Vista (/ˈvɪstə/; Spanish: view) is a city in Southern California
and is located in northwestern
San Diego County. Vista is a
medium-sized city within the
San Diego Metropolitan Area and has a
population of 101,659. Vista's sphere of influence also includes
portions of unincorporated
San Diego County to north and east, with a
county island in the central west. Located just seven miles inland
from the Pacific Ocean, it has a Mediterranean climate.
Originally the lands of Rancho Buena Vista and Rancho Guajome, Vista
was founded on October 9, 1882 with the establishment of a post
office. It was incorporated on January 28, 1963 and became a
charter city on June 13, 2007.
Vista has more than 25 educational institutions for youth, and a
business park home to over 800 companies. Vista is ranked as the
173rd-best place in
California out of 240 for families, based on
factors such as family life, recreational opportunities, education,
health, safety, and affordability in a 2015 review.
2 Geography and climate
3.3 Current estimates
4.1 Top employers
5.1 State and federal representation
8.1 Radio stations
8.2 TV stations
9.1 Major roads and highways
9.2 Mass transit
10 Notable residents
12 External links
Rancho Guajome, Vista circa 1936
The Vista area was originally inhabited by the Luiseño Indians, who
lived on the land until the founding of the San Luis Rey Mission in
1798. The prosperity of the mission-era declined by the 1830s with the
independence of Mexico from Spain. The Mexican government began to
grant land ownerships to a variety of people, thus beginning the
Rancho era of California. Three ranchos were granted in the Vista
area: Rancho Guajome, Rancho Buena Vista, and Agua Hedionda Y los
In the 1850s the ranchos began to fade due to changing political
conditions and the scarcity of water. A growing number of settlers
came to the area after
California became a state in 1850 and began to
create smaller agricultural holdings. One settler in the Vista area,
John Frazier, applied to open the first post office and after several
attempts to name the city (Frazier's Crossing and Buena Vista were
already taken), Frazier finally chose the name "Vista". With the
opening of the first post office in 1882, Vista had officially
In 1870, Bernard Delpy arrived from France to build what eventually
became known as "Delpy Corners" at the intersection of today's East
Vista Way and Foothill Drive. His nephew, Jules Jacques Delpy, joined
him in 1879 and together they planted several hundred acres of grapes.
In 1886, they built the first successful winery in the country. The
winery was shut down by the prohibition era.
Inhibited by the lack of water, Vista grew slowly through the early
1910s to less than 1,000 people. With the vote of the people in 1923,
the Vista Irrigation District had the necessary funding to construct a
new water supply from Lake Henshaw. New buildings in downtown
sprang up almost immediately. Agriculture began to flourish with crops
such as tomatoes, celery, and citrus fruits. Some hillsides were also
planted for avocados and by 1948, the Vista became the "avocado
capital of the world"
Following World War II, agriculture declined with an influx of growth
of population and housing. The City of Vista was incorporated on
January 23, 1963. The frequent housing booms of the 1970s through
early 2000s greatly increased the population of Vista. Numerous
apartment complexes were also built in these booms. Many light
manufacturing businesses moved into the Business Park area on the
south side, starting in the 1980s. In the 1990s, Wal-Mart, Target and
Costco opened large stores. In 1993, Vista became involved in a
national controversy when the
Vista Unified School District
Vista Unified School District board
unsuccessfully tried to incorporate creationist, anti-evolution views
into the biology curriculum.
Geography and climate
Brengle Terrace Park.
According to the
Census Bureau, the city has a total
area of 18.7 square miles (48 km2), all land. Vista is a hilly
city. Most of the businesses are located in the flatter areas, and
residences climb the hills. In undeveloped areas, the natural
vegetation types includes chaparral brushland, oak-sycamore woodland,
riparian (stream) woodland and oak-grass savanna. The natural
vegetation is best seen in natural Buena Vista Park on the south side,
in the San Marcos Hills east of the city, and in undeveloped pockets
on the north side (e.g. along Gopher Canyon Road and Guajome Regional
Climate is temperate, with extremes of temperature uncommon. Coastal
breezes and foggy overcast (especially in May and June) keep the late
spring/early summer high temperatures below 80 degrees F. on most
days. The cool, overcast conditions are often called "May gray" and
"June gloom" by Vistans. In general, the western side of the city
(closer to the Pacific) is cooler and more overcast with ocean fog
than the eastern side. It is common in May–June for the western side
of Vista to be overcast and cool, while the eastern side basks in
clear skies and sunshine. July, August and September are usually
warmer, as the coastal breezes lessen. High temperatures in excess of
90 degrees F. (rarely above 100 degrees) sometimes occur in late
summer. High temperatures also accompany dry Santa Ana wind events,
which can strike any month, but are most common during fall. On 90% of
days, though, the moderating influence of the nearby Pacific keeps the
weather pleasant and temperatures moderate. Frost is quite rare in
winter, and snowfall almost unknown. Most of the annual rainfall of
13.24 inches falls between November and April (Mediterranean climate
type). Rainfall is higher in the San Marcos Hills on the eastern edge
of the city, up to 20 inches per year. The moderate climate has made
Vista and surrounding areas a center of the plant nursery industry.
