The mild climate and gentle, rolling hills are just two of the many reasons people move to Vista. Located approximately 42 miles north of San Diego and seven miles from the ocean, Vista has a population of approximately 96,000. Much of the city has a rural feel and lovely views due to those rolling hills. Vista’s name is quite fitting.
Vista was originally part of several ranchos, one of which was Rancho Buena Vista. In 1882, John Frazier applied to open the post office and gave Vista its name. Vista was incorporated in 1963 and has seen substantial growth over the last 50 years. The mostly rural, farming community that was named “Avocado Capital of the World” in 1948 is now a thriving, growing community that was designated as one of the “30 best places to live in the country” in the 1970s and one of the 50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family in 2005.
Vista has a broad range of neighborhoods. In the south, you’ll find the master planned community of Shadowridge and Vista Heights. Shadowridge is built around the 18-hole, championship Shadowridge Golf Club. The established neighborhood of Alta Vista in the eastern section of the city offers lovely views and ranch style homes, and the rural Warmlands area in the north includes luxury homes with panoramic views. There are also neighborhoods that are in unincorporated San Diego County but fall within Vista’s influence. The lovely, rural area commonly called Buena Creek is one of these neighborhoods.
Vista students are primarily served by the Vista Unified School District, but a small part of the city falls within the San Marcos Unified School District boundaries. Vista Unified School District is a large district with 29 schools and has recently put its Blueprint for Educational Excellence and Innovation into effect.
Please contact the schools directly to confirm attendance boundaries. This website only provides general information and should not be relied upon to determine attendance boundaries.
SEARCH VISTA HOMES
Vista is located approximately 42 miles north of downtown San Diego and San Diego International Airport. State Route 78 runs through the city and Vista’s location almost midway between the two major north-south freeways in San Diego County, Interstate 5 and Interstate 15, make most points easily accessible. Both Interstate 5 and 15 will get you to downtown San Diego. If you’re looking to travel farther, those freeways connect with many others and will take you as far as the Canadian border.
The Vista Transit Center includes the Sprinter light rail passenger train which runs east to Escondido and west to the Oceanside Transit Center. The Sprinter has 15 stations including stops at Palomar Community College and California State University San Marcos. The transit district also offers bus service throughout North County. Additionally, Oceanside has access to the Coaster commuter train that runs south to downtown San Diego and to Amtrak or Metro trains that run south to San Diego and north to Los Angeles and beyond. You can also fly to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from the neighboring city of Carlsbad using McClellan–Palomar Airport, a single-runway public airport owned by the County of San Diego. This makes it easy for business and leisure travelers to skip long commutes and airport congestion and still have access to one of the largest airports in the U.S. for national and international flights.
Vista lists its top companies by number of employees. They are:
- Vista Unified School District – Education
- San Diego Superior Court North County – Government
- DJ Orthopedics LLC – Manufacturing
- Watkins Manufacturing Corporation – Manufacturing
- Jeld-Wen Windows & Doors – Manufacturing
- Datron World Communications, Inc. – Communications Equipment
- Wal Mart Store – Retail
- Costco Wholesale – General Line Grocery
- US Foodservice, Inc. – Retail
- Science Applications Int. Corp. – Research & Development
- Aperio Technologies, Inc. – Research & Development
- Target Stores – Retail
THINGS TO DO
Vista is the home of The Wave Waterpark, a waterpark run by the city which includes four slides, a simulated wave, a lazy river, a separate area for little ones under 48 inches and a competition pool. In addition to the water park, The Wave offers swim lessons, lap swimming, summer camps, junior lifeguard lessons, water polo and flow rider classes. The city has two historic adobe buildings preserved from its early rancho history, the 163-year old Rancho Buena Vista Adobe and the Rancho Guajome Adobe. The adobes offer historic tours, summer camps and school programs. Not far from the Rancho Guajome Adobe is the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum. The museum has exhibits, demonstrations, activities and programs focusing on farm equipment and tools from 1849 through the early 1960s. They have active demonstrations, tractor shows, antique auctions, and even teach blacksmithing.
If you are looking for entertainment, try the AVO Playhouse and Moonlight Amphitheater. These venues are part of Moonlight Stage Productions, an award-winning regional theatre company. Moonlight Amphitheatre is located in Brengle Terrace Park, and performs Broadway musicals under the stars during the summer months. The AVO Playhouse, located in the Vista Village, has a diverse line-up of comedies, dramas and small-scale musicals during the winter months. If you’d rather see a movie, try the Cinépolis Luxury Cinema. The elegant, 15 screen site offers stadium seating, spacious theaters, digital projection, premium audio and 3D viewing. The City of Vista provides summer movies in the park.
In 2003 Vista underwent a major revitalization of its downtown. The area called Vista Village includes multiple restaurants and eateries, entertainment venues such as The Wave Waterpark, the multiplex movie theater and the AVO Playhouse, along with a variety of shops including neighborhood and specialty markets, Frazier Farms Natural Grocery, yoga studios, breweries, coffee houses and many more. Outside of Vista Village, there are community shopping centers located throughout the city making your everyday shopping needs quick and convenient. Vista also has the oldest farmers’ market in San Diego County. They are open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include local, certified and organic growers, crafters, food artisans and hot food vendors serving breakfast and lunch. If you are looking for a large shopping mall, you can find one nearby in Carlsbad or in Escondido.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
There are many outdoor sports and recreation opportunities in Vista. For those wanting to get wet, The Wave Waterpark mentioned in Things To Do will fit the bill. If you’d rather stay dry, Vista has plenty to keep you busy. You can go bowling at the Vista Entertainment Center, hiking or mountain biking on the miles of trails, participate in one of many available sports activities, enjoy one of Vista’s beautiful parks, or spend a day golfing.
There are 13 parks in Vista. The parks have a wide variety of amenities including tennis, basketball, handball and volleyball courts; picnic tables, barbecues and restrooms; lighted sports and soccer fields; tot lots, toddler, and children’s playgrounds; bocce ball and horseshoe pits. The 146 acre Buena Vista Park Pond and Open Space has a duck pond and miles of walking trails. Its southern section even allows off-leash play time for dogs. Brengle Terrace Park and Rec Center is also quite large and includes meeting rooms, a gymnasium, an auditorium, a disc golf course, the Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, and is home to the Moonlight Amphitheatre.
While Vista’s skatepark is currently closed, the city is working on two new parks they hope to open soon. Aura Skateboard Company includes a private, skateboard training facility with skateboarding lessons.
The Vista Recreation Department provides many sporting opportunities for youth and adults. There are adult sports leagues, fitness classes and lap swimming. They offer sports program, summer camps, swim lessons, junior lifeguards, splash camps and counselor training for youth. Vista’s senior programs include fitness training, line dancing, yoga, bridge, a computer club and a garden club. They even have computer, knitting, nutrition and Spanish classes for seniors.