Vista (/ˈvɪstə/; Spanish for "view") is a city in San Diego County, California. Vista is a medium-sized city within the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Area. As of the 2020 Census, Vista had a population of 98,381. Current data estimates a 2023 population of 99,835.[8] Vista's sphere of influence also includes portions of unincorporated San Diego County to the north and east, with a county island in the central west.[9] Located just 7 mi (11 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean, it has a Mediterranean climate.

Vista, California
Vista Gateway Arch at S Santa Fe Ave and Main St near downtown
Vista Gateway Arch at S Santa Fe Ave and Main St near downtown
Flag of Vista, California
Official seal of Vista, California
America's Climatic Wonderland
Location of Vista within San Diego County, California
Location of Vista within San Diego County, California
Vista city street map, California
Vista city street map, California
Vista, California is located in the United States
Vista, California
Vista, California
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 33°11′37″N 117°14′28″W / 33.19361°N 117.24111°W / 33.19361; -117.24111
Country United States
State California
County San Diego
IncorporatedJanuary 28, 1963[1]
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • MayorJohn Franklin[2]
 • City council[2]Corinna Contreras, Deputy Mayor
Joe Green
Katie Melendez
Daniel O'Donnell
 • City ManagerJohn Conley[3]
 • Total18.75 sq mi (48.56 km2)
 • Land18.75 sq mi (48.56 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation325 ft (99 m)
 • Total98,381
 • Rank74th in California
307th in the United States
 • Density5,200/sq mi (2,000/km2)
Time zoneUTC−8 (Pacific Time Zone)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
92081, 92083–92085
Area codes442/760
FIPS code06-82996
GNIS feature IDs1661645, 2412161
FlowerCalifornia Lilac[7]
BirdAnna's hummingbird[7]
TreeKentia Palm[7]

Much of Vista's current territory was once part the Mexican land grants Rancho Buena Vista and Rancho Guajome. A post office was established on October 9, 1882,[10] and Vista was incorporated as a city on January 28, 1963, later becoming a charter city on June 13, 2007.

History edit

The Rancho Guajome Adobe is the second oldest building in Vista.

The Vista area was originally inhabited by the Luiseño Indians, who established a village in today's Vista called Tovalum.[11]

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.[12]

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 A. Frazier, applied to open the first post office and after several attempts to name the city (Frazier and Buena Vista were already taken), Frazier finally chose the name "Vista"; the post office was opened in 1882.[13]

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.[14]

Inhibited by the lack of water, Vista grew slowly through the early 1910s to less than 1,000 people. With a 1923, however, the Vista Irrigation District had the necessary funding to construct a new water supply from Lake Henshaw.[15] Agriculture began to flourish in the area, including citrus fruits, tomatoes, celery, and most prominently avocados. Vista became home to multiple avocado packing facilities, and by the late 1940s was promoted as "the avocado capital of the world" [16] The rise in agriculture led in turn to further commercial development.

Following World War II, agriculture declined with an influx 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, and the city limits have grown as well. Many light manufacturing businesses moved into Vista beginning in the 1980s, and with the founding of several breweries in the 21st century Vista has become a significant element in the San Diego craft beer phenomenon.

Paseo Santa Fe in Downtown Vista

Since the 1990s, the downtown area has received about $12 million in investments from Vista for improvements.[17] The City of Vista released a plan in 2015 for the further development of downtown, aiming to make it the main commercial, social, and cultural hub in Vista. [17] In 2020, Vista finished the Paseo Santa Fe corridor project, which transformed almost a mile of Santa Fe Avenue into a pedestrian-friendly street with a number of restaurants and housing complexes.[18]

Geography edit

Landscape view showing Vista's hilly terrain

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.7 square miles (48 km2) of land. Like much of the California coastal area, the landscape is marked by hills and valleys. In undeveloped areas, the natural vegetation types includes chaparral brushland, oak-sycamore woodland, riparian (stream) woodland, and oak-grass savanna.

Climate edit

Vista has a semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSk) bordering on a Mediterranean climate (Csa). Extremes of temperature uncommon. Frost is quite rare in winter, and snowfall almost unknown; the last significant snowfall in Vista was in 1967. Most of the annual rainfall of 13.24 inches (336 mm) falls between November and April. The mild weather led to the city's promotional motto "America's Climatic Wonderland", which was in use for many years.

