Located about 15 miles inland from the Pacific shores, Ramona, California, is a suburb of the San Diego region of Southern California. It lies about 40 miles northeast of downtown San Diego and was home to a population of about 25,000 at the time of the 2000 census. It sits on an area of more than 15 square miles, with no water area. It is currently not an incorporated community but there has been discussion of it. The area studied was estimated to be home to more than 36,000 in 2006. Median annual household income was estimated at more than $65,000 in 2008.
The community's town center is in the Santa Maria Valley, which was formerly the Rancho Santa Maria Mexican land grant. Other parts of the community are in the San Vicente Valley. In its early days, Ramona was known as being the turkey capital of the world because of the large number of the birds harvested here. This industry began to experience a decline in the years immediately after World War II, and turkey production ceased in Ramona by 1959. There are currently grapes grown in the area for wine production, with the 89,000-acre Ramona Valley American Viticultural Area surrounding the community. The community is also home to Golden Eagle Farm, the farm that raised Best Pal, a thoroughbred horse that finished second in the 1991 Kentucky Derby.
Children living in Ramona are served by schools in the Ramona Unified School District, which includes five elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools. There is also Sun Valley Charter High School, which lies outside of the jurisdiction of that district. The nearest colleges are the University of California, San Diego, California State University-San Marcos, and San Diego Miramar College.
Ramona lies just south of the large Palomar Mountain State Park and just west of Cleveland National Forest, ensuring that residents are always close to outdoor areas in which to escape. Interstate 8 lies just a few miles south of area and can reached easily to access a quick route to other parts of the region. The nearest hospital is located just two miles away in Encinitas, and there are others in Poway and San Diego, just a bit farther.
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