California Vacations San Diego
See & Do In San Diego
Sea World – the #1 aquatic theme park with shows and interaction
San Diego Zoo – considered to be the premier zoo in North America
San Diego Zoo Safari Park - sister park to the San Diego Zoo
Balboa Park – museums, parks, gardens and arboretums
Old Town – preserved buildings and historic icons
La Jolla – secluded coves, beaches and ocean cliffs to explore
Birch Aquarium – exhibits of oceanography, fish and a kelp tank
Point Loma Lighthouse (Cabrillo National Monument) – sweeping views
San Diego Maritime Museum – sailing ships, ferryboat & Soviet sub
USS Midway Museum – tour a former aircraft carrier of the US Navy
Mission San Diego de Alcala – oldest Californian Spanish mission
Hotel Del Coronado – beautiful beachside hotel built in the late 1800's
Whale-watching – see California gray whales migration each February
San Diego Beaches – swimming, scuba diving, surfing & water sports
Hang gliding – sail over the ocean cliffs at La Jolla
San Diego is located on the Pacific Ocean coastline of California and just a few miles from the border with Mexico. With an ideal climate of dry summers and mild winters, great beaches, a colorful sailing heritage and home of the US Navy Pacific Fleet, the city is the second largest city in California with a population in excess of 1 million.
For thousands of years prior to the arrival of the first Europeans to the area in 1542, the region was home to native Indian communities. Claimed by the Spanish in 1769, this was the site of the first Spanish mission in California and was originally named San Miguel which was later changed San Diego.
With the discovery of gold in the area, the population expanded as a result of a huge influx of fortune seekers. As the location of the town was several miles away from San Diego Bay, a new town was established in 1860 further south and nearer to the water. Because of its now convenient shipping location and the advent of the railroad, people and businesses flocked to the new town.
Many small pockets of natural parklands can be found throughout the city of today and a river valley created by the San Diego River divides the city into two distinct segments. Architecture throughout the city varies from Spanish heritage, Victorian, Classical Revival to modern contemporary skyscrapers. Tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and defense are the largest sectors of the economy. In addition, the city is also a major centre for the biotechnology and telecommunication industries.
San Diego is world renowned for its wildlife conservation movement which draws thousands of tourists throughout the year. The San Diego Zoo and Sea World are two of the major tourism attractions with the latter covering an area of over 200 acres.
The city has plenty of restaurants offer national and international cuisine as well as various forms of musical entertainment. There are innumerable cafes, food outlets, bars, trendy dance centers and nightclubs in the city and also scattered throughout almost every district. In addition, classical musical, theatrical and opera performances are held at various locations on a regular basis.
Several sports venues hold major league, championship and international fixtures for football, baseball, basketball, soccer, super cross and track and field fixtures.
There area many popular museums and art galleries which feature exhibitions throughout the year. Numerous public and private universities, colleges, schools and institutions offer a wide variety of educational degrees and qualifications. Shopping centers cater for every style imaginable and antique markets, second hand shops and vintage stores are all a shoppers delight. Although English is the predominant language, Spanish is also still widely spoken.
Visitors to San Diego will find a wide variety of hotel accommodation to suit every taste and every budget. Traditional and boutique hotels, condos, resorts, bed & breakfast guest houses, backpacker hostels etc are all in plentiful supply throughout the city.
A visitors guide to the San Diego public transport system