Climate data for Vista, California (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1957–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 94
Mean maximum °F (°C) 82.4
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 65.6
Daily mean °F (°C) 55.7
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 45.7
Mean minimum °F (°C) 35.6
Record low °F (°C) 21
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.85
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 7.0 7.9 6.0 4.1 3.1 1.0 0.8 0.4 0.7 2.1 4.3 6.2 43.6
Source: NOAA[19][20]

Demographics edit

Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[21]

2022 edit

The 2022 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates reported that within Vista city, whites and Hispanics were the most numerous race/ethnic groups. The top ancestries were German, English, and Irish. Whites made up 75.5% of the population, while the remainder was largely Hispanic or Latino at 14.9%. All other specified races individually made up less than 10% of the population. Within the population under 18, whites made up a larger fraction at 83.8%. Among households having children, the average number of children was two. The overall median age was 34.4 years.[22]

Households with at least one individual employed full-time earned a median household income of $144,464. For households with both spouses employed full-time, median household income was $191,468. Approximately 9.1% of the population was below the poverty line, an improvement over both the national and California state averages.[22] The poverty rate was highest among single parent households with young children (greater than 20%), and lowest among married couple households with young children (less than 5%). The majority of households were married couple families, and the majority of homes were single-family detached houses. More residents owned their homes than rented.[23]

2020 edit

The 2020 Decennial U.S. Census reported Vista's population numbered 98,381 with a median age of 35.0 years. Males comprised 50.1% and females 49.9%. Whites and Hispanics were the most numerous race/ethnic groups. The white non-Hispanic population made up 36.1% of the city, while the remainder was predominantly Hispanic or Latino at 50.6%. Individuals selecting both Hispanic and white alone made up 7.8% of Vista's population. All other specified races individually made up less than 15% of the population.[24]

Vista city, California – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2000[25] Pop 2010[26] Pop 2020[27] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 44,844 38,287 35,518 49.91% 40.80% 36.10%
Black or African American alone (NH) 3,535 2,753 2,410 3.93% 2.93% 2.45%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 440 336 273 0.49% 0.36% 0.28%
Asian alone (NH) 3,206 3,806 4,984 3.57% 4.06% 5.07%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 526 615 612 0.59% 0.66% 0.62%
Other race alone (NH) 161 175 523 0.18% 0.19% 0.53%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH) 2,155 2,482 4,317 2.40% 2.65% 4.39%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 34,990 45,380 49,744 38.94% 48.36% 50.56%
Total 89,857 93,834 98,381 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%

Economy edit

Top employers edit

According to the city's 2022 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[28] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Vista Unified School District 2,952
2 Watkins Manufacturing Company 885
3 Costco 348
4 Fresh Creative Foods 337
5 Cue Health Inc 335
6 Walmart 323
7 Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps 322
8 Lowe's 292
9 Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors 291
10 Frazier Farms 290

Sports edit

Vista high schools have fielded several CIF Champion teams in recent years: the Mission Vista Timberwolves in both basketball and soccer,[29] and the Vista Panthers in football.[30]

Parks and recreation edit

The stage at Moonlight Amphitheatre

Vista is home to two city-owned theaters: the Moonlight Amphitheatre and the Avo Playhouse. The Moonlight Amphitheatre, located in Brengle Terrace Park, is an open-air theater that specializes in musical productions, performing several musicals during the course of the summer. During the winter, the stage is used as a concert venue called ClubM which hosts both performers and audience members alike on the stage itself. Moonlight Productions performs plays in winter months at the Avo Playhouse, a former movie theater now owned by the city.

Several popular downtown events include the North County St. Patrick's Day Parade & Festival, the Vista Strawberry Festival, the Vista Rod Run and the annual Winterfest & Christmas Parade.

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.

The Wave Waterpark facilities

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. Rancho Buena Vista Adobe is owned and operated by the city government, while Rancho Guajome Adobe (and Guajome Park itself) are owned by the county. Adjacent to Guajome Park is the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, an open-air museum demonstrating agricultural equipment from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Other recreation facilities include the city-run Wave Waterpark, a sports park, and a Boomers location.

Government edit

Vista Civic Center

City government edit

Vista, a charter city since 2007, is governed by a mayor, John B. Franklin, and a city council, consisting of Corrina Contreras (Deputy Mayor), Joe Green, Katie Melendez and Daniel O'Donnell.[2] Since 2017, the four city council has been elected by districts; the mayor has always been elected at large.[31]

State and federal representation edit

In the California State Legislature, Vista is in the 38th Senate District, represented by Democrat Catherine Blakespear, and in the 74th Assembly District, represented by Republican Laurie Davies.[32]

In the United States House of Representatives, Vista is in California's 49th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D+4[33][circular reference] and is represented by Democrat Mike Levin.[34]

According to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, in February 2024 the City of Vista had more registered Democrats than Republicans. Out of a total of 51,696 registered voters, 20,446 were Democrats (39.6% of voters), 14,512 were Republicans (28.1%), 2,454 were American Independent Party registrants (4.7%), 818 were Libertarians (1.6%), 390 were Peace and Freedom Party registrants (0.8%), and 284 were Greens (0.5%). A further 623 were registered with miscellaneous non–ballot-qualified parties (1.2%), and 12,169 were registered no party preference (23.5%).[35]

Education edit

The Vista Unified School District serves Vista and parts of Oceanside and several unincorporated communities, with seventeen elementary schools, six middle schools, and six high schools, including Rancho Buena Vista High School, Vista High School and Mission Vista High School.[36] 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. There are 12 private schools with over 2,500 students, including Tri-City Christian School, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School and Calvary Christian School. The Vista Unified School District also runs the Vista Adult School.

