Situated about 30 miles up Interstate 15 from San Diego’s Mission Valley, the inland North County city of Escondido offers a smorgasbord of activities for residents and visitors alike. And with an average high temperature of 77.7 degrees, there is abundant opportunity for outdoor excursions.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, formerly known as the Wild Animal Park, encompasses more than 1,800 acres and draws some 2 million tourists from around the world each year. While the park technically sits just outside Escondido city limits, don’t tell that to the locals, as it may lead to some spirited debate.
Downtown Escondido has seen better days since the North County Fair mall -- now called Westfield North County -- was built some 30 years ago. But the area retains much of its small-town charm, and it clearly is on the rebound.
Efforts to improve the center city include adding upscale housing (Latitude 33, a 198-unit complex, opened a few blocks from the California Center for the Arts in 2012), education (John Paul the Great Catholic University moved into the former J.C. Penney building and the Classical Academy Charter School is renovating the former North County Times building on Pennsylvania Avenue), and the Maple Street Plaza, a pedestrian-friendly area connecting Grand Avenue and West Valley Parkway just a block from City Hall.
To find a movie theater outside this area, check the Source Movie Section.
Aug. 19, 2012 -- Reporter Carlos Rico visits the new Palomar Medical Center on its first day of operation while patients were being transported from the old hospital to the new facility located on the west end of Escondido.