Past Meetup

Day Trip to North San Diego County: Queen Califia & Grand Traditions

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Please Note: I am hosting this event for both Gay Foodies and Pleasure Palate. This is part of a day trip to Northern San Diego County. 2 out of the 3 stops have admission fees.

Admission to Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden is FREE.

Admission to the Art Center at Escondido is $8 per person for the museum


Admission for Grand Traditions Estate is $25 for a docent or $7.50 per person for self guided tour of the mansion and gardens.

After the visit to the Civil War Reenactment at Vista, we will have lunch and then visit 3 points of interest in a row before heading back to LA.

Our first stop is the Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden. I have been wanting to see this sculpture garden for several years now. Based on pictures I have seen, it reminds me of Gaudi's sculpture park in Barcelona. Its the only sculpture garden created by an internationally renowned artist who passed away several years ago. The sculpture garden has been around for 10 years or so.

For more photos of Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden:

After visiting the Queen Califia's Garden, we will head nearby to Escondido's Art Center Museum.

340 North Escondido Blvd.
Escondido, CA 92025

A prolific author, teacher and watercolor artist, Duane R. Light made his mark on North County San Diego beginning in the 1980s when he moved here and founded Studio West Gallery. Into the Light will feature works acclaimed throughout the US ranging from near-photorealistic to more expressive and gestural, encompassing scenes from the Escondido Valley and beyond.

The exhibition features paintings of local Escondido architecture and scenes of the San Diego Bay, as well as images of boats and trains which were the artist’s specialty. Praised for his contributions to the local art scene, Light embraced his adopted community. He served as the President of the Board of Directors for both Watercolor West and the San Diego Watercolor Society. He also served on the Board of Directors of several organizations including the La Jolla Art Association, the San Diego Art Institute, Rancho Bernardo Art Association and the Big Bear Art Association, among others.

Our Final stop before returning to LA is a place I read about in the LA Times last year. The Grand Tradition Estate was until last year, only available for private events like weddings. They have since opened their doors for tours of their garden with its heart shaped lake. They also have a Victorian Beverly Mansion that we might get to tour if they have a docent available when we visit.

For more info on Grand Tradition, check out their website: