12 Fun & Best Things to Do in Fallbrook, California

What is Fallbrook, California, known for? Not too many people know it, but it is recognized as the “Avocado Capital of the World!”

Yup.

Sitting quietly in a cozy nook a few dozen miles north of San Diego, the city of Fallbrook in Southern California is a true hidden gem for those looking for some worthwhile quality time, whether by themselves, with their whole family, or with best friends, minus the hustle of a typical tourist-trap vacation destination. 

A lot of the top things to do in Fallbrook involve the outdoors or a component of nature, one way or another. From towering oak trees to vineyards on rolling hills, to gems and minerals unearthed from below, to gourds and strawberries ripe and ready for picking, there’s simply something to do for everyone, young or old!

A stroll along the historic downtown will reveal that many of the wooden buildings still standing are, in fact, historic. The local Historical Society Museum highlights the important aspects of local history through the preservation of model trains and vintage cars, which trace the developments of the town from its pioneering past. 

Although it’s not directly accessible from the highways or other major roads, getting around Fallbrook becomes easier once you’re inside and if you have your transportation plans laid out. That’s why it’s highly recommended to carefully prepare your itinerary, especially if you’re traveling with kids or seniors.

Read on for more travel tips and recommendations in and around the Fallbrook area.

TLDR

Here’s a quick look at the top activities to do and places to go in Fallbrook, California, for kids, families, those traveling with friends, or those flying solo.

  • Most significant landmark – Fallbrook Railroad Heritage Park
  • Best park – Live Oak Park
  • Best free activities – Los Jilgueros Preserve
  • Best kids activities – Kenny’s Strawberry Farm
  • Best activity for adults Fallbrook Winery
  • Best food – Nessy’s Burgers
  • Best nightlife – Aqua Terra Restaurant
  • Best all-around accommodation – Estate d’Iacobelli Winery

Best & Fun Things to Do in Fallbrook, CA

1. Fallbrook Art Center

Address: 103 S. Main Ave., Fallbrook, CA 92028

Local art scenes say a lot about the community they are in. If you want to get a quick taste of art appreciation while in Fallbrook, head over to the Fallbrook Art Center.

Since its establishment in 1996, it has become a home for homegrown artists showcasing their creativity. The art center, located in the historic downtown, is also open for exhibitions featuring artists recognized in other parts of the region, as well as those from the international scene. 

Apart from regular rotating exhibits, the Fallbrook Art Center also offers Guild membership, which lets them participate in an annual juried show. They also offer other artists opportunities through calls for show entries in their various galleries. 

Take a break from all the breathtaking and awe-inspiring artwork in the center. Head over to their restaurant, Café des Artistes, where you can get a refreshing drink from the vintage soda fountain equipment originally used by the former occupants of the building, Rexall Pharmacy. 

Beyond the soda fountain treats, you can also fill up healthy Mediterranean food from their menu. Pair it with coffee, wine, or beer so you can go back in for the rest of the galleries more energized.

The Fallbrook Art Center is open daily except for Sundays. You can find free on-street parking, as well as the lot right behind the building. It’s also a huge plus that it’s one of the free things to do in Fallbrook, California. Check out their ongoing exhibitions right here.

Looking for somewhere to stay nearby? This lovely mid-20th Century, 3-bedroom rental property comes with a pool and a patio and is just a few blocks away.

2. Kenny’s Strawberry Farm

Address: 935 Rainbow Valley Boulevard, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Kenny’s Strawberry Farm is a great destination for both kids and adults alike! Perfect for those looking for a wholesome family activity that everyone can enjoy, this U-Pick style farm gives the best strawberry-picking experience across their vast fields. 

The important thing you have to note is that this family-owned strawberry farm follows a seasonal operation. This means that you really should plan your trip ahead to make sure that you will be accommodated. 

To give you an idea, they grow their berries from February to July. Within this period, February and March give them time to open for U-Pick harvesting, and then they close the farm to the public for the rest of the planting period. 

Apart from that short but sweet window early on in the year, they also typically re-open their gates once more in October, in time for the pumpkin season. So if you’re going to be in the area, then you might as well make the stop and drop by the strawberry farm.

Make sure to add strawberry picking at the farm to your list of things to do in Fallbrook with kids. Not only will you be able to pick fresh strawberries yourself directly from the farm, but even the ones you can buy from the stands are guaranteed to have been picked fresh that morning too.

To know more about their farm schedule, and if you have any other questions regarding your visit, visit their website for details.

See Related: Best and Fun Things to Do in Jamestown, California

3. Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Museum

Address: 123 W. Alvarado Street., Fallbrook, CA 92028

What’s the best little gem in Fallbrook, California?

