14 Best Things To Do In Vista, California - Updated 2022

things to do in vista california

The city of Vista in North San Diego County, California was incorporated on January 28, 1963. Located inland from the Pacific Ocean in northern San Diego County, the City of Vista has a perfect mild Mediterranean climate. Vista is a bustling city packed with cultural opportunities that incorporate its sparkling sunny weather. It also offers visitors several Vrbo vacation rentals and Airbnb vacation rentals with amazing amenities. With its temperate Mediterranean climate and sunny weather, the time is always right to explore this city. Read on to find out about the 15 best things to do in Vista, California.

1. Food forest and garden tour (from USD 20.0)

Enjoy touring this private food forest and garden in the city that has been nurtured for over a decade by your host. While the activity lasts for about an hour, your host will give you a quick 10-minute tour and let you to your own devices thereafter. There are more than a dozen fruit trees here, and you get to pick and taste the delicious fruits. The tranquil environs of the garden are also perfect for a short meditation or simply relaxation in the shade. You will also see chickens and butterflies roaming free here. For this tour, it is suggested that you wear comfortable shoes.

Food Forest & Garden Tour

Duration: 1 hour

31 reviews

2. Broadway Theater

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

I have been doing set design the past few years, and I am starting to love it more and more! This is my design for THE...

Posted by Vista's Broadway Theater on Thursday, March 5, 2020

Broadway Theater in Downtown Vista was started in 2004. Since then, it has been organizing musicals and live stage performances regularly. It has also been adjudged the best theater in San Diego more than once! This cozy community theater exudes the charm of a professional playhouse with its elegant interiors and red-colored seats. They also offer free beverages and snacks such as cookies and coffee before the start of the show. Since the maximum capacity of the theater is about 60, there’s usually ample parking space available. Season passes are also available for purchase.

Broadway Theater

Address: 340 E Broadway, Vista, CA 92084, United States

Website: Broadway Theater

Opening hours: 10am - 7pm (daily)

Price: 10 - 25 USD

3. Vista Farmer's Market

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

What did you pick up today at your local farmers market? #vistafarmersmarket92081 #nofarmersnofood #shoplocal #farmersmarket #buylocal

Posted by Vista Farmers Market on Saturday, February 27, 2021

The farmer’s market in Vista is a great place to mingle with locals and experience life in the community. Held on Saturdays, this weekly market sees dozens of farmers selling fresh produce. There are also plenty of food stalls offering bread, sauces, juices, dips, and cheeses all made fresh. You will also enjoy browsing the collections of handicrafts, natural soaps, pottery, and other such items sold by their makers and designers.

Vista Farmer's Market

Address: 325 S Melrose Dr, Vista, CA 92081, United States

Website: Vista Farmer’s Market

Opening hours: Sat: 8am - 12pm (closed from Sun - Fri)

4. Shaks Mediterranean Bistro

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Relish Lebanese delicacies at this authentic Mediterranean bistro. Kebobs, gyro, and falafel are just some of the popular dishes at this charming eatery. With over three decades of experience, this family-run business also offers a selection of other types of Middle Eastern cuisine. This establishment was previously known as “The Armenian Cafe” and was in a different location before moving to its current spot. You could also try a selection of desserts and choose from the handcrafted cocktails on offer for a complete meal.

Shaks Mediterranean Bistro

Address: 406 Main St, Vista, CA 92084, United States

Website: Shaks Mediterranean Bistro

Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 11am - 8:30pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

5. Vista Historical Society and Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

When the Vista Historical Museum reopens, these owls from around the world will be on display.

Posted by Vista Historical Society and Museum on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Get a glimpse into the region’s past with a tour of the Vista Historical Society Museum. Established in 2009, this compact museum showcases displays of local artifacts over the decades. From an Edison phonograph to a permanent wave curler, you will find numerous donated items that are no longer in use. The grounds of the property are rented out for private events such as weddings and birthday celebrations with the funds going to the upkeep of the museum.

Vista Historical Society and Museum

Address: 2317 Foothill Dr, Vista, CA 92085, United States

Website: Vista Historical Society

Opening hours: Wed - Fri: 10am - 5pm; Thu - Fri: 10am - 2:30pm (closed from Sat - Tue)

Price: Free

6. Boomers Vista

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

We have an exciting announcement coming later today. Any guesses what it could be?

Posted by Boomers Vista on Thursday, September 3, 2020

If you’re looking to spend a day having fun with family or friends, then Boomers Vista is the place to be. This amusement park has a variety of rides and attractions to keep everyone busy for a few hours. From arcade games to minigolf, the park promises fun and entertainment all day long. You can also choose from their birthday packages and other great bundle deals depending on your needs. The park has a Johnny Rockets outlet inside to keep your hunger and thirst at bay.

Boomers Vista

Address: 1525 W Vista Way, Vista, CA 92083, United States

Website: Boomers Vista

Opening hours: 12pm - 9pm (daily)

Price: 13 - 37 USD

7. Rancho Buena Vista Adobe

Rancho Buena Vista Adobe is a beautiful and historic residence that dates back to 1845. It has been well-preserved and is believed to be haunted. There are guided tours offered here to offer you a peek into life as it was centuries ago. The house is also available as a venue for weddings and special celebrations. There is a gift shop on site that houses unique souvenirs and artwork by local talents.

