La Mesa is a city in San Diego County, located 9 miles (14 km) east of Downtown San Diego in Southern California. The population was 57,065 at the 2010 census, up from 54,749 at the 2000 census. Its civic motto is “the Jewel of the Hills.”
La Mesa in Spanish means “the table”, or alternately “the plateau”, relating to its geography. La Mesa was part of a larger tract, Mission San Diego de Alcalá, and was used by Spanish missionaries.
La Mesa was founded in 1869 and The City of La Mesa was incorporated on February 16, 1912, under the general laws of the state of California. It does not have a city charter but operates under the laws of the state of California.
Its official flower is the bougainvillea.