Get to know Rainbow
The rural community of Rainbow lies at the northern border of San Diego County, just 20 miles from Pacific Ocean beaches and a quick 47 miles north of downtown San Diego. Rainbow is immediately east of the neighboring village of Fallbrook and is a quick hop south of bustling Temecula. But despite Rainbow’s proximity to convenient shopping and services, it remains a sleepy “four corner town” — a world apart and throwback to another era.
As you summit the grade on Interstate 15 between the San Diego and Riverside County borders, you skirt the west edge of Rainbow Valley and pass over a low lying saddle that spans the Aqua Tibia, Pechanga and Santa Margarita Mountain ranges. Here the climate and topography make a stark transition. It’s more lush and green to the south, in Rainbow — more sparse and arid to the north, in Temecula. In this “Rainbow transition zone”, you see rugged grey-green cloaked foothill mountains covered with native chaparral, majestic live oaks, and sycamores. Massive granite boulders pepper the hillsides, perched prominently on the slopes.
Rainbow is about 14 square miles in size. At the center of the community lies a 4 square mile working rural valley filled with farms and nurseries. Surrounding the valley you’ll see towering peaks and dramatic foothill mountains. The region is blessed with natural formations. Bounded on the north by the Nielson Peak, to the east by Mount Olympus, to the south by Monserate Mountain, the rise from the valley floor to the peaks can be abrupt. Some slopes gain over 1000 feet of elevation in less than one mile. No matter what your vantage point, whether your views are from the valley floor below or the hilltops above, you’ll be stunned by spectacular scenic backdrops at every turn.
Rainbow is appealing on many levels, but it has special appeal to the free-spirited and those who appreciate the land and it’s bounty. Rainbow’s approximately 3,000 full-time residents occupy a rural area of roughly 9000 acres. That equates to an average population density of one resident per three acres. Without doing much math, it’s easy to say you won’t find too many crowds around here.
The community is known for it’s temperate Southern California growing climate, it’s abundance of working land, and quick access to transportion corridors. These factors account for the proliferation of small and large commercial nurseries, which give the area a distinctly rural, SoCal agricultural vibe. But Rainbow is more than agribusiness. Retirees and families flock here for a simpler life. And the area attracts others too, especially those who want land and space. Rainbow is a hotbed for entrepreneurial small scale “lifestyle” farming, where many growers, ranchers, nursery operators and grove owners live and work on their land. In general, you can indulge the “inner bohemian” here, yet still enjoy the abundant good life that Rainbow offers. Artists, millionaires, and growers mix and mingle in Rainbow.
Properties and Lifestyle
Rainbow is an unincorporated community of San Diego County. Land use patterns, growth, and development are governed by the County’s “general plan”. Currently, County zoning seeks to preserve the rural character of the region. (See County Land Use Map for Rainbow)
The central valley is zoned for limited commercial activity and there are a number of small and larger commercial growers with intensive agricultural operations here. It is a mixed use area with residential housing interspersed throughout the valley floor. This is the only area that permits homes to be built on “smaller” parcels. Here you might occasionally find a limited selection a homes on 1 to 2 acres for around $200,000.
At higher elevations (Rainbow Heights & Rainbow Crest) and to the south into Rice Canyon, land use is more consistently homogeneous, with fewer small parcels. Larger landowners in these outlying areas tend to be involved with grove & farm operations; citrus, avocados, flowers, and a variety of high-value “in-ground” crops. Here too, you’ll find primarily “estate” sized, two acre or larger parcels, most zoned for a variety of light agricultural uses. These ridge top and canyon homes are typically selling in a range between $300,000 and $600,000, but there are also stunning high-end estates hidden throughout the area whose values will trend well into the $1 million plus range.
Raw land and working farms without residential structures will typically sell for around $5,000 to $50,000 per acre and up depending on a variety of factors.
The Vallecitos Elementary & Middle School Grades K-8
(Vallecitos School District)
5253 Fifth Street
Rainbow, CA 92028
The Rainbow Advanced Institute for Learning — Public Digital Charter School Grades K-12
5253 Fifth Street
Rainbow, CA 92028
Fallbrook High School Grades 9-12
(Fallbrook Union High District)
2400 South Stage Coach
The Rainbow Community Blog – A local blog with a focus on Rainbow community events, issues, and news.
Rainbow Planning Group – Access information about the San Diego County Planning Group for Rainbow.
Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers