The centerpiece of Vista is its downtown center that was created in the late 1920s with most of the buildings on Main Street built between the late 1920s and the late 1940s. With Vista's agricultural roots firmly established, downtown grew and expanded onto Broadway while serving Vista's growing population. Even as a city with modern day trappings, Vista's downtown businesses continue to service its residents and visitors in a small town atmosphere. The six decades' mode of slow growth from pastoral beginnings has ended for the city as an ambitious downtown redevelopment has transformed Vista into a modern city.
One of the great little secrets of Southern California nestled in Vista's Guajome Regional Park is the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum. Located on 40 acres of rolling farm land, the museum depicts life in the early 1900s through exhibits, ongoing restoration projects and live demonstrations. Founded by the California Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Association, the museum features a working collection of more than 20,000 items ranging from archival materials to steam and gas powered engines and horse drawn equipment used in farming, construction and the industrial trades. Most items are housed in structures in order to keep them better preserved.
Moonlight Amphitheatre and Avo Playhouse show musical productions and local concerts. Several seasonal events occur in downtown vista, often celebrating holidays or harvest seasons. The Parks and Recreation Department runs the Wave Waterpark. Local parks have recreational feils, playgrounds, a senior center, and some even have small lakes and trails for light hiking.
Vista, which incorporated in 1963, is located between Southern California's largest trade centers: Los Angeles/Orange County 90 miles north and San Diego 35 miles south. The city is just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean and occupies 18 square miles of hills and valleys.
All the extra features that make Southern California an enviable place to live include but are not limited to: beaches, renowned golf courses, the Del Mar Racetrack and endless other recreation and cultural activities are all within minutes. Plus the weather is comfortably mild nearly all year round.
Students in Vista are served by the Vista Unified School District which has 18 high schools, 6 middle schools, and 7 high schools. Top employers in Vista are Vista Unified School District, San Diego Superior Court, Watkins Manufacturing Company, Zodiac Pool Care, and DJ Orthopedics.
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