Welcome to Escondido
Settled in a long valley in the coastal mountains of Southern California, Escondido, which means “hidden” in Spanish, lies about 18 miles inland, 100 miles south of Los Angeles and 30 miles northeast of San Diego. Surrounded by avocado and citrus groves, Escondido is a diverse, vibrant community with just the right mix of small town friendliness and big-city buzz. More and more people are making Escondido their “City of Choice”. As the heart of North San Diego County, it is one of the few remaining communities where people of all income levels can enjoy the Southern California lifestyle. We offer attractive homes in a wide range of prices, two lakes, ten parks, a sports center, golf courses, restaurants, wineries, shopping centers, comprehensive healthcare and the nearby San Diego Zoo Safari Park. In addition, the California Center for the Arts, Escondido brings world class entertainment to the area along with Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, a sculpture garden in Kit Carson Park donated by the late internationally renowned artist Niki De Saint Phalle.
Established in 1888, the city’s rich past brings charm and stability to the community. You can see it in the historic homes of the old Escondido Neighborhood, or experience it in the thriving downtown area. Yet integrated with Escondido’s treasured heritage is a progressive future, bright and brimming with promise. New jobs, new cultural amenities, new entertainment venues, new choices for residential living and new vision for Escondido’s future make Escondido a city to watch.
The mission of the City of Escondido is to provide quality services that enhance the safety, economic diversity, environment and health of the community, where our customers and employees can thrive in an atmosphere of courtesy, integrity and respect.
Escondido at a Glance
- Population: 147,514
- Median Age: 32
- Total Square Miles: 37
- City Government: Council-manager form of government with an elected mayor and four council members elected at-large.
Temperatures vary from an average of 56 degrees in December to an average of 76 degrees in August, with annual average rainfall of 15.2
From historic bungalows to urban town homes to large, rural estates, there are a variety of living options available in Escondido – one of the most affordable places in North San Diego County to purchase a home.
BREEZE GoNCTD.com: Breeze buses carry passengers in the north San Diego County area and stop wherever you see the blue and white NCTD bus stop signs. Stops are usually located every few blocks on city routes but may be several miles apart in rural areas. All Breeze buses can accommodate up to two bicycles and up to three wheelchairs and almost half the fleet have “kneeling” buses. Many Breeze bus routes connect with the Coaster and Sprinter trains.
SPRINTER GoNCTD.com: The Sprinter runs 22 miles along Highway 78 corridor, making short trips to 15 stations, for a total traveling time of 53 minutes from end to end. Each European-style light rail vehicle has a maximum capacity of 226 passengers and travels at a maximum speed of 55 mph. The Sprinter offers easy connections to the Coaster, Breeze, Amtrak, Metrolink, Greyhound, and a future Bus Rapid Transit project in Escondido.
RAPID 235 RapidMTS.com: Rapid is a brand new level of bus service featuring high-frequency, limited-stop service, and upgraded amenities for stations and vehicles running between Escondido and Downtown San Diego. Rapid uses transit signal priority, dedicated lanes, and limited stops to speed trips. As a result, Rapid provides easy access to desirable destinations, frequent and reliable service, and faster travel times—all at a cost savings when compared to driving.
Yellow Cab of North County driveu.com 760-444-4444: Yellow Cab of North County serves the following communities: Camp Pendleton, Carlsbad, Escondido, Encinitas, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista. You can now order a cab by texting your complete pickup address to 777222. For more information, visit gofastcab.com.
511 511sd.com: 511 is a free phone and Web service that consolidates the San Diego region’s transportation information into a one-stop resource. 511 provides up-to-the-minute information on traffic conditions, incidents and driving times; schedule, route and fare information for public transportation services; carpool and vanpool referrals; and bicycling information. 511 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can access the service by dialing 511 from any phone or on the Web at 511sd.com.
- Palomar Health
- Escondido Union School District
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park
- Escondido Union High School District
- Nordstrom / Westfield North County
- Palomar Community College
- Home Depot
- ARS National Services
Regional Colleges and Universities
- Cal State University San Marcos
- Palomar College
- Mira Costa College
- San Diego State University
- UC San Diego
- University of San Diego
- Point Loma Nazarene
In addition to our traditional public elementary, middle and high schools, Escondido is home to three charter schools and over a dozen private schools. In June 2011, Heritage K-8 was ranked number one of the 800 charter schools in California by USC researchers.