Media edit

News edit

The Vista Press was a weekly newspaper published in Vista from 1926 through the early 21st century. After it folded, the name was revived for an unrelated online news site.[37] Vista also receives local coverage in the weekly Coast News and the daily San Diego Union-Tribune.

Broadcast media edit

Vista is part of the San DiegoTijuana media market. Operating out of the city are KCEO on AM 1000, which is an affiliate of the Catholic Relevant Radio network, and KHAX-LD, a translator of the local Univision television station KBNT-CD.

Infrastructure edit

Transportation edit

Mass transit in Vista is provided by the North County Transit District, which operates several bus routes to and within the city. Additionally, the Sprinter hybrid rail line makes three stops in Vista, including at the centralized Vista Transit Center in the downtown area.[38]

Still, the automobile is the primary means of transportation within the city of Vista; according to a 2022 American Community Survey estimate, only 726 of the city's 50,316 workers commuted to work by public transit, a mere 1.4%.[39]

Major roads and highways edit

Utilities edit

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.[41]

Healthcare edit

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.[42] The Vista Community Clinic provides general health care to those who face economic, social or cultural barriers.[43]

Government facilities edit

North County Regional Center

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.[44]

Public safety edit

Law enforcement is provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department through a contract with the City of Vista, approved by the City Council. Fire suppression, fire prevention and EMS is provided by the Vista Fire Department.

Notable people edit

References edit

  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on October 17, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Elected Officials". City of Vista. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  3. ^ "City Manager". City of Vista, California. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  4. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "Vista". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  6. ^ "Bios". Vista Historical Society. Retrieved December 6, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c "About Vista". City of Vista, California. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  8. ^ "Estimates-E1 | Department of Finance". Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  9. ^ San Diego GIS. "City of Vista" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 22, 2014.
  10. ^ Cavalier, Lois. Images of America: Vista. Arcadia Publishing, 2008, p. 20.
  11. ^ Eligio, Miranda; Jonatan (July 16, 2020). "The American Indian Studies Department of Palomar College". Office of Student Success & Equity. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  12. ^ Doyle, Harrison and Ruth. A History of Vista, Hillside Press, 1983. pgs. 4–5.
  13. ^ Doyle, A History of Vista, p. 36
  14. ^ Doyle, A History of Vista, p. 28
  15. ^ Doyle, A History of Vista, p. 38
  16. ^ Doyle, A History of Vista, p. 39
  17. ^ a b "Renaissance: A Look at Downtown Vista's History & Rebirth | Downtown Vista, CA". Retrieved December 2, 2023.
  18. ^ "Paseo Santa Fe Street Improvements Phase III | City of Vista". Retrieved December 2, 2023.
  19. ^ "Vista – NWS San Diego NOAA Online Weather Data". NOAA. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  20. ^ "U.S. Climate Normals Quick Access – Station: Vista, CA". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on August 10, 2023. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  21. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  22. ^ a b "MDAT". Retrieved December 6, 2023.
  23. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 6, 2023.
  24. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 6, 2023.
  25. ^ "P004: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – Vista city, California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  26. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Vista city, California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  27. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Vista city, California". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 26, 2024.
  28. ^ "ANNUAL COMPREHENSIVE FINANCIAL REPORTS | City of Vista". Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  29. ^ "Home of the Timberwolves - Mission Vista High School". Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  30. ^ "WE ARE VPW". Vista Pop Warner Football & Cheer. February 10, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  31. ^ "City Council Districts | City of Vista". Retrieved December 5, 2023.
  32. ^ "California Redistricting Commission". State of California. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  33. ^ "Cook Partisan Voting Index". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
  34. ^ "California's 49th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC.
  35. ^ "Voter Registration Reports". Retrieved March 20, 2024.
  36. ^ "Our Schools - Vista Unified". Retrieved December 3, 2023.
  37. ^ "The Vista Press - Local news for San Diego North County". The Vista Press. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  38. ^ "NCTD Sprinter light rail schedule". Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  39. ^
  40. ^ City of Vista. General Plan 2030. Figure CE-2
  41. ^ "City and Residential Services". Retrieved January 19, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  42. ^ "Paramedic EMS". Archived from the original on May 5, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  43. ^ "Vista Community Clinic". Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  44. ^ "Superior Court of San Diego, information". Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  45. ^ Dwight Daniels (June 22, 2000). "Belated recognition Asian-Americans get top honor -- Vista man waited 56 years". San Diego Union Tribune.
  46. ^ Anon., "In Memory of Allan Holdsworth",, April 16, 2017.
  47. ^ "Red Killefer, Ex-Vistan, Succumbs". The Vista Press. September 8, 1958. p. 3.
  48. ^ Doyle,A History of Vista,p.222

External links edit