Located on the Mexican border, right across from the famous vacation spot of Tijuana, San Diego is a beautiful city on the Pacific Coast. It has a rich maritime history, and is the home of the Pacific Fleet of the US Navy. Featuring such world class attractions as the San Diego Zoo and Sea world, it is an excellent vacation destination.
Originally settled by the native Kumeyaay people, the first Europeans to arrive were the expedition of the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo, in 1602. San Diego was incorporated as a city in 1850, and the US Navy moved in in 1907. After World War II, huge military investment pushed the development of the city, until a slowdown began at the end of the Cold War. The downturn encouraged diversification into other areas, such as biotech and communications.
San Diego has a wonderful, temperate, Mediterranean climate, with mild dry sunny weather throughout the year, with the hottest temperatures found in late summer and early autumn. Snow and ice are virtually non existent during winter. With an average of less than 12 inches of rain per annum, it almost has a desert climate.
One of the must see locations in San Diego is the world famous San Diego Zoo. Covering 100 acres, the Zoo is home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals, representing more than 800 species and subspecies, and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. It is located just north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park. The Zoo organises special events throughout the year, with further details available on the San Diego Zoo website.
San Diego is also home to Seaworld, home to the iconic Shamu killer whale show. Named for the first Orca, or Killer Whale, Shamu is now used as the stage name for the performing animals in the show. In addition to the Shamu show, there are dozens of other activities, such as the Sesame Street Bay of Play, and the Forbidden Reef. It would take days to see everything! Make your choices with full information available at the Seaworld website.
No trip to California, Surf Capital of the World, would be complete without a visit to the California Surf Museum. Based in Oceanside, the museum features new exhibitions every six months, documenting the greats of the California surfing scene. Merchandise is also available. For more details, check out the California Surf Museum website.
Every February, California grey whales migrate along the coast. You can take whale watching tours, or head to the overlook at Cabrillo National Monument, in Point Loma, to get a view.
San Diego has a rich food selection – with so many cultures represented in the city, it is easy to find whatever you are looking for, Mexican, Moroccan, Ethiopian, Thai, Vietnamese, Afghan, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, British, Italian and Cuban cuisine can all be found.
San Diego is served by Sand Diego International Airport, less than 10 minutes away from downtown San Diego, and transport via airport shuttle is available. Also available is the McClellan-Palomar Airport, located in San Diego County.
Little known fact about San Diego – Home to the largest wooden structure in the United States, the “Hotel Del Coronado”.