Tucked in the northern part of the San Diego metro area is a city called Escondido.  In Spanish, Escondido means “hidden” which is the perfect name for its location as it is situated in a shallow valley of avocado and citrus groves encircled by rocky hills.  Its location is about 18 miles inland from the Pacific coast, 100 miles south of Los Angeles and 30 miles north of San Diego. Escondido is an ideal locale for residents who want to be close to everything a large metro area has to offer while living in a quiet suburban setting. 

The climate offers a nice range of temperatures with very little rainfall – only 15 inches total throughout the year.  Average lows dip as far as the low-40s in the winter months and climb as high as the high-80s in the summer.  Escondido is definitely a city that is conducive to “sweater weather.”

So Much to Offer

For those not familiar with Escondido, it offers the perfect mix of a small town atmosphere and big city excitement.  First of all, culture and arts are abundant in this urban oasis.  The California Center for the Arts, the Escondido Children’s Museum and Escondido History Center are situated in the center of town and draw patrons from all over the metro area. 

Other favorite enticements of Escondido include the 15 parks one of which is Grape Day Park, a huge park surrounded by the aforementioned cultural venues .  In addition to the huge trees and enormous green space, the park features art, memorials and Vinehenge, a fun playground with activities including hidden treasures for kids to find.  There are also activities for adults like a giant chess board where the king is over three feet tall; giant checkers; giant dominos; horseshoes and bocce ball.  The park also plays host to a lot of events throughout the year including an Easter egg hunt and other festivals and summer movies.  Fun recreational venues include the Iceoplex Ice Center, Escondido Sport Center situated within the Kit Carson Regional Park and several nice golf courses throughout the area.

Escondido also has an active downtown area with quaint shops, cafes, galleries and restaurants.  Every Friday between April and September, Cruisin’ Grand takes over Grand Avenue and is an event where the public shows and views hot rods and historical cars lined along the street.  There are also fun festivals throughout the year like the Grape Day Parade and Festival, Festival Escondido and First Night Escondido.   Just like most cities in southern California, Escondido features an awesome farmer’s market downtown every week.

Lastly, it is important to note that the Stone Brewing Company, the country’s 14th largest craft brewery is headquartered in Escondido.  Not only are they known for their popular beer, they are considered a very ecofriendly company noting that they covered the roof of the brewery with solar panels and cut their energy costs in half and their carbon footprint by 538,000 pounds.

The Resident “Escondido-ans”

The people who make up the population of 142,000 of Escondido consist of a very diverse population with incomes of all levels.   The median age is about 31 years old and the median household income is just under $65,000 (Escondido Chamber of Commerce).  In terms of employment, there is no specific industry that stands out as a major force in driving the economy of Escondido.  The largest employers are Palomar Medical Center, Escondido Union School and High School Districts, and the City of Escondido.    

Neighborhoods

Escondido comprises five areas:  North, East, South, Southeast and Southwest.  The interesting characteristic throughout the entire city is that each area has neighborhoods featuring homes in all price ranges.  Homes on the market start in the low to mid-$100s and come close to the $3 million mark while condominiums are priced well under $100K and top $300K. 

So Close Yet So Far

Homes in Escondido combines the best of living in a suburban area with the excitement, arts and culture of a metropolitan city.  The best part is that you are just far enough out of the city of San Diego to live an easier lifestyle but still close enough to be able to buzz down to San Diego when you want more action.  Escondido is definitely a hidden gem…when you discover it, you want to keep it hidden so that it maintains the charm and quality that grows on its residents.