Vista is a relatively new city in San Diego County, California. Incorporated in 1963, it has become a model community catering to its citizens respect for the environment, passion for outdoor activities and moderate cost of living. As of the 2006 census, the city had a total population of 89,891. In Kathleen Shaputis' book 50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family, Vista is listed as the seventh best place in the United States for family life, based on factors such as jobs and business opportunities, education, climate, and cost-of-living. Vista is also known for its cultural diversity with large Japanese-American, Latino and Jewish communities, and is known to many as a city with a "minority-majority." In celebrating and supporting this diversity, Vista is home of a Japanese-American Cultural Center and Buddhist Temple, one of only two in California, and over 75 other churches and temples of various denominations.
Vista has 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. There is a lot of open land in Vista, especially in the north, and much of it is dedicated to 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; part of this is in Vista and part is in nearby Oceanside. It features campsites, horse trails, and the Rancho Guajome Adobe, a National Historic Landmark.
Rancho Guajome Adobe and Rancho Buena Vista are two ranchos in and near Vista, built in the mid-nineteenth century. Both offer tours detailing the history of the ranchos and life during the time they were built. 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.
Over the last five years, Vista has experienced the greatest economic boom ever in its history, outperforming most other municipalities in San Diego County in retail sales and employment growth. This is due in part to Vista's location to major transportation corridors, which makes it an attractive location for firms seeking ready access to markets in the counties of San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino. Ample permanent open space has been designated in south Vista, providing an appealing natural setting for prospective industrial users. Vista is strategically located between Southern California's largest trade centers: Los Angeles - 90 miles north, Orange County - 45 miles north and San Diego - 20 miles south.Some of the largest companies doing business in Vista include Watkins Manufacturing Corporation, Unitrin Direct Insurance Company, DJ Orthopedics, Inc., Zodiac Pool Care, Dimension One Spas, US Foodservice, Inc., Orval Kent Food Co., GE Osmonics, Print, Inc., Earthlite Massage Tables, Inc., American Faucet & Coatings, and Verity, which is also known as Cardiff Software.