Escondido is nestled in a shallow valley surrounded by rocky hills on all sides. It is thus named the “hidden” city. It is located in the north east region of San Diego. It is one of the oldest cities in San Diego, founded in 1888. The city has changed hands throughout the centuries and was of course first settled by the American Indians. The Spanish took control in the late 18th century and held onto it until the early 19th century when Mexico won its independence from Spain. The Mexican- American War in 1846 transferred the land to the USA. The 1880’s saw a boom of residents arriving in Escondido from across the country. In 1888 the city was incorporated, ushering in railways and highways to bring in economy.
Escondido’s community invested in agriculture and is most known for its grapes. Oranges, lemons, olives, walnuts and avocadoes were also fertile here. In 1970 the land was converted to housing communities. High schools are now focusing on agriculture as a mainstay in its educational courses in order to spark that industry once again.
Escondido is comprised of 36.8 square miles of land, all but .02 square miles is land. Escondido tends to have more precipitation in the winter with an average of 15 inches a year and hotter summers with highs of 100 degrees F, than most of San Diego.
Three lakes are a welcome part of Escondido. Dixon Lake is located to the north, Lake Wohlford is located to the north east, and Lake Hodges to the south. Dixon Lake brings in fresh water to the city and it is not uncommon to see boats and fishing dotting the landscape. Camping is also a favorite activity along the lake. Lake Wohlford has walking trails and fishing available. Lake Hodges is 27 miles in length and offers hiking, boating, fishing and camping. Escondido is also home to an impressive 15 parks. Grape Day Park is the most known and named after the historic grape harvest the city was popular for. There is an annual Grape Festival on the Saturday after Labor Day at the park to remember its history. It also has five wineries, a civic center and The California Center for the Arts as major parts of its community. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is home in Escondido and leads the way for the world in conservation of animals. The animals can be seen roaming large stretches of land within the park and are often returned to the wild as appropriate. Many species of animals have been preserved by the single-handed effort of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The facility is open to the public and features wild animal encounters, tram tours, hot air balloon rides and decks rising over vistas miles long.
Public transportation is readily accessible in the form of buses and The Sprinter, a rail that runs from Escondido in the East to Oceanside in the West of the North County of San Diego. Monthly and yearly passes are available for both.
If you decide to call Escondido home you will find The Joslyn Senior Center in town. It is funded jointly by the city, county and private donations. It offers the following programs to its senior citizens: dancing, bingo, shuffleboard, library, billiards, health screenings, thrift shop, nutrition program, and more. Here is the website for the center: http://www.escondido.org/joslyn-senior-center.aspx