Do you love seeing and learning all about shiny gems and minerals dug out of the earth? If so, then the Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Museum is the perfect spot for you! 

This museum is actually run by the nonprofit organization, the Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Society. Apart from their generous display of beautiful gems and minerals, they also provide research and education about jewelry, other lapidary arts, paleontology, and general earth sciences.

If you want to do more than simply look at the educational displays, you can get some hands-on experience through the different practical workshops they provide. You can also sign up for small conferences featuring various speakers.

This great place is one of the best cheap activities for kids in Fallbrook. The Society also hosts special events such as annual street fairs and gem shows, so make sure to check those out if ever you do catch one while you’re in the area.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to do in Monterey, California

4. The Fallbrook Library

Address: 124 S. Mission Rd., Fallbrook, CA 92028

Not all travel adventures need to be action-packed and frenzied with non-stop adventure. Sometimes, a little downtime with some peace and quiet can provide the balance you need for a more sustainable itinerary.

Drop by and settle in at the Fallbrook Library if you want to take a quick break from all the walking and tourist activities. It may look and sound unassuming, but it’s got a lot more character and history to it than meets the eye.

For one, did you know that it is, in fact, the pioneer branch of the San Diego County Public Library? Thanks to the Sunday Afternoon Club, the library was founded in 1913 and is now home to an impressive catalog of 33.7 million books, films, and music. 

Apart from its overwhelming collections, Fallbrook Library hosts various events, from book clubs to yoga and even meditation sessions. Whatever your reasons may be for dropping by–whether it’s too hot a day out or it’s cold and raining–you will find yourself having time well spent here in the library. You can also lodge at the Fallbrook Country Inn during the course of your visit to the library.

5. Emerald Forest Bird Gardens

Address: 38420 Dos Cameos Drive, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Do you love birds? If yes, then the Emerald Forest Bird Gardens is a must-visit on your Fallbrook trip. If you don’t, drop by anyway, and you’ll find yourself leaving as a bird-lover. 

The Emerald Forest Bird Gardens sits on a hill within forty acres of riparian woodlands. Here, you will find one of the most exquisite private collections anyone could find anywhere in the world!

It is so renowned that its fame is known far and wide–even among international news and magazines have featured it! You will surely experience a truly world-class garden amidst a semi-tropical setting.

See for yourself the beauty and magnificence of exotic birds like peacocks, parrots, toucans, and cockatoos, among many others. You can take your pick from among the different types of tours onsite, such as the guided general tour or the photography excursion. 

The other great thing about the Emerald Forest Bird Gardens is that it’s great for curious visitors and hobbyists and researching scientists and budding enthusiasts. The studies and research they support and promote here have helped deepen our understanding of the birds’ health and behavior.

So come and visit the Emerald Forest Bird Gardens. You never know; you might even walk away as a brand new owner of an exotic bird. That’s right; they also allow the adoption of some of their birds. 

You can read more about their process of buying birds here in case you’re interested.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Oakhurst, California

6. California Watercolor

Address: 560 C Industrial Way, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Another artsy space you can check out while in Fallbrook is California Watercolor along Industrial Way. This gallery also acts as a workshop space and features a wide variety of fine art, all the way from the early 20th Century to today. 

Vintage art prints, HD giclée art prints, handcrafted artwork, and even books are available here. Their focus, however, is primarily watercolor art, having recognized the vast wealth of creative talents for the medium in California.

What stands out the most about these watercolor paintings is that they were painted directly to the canvas, without any preliminary outlines or drawings. As artists became more confident with the use of the medium, their skills and techniques further developed as well.

Today, their collections include vast selections of beautiful California and American watercolor paintings. The gallery is open daily, except Sundays, so do feel free to drop by at your most convenient time. 

You might as well think about making room for some new art in your home because the pieces are for sale at affordable prices in the gallery. 

Check out their collection of original California Art and American paintings here, in case you’d like to take your pick. You can also get in touch with them here should you have artwork that you would like to get an appraisal for.

7. Los Jilgueros Preserve

Address: S Mission Rd, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Can’t get enough of the beautiful outdoors in Fallbrook? Add the Los Jilgueros Preserve to your itinerary to explore more! 

This preserve covers up to 46 acres of different wildlife areas, giving you plenty of room for bird-watching activities in the wetlands, ponds, and among the tree groves of live oaks. As outdoorsy as it is, though, Los Jilgueros is still pretty convenient for most travelers. 

This is because it used to be a farm, which means the infrastructure for access is readily available. It also used to be an orchard, so old farm equipment could be found randomly throughout the property. 

