Escondido, California

Hidden Treasure

Looklyloo Score: 80

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Lake Hodges


Lake Hodges is renowned for its strong community and outdoor recreational opportunities. At the heart of the neighborhood lies the lake itself which spans over 1,200 acres. This reservoir invites boating, kayaking, and fishing. Lake Hodges Park and the trails that wind through the hills and meadows provide for hikers and cyclists and offer playgrounds and picnic areas.

Lake Hodges has a mix of single family homes and townhomes/condos so while popular with families, there are smaller footprint options if you're empty-nested/retired or just not in the family way. Some of the housing stock is classic socal adobe but you'll also find plenty of very modern homes. The median home price is $1.5m so that beauty and nature comes with a price.

Hidden Meadows


The "center" of Hidden Meadows is the Community Center, which hosts year-round social and play (kiddo and grown-up) activities like holiday parties, fitness classes, and educational opportunities.

The neighborhood has plenty of parks with play structures, courts and green spaces for doggos and kiddos. The neighborhood is zones for nearby schools including Reidy Creek Elementary School and Bear Valley Middle School, both strong options in the district. Housing is mixed between massive new construction, older cottage/ranch style and some condo/townhome options. Homes average in the $1.5m+ but you can find some below that so Hidden Meadows can be a bargain for the area.

Harmony Grove Village


Harmony Grove Village is another beautiful neighborhood built deep in the rolling hills of Escondido. It’s one of the rare planned communities that was smartly designed within the surrounding landscapes and possesses a commitment to preserve the natural beauty of the area. That means locals have acres of open space and preserved natural habitats including an extensive network of trails for hiking, running or biking while you enjoy the views of southern California.

The Village Commons is the community's central hub. It has a resort-style pool and spa, multiple parks for outdoor play and a BBQ area for family and community events. The Village also has a sports park for the kids to play little league etc., a great dog park, and community gardens when you want to get your zen on. The neighborhood is also close to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which many consider the best zoo on the planet. Locals are typically zoned for Elfin Forest Elementary School and San Pasqual High School, both strong options in the district.
Much of the housing in the area is single-family homes, with the median price in the $800k+ range although some newer construction, larger homes can jump up in the millions quite easily.

South Escondido

Families/Young Professionals/DINKs

If you want to live in the heart of the action in the city then pick South Escondido. While it has suburban blocks it is also home to the downtown district and the highest density restaurants/bars, cafes and boutique shopping. If high walk score is important to you this is the place. Historic Grand Avenue is the center of this action and it’s in growth mode so more to come with growth in mind for this emerging Mainstreet USA-style neighborhood.

The neighborhood, while centered around downtown also has several great parks and rec areas. Kit Carson Park is one of them and it really has it all. Lots of green spaces to run around, playgrounds for the kiddos, and sports facilities for little leagues and informal games. Schools where the locals attend include L.R. Green Elementary School and Del Dios Academy of Arts and Sciences, which in particular is a prized academic choice.
Housing options in South Escondido are more varied than other neighborhoods due to the mix of smaller single family homes near downtown, larger newer builds in the more suburban surrounding blocks and the condos/apartments, like Villa Escondido, that surround the blocks near the commercial district.

San Pasqual Valley


Perhaps the most fabulous neighborhood in Escondido, if rural luxurious escape is on your list of requirements is San Pasqual Valley. It’s really a retreat for those happy with being apart from the city. It has a rich vineyard and general agricultural heritage, built from the lush hills on the north end of the city. Amidst this beauty you also get the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, that gives an element of rugged expedition energy to the bucolic blocks.
You also get some of the more beautiful hiking trails, including the Santa Ysabel Preserve and Daley Ranch, as well as plenty of golf, wineries, and stunning daily views of the valley. Homes here are pricey, many stretch up above $5m although the media home price is ~$2m.