Avocados and other subtropical plants thrive in the area.
Climate data for Vista, California
Record high °F (°C)
Average high °F (°C)
Daily mean °F (°C)
Average low °F (°C)
Record low °F (°C)
Average precipitation inches (mm)
U.S. Decennial Census
United States Census reported that Vista had a population
of 93,834. The population density was 5,023.7 people per square mile
(1,939.6/km²). The racial makeup of Vista was 59,551 (63.5%) White,
3,137 (3.3%) black, 1,103 (1.2%) Native American, 3,979 (4.2%) Asian,
677 (0.7%) Pacific Islander, 20,423 (21.8%) from other races, and
4,964 (5.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race
were 45,380 persons (48.4%).
Census reported that 91,789 people (97.8% of the population) lived
in households, 661 (0.7%) lived in non-institutionalized group
quarters, and 1,384 (1.5%) were institutionalized.
There were 29,317 households, out of which 12,139 (41.4%) had children
under the age of 18 living in them, 15,024 (51.2%) were opposite-sex
married couples living together, 4,030 (13.7%) had a female
householder with no husband present, 2,065 (7.0%) had a male
householder with no wife present. There were 2,143 (7.3%) unmarried
opposite-sex partnerships, and 236 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or
partnerships. 5,784 households (19.7%) were made up of individuals and
1,963 (6.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or
older. The average household size was 3.13. There were 21,119 families
(72.0% of all households); the average family size was 3.55.
The population was spread out with 25,074 people (26.7%) under the age
of 18, 11,738 people (12.5%) aged 18 to 24, 27,659 people (29.5%) aged
25 to 44, 20,690 people (22.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 8,673 people (9.2%)
who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31.1 years. For
every 100 females there were 100.7 males. For every 100 females age 18
and over, there were 99.9 males.
There were 30,986 housing units at an average density of 1,658.9 per
square mile (640.5/km²), of which 15,194 (51.8%) were owner-occupied,
and 14,123 (48.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy
rate was 2.2%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.9%. 44,897 people (47.8%
of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 46,892
people (50.0%) lived in rental housing units.
As of the census of 2000, there were 89,857 people, 28,877
households, and 20,791 families residing in the city. The population
density was 4,810.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,857.3/km²). There
were 29,814 housing units at an average density of 1,595.9 per square
mile (616.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.3% White, 4.2%
African American, 1.0% Native American, 3.7% Asian, 0.7% Pacific
Islander, 21.3% from other races, and 4.8% from two or more races.
Hispanic or Latino residents of any race were 38.9% of the population.
There were 28,877 households out of which 40.4% had children under the
age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living
together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and
28.0% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of
individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age
or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family
size was 3.48. The FBI crime index for 2005 was 32.9 for every 1000
In the city, the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of
18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 16.2% from 45 to 64, and
10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years.
For every 100 females there were 99.8 males. For every 100 females age
18 and over, there were 98.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,594, and the
median income for a family was $45,649. Males had a median income of
$32,936 versus $25,812 for females. The per capita income for the city
was $18,027. About 10.0% of families and 14.2% of the population were
below the poverty line, including 19.0% of those under age 18 and 6.1%
of those age 65 or over.
According to estimates by the
San Diego Association of Governments,
the median household income of Vista in 2011 was $59,414 (not adjusted
for inflation). When adjusted for inflation (2010 dollars; comparable
Census data above), the median household income was $57,665.
According to the City's 2013 Comprehensive Annual Financial
Report, the top employers in the city are:
# of Employees
Vista Unified School District
San Diego Superior Court
Watkins Manufacturing Company
Zodiac Pool Care
DJ Orthopedics (DJO Global)
Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors
Datron World Communications, Inc.
City of Vista
North County Regional Center
Vista, a charter city, is governed by a mayor, Judy Ritter, and a city
council, consisting of John J. Aguilera, Joe Green, Amanda Rigby, and
John B. Franklin.