- California Center for the Arts, Escondido
- Historic Downtown
- Escondido Municipal Gallery
- Escondido Public Library
- San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
- Escondido History Center
- Queen Califia’s Magical Circle Garden
- Patio Playhouse Community Theater
If you are considering relocating to the Escondido area, we are confident you will come to know you made an excellent choice. Taken from the Article “Things We Love” in the Escondido Magazine, here are some of the things those of us who live here love about Escondido:
- A view of the mountains from almost anywhere.
- Location, location, location. We’re about a half an hour to almost anywhere in San Diego County: the beach, the Gaslamp Quarter, the airport, Legoland, Julian (for that famous apple picking season), and Bates Nut Farm. It’s also a nice perk to have the commuter lot in south Escondido with easy access to the carpool lane.
- Escondido is family friendly
- Escondido Public Library. Free concerts and movie viewings, a book club, children’s story time,
- The Pioneer Room, the most beautiful savannah-themed children’s room and Cowboy Charlie.
- Cheap Avocados. This year they were $3 a bag. Now, even a restaurant on Grand Avenue pays homage to the local delicacy.
- The Escondido Grand Avenue Festival – every 3rd Sunday in May and October!
- Diversity. What a rich mix of culture and language we have in our fair town! Currently 32 different languages are spoken at our schools, and there are strong cultural and culinary influences from Latin America, Native America, Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Polynesia, etc.), as well as both Eastern and Western Europe.
- Cruisin’ Grand. Running from spring through the onset of fall, Cruisin’ Grand is perhaps the most ambitious weekly event put on in this town.
- Grand Avenue. A true downtown complete with historic architecture, an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, sidewalk cafes and tree-lined streets.
- Escondido has soul! Grand Avenue and the historic neighborhoods around it give us personality, a sense of history and a beautiful, central place to convene. We are one of the largest cities in San Diego county, yet we still possess the feel of a small town. We can look forward to a future infused with our rich history.
- Bumping into people we know while running around town.
- Our inventive minds. Escondido was ranked** as the 23rd most inventive city in America based on patents per capita. In 2010 that means 179 patents per 100,000 residents. **The Daily Beast, an online publication by Newsweek
- The Downtown Farmers’ Market. One of the best in the county!
- The restaurants that bring Escondido more class. Stone Brewing Company, Vincent’s, Tango Restaurant & Lounge, Coast Bistro and Catering, The Grand Tea Room and the Grand. But also… the comfort food found in a tremendous selection of down-home, family type diners.
- Authentic Mexican Food.
- Outdoor Adventuring. Daley Ranch, Lake Hodges and Dixon Lake are breath-taking destinations for getting outside to hike, bike, fish, kayak and ride horses.
- Kit Carson Park. Featuring a disc course unlike anything else in North County, a duck pond, three playgrounds, hiking trails, picnic areas, an amphitheater, Queen Califia’s Magic Circle and a stream running through it. Kit Carson really does take the lead in local parks.
- Felicita Park. This state park features a one-room museum, education on local Native American (Kumeyaay) history, tree-covered trails, a meandering river, three playgrounds, two stages, grassy rolling hills and plenty of picnic tables.
- Queen Califia’s Magic Circle. French artist Niki de Saint Phalle fell in love with Escondido and chose to create her fantastical mosaic sculpture garden here. 120 feet in diameter, this shimmering circle draws upon the legend of a powerful black Amazon queen who ruled over the island of California. A golden armor-clad Queen Califia astride a monumental eagle reigns in the center surrounded by eight totems representing animals and elements of the land. Nestled in the hills, this delight of light and color does indeed feel magical.
- Thrift Stores. So many to choose from and most of them are within blocks of each other on Escondido Blvd.
- The Center for the Arts!
- Our commitment to art. Distinction Gallery and the Art Hatch, the Escondido Arts Partnership and its Municipal Arts Gallery, Public Art Program and the dozens of art pieces that enhance our urban landscape.
- The San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum
- Last, but not least, Our History. Preservation groups like the Escondido History Center and the Old Escondido Neighborhood help us retain our sense of history. There are plenty of residents who have family that came to Escondido in the 1800’s and have some great tales to tell!