Rancho Bernardo is an affluent development in the hills and canyons of north San Diego
, near Lake Hodges. It is surrounded by several wilderness reserves and open, green areas such as Black Mountain Open Space Park, Blue Sky Ecological Reserve, Effin Forest Recreational Reserve, and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Like many Orange-County-style pre-planned communities, Rancho Bernardo boasts an ideal mix of commercial property, well-kept public spaces, and tastefully organized residential territory. Obviously, much of the community's charm is derived from its topography and natural, hidden-away sort of feel. It is replete with golf courses, hiking trails, and other such outdoor leisure spots.
Rancho Bernardo, while suburban, is not inconveniently located; it straddles the 15 freeway and sits right between Escondido
and the rest of San Diego, so more or less any conceivable commute is possible, as well as any conceivable excursions to downtown, the beach, etc. The 15 also joins up with Route 56, which connects to the 5 (PCH) a ways to the west.