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Vista, California

Vista is a city located in northern San Diego County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 89,857. It was incorporated in 1963. Together with Oceanside and Carlsbad, it makes up the Tri-City area.


Vista is located at 33°11'37" North, 117°14'28" West (33.193549, -117.241140)

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 48.4 km² (18.7 mi²). 48.4 km² (18.7 mi²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.

Vista houses both the courthouse and the jail for northern San Diego County.


As of the census of 2000, there are 89,857 people, 28,877 households, and 20,791 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,857.3/km² (4,810.0/mi²). There are 29,814 housing units at an average density of 616.2/km² (1,595.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 64.27% White, 4.24% African American, 1.00% Native American, 3.70% Asian, 0.68% Pacific Islander, 21.33% from other races, and 4.79% from two or more races. 38.94% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 28,877 households out of which 40.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% are married couples living together, 12.7% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% are non-families. 20.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.03 and the average family size is 3.48.

In the city the population is spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 16.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 30 years. For every 100 females there are 99.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 98.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $42,594, and the median income for a family is $45,649. Males have a median income of $32,936 versus $25,812 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,027. 14.2% of the population and 10.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 19.0% are under the age of 18 and 6.1% are 65 or older.


Vista is home to two city-supported theaters: the Moonlight Amphitheatre and the Avo Playhouse. The Moonlight Amphitheatre is an open-air theater that specializes in musical productions, performing several during the course of the summer, including one youth production per season. The Moonlight has a winter season at the Avo Playhouse, which, when not holding the Moonlight Winter Season, produces many different plays which are not run by a central Avo-based production crew.

Vista houses one movie theater, a Krikorian Cinema which opened in fall 2003.

There is a lot of open land in Vista, especially in the north, and much of it is dedicated city parks. The two most well-known within the city are Brengle Terrace Park and Guajome County Park. Brengle Terrace Park houses the Moonlight Amphitheatre, a baseball field, a senior center, a playground, and the city community center, where the main offices of the city's day camps are held. Guajome County Park has 557 acres of land and is usually considered by the residents as being part of Vista, although it is actually located outside of the city lines. It features campsites, horse trails, and Rancho Guajome Adobe.

Rancho Guajome Adobe and Rancho Buena Vista are two ranchos in and near Vista, built in the mid-nineteenth century. Both serve tours to schoolchildren and to ordinary patrons, detailing the history of the ranchos and talking about life during the time they were built. Both landmarks are also available for special occasions.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department also runs the Wave Waterpark, a small but well-equipped waterpark near the downtown area open from mid-spring to early fall. Vista also features the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, an open-air museum featuring various pieces and demonstrations of agricultural equipment from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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