san diego california guide

La Mesa California - San Diego County

La Mesa (Spanish for table, or tabletop terrain) is a town that reflects traditional America living and history in many ways. Founded in 1869 it was incorporated as a city in 1912. For over two centuries prior, it was a ranching area originally settled by the Spanish. Today its known for being a solid middle-class town nestled among hills and on a mesa, surrounded by a network of freeways that provide easy access to downtown San Diego, Mission Valley, Mission Bay, the beaches, inland communities and the deserts beyond.

La Mesa has a community golf course where one can play a round for the old-fashioned price of $25. It has numerous parks, with recreation programs for the family and seniors including swimming, exercise programs, softball and other sports. The town boasts two water recreation venues – Lake Murray and El Capitan Reservoir. Spend a day on the lake, picnic, swim, boat, water-ski or try your luck fishing for large mouth bass, crappie, catfish and trout. Landscaped paths surrounding the lakes welcome bikers, joggers, skateboarders and rollerbladers. Sports are important in La Mesa – ask basketball star Bill Walton – he grew up here.


Spread out over roughly nine square miles – La Mesa is comprised neighborhoods filled with condos, town homes, single-family homes, apartments, numerous shopping malls, strip malls and a traditional city center retail district (La Mesa Village) where many cultural activities take place. Visit the “Village” on a summer Thursday Cruise Night and you will enjoy seeing hundreds of custom, antique cars and motorcycles parked throughout the business district. Other family fun activities include an Antique Fair, a weekly farmers market, and the Village Christmas Festival where many retailers compete in holiday decoration contests. The 1894 La Mesa (railroad) Depot Museum in downtown La Mesa is reputed to be the oldest California building in its original form. On weekends one can tour the museum, view its memorabilia collection and take rides into the countryside on coaches pulled by antique locomotives.

La Mesa is on the famous San Diego Red Line Trolley network that spreads from the US border with Mexico and runs throughout much of San Diego County. For a little pocket money one can avoid the freeways and congestion by taking the fast, efficient trolley to regional shopping malls, Qualcomm Stadium, Downtown San Diego, Tijuana, or even connect with Amtrak for a ride on the Coast Starlight Express up to Disneyland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and beyond.

La Mesa is a desirable place in which to raise a family and central to San Diego County as a whole for staying in when visiting the area. Close in (but not too close), comfortable, safe and convenient - La Mesa is a good place to be.




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San Diego, California - Last Revision - 05 January 2008 - jat