North San Diego Business Chamber

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Rancho Bernardo

Community Overview

Rancho Bernardo sets the standard for master-planned communities. Although part of the City of San Diego, the ambiance of the community distinguishes Rancho Bernardo from other parts of the county.

Nestled within a valley, about 7,000 acres house more than 45,000 residents in North County San Diego.

A town plaza contains small businesses including financial services, insurance, attorneys, computer services, real estate, mortgage and escrow companies, high tech and entrepreneurial-type businesses.

Industry giants such as Sony Electronics, Hewlett-Packard, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, NCR Corporation, SAIC, and Eastman Kodak Co. operate in one of the largest business parks in San Diego.

The History of Rancho Bernardo

Rancho Bernardo began as a land grant of 17,763 acres from the King of Spain in 1789. The area at the time was referred to as "La Canada de San Bernardo". The first recorded land owner of San Bernardo was an English sea captain named Joseph Sevenoaks.

After settling in California, Sevenoaks became a Mexican citizen and married Maria Antonia Alvarado. He changed his name to Don Jose Francisco Snook and used the land as a working cattle ranch. After the death of Snook, the land changed hands several times, always being divided into smaller lots.

John and Laurence Daley eventually purchased the land for cattle grazing. In 1961, the Daleys and W.R. Hawn and Harry L. Summers established Rancho Bernardo, Inc. AVCO Community Developers later obtained the corporation and began developing the land. Rancho Bernardo soon emerged as one of the select communities in the United States.

Type of Housing

Rancho Bernardo offers all types of housing from apartments to large, custom homes. The community experienced a housing boom during the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The area is now residentially built out with an occasional plot of land being developed. Neighborhoods spread throughout the rolling hills of the area, lined with red tile roofed, stucco houses.

Anyone wishing to reside in the community can do so through the purchase of existing property or by renting. A number of Senior Living communities provide housing opportunities for residents seeking assisted living including The Remington Club, Casa de Las Campanas, Seacrest Village, Oaks North Village, and others.


Rancho Bernardo residents enjoy easy access to anywhere in San Diego County. Interstate 15 runs directly through Rancho Bernardo, with State Route 56 lying just south of the community and Highway 78 to the north. San Diego International Airport is less than 30 minutes away.

Local bus transportation is provided through the North County Transit System and the San Diego Transit System. There are bus stops throughout the community with regularly scheduled stops every day of the week.


Schools in the area are part of the prestigious Poway Unified School District. Many of the schools in the area have been recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools, which are distinguished as being among America's best.

Rancho Bernardo has several elementary schools with children moving on to Bernardo Heights Middle School, then Rancho Bernardo High School.

Higher education opportunities are available at local campuses for the University of Phoenix and National University.


Rancho Bernardo residents and visitors can choose from a selection of golf courses located in the community. Oaks North Golf Course is a favorite executive course in the area. The Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Course and Country Club of Rancho Bernardo offer championship courses. The Bernardo Winery is an inviting place to taste wines, dine, or visit village shops.

Hiking and fishing opportunities are just moments away at both Lake Hodges and Lake Poway. Just north of Rancho Bernardo is the world-famous San Diego Wild Animal Park, where patrons of all ages can enjoy animals in natural settings.