With plenty of parking space, you can easily get some shade and rest before continuing with your activities, whether biking or walking. The Preserve also has its own restoration team for native plants, which has helped restore native species to the area. Wildflowers also bloom aplenty, so that you can expect a bright, beautiful landscape, especially in the spring.

Don’t forget to bring your camera or canvas painting! The natural beauty of the environment around you will surely inspire your creativity. You can also enjoy your break at the Pala Mesa Resort after the exploration.

You can also join the many recurring events that they have on the Preserve, which you can check out here. If you’d like to get some merch as a souvenir, just head over to their office at the historic Palomares House & Park, or get their details here.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Oakhurst, California

8. Finch Frolic Garden Permaculture

Address: 390 Vista Del Indio, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Here’s another amazing place to visit outdoors in Fallbrook. The Finch Frolic Garden Permaculture is filled with delicately beautiful flowers, as well as food and medicinal plants. 

The garden is an amazing lesson in sustainability, too, not only because of the natural environment it features but because of all the recycled materials used to create living bridges and buildings. 

And because they encourage sustainable gardening practices by way of permaculture, you can also get some valuable learnings on how to apply permaculture techniques right in your own garden. It’s a souvenir that’s going to be better than any photo or keychain because it can really help you improve and nurture your garden to its fullest potential while also being more efficient in your energy use. 

Once you’re done learning the techniques you need, you can go relax for the rest of your time in the properties. Take a leisurely walk through the flower gardens, sit and have a picnic, or go bird watching. 

Don’t forget to bring your camera or canvas painting! The natural beauty of the environment around you will surely spark inspiration for your creativity.

If you want to have more structure in your trip, sign up for their monthly tours. Check out more details here to learn more about what to expect and how you should prepare.

9. Estate d’Iacobelli Winery

Address: 2175 Tecalote Drive, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Estate d’Iacobelli Winery sits on 20 acres of land primed for quality grape-growing to produce top-notch wines. Transport yourself to the Mediterranean without leaving the comforts of California. 

Experience a refreshing retreat in the vineyards as you take in the breathtaking views of mountains and valleys from the property’s hilltop. There’s no need to rush because The Estate welcomes guests to stay. 

You can gain access to the 2-bedroom main residence, fully furnished with modern amenities that fit perfectly into the traditional, rustic ambiance. Included in the hilltop home is a casita guest house and sitting between these two buildings are the open courtyard and swimming pool.

If you can’t stay the night, that’s alright too. You can simply enjoy your stay during the day, mingling with other guests at the Tasting Room, where you can wine and dine on local wines and fresh off-the-oven pizzas or cold-cut sandwiches.

To get the full Estate d’Iacobelli Winery, you should catch their Tasting Room events on Fridays to Sundays from 12 pm-6 pm. You’ll need to set an appointment for Mondays to Thursdays, so make sure to call first before making any plans.

Visit their website for more information on their Tasting Room schedules and menu, The Estate accommodations, wine club, and shop.

See Related: Best & Fun Things to do in Bishop, California

10. Welburn Gourd Farm

Address: 40635 De Luz Rd., Fallbrook, CA 92028

After the strawberry farms, bird gardens, and flowers preserve, we now come to the gourd farm–as in the Welburn Gourd Farm.

The Welburn Gourd Farm is one of the largest gourd producers in the whole of California, so if you want to see what 325,000 plants look like in a year, then this is the place to go.

Welburn Gourd Farm gives you a closer look at gourd farming, including what it’s like to live on a gourd farm. Several accommodations are available for rent, so you and your entire family can truly enjoy the rustic farm experience on your trip. 

While there, you can learn about the many different products you can create out of gourds! Get crafty and learn gourd-crafting techniques so you can create your own one-of-a-kind personal souvenir.

They also offer their classes online, so you can refer to those if you’d like to continue your lessons after your trip. This is otherwise a good way to pick up on the skills even though you haven’t gone to the farm itself. 

The Welburn Gourd Farm is open to the public from Wednesday to Saturday and is only open by appointment every Monday and Tuesday. Click here for more information on their availability, as well as directions on how to get there.

See Related: Best Things to do in San Jose, California

11. Live Oak County Park

Address: 2746 Reche Rd., Fallbrook, CA 92028

Live Oak County Park is 27 acres of oak forest. Take your family out for a lovely stroll under the refreshing canopy of the giant oak trees, or set up a picnic for a relaxing lunch.

Follow the designated trails, and make sure to follow proper trail etiquette as you share them with other visitors. Do keep in mind that all the plants, animals, and cultural and natural features within the park are all protected and so may not be removed, damaged, or harmed.

