Incorporated January 28, 1963
Local time Tuesday 1:33 AM
Population 96,929 (2013)
|County San Diego|
Elevation 325 ft (99 m)
ZIP codes 92081, 92083–92085
|Country United States of America|
Time zone Pacific Time Zone (UTC−8)
Weather 14°C, Wind SE at 5 km/h, 77% Humidity
Colleges and Universities Brightwood College in Vista, Kaplan College-Vista
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 had a population of 93,834 at the 2010 census. Vista also includes portions of unincorporated San Diego County to north and east, with a county island in the central west, which is within its sphere of influence. Located just seven miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, it has a Mediterranean climate.
- Map of Vista CA USA
- Geography and climate
- Current estimates
- Top employers
- State and federal representation
- Radio stations
- TV stations
- Mass transit
- Notable residents
Map of Vista, CA, USA
Originally the lands of Rancho Buena Vista, Vista was founded on October 9, 1882 with an establishment of a post office. It was incorporated 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 for families, based on factors such as family life, recreational opportunities, education, health, safety, and affordability in a 2015 review.
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 Manos.
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 arrived.
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 board unsuccessfully tried to incorporate creationist, anti-evolution views into the biology curriculum.
Geography and climate
According to the United States 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 Park).
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.
The 2010 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%) African American, 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%).
The 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 residents.
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 to 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:
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
In the 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.
In the United States House of Representatives, Vista is in California's 49th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R+4 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.
The 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 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 & Christmas Parade.
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 Amphitheatre, 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.
The 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.
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
Daily newspaper service is provided by the regional U-T San Diego.
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.
The North County Transit District operates a bus system and a light rail system, SPRINTER, with stations at 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 AMTRAK trains, 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.