- Kari Shea
Vista has a rich and colorful history which dates all the way back to 1798 when it was first inhabited by Native Americans. As the years went by, and after many political and economic changes, the area was further developed and later on was inhabited by settlers. Vista then got its name in 1882 when the first post office in the area was established. Since then, the young city underwent many stages of progress until finally in 1963, it was incorporated and became officially recognized as a city. In that same year, Vista saw the appointment of its first city council and its first mayor.
These days, Vista has grown remarkably, becoming an active commercial center with its own business park that serves as home to over 800 companies, including household names such as Walmart and Costco. There are also about 32 elementary schools and high schools within the area that are all served by the Vista Unified School District, while Biola University as well as Kaplan College both have a branch campus. The city is also a cultural melting pot, as it is home to a Japanese-American Cultural Center, one of two of California’s Buddhist temples, as well as over 75 various churches and temples for a number of denominations.
It’s not all business here, of course, and Vista’s residents enjoy the city’s many points of interest and recreational facilities, while basking in its perfect, mild Mediterranean climate. There are a number of parks, the best known of which are Brengle Terrace Park and Guajome County Park (a National Historic Landmark). There’s also the city’s own botanical garden, the Alta Vista Gardens, as well as a plethora of retail and commercial establishments, numerous playgrounds, a baseball field, a water park, theaters, campsites, horse trails, and even the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum which is an open-air museum showcasing agricultural equipment from the 19th and early 20th centuries.