Vista CA
Vista's hilly terrain provides many homes with panoramic ocean and mountains.

Vista a blend of new and old

At the northern edge of the county is the City of Vista. In Spanish, vista translates to "view." The location of this beautiful area lives up to its name with its beautiful views of the ocean to the west and the mountains to the north and east. Highway 78, which runs east west, cuts the city in half. Vista is only seven miles from the ocean. At the northeast side of town you find rolling hills scattered with commercial growers, sprawling homes and horse properties. Interstate 5 and the Highway 78 provide easy access to anywhere in the San Diego County.

"You get to enjoy the ocean breezes that come in, but you don't get as much fog as they do right at the beach," said Nancy Irwin who has lived here since 1995. "It has the best climate."

houses in Vista, CA

Real Estate Market

"Vista is really one of the least expensive places in the county to buy a home and still be close to the coast," said Irwin who is a Realtor with Realty Executives. 

"It feels more rural on the north side of the 78 and the lots sizes tend to be larger. "It feels more rural on the north side of the 78," Irwin said. South of 78 she noted there are homes in the newer development of Shadowridge that sell for over a million dollars. The development includes a golf course, shopping centers and schools.

There is a wide range of single-family homes available in Vista. At the low end of the price range you can homes priced in the mid $200,000s. At the high end there are homes listed for over $2 million. Vista is comprised of three Zip codes. According to DataQuick in May, 2015 the southern area of Vista (92084) had a median home price of $485,000; In the western part of Vista (92083) the median price was $381,750; In the eastern part of the city (92056) the median price was $453,760.

Vista Metroplex

Charming Main Street is Cultural Center of Vista

Main Street reminds one of a scene out of Mayberry or other small towns in America. A mural, called "A Journey Through Time", created by Clayton Parker covers the backside of the buildings on Main Street.  The mural starts with the story of Indian Rock, an ancient place where generations of LuiseƱo Indian girls came for coming-of-age ceremonies and follows the route of the old Vistacado Parade, an agricultural celebration of years past. The mural captures historical buildings such as the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe and Rancho Guajome Adobe and early businesses such as Sexsmith Market.

Rancho Guajome
The Rancho Guajome Adobe, one California's finest example of Anglo-Hispanic domestic architecture was originally built in 1853.

Civic Center
The gleaming new civic center reflects the modern direction of the city.

The other "tale" is reflected in the new Civic Center, a gleaming glass and stone edifice housing city offices, council chambers, library and recreation center.  The newer development of Shadow Ridge, complete with golf course, shopping centers and schools, helps to support the growing number of residents of this modern community. The commercial enterprises encompass a wide array of business' ranging from the many legal support offices surrounding the county courthouse to DJO Orthopedics, a publicly held company selected by the U.S. Ski Team as their official medical supplier and knee brace provider.

Vista Playhouse and Plaza Clock
LEFT: The Main Street clock echo's the ambience of the old town. RIGHT: Avo Playhouse, built in 1948, still presents an active calendar of shows throughout the year. Photos by Robin Shook.

Vista's "two cities" have melded to create a diverse town, combining old and new as evidenced by the recently updated Moonlight Amphitheatre and the Avo Playhouse built in 1948. These two venues produce plays and other entertainment year round. Moonlight Amphitheater is popular in the summer and the Avo in the cooler months. A recent addition to the city is The Krikorian Multiplex Theatre. As another example of old and new, is the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, an open-air museum demonstrating agricultural equipment from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Unique from traditional museums, the collection is maintained in operating condition and used during a wide range of events held here on the grounds.  Vista is also the hub for microbreweries in North County. These include Mother Earth Brew Company and the Aztec Brewing Company, resurrected from the original started in Mexico during prohibition. Other brewers in Vista are Prohibition Brewing Company, Green Flash and Iron Fist - makes you thirsty just thinking about it.

Vista Civic Center
The gleaming new civic center reflects the modern direction of the city.

Highway 78, which runs east west, cuts the city in half. On the northeast side of town you find rolling hills scattered with commercial growers, sprawling homes and horse properties. "Gentleman farmers maintain small vineyards and citrus groves", said Patterson. Recently listed is a 3,500 square foot home on two acres priced at $1.5 million with beautiful views of the surrounding hills. On the Southeast side of highway 78 in Shadow Ridge you can find a three bedroom, three-bath 1665 square foot home for $360,000, with convenient access to shopping centers and popular restaurants and the other amenities you would expect to find in today's modern suburbs.

The Vista Parks and Community Services Department operates a total of 15 community parks that includes theaters, museums and recreation centers. There are attractions here that bring visitors all year long.

The Wave Waterpark (161 Rec Dr.) is a popular place to go especially when the weather gets hot during the summer. The park has a variety of waterslides, pools and attractions including a Flow Rider simulated wave machine for body boarding, four open and enclosed tube slides, one body slide, a continuous lazy river for tubing and competition pool for lap swimming and fun.

Cultural attractions include unique examples of historic Anglo-Hispanic architecture. Built on an original Mexican land grant, the Rancho Guajome hacienda (2210 N. Santa Fe Ave.) and the Rancho Buena Vista Adobe (640 Alta Vista) depict Old California ranchos like they were 150 years ago. The buildings have been maintained over the years and have had no significant architectural changes.

The Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum (2040 N. Santa Fe Ave.) provides nostalgic memories of an older rural lifestyle. The museum has items from 1849-1950 coving agriculture, construction and early industrial trades. Exhibits include blacksmith and wheelwright shop, country kitchen and parlor, steam and gas industrial power units and farm equipment from horse-drawn through modern row crop.
At the intersection of Vista Village Dr. and N. Santa Fe Ave. is where you'll find quaint Vista Village. Along its historic Main Street there are restaurants, shops, galleries and theatres. With its tree-lined streets, Vista Village is a pleasant place to spend the day dining and shopping. 

Vista has a population of over 93,000 and offers a great lifestyle. "A lot of new things are happening in Vista," said Irwin. "And you can't beat the weather."

In this tale of two cities, today's fast-paced lifestyle has not pushed aside the old but has embraced it, bringing the charm of a small town to the needs of today's families.

Copyright 2015 TownBlip.



Map link - Vista


Bobier Elementary
220 West Bobier Dr.

Breeze Hill Elementary
1111 Melrose Way

Casita Center Elementary
260 Cedar Rd.

Foothill Oak Elementary
1370 Oak Hill Dr.

Grapevine Elementary
630 Grapevine Rd.


Vista neighborhood profile blip
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