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The chances to experience nature, outdoor adventure and wide open space in Rancho Penasquitos are limited only by your own motivation.
“Enjoy life!” That seems to be the unofficial motto of the community Rancho Penasquitos in northeastern San Diego. With its numerous annual festivals and celebrations (Fiesta de los Penasquitos, Christmas Card Lane, etc.), nearby recreational opportunities (Black Mountain Open Space Park and Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve) and festive history, Rancho Penasquitos, meaning “land of little cliffs,” offers a top-tier quality of life to singles, families and retirees looking to move to the area.
Shopping and Dining
Fondly referred to by locals as “PQ,” Rancho Penasquitos is home to a plethora of shopping and dining as fun as the community itself. Rancho Penasquitos Towne Center, Highland Village Place, Carmel Village Plaza and Plaza Shopping Center are home to all the necessities you need. Stock your pantry and fridge from Stater Brothers or the two Von's Supermarket. Sample some local and regional fares such as Knotty Barrel Gastro Pub, Sushiya, PizzaRev, Pitchers Sports Bar, Rodrigo’s Taco Shop, The Original Sab-E-Lee, Pho Saigon & Grill, The Deli Stop, Golden Bagel, Starbucks, Villa Capri 2, Luna Grill and Peet’s Coffee & Tea. In the mood for a national chain; how about Carl’s Jr., Round Table Pizza, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Jack-in-the-Box, Subway, McDonalds and Rubio’s Fish Tacos.
Parks and Recreation
The chances to experience nature, outdoor adventure and wide open space in Rancho Penasquitos are limited only by your own motivation. The community’s southern border is the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. As rich in history as it is in recreational resources, this 4000-acre preserve, today managed jointly by the County and City of San Diego, was originally part of a Mexican Land Grant known as the Rancho Santa Maria de Los Penasquitos in 1823. Today, trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding wind between waterfalls, streams and groves of giant California Oak and Sycamore trees. Wildlife as varied as Pacific Tree Frogs, crayfish, Blue Herons, bobcats and coyotes enjoy the varied terrain and habitats cradled in the preserve. The Santa Maria de Los Penasquitos Adobe is another great reason to visit here. This 1823-built adobe home, along with its surrounding property, makes up a National Historic and Archaeological District. To enjoy the area’s other outdoor attraction Black Mountain Open Space Park simply follow the most prominent landmark in the town the summit of Black Mountain rising 1554 feet above much of the community. Boasting 2,352 acres and with tentative plans to expand, Black Mountain Open Space Park is also the responsibility of San Diego City which maintains is trail system keeping it fit for walking and bike or horseback riding.
Getting back to the celebratory mood that seems to permeate through the community, the annual Fiesta de los Penasquitos has been drawing crowds into town since 1995. With a carnival, crafts and food vendors, art exhibits, fun challenge booths such as a climbing wall, and unique offerings every year, it’s no wonder attendance at this event has swelled to 15,000 people. Every holiday season, Rancho Penasquitos lights up, quite literally, for Christmas Card Lane, an event that began with 15 household in 1985 and has grown to more than 300 spanning Ellingham, Oviedo, Renato, Barrymore St. and Davenport Ave. Residents construct elaborate displays in their front yards with themes ranging from Disney characters to Super Heroes to Hans Christian Anderson’s A Christmas Carol. Schools and other organizations have caught onto the popularity of this annual event and often show up to sing carols or sell baked goods for fundraising. In recent years, horse drawn carriage rides have become available as a mode of travel through Christmas Card Lane. In addition to fun festivals, Rancho Penasquitos boasts a number of year-round community resources not to be missed when browsing area real estate listings. Since 1995, the Rancho Family YMCA offers activities from open swim to aerobics, gymnastics, scuba, sports and more. Parents can also depend on the YMCA for reliable and affordable child care. An excellent example of good local horse sense, Canyonside Stables offers rentals, lessons and boarding or a ride through Caynonside Park. Residents and visitors who feel it makes even more sense to keep their own feet on the ground may choose to spend the day instead at the Hotel Karlan a DoubleTree Resort San Diego. Taking the younger generation just as seriously, Rancho Penasquitos even has a 22,000 square foot skate park for skateboarders, bikes and scooters. The park includes a quarter pipe and half pipe as well as stairs, a picnic table and a special replica of the San Dieguito 10 stair rail, among other features.
Schools, Health, Transportation
The highly regarded and award winning Poway Unified School District serves families living in Rancho Penasquitos. Community children attending public school will go to Adobe Bluffs Elementary, Black Mountain Middle (a California Distinguished School), West View High or Mt. Carmel High School. The Cambridge School is another popular choice for parents who prefer their children attend a private Christian school. Serving all of San Diego, the SHARP network of hospitals and clinics extends also into Rancho Penasquitos with its Sharp Rees-Stealy Scripps Ranch Medical Center which includes primary care, pediatrics, lab, optical and other specialty care services for all ages. Who would guess that all these resources could be tucked away between the cliffs and mesas of Rancho Penasquitos? Once you relocate here, you may want to keep these amazing secrets all to yourself.