Vista is located on California State Route 78. State Route 76 and Interstate 15 also pass near the north of Vista; to get into Vista from these routes, exit at Santa Fe or Gopher Canyon Road, respectively. It is also a short distance from Interstate 5; use the interchange to get onto the 78.
Vista is part of the North County Transit District, and is covered by a network of bus routes and the new Sprinter Light Rail. However, they don't go everywhere you want to go, the schedules are mediocre, and there are perhaps a few if no taxis at all, so it is recommended that you drive.
Vista is home to Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, a nineteenth-century ranch house once owned by the Couts family and recently restored by the city, which offers tours to visitors at a small fee. Just outside of the city is Guajome Regional Park, a beautiful park located on Santa Fe.
Rancho Guajome Adobe, 2210 N. Santa Fe Ave, +1 760 724-4082, . Built in the late 1800s on an original Mexican land grant, this hacienda (large house) is a beautiful and unique example of Anglo-Hispanic architecture.
Avo Playhouse, 303 E Vista Way. The Avo Playhouse is an indoor theater, and it runs shows throughout the year. But it is closed at night. It is in need of a little renovation but it has lovely plays there.
Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Dr. Moonlight Ampitheatre located at Brengle Terrace Park, produces high-quality musicals during the summer. It's is also a fine place to have a picnic when there are not any plays, as it has a large grass area, a couple of basketball courts, and some picnic tables. If you walk a little ways down you will find a park for young children
The Wave, 101 Wave Dr, is a small-scale waterpark open from May to September. Also be aware that there may be a line to get on the water slides, as in every popular water park. They have a attraction for surfers/boogeyboarders which is particularly popular. The Wave is more centered for teens and children than adults.
Bombay Cafe local Indian restaurant. 1280 E. Vista Wy. #4 (760) 630-6611
The "Bertos". For some reason, many local Mexican restaurants in the area have the suffix -berto's: Gilbertos, Alberto's, Adalberto's, Rigoberto's, etc. Most of these are adequate.
Coyote Cafe at Santa Fe and Bobier offers a range of good food at reasonable prices.
Islands, a casual chain restaurant, has a restaurant in Vista, located on Melrose near Hacienda.
Juanita's, 248 Main St, is a popular Mexican restaurant located downtown.
Marco Italian Restaurant This family-style italian has all the best features of a small italian ristorante: wicker-wrapped chianti bottles, checkered tablecloths, vines on the ceiling, carafes of house red, paintings and pictures of Italy, lots of garlic, and even an owner who will (perhaps) get drunk and sing to you in Italian. "O Sole Mio!" 1825 E Vista Way, (760) 758-1870
Pepper Tree Frosty, usually referred to as Peppertree. 270 S Santa Fe Ave (760) 726-0732. The Peppertree is an ice cream stand and a local landmark, having been in Vista for over fifty years. Their ice cream, shakes, floats, sundaes, and so on are cold and delicious, and the perfect way to cool off on a hot day. Less well-known but surprisingly good is their food menu, which you order at a side window. The menu ranges from quesadillas and burgers to Philly cheesesteaks, all of which tastes great. Their prices are reasonable, although be warned that they charge a $1 service fee if you use a credit or debit card. Still, the Peppertree is not to be missed.
Yellow Deli, 315 East Broadway, ☎ (760) 631-1888. Great spot for organic food and teaedit
There are a number of small, cheap inns and motels in the city, mostly located on main roads such as Santa Fe. There is also a bed and breakfast located a little bit north of the town at 454 Hutchison St. But there is some very nice hotels. There is a La Quinta located on 630 Sycamore Ave and their phone # is (760)727-8180. There is also a highly enjoyable Holiday Inn right next to Vista in Oceanside located on 3170 Vista Way and their phone number is (760)757-2200.
In recent years, Latino gangs have become a problem in some areas of the city and violent crime is beginning to happen in a few areas. In particular, rape is becoming common in poorer neighborhoods, so female travellers should exercise caution. This is only in the poorer parts especially around the Avo Playhouse, as places such as around Sycamore Drive are very, very safe. If you find yourself there (around the Avo) alone, you should walk about a block down to the fairly new Krikorian Theatre which is surrounded by many small shops around it. You should find it there in the day, so if you do find yourself around the poorer parts at night you will know directly where to go. It's very crowded, you will be safe there.