When you’re ready for more activities, you can go to their sports facilities, which include courts for basketball and volleyball, as well as fields for soccer and softball. There are also playgrounds for the young ones, where they can safely enjoy running around. 

Live Oak County Park is also pet-friendly, which means that your furry pals can also experience some outdoor fun. There’s a leash-free dog area so you can play fetch with them to their heart’s content.

Restroom facilities are easily available and accessible, so it’s still a comfortable time outdoors. Other amenities on the property that you can enjoy are the horseshoe pits, reservable picnic areas, campsites, and an amphitheater. Check out their brochure to learn more about Live Oak County Park’s history and rules, and regulations.

12. Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens

Address: 220 Grand Tradition Way, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Getting married in Fallbrook? Planning the perfect private event? Or maybe you’re just looking for romantic things to do on a date night in Fallbrook. The Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens is the perfect venue for all three!

This stunning country house set on magnificent grounds was built in 1984 by the local McDougal family with the purpose of creating the most idyllic wedding venue ever.

The resulting thirty-acre property with two separate reception venues, three ceremony sites, eighteen acres of thematic gardens, seven waterfalls, and a beautiful heart-shaped lake is all that and more.

The greens and botanical gardens truly are stunning and open to the public from Thursday through Sunday for an admission fee. Kids under 10 and Veranda diners can enter for free – which brings me to the food.

The Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens Veranda restaurant is one of the most romantic dining establishments in town – and you don’t even have to get married to eat here (although it probably couldn’t hurt). That said, reservations are required. There’s also the Orchid Bar that can be booked for swanky cocktail parties and wedding receptions.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Anaheim, California

Getting Around Fallbrook, CA

As with any other travel itinerary, preparing for transportation needs and options is a crucial element in truly enjoying a safe and convenient journey. 

Travel by Bus

Traveling downtown is a quick ride aboard the 306 bus run by the North County Transit District. Check out the Breeze line (Route 306) to see the available schedule for Fallbrook.

Travel by Car

Driving your own car will always be the most convenient option, especially when you have several things to do in Fallbrook, California. If you’re not planning on driving the entire way, you can look for car rentals in the area so you can still visit all the Fallbrook tourist attractions you plan on visiting. 

Taxi services are also available in Fallbrook. It’s also highly recommended, along with rideshare options, if you plan on having a night out in town.

Travel by Rideshare

As with most other areas in California, Uber and Lyft are fully operational in Fallbrook, California. Both rideshare apps also have a feature that lets you schedule your pick-up ahead of time.

Best Way to Get Around as a Solo Traveler

Fallbrook actually falls within San Diego County, so if you’re traveling from out of state, you can fly into San Diego and then get a ride to your destination.

Meanwhile, those coming from Northern California can take the Amtrak and get off at Oceanside. This stop is about 15 miles away from the greater Fallbrook and should take about 20-30 minutes by car.

Best Way to Get Around for Families or Groups

If you’re traveling with kids, elders, or bigger groups, it is highly recommended that you rent a car or shuttle service. Especially if you’re not likely to fit in one vehicle, you’d still want to be able to travel closely together so as to make sure everyone stays on schedule.

FAQ

What are the best tourist attractions in Fallbrook, CA?

Among the best Fallbrook, California tourist attractions include the Live Oak County Park, the Finch Frolic Garden Permaculture, Emerald Forest Bird Gardens, Kenny’s Strawberry Farm; wineries like Estate d’Iacobelli, Fallbrook Winery, and Myrtle Creek Vineyards; Los Jilgueros Preserve, Fallbrook Gem and Mineral Museum, and more. 
The places and activities listed here are only some of the great things you can do in Fallbrook, California. There are definitely more things you can try out, so go ahead and feel free to explore what else Fallbrook has to offer.

What are some fun things to do in Fallbrook, CA?

Is Fallbrook, California, worth visiting? With all the fun things you can do here, the answer is a resounding yes! From local museums and galleries recognized even internationally to parks and preserves that showcase the best that the region has to offer, you won’t be at a loss for what to do in Fallbrook, California.

What is the best thing to do with kids in Fallbrook, CA?

There are plenty of options for places to visit in Fallbrook, California, that kids will enjoy. Strawberry picking at Kenny’s Strawberry Farm, the Railroad Museum at the historic downtown, the hiking trails and campsites at preserves, and nature parks all make for great activities for kids.

What are some things to do in Fallbrook, CA, when it’s raining?

Fallbrook has a lot of awesome outdoor activities. However, when the weather isn’t really cooperating, some of the best things to do in Fallbrook, California, including going to the public library or visiting any of the aforementioned galleries and museums. 

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