Historic Escondido

Escondido is the heart of North County San Diego's rich history and culture. We have one of the few remaining authentic downtown historic districts complete with vintage buildings filled with eclectic shops, galleries, parks, and amazing restaurants... both iconic locals' eateries and new culinary destinations making headlines, as well, as a wonderful history neighborhood within walking distance of downtown's Grand Avenue.

hostoric downtown escondido
A Brief History

Escondido is the heart of northern San Diego… rich in history and culture. We have one of the few remaining original downtown historic districts complete with vintage buildings filled with eclectic shops, galleries, parks, and amazing restaurants... both iconic locals' eateries and new culinary destinations making headlines.

A Brief History... for more info, go to the Escondido History Center
The location of Escondido was first identified and discovered by Juan Bautista de Anza, a Spanish explorer, in 1776. Later, the area became part of the Rancho Rincon del Diablo (the devil's corner) land grant bestowed to Juan Bautista Alvarado in 1843 by Mexican Governor Manuel Micheltoren. Some believe designation of "the devil's corner" came about because of the belief of early missionaries that land not held by the church, belonged to the devil.

In 1886, construction of the 100-room Escondido Hotel on the site of today's downtown Palomar Medical Center and in 1887 the rail line from Oceanside to Escondido was started. In 1888 the City of Escondido was incorporated.

Escondido grew into a thriving commercial city know for its extensive agriculture, including vineyards, citrus growing and shipping, and an adobe brick factory. To celebrate the grape harvest every September, the Grape Day festival began in 1908 and continues today. In 1779, Franciscan missionaries under the direction of the Spanish Father Junípero Serra planted California's first sustained vineyard at Mission San Diego de Alcalá. The first commercial winery in San Diego County was the Vineyard Winery, started in 1850 just east in Valley Center.

Our gateway location and convenient Transit Center keep Escondido on the top of the lists for people looking for great places to live with easy access to all of Southern California.

One of the greatest ongoing traditions in San Diego County, Cruisin’ Grand Escondido™ runs for six spectacular months. This FREE EVENT brings more than 5000 visitors and classic car enthusiasts to historic downtown Escondido every Friday Night. Come check out the 500+ cars lining the streets of historic downtown Escondido.

Not only for classic car enthusiasts… everyone enjoys meeting up with friends, bringing the family out and strolling along Grand Avenue, stopping in for a bite at one of our many restaurants and people-watching on those warm summer nights.

escondido history grape day

Historic Resources For More Info

Escondido's rich history and long-standing traditions are a source of pride that we love to share with visitors!

Whether it be touring the Escondido History Center Complex, the Old Escondido Historic neighborhood, enjoying a Historic Walking Tour or frequenting one our icon eateries that have been here for decades like Peterson's Donut Corner, Lourdes Mexican Cafe or wine tasting at Forgotten Barrel Winery located in the historic Ferrara Winery property... we have a lot cultural attractions for you to enjoy!

Click here for a printable Old Escondido Historic District neighborhood map PDF. And see below on this page for an interactive directory with pictures of many of the most viewed homes.

historic escondido forgotten barrel winery

Our historic downtown also encompasses the Old Escondido Historic District neighborhood with hundreds of wonderful historically designated homes including stately Victorians, comfortable Craftsman bungalows, and eclectic Art Deco and Post World War II residences built in the mid-1880s to date.

Check out a few of the most visited historic homes in our interactive map below or click here for a printable historic neighborhood map PDF...

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