Rancho Buena Vista Adobe

Address: 640 Alta Vista Dr, Vista, CA 92084, United States

Website: Rancho Buena Vista Adobe

Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 10am - 1:30pm (closed from Sun - Wed)

Price: 4 USD

8. The Moonlight

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Imagine being able to enjoy concerts and movies outdoors and under the stars. That's about to happen in May at Vista's...

Posted by Moonlight Amphitheatre on Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Presented in the picturesque Moonlight, this is one of Southern California’s finest outdoor music and theatre venues. The Moonlight presents a summer season of four Broadway-style musicals. The atmosphere, under the summer moon and stars sipping a glass of wine, along with a superb stage, the excellent sound system and quality lighting, is truly a wonderful way to spend your evening. If you’ve never been to the Moonlight, you are seriously missing out.

The Moonlight

Address: 1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084

Website: The Moonlight

9. Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum (AGSEM) is a living-history museum founded in 1969 located on county-owned land on the outskirts of Vista. This fantastic living museum offers educational and recreational activities to the public through incredible exhibitions, hands-on demonstrations, fun activities and informative programs.

The museum has more than 20,000 pieces on exhibit ranging from antique photographs to huge engines from the 19th-century that are still fully functioning. If you are looking for family friendly attractions that offer both recreation and education, AGSEM is a great place to spend the day.

Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum

Address: 2040 N Santa Fe Avenue, Vista, CA 92083

Website: Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum

10. Mother Earth Brew Company

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Mother Earth Brewery is home to delicious fresh house made beers. The tasting room has a cosy, rustic, yet modern vibe filled with very friendly staff pouring the brews. Founded in 2010 by three passionate brewers, Mother Earth Brew Co. had one goal to create distinguished, hand crafted beers that stimulate sensory conversation and desire for the next sip. Mother Earth Brewery is a perfect addition to your day trip!

Mother Earth Brew Company

Address: 2055 Thibodo Road, Suite H, Vista, CA 92081

Website: Mother Earth Brew Company

11. The Wave Waterpark

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by The Wave Waterpark on Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Wave Waterpark in Vista is the perfect summer hangout for North County residents in search of a fun location for a company retreat, a unique fundraiser for their organization, a great place to hold a birthday party or simply a way to cool off as temperatures rise. The main attraction at this water park is the Slide Tower, Salsa Twist, Tubulation, Flash Flood and Slam Dunk. There is also a Riptide slide where visitors tube their way to a river landing and the Lazy River for those who prefer a more relaxing tube ride. A visit to The Wave Waterpark promises to be a great day out whether you’re feeling wild and adventurous or laid back and relaxed.

The Wave Waterpark

Address: 101 Wave Dr, 92083 Vista, CA

Website: The Wave Waterpark

12. Alta Vista Gardens

200518 002 Alta Vista Botanical Gardens, Tropaeolum majus Nasturtium
Source: Photo by Flickr user cultivar413 used under CC BY 2.0

Alta Vista Botanical Gardens is an oasis located in Vista’s Brengle Terrace Park. This garden is an interactive botanical garden that uses up-to-date technology in an interactive atmosphere. This is a place that all ages can appreciate. There are different zones such as sub-tropical, an herbal labyrinth, the Children’s Musical Garden, ponds, prehistoric gardens and more. Visitors can enjoy views of Vista and the Pacific Ocean and can enjoy an array of experiences in the gardens, including a serene, introspective labyrinth walk or a raucous afternoon making music on over-sized instruments. Alta Vista Gardens is one of Vista’s hidden gems and is definitely worth a visit.

Alta Vista Gardens

Address: 1270 Vale Terrace Dr, Vista, CA 92084

Facebook: Alta Vista Gardens

13. Backfence Society Inc.

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

A wonderful artistic ambiance, and gathering place for artists, art lovers, and more, Backfence Society Inc. is a creative oasis as well as a podium for those who stand up for the community. With a core group of professionals, emerging artists, and a changing repertoire of art, this non-profit organization adds artistic spice to the city of Vista. It’s a great place to relax, have fun and feed your creative spirit.

Backfence Society Inc.

Address: 110 S. Citrus Ave Suite F. Vista, CA 92084

Website: Backfence Society Inc.

14. Hungry Hawk Vineyards

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Hungry Hawk Vineyards is a small family owned and operated boutique winery that specializes in estate grown Spanish, Bordeaux and Rhone varietals. Stop by and taste the thoughtfully crafted wines while enjoying a beautiful vineyard view of San Pasqual Valley and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Hungry Hawk Vineyards

Address: 3255 Summit Drive, Escondido, CA 92025

Website: Hungry Hawk Vineyards

It is always the right time here in Vista!

Welcome to Vista, California
Source: Photo by user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

So, there you have it! 8 great reasons why you should visit Vista right now. Whether you visit for a day or stay for a week, Vista is one of the most magical cities to explore. A beautiful blend of different cultures, lifestyle and captivating historical sites, you will not run out of things to do in Vista. Go on, you know you want to!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Vista
Good things are meant to be shared!