Introduction to San Diego, California
San Diego, CA, is the seventh largest city in the United States with a population of nearly 1.3 million people. San Diego is the second largest city in California, and San Diego County is the third largest county by population in the United States. According to U.S. Census data, San Diego is the 17th largest metropolitan area in the United States.
San Diego is located in Southern California, on San Diego Bay and near the border with Mexico. It is two hours south of Los Angeles. As of 2006, San Diego is home to five Fortune 1000 company headquarters, including well-recognized names such as Qualcomm, Jack in the Box, and Petco Animal Supplies. San Diego and the surrounding area are also home to numerous U.S. Military bases.
San Diego is ranked as the 18th "Most Fun U.S City" in a survey conducted in 2003 by Cranium Inc. Factors taken into account in the ranking include: the number of sports teams, restaurants, dance performances, toy stores, the amount of a city's budget that is spent on recreation, and other factors.
Many consider San Diego to possess the best climate in the United States. Daytime temperatures average 70 degrees Fahrenheit year round. San Diego weather is typically sunny and mild without many temperature extremes. San Diego does not get snow or ice during the winter, and averages less than twelve inches of rain a year.
San Diego History
The earliest Native American inhabitants of the San Diego region date from about 7,500 B.C. The first Europeans claimed the region for Spain in 1542. San Diego is named after San Diego Bay, which received its name in 1602. San Diego was incorporated as a city in 1885. Some key dates in San Diego's history include:
- Around 1769, the Mission San Diego de Alcala was established by Franciscan friars. It was the first of five missions to be established in the San Diego area.
- In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain and San Diego came under Mexican rule.
- In 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico, invading Mexico from the east. U.S. troops reached San Diego by December.
- In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed which ended the war between Mexico and the United States.
- In 1850, San Diego County was created as one of California's original 27 counties.
- In 1915, San Diego hosted the Panama-California Exposition World's Fair.
- In 1935 San Diego hosted the California Pacific International Exposition World's Fair.
San Diego Arts and Culture
San Diego is a center of arts and culture. San Diego offers museums, the performing arts, and much more. Some of San Diego's more notable museums include:
- The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
- The Museum of Photographic Arts
- The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
- The San Diego Aerospace Museum and International Aerospace Hall of Fame
- The San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum
- The San Diego Art Institute
- The San Diego Museum of Art
- The San Diego Natural History Museum
- The San Diego Zoo
For patrons of the performing arts, San Diego has a lot to offer. Some of the more notable attractions include:
- The California Ballet Company
- The California Center for the Arts, Escondido
- The Coronado Playhouse
- The Cygnet Theatre
- The La Jolla Music Society
- The La Jolla Playhouse
- The La Jolla Stage Company
- The Lyceum Theatre
- The Lyric Opera San Diego
- The Old Globe Theatre
- The San Diego Ballet
- The San Diego Chamber Orchestra
- The San Diego Opera
- The San Diego Repertory Theatre
- The San Diego Symphony Orchestra
San Diego Sports and Leisure
San Diego offers a nice assortment of professional sports to keep sports fans happy. San Diego is home to the following major sports teams:
- Baseball - The Major League Baseball (MLB), San Diego Padres. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim also play an hour and a half north of San Diego in Anaheim. For individuals who like Minor League Baseball action, the Lake Elsinore Storm play an hour and a quarter north of San Diego in Lake Elsinore, California. They are a Class A Advanced affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
- Football - The National Football League (NFL) San Diego Chargers.
- Hockey - The ECHL Sand Diego Gulls. The National Hockey League (NHL) Anaheim Mighty Ducks play an hour and a half north in Anaheim.
- Soccer - The United Soccer League (USL) USL Premier Development League San Diego Gauchos and the USL W-League San Diego Gauchos Women.
San Diego is also home to two NCAA College Bowl games, the Holiday Bowl, and the Poinsettia Bowl. And, of course, two hours to the north, Los Angeles also offers numerous professional sports teams.
San Diego's climate makes it ideal for outdoor activities. There are nearly 70 miles of beaches in San Diego County. Recreational boating and every kind of water sport are available in San Diego. Mission Bay is an ideal place for jogging, roller blading and other outdoor activities. San Diego is also famous for some of the world's best surfing.
San Diego "Must See" Attractions
San Diego has attractions too numerous to do justice in a simple list. Some of San Diego's more unique attractions include:
- Balboa Park, overlooking both downtown San Diego and the Pacific Ocean
- The Gaslamp Quarter Historic District
- Old Town San Diego
- San Diego's five missions - San Diego de Alcala, San Luis Rey, Pala, Santa Ysabel, Las Flores
- The San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum
- The world famous San Diego Zoo
San Diego at Night
Downtown San Diego is where the majority of the cultural events take place. The nearby Gaslamp quarter is home to many clubs and bars. Near the beach one will find many more casual venues and eateries. Check out the Reader, San Diego magazine, and San Diego-Union Tribune for current listings of places, events and happenings.