Hill Park, which is a cute, little park located at 860 Avenida Ricardo that has picnic tables and playground equipment.

Mission Hills High


Most public elementary school students living in Rock Springs will attend Knob Hill Elementary School in the San Marcos Unified School District. Some living in the northern part of the community may attend Richland Elementary School, which is also in the San Marcos Unified School District.

Public middle school students generally attend Woodland Park Middle School, which is located within in the neighborhood. High school students most often attend Mission Hills High School, which is also located in the Rock Springs community.

California State University San Marcos is just a short drive southwest of Rock Springs, which makes this a convenient choice for adult learners who want to continue their education close to home. Other options for adult learners include Palomar College in northern San Marcos and University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.


The Rock Springs neighborhood is north of Highway 78, west of Interstate 15 and south of Borden Road. It shares a border with the Barham-Coronado community to the south, the Mulberry community to the west and northwest, and the Escondido Country Club neighborhood to the east and northeast.

Woodland Aquatic

Additional Information

If you are hoping to find your next dream home in a family-friendly, suburban setting with nearby shopping, dining, parks, outdoor recreation and entertainment, the San Marcos neighborhood of Rock Springs is worth a look.

The range of housing prices keeps the Rock Springs real estate market accessible to a larger group of potential homebuyers, and there are options for those who appreciate the charm or older homes, as well as for those who prefer the luxury of newer construction.



The photos of the Woodland Aquatic Facility and Hollandia Park are courtesy of the City of San Marcos website. The photo of Mission Hills High School is courtesy of the Lusardi Construction Company website. The photo of Nordahl Marketplace is courtesy of the Nordahl Marketplace website. Real estate data was gathered from and

AJ Davis-Varela: AJ is a freelance writer and blogger at Articles by AJ specializing in travel, real estate, natural wellness and green living. She is a magazine columnist, a former San Diego newspaper columnist, has been published in a variety of print and online publications, and regularly contributes to several websites and blogs. You can connect with AJ on LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+