Located in Vista is the North County Regional Center, a San Diego
County facility shared by the Superior Court, Sheriff, Vista Detention
Facility jail, Probation, District Attorney, Revenue and Recovery, and
the County Board of Supervisors. The North County Superior Court is a
full service branch court.
State and federal representation
California State Legislature, Vista is in the 36th Senate
District, represented by Republican Patricia Bates, and in the 76th
Assembly District, represented by Republican Rocky Chávez.
United States House of Representatives, Vista is in
California's 49th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of
R+1[better source needed] and is represented by
Republican Darrell Issa. According to the
San Diego County
registrar of Voters, on 11/1/2016, the City of Vista had more register
democrats than republicans. Out of a total of 40,837 register voters,
13,859 were Democrats, and 13,507 were republicans.
Vista Unified School District
Vista Unified School District serves Vista. Vista has eighteen
elementary schools, six middle schools, and seven high schools,
including Rancho Buena Vista High School, Vista High School and
Mission Vista High School.
Guajome Park Academy is a charter school
with joint elementary, middle, and high schools that receives part of
its funding from the Vista Unified School District. Alta Vista
Continuation High School is another option for teens who cannot attend
regular school. There are 12 private schools serving over 2500
students including Tri-City Christian School, St. Francis of Assisi
Catholic School and Calvary Christian School.
Vista was mentioned in
The Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times when a group of social
conservatives associated with the "Christian right" were elected to
the Vista Unified School District's school board and tried to
implement creationism into the curriculum in the early 1990s.
Biola University and
Kaplan College have a branch campus in Vista.
Vista is home to two city-owned theaters: the recently updated
Moonlight Amphitheatre and the Avo Playhouse. The Moonlight is an
open-air theater that specializes in musical productions, performing
several Broadway caliber, musical productions during the course of the
summer. A winter season concert venue called ClubM hosts shows where
the performance and audience areas are on the Moonlight stage,
sheltered from the elements. The Avo Playhouse located in historic
downtown Vista is rented year round for private performances.
Several popular downtown events include the North County St. Patrick's
Day Parade & Festival, the Vista Strawberry Festival, the Vista
Rod Run (over 25 years running) and the annual Winterfest &
Vista houses one movie theater, currently a Cinepolis theater (as of
2015), but which opened as a Krikorian Cinema in fall 2003.
Two of the best-known parks in the city are Brengle Terrace Park and
Guajome County Park. Brengle Terrace Park houses the Moonlight
Alta Vista Gardens
Alta Vista Gardens (a city-owned botanical garden), two
softball fields, a senior center, a playground, and the city community
center, where the main offices of the city's day camps are held.
Guajome County Park has 557 acres (2.25 km2) of land, which is
shared between Vista and nearby Oceanside. It features a small lake,
willow and oak woodlands, campsites, horse trails, and the Rancho
Guajome Adobe, a National Historic Landmark. Buena Vista Park on the
south side of Vista is a natural park where users can hike on trails
through native chaparral and oak woodland.
Rancho Guajome Adobe and Rancho Buena Vista Adobe are two historic
rancho buildings in Vista, built in the mid-nineteenth century, both
available for tours and special occasions.
The city's Parks and Recreation Department runs the Wave Waterpark, a
small but well-equipped waterpark in the downtown area open from
mid-spring to early fall, and the brand new Vista Community Sports
Park. Another attraction is the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum,
an open-air museum demonstrating agricultural equipment from the 19th
and early 20th centuries. A Boomers family fun park is also located in
Vista is home of a Japanese-American Cultural Center and Buddhist
Temple, one of only two in California, and over 75 other churches and
temples of various denominations.
AM 1000 KCEO
KHAX-LP channel 49 is a translator of KBNT-LP channel 17 in San Diego.
Daily newspaper service is provided by the regional U-T San Diego.
Online Publication Daily news for Vista and surrounding communities in
northcountydailystar.comREPORTS ON ALL THINGS VISTA AND NORTH COUNTY
The automobile is the primary means of transportation within the city
of Vista, however bus service is provided by the North County Transit
District (NCTD) BREEZE. NCTD has an east-west light-weight commuter
train called the Sprinter with a stop in downtown Vista and further
east on Civic Center Drive near Hwy 78.
Major roads and highways
State Route 78
Vista Village Dr./East Vista Way
Santa Fe Ave
Civic Center Drive
North County Transit District
North County Transit District operates a bus system and a light
rail system, SPRINTER, with stations at
Vista Transit Center
Vista Transit Center and Civic
Center Drive within city limits and also the Buena Creek Road station
in eastern Vista sphere of influence. The SPRINTER provides service,
west to Oceanside and east to San Marcos and Escondido. From the
Sprinter station in Oceanside, commuters can connect to
or to the Coaster commuter trains to downtown San Diego, or to the
Metrolink commuter trains to the
Los Angeles area.
