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Mira Mesa, San Diego facts for kids

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Mira Mesa, San Diego
Neighborhood of San Diego
Mira Mesa
Nickname(s): Manila Mesa
Country  United States of America
State  California
County Flag of San Diego County, California.png San Diego
City Flag of San Diego, California.svg San Diego
 • Total 42.49 km2 (16.406 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Total 72,759
 • Density 1,712/km2 (4,435/sq mi)
ZIP Code 92126 and 92121
Area code(s) 858

Mira Mesa is a community and neighborhood in the city of San Diego, California. The city-recognized Mira Mesa Community Plan Area is roughly bounded by Interstate 15 on the east, Interstate 805 on the west, the Los Peñasquitos Canyon on the north and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on the south. Most of the community plan area is referred to as Mira Mesa; the community plan area also includes the neighborhoods of Sorrento Valley and Sorrento Mesa.

The Mira Mesa neighborhood, as defined by the San Diego Police Department's neighborhood map, is roughly bounded by Interstate 15 to the east, Camino Santa Fe to the west, the Los Peñasquitos Canyon to the north and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to the south.


Mira Mesa Neighborhood Map
The Mira Mesa neighborhood, as defined by the San Diego Police Department

Around the time of World War II the area now called Mira Mesa was used by the United States Army as a test area. Just west of U.S. Route 395 (now Interstate 15) was a Navy auxiliary landing field, known locally as Hourglass Field because the layout of the runways was a single piece of asphalt in the shape of an hourglass. The Navy also used the surrounding area as a bombing range.

Starting in 1969 there was a housing boom in the area that now extends from the I-15 freeway in the east to I-805 in the west and is approximately 10,500 acres (42 km²). This was one of the earliest areas of urban sprawl along the I-15 Corridor. Hourglass Field became the site of San Diego Miramar College and Hourglass Field Community Park. The area was built so quickly that it lacked schools, shopping centers, or other services for its thousands of residents. In 1971 Pete Wilson started his political career running for mayor with the slogan "No more Mira Mesas!" as a promise to stop quick, unplanned growth in San Diego.

Since its inception, Mira Mesa was largely influenced by the military located at the adjacent NAS Miramar. Mira Mesa was the northernmost "real community" of San Diego, and was separated from the rest of the city by NAS Miramar for many years. For nearly 30 years the Navy's Top Gun School was located here, and most of the pilots made their homes in Mira Mesa.

By the late 1990s, the Mira Mesa area had undergone extensive expansion to accommodate the thousands of new residents attracted by its proximity to major employers like UC San Diego, MCAS Miramar, Qualcomm, and dozens of biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Several commercial and industrial centers have been built within the Mira Mesa area.

Mira Mesa has a significant concentration of Asian-American residents. Their presence has added to the diverse shopping available in Mira Mesa, including grocery and shops offered mainly by Filipino and Vietnamese people.


The community has about 80,000 residents, including students, hi-tech employees, families, and single people. There are over 23,000 homes in the community, averaging 3.09 people per household. The median age is 32.4 years.

The 2010 census counted: Asian 44.3%, White (not Hispanic or Latino) 31.8%, Hispanic or Latino 13.6%, African American/Black 4.8%, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander 0.8%, and Native American 0.5%.


111101 SV Sorrento Valley Station north side aligned near 025
The nearby Sorrento Valley Station which serves the Mira Mesa area.

Public transportation is provided by the San Diego Transit and the Metropolitan Transit System, through buses and DART (Direct Access to Regional Transit) shuttles.

A train station serves Mira Mesa in Sorrento Valley and is served by the Coaster commuter train, of the North County transit district. The Coaster links Mira Mesa to Downtown San Diego, and north to coastal communities like Solana Beach and Oceanside.

Main highways include Interstates 805 and 15.

Main thoroughfares

  • Mira Mesa Boulevard runs east to west, and is the main road through Mira Mesa. It is an important link between Interstates 15 and 805. Before the 2006 completion of State Route 56, which runs parallel to and north of Mira Mesa Boulevard, the street carried a heavy volume of traffic and was considered one of the most congested streets in the city.
  • Camino Ruiz is a north-south four-lane thoroughfare that runs the whole length of the Mira Mesa area, and links Miramar Road to Mira Mesa Boulevard, to Calle Cristobal. It is a main thoroughfare for military personnel traveling to and from MCAS Miramar and the surrounding area.
  • Camino Santa Fe is a north-south four lane thoroughfare that runs the whole length of the Mira Mesa area, and links Miramar Road to Mira Mesa Boulevard, to Calle Cristobal/Sorrento Valley Boulevard.
  • Black Mountain Road is a north-south thoroughfare that connects the more southerly portions of San Diego to Mira Mesa, and continues on to Rancho Peñasquitos and Del Mar.
  • Calle Cristobal runs east to west, along the northern perimeter of Mira Mesa, through the Los Peñasquitos Canyon..
  • Sorrento Valley Boulevard becomes Calle Cristobal at its intersection with Camino Santa Fe.

Community events

Mira Mesa California Street Fair 2005
Mira Mesa Street Fair
  • The Mira Mesa Street Fair is held the third Saturday in September on Camino Ruiz on the block just north of Mira Mesa Boulevard. The fair is sponsored by the Mira Mesa Town Council.
  • On the Fourth of July, a parade runs through town on Mira Mesa Boulevard, then turns on Camino Ruiz. A Family Fun Day follows in the Mira Mesa Community Park with games, booths and rides for children. In the evening a fireworks display is accompanied by music from the radio station KyXy 96.5. The fireworks are located at Mira Mesa Senior High School.
  • Halloween is celebrated at the Mira Mesa Gil Johnson Recreation Center.
  • Every Thursday night, groups of motorcycle riders gather just off of Mira Mesa Blvd (Haggen/Home Depot shopping center). This is known as "Mira Mesa Bike Night" (MMBN) and is typically a fairly large gathering, attracting over 100 bikers during warm-weather months.
  • Mira Mesa Living, a community newspaper publishing local news and events, started publishing bimonthly in July 2010. The previous community newspaper, the Mira Mesa Scripps Ranch Sentinel, stopped publication in July 2009.

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