Escondido lies about 18 miles inland, 100 miles south of Los Angeles and 30 miles northeast of San Diego. Escondido is the inland hub of North County, which is emerging as a regional economic leader, in the forefront of job development and new industries. Escondido is home to the $81 million California Center for the Arts, the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum and Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, a sculptural garden in Kit Carson Park. For a taste of Africa, visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (where many rare species roam free in their natural habitat) in the San Pasqual Valley just outside Escondido.
Fallbrook is on the eastern boundary of Camp Pendleton. From Camp Pendleton it is reached via Ammunition Road and is about 15 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. Fallbrook elementary schools are on and near Camp Pendleton.
Fallbrook is the “Avocado Capital of the World.” Its rural community of approximately 30,000 offers a wide range of housing options, an elementary and high school district with excellent academic and extracurricular programs, including the 2000 CIF Division I champion football team, and a community hospital. The town boasts a healthy retail and service business base with shopping centers in both Fallbrook and neighboring Bonsall. The main street typifies the charm of a small town with many of its shops, galleries and restaurants housed in buildings dating to the late 1800s.
A family-oriented community, Poway, known as “The City in the Country,” is south of Escondido. Visit Lake Poway for fishing or a picnic in the park. Take a nature walk at the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, which also offers a free guided wildlife and plant walk.
San Marcos is in an ideal location in the heart of San Diego’s North County. It is situated between the state’s two largest cities, Los Angeles, about 100 miles to the north, and San Diego, about 35 miles to the south. Climate is a major contributor to the attractive quality of life in San Marcos. The area is characterized by mild winters, plenty of sunshine and little rainfall. Inland, the terrain is made up of rolling hills and deep canyons. Fortunately, San Marcos enjoys being in the direct path of an ocean breeze.
San Marcos features a resort climate without a “tourist” atmosphere, offering a host of popular attractions all within close proximity. San Marcos is enviably situated 10 minutes from many clean Pacific beaches, 30 minutes from the famous Del Mar Racetrack, a 40-minute drive from SeaWorld and Mission Bay, and 90 minutes from the rugged Anza Borrego Desert. Other nearby attractions include the Old Mission San Luis Rey and the Palomar Observatory with its world-renowned Hale Telescope.
Vista rests 7 miles inland from the ocean and is a short 15-minute drive from Oceanside. Located in the heart of Highway 78, midway between Oceanside and Escondido, it benefits from cool breezes in the summer and is far enough away from the water to escape the coastal fog.
Keeping up with the rest of the fast-growing North County cities, Vista has a number of retail stores. Vista boasts a high-growth reputation of its own; rising from more than 19,000 residents back in 1963 to its present population of more than 100,000 residents.
For recreation, Vista has golf courses, the Wave Waterpark, the Moonlight Amphitheatre and the AVO Playhouse, as well as historical buildings and museums to visit. Annual events include Winterfest, the Vista Viking Festival and the Strawberry Festival.