In the city of Vista, gas and electric service is provided by San
Diego Gas & Electric, while water is provided by the Vista
Irrigation District. Sewerage is provided by the City of Vista.
The city of Vista is located within the Tri City Hospital District,
which provides emergency care and hospitalization, while ambulance
service is provided by the Vista Fire Department. The Vista
Community Clinic provides general health care to those who face
economic, social or cultural barriers.
Carrie Prejean, Miss
California 2009, lived in Vista and attended
Vista High School.
Darrell Issa, Republican U.S. Representative for California's 49th
congressional district and Chairman of the House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee, lives in Vista.
Red Killefer, professional baseball player.
Katherine "Scottie" MacGregor, actress, most notably in television
series Little House on the Prairie, lived in Vista.
Danny Way, skateboarder.
Rudolph B. Davila, World War II Medal of Honor recipient, lived in
Allan Holdsworth, British guitarist and composer, lived and died in
Dave Roberts, manager of the
Los Angeles Dodgers, former Major League
outfielder, attended Rancho Buena Vista High School.
Tony Wolters, catcher for the Colorado Rockies, attended Rancho Buena
Vista High School.
Don Prudhomme, known as Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, retired drag racer,
gained fame for his races against Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen; lives in
Don Prudhomme Racing in Vista.
Sara Watkins, singer-songwriter, fiddler, most well known for being in
Nickel Creek and her solo career since 2007; born and raised
Alan S. Thompson, retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, and former Director
of the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency grew up in Vista and graduated
from Vista High School.
Leon Hall, defensive back for NFL's Cincinnati Bengals, graduated from
Vista High School.
Pisa Tinoisamoa, retired NFL linebacker, graduated from Vista High
Bob Burnquist, Brazilian skater, lives in Vista.
ErikTheMc, Boy band.  born and raised in Vista, Ca.
California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California
Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Retrieved August
^ a b c "City Council". City of Vista. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
^ "City Manager". City of Vista, CA. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files".
Census Bureau. Retrieved
Jun 28, 2017.
^ "Vista". Geographic Names Information System. United States
Geological Survey. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
^ "Vista (city) QuickFacts".
Census Bureau. Retrieved
February 28, 2015.
^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9,
^ a b c "About Vista". City of Vista, CA. Retrieved March 31,
^ Cavalier, Lois. Images of America:Vista. Arcadia Publishing, 2008,
^ 2015's Best & Worst Cities for Family Life 2015 Richie Bernardo
^ Doyle, Harrison and Ruth.A History of Vista,Hillside Press,1983.
^ Doyle,A History of Vista,p.36
^ Doyle,A History of Vista,p.28
^ Doyle,A History of Vista,p.38
^ Doyle,A History of Vista,p.39
^ Granberry, Michael. "School Board's Creationist Trend Causes Stir in
Vista, L.A. Times, May 20, 1993.
^ Average Weather for Vista, CA.Retrieved January 13, 2013
Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4,
Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Vista city". U.S.
Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
^ "American FactFinder".
Census Bureau. Retrieved
^ City of Vista CAFR
^ "Superior Court of San Diego, information". Retrieved January 19,
^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
^ "Cook Partisan Voting Index". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved
December 11, 2014.
^ "California's 49th Congressional District - Representatives &
District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
^ (CAROL MASCIOLA (November 16, 1992). Judgment Day Approaches for
Vista Schools Education: A new
Christian right majority tries to
reassure the community it will do a good job. But some fear there may
be controversial changes :[
San Diego County Edition]. Los Angeles
Times (pre-1997 Fulltext), p. 1. Retrieved July 14, 2008, from Los
Angeles Times database. (Document ID: 61711213)).
^ City of Vista. General Plan 2030. Figure CE-2
^ "NCTD Sprinter light rail schedule". Retrieved January 19,
^ "City and Residential Services". Retrieved January 19, 2013.
^ "Paramedic EMS". Retrieved January 19, 2013.
^ "Vista Community Clinic". Retrieved January 19, 2013.
^ The Vista Press, September 8, 1958 'Red Killefer, Ex-Vistan,
^ Doyle,A History of Vista,p.222
^ Dwight Daniels (June 22, 2000). "Belated recognition Asian-Americans
get top honor -- Vista man waited 56 years".
San Diego Union
^ Anon., "In Memory of Allan Holdsworth", Legacy.com, Apr 16, 2017.
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