Escondido, California

Best Places to Retire in California


Escondido (population 139,000) is located 30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, nestled in the gentle rolling hills of the coastal mountains. It is a thriving small city with many amenities and attractions. Escondido has developed into a cultural center with its magnificent California Center for the Arts, and a satellite museum of Balboa Park’s Mingei International Museum. The city has eight parks, two lakes, two municipal golf courses, and a large sports complex with a health club. There are outstanding opportunities for outdoor activities, which include hiking and bicycling, tennis and a great many excellent golf courses throughout the region. And it is only 18 miles from the sandy ocean beaches.

The city has outstanding shopping, including art galleries, boutiques and antique shops. It also has a great many restaurants, live theater, entertainment, and comprehensive healthcare.

It is also important to know that Escondido is situated “at the heart” of the north San Diego area, within easy driving distance to a vast number of activities and amenities in San Diego (population 1.3 million) or virtually anywhere along the 70 mile coastline of San Diego county.

Arts & Culture

The California Center for the Arts, Escondido, which opened in 1994, is an architecturally beautiful structure on a 12-acre site. The center includes a 1,535-seat Concert Hall and the intimate 400-seat Center Theater, both with exceptional acoustics. It also has a 25,000 square-foot Conference Center for meetings, receptions, banquets and special events. Its art studios offer hands-on arts education, from visual arts to dance. Its performing arts season seeks to present the finest of performing artists of the day — from opera to country and from ballet to tap performers. It also has extensive educational programs that support the surrounding areas. 

The Escondido Arts Partnership is the city’s non-profit agency established to promote the arts and artists in Escondido. It also operates the Municipal Gallery. 

Mingei International North County Museum is a branch of the Mingei Museum at Balboa Park in San Diego. It consists of a 5,000 square foot gallery, multimedia education center and a museum store.

Escondido Historical Society operates the Heritage Walk Museum which showcases the community’s history through a number of exhibits and photographs. 

The Grape Day Parade and Festival is a community celebration dating to 1908. This annual event on the first Saturday after Labor Day commemorates the city’s history of vineyards and wine-making. This event is sponsored by the Historical Society. 

Escondido Public Library – 

Summergrass San Diego is an annual Bluegrass Music Festival held at the 40-acre outdoor Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, CA. (12 miles) 

Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, Vista, CA (8.5 miles) is located on 40 acres of farm land. The old equipment (from 1849 to 1950) is in operating condition and is used in Museum programs. Exhibits include a blacksmith and wheelwright shop, country kitchen, steam and gas industrial power units, gristmill, and more. 

Mission San Luis Rey, (Oceanside – 21 miles) the largest of California’s missions, was built in 1798. It has been carefully maintained and is currently operated by the Franciscan Friars of California. There are self-guided and guided tours through the Mission Church and the manicured grounds. Visitors are also welcome to attend a weekend mass. 


Golfers will find many outstanding courses in the area, both public and private. San Diego Golf Reservations Web site provides a quick overview of a number courses available but does not list them all. 

The city maintains eight parks with a wide range of activities and facilities. These include Dixon Lake and Lake Wohlford which offer boating, fishing, hiking trails and picnic areas. Other parks include lighted ball fields, an amphitheater, playgrounds, a skate park, soccer arena, a recreational center with two Olympic-size ice arenas, a 25-meter indoor pool and a full-service health club. It also operates two municipal golf courses: Vineyard at Escondido, and Reidy Creek.


California State University in nearby San Marcos (about 6 miles) is a four-year liberal arts institution located on a 304-acre campus. Full-time enrollment is just under 6,000 students. The university offers 19 undergraduate programs, nine graduate programs, and 19 teacher education programs.

Palomar College in San Marcos (about 6 miles) is a community college in the California system. It serves about 30,000 full-time and part-time students in its fall and springs sessions, and about 18,000 attend in the summer. The college has education centers in eight other nearby communities, including Escondido. 

University of California, San Diego (La Jolla – about 30 miles) is located on a 1,200-acre campus near the coast. It is one of 10 campuses in the University of California system. UCSD is a major university by itself, with over 23,000 students on campus. 

Miracosta College, Oceanside (about 6 miles) is a public, two-year community college located on the coast in north San Diego County. It has a full-time enrollment of 5,300. 

The college also operates an adult learning complex in Oceanside (760) 757-2121. Senior Programs The Joslyn Senior Center offers a wide range of programs and services for adults age 50 and older. 


Palomar Medical Center and Health System is a 333-bed acute care hospital with a staff of over 400 medical doctors. 


San Diego International Airport is served by over 20 major and commuter airlines. 


Average temperatures for January are a high of 66 degrees and a low of 49 degrees. The average temperatures for July are 76 degrees and 62 degrees. 


North County Times, Escondido – 

Property Taxes

San Diego county Treasurer-Tax Collector 

State Taxes 

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


San Marcos – 6 miles
Vista – 12 miles
Encinitas – 18 miles
Carlsbad – 19 miles
Oceanside – 21 miles
La Jolla – 30 miles
San Diego – 30 miles
Palm Springs – 100 miles

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