San Diego (City)

San Diego, incorporated in 1872, is the county seat of San Diego County. It is the second most populous city in California and the eighth most populous city in the United States. The economy of San Diego is driven to a great extent by the military and defense industries, as well as tourism and international trade.

Communities and neighborhoods in San Diego include:

  • Balboa Park
  • Carmel Valley
  • City Heights
  • Clairmont
  • College Area
  • Del Mar Heights
  • Downtown
  • La Jolla
  • Middletown
  • Mira Mesa
  • Miramar
  • Mission Bay

 

  • Mission Beach
  • Mission Valley
  • Normal Heights
  • Old Town
  • OtayMesa
  • Pacific Beach
  • Point Loma
  • Point Loma Heights
  • Rancho Bernardo
  • Rancho Encantada
  • Rancho Penasquitos
  • Rolando
  • San Ysidro
  • Torry Pines

Downtown San Diego is the financial center and central business district of San Diego as well as the cultural center of the city. It is home to the San Diego Symphony, several theaters and museums, and the San Diego Opera. The San Diego Convention Center and Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, are also located in Downtown San Diego. Most of the major city, county, state, and federal government offices are located in downtown.

San Diego is home to the world famous San Diego Zoo located in Balboa Park. The 100 acre zoo is the most visited zoo in the United States and is home to more than 4000 animals and 650 species and subspecies.

 

Point Loma

Point Loma is a peninsula and seaside community located within the city of San Diego bordered on the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by San Diego Bay and Old Town, and on the north by the San Diego River. Point Loma is historically significant as being the landing location of the first European expedition to land in California. In 1542, Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo led an expedition exploring the area for the Spanish Crown.

 

Cabrillo National Monument

The Cabrillo National Monument is located at the southern point of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego. The monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay in 1542. This event marked the first time a European expedition had landed on what later became the West Coast of the United States. The site, which is now a park, offers excellent views of San Diego's harbor and skyline, Coronado Island, and Naval Air Station North Island. A visitor center provides information including a film, about Cabrillo's voyage and expedition. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the highest point in the park. It was closed in 1891 and converted into a museum. Visitors are welcome.

 

Old Town San Diego

Old Town is a neighborhood in San Diego consisting of 230 acres. It is the oldest settled area in San Diego and is the site of the first European settlement in California. It contains Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and Presidio Park, both of which are included on the National Register of Historic Places. Old Town has nine hotels, more than thirty restaurants, and over one hundred specialty shops, making it a major tourist attraction.

 

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, established in 1968, is a state protected historical park that commemorates the early days of San Diego and includes numerous historic buildings from the period 1815 to 1875. The park is registered as a California Historical Landmark and is one of the most visited state parks in California.

 

Presidio Park

Presidio Park is a 40 acre historic park on a hill in Old Town San Diego and the site of where the San Diego Presidio and San Diego Mission, the first European settlements in California, were founded in 1769. The presidio was established to protect against Indian attacks or foreign invasions. Nothing remains on the site today except for a few foundations and walls. There are excellent views of San Diego and the Pacific Ocean from the top of the hill.

 

Mission San Diego de Alcala

Mission San Diego de Alcala was founded in Diego in 1769 by Spanish friar Junipero Serra. The site is a National Historic Landmark, a California Historic Landmark, and a San Diego Historic Landmark. The museum was secularized in 1834 and returned to the Catholic Church by proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. The mission is currently used as a Parish Church.

 

Mission Valley

Mission Valley has been divided into Mission Valley East and Mission Valley West by the city of San Diego for planning purposes, Mission Valley is a wide river valley in which the San Diego River flows to the Pacific Ocean. The valley was the site of the first Spanish settlement in California established in 1769. Today, Mission Valley is an entertainment center where many condominiums and planned developments are located. Mission Valley is located to the northeast of Old Town San Diego and north of Downtown San Diego.

 

San Diego International Airport

San Diego International Airport, formerly San Diego Municipal Airport - Lindbergh Field, is a 663-acre public international airport located in San Diego three miles northwest of downtown. The airport is the busiest single runway airport in the United States serving all of San Diego County as well as neighboring Imperial County. Annual aircraft operations currently exceed 215,000.

 

Brown Field Municipal Airport

Brown Field Municipal Airport, formerly Naval Auxiliary Air Station Brown Field, originally named East Field, opened in 1918. The airport was decommissioned in 1962 and sold to the City of San Diego. Today, the two runway, public airport is both owned and operated by the City of San Diego. It is located approximately 13 miles southeast of Downtown San Diego in the Otay Mesa neighborhood, which is in the South Bay region of San Diego County.

 

San Diego Bay

San Diego Bay is a national harbor and deepwater port in San Diego County. The bay is twelve miles long and varies between one and three miles wide. The bay borders San Diego, Chula Vista, National City, Imperial Beach, and Coronado, and is the third largest bay in California behind San Francisco Bay and Humbolt Bay. The Port of San Diego is located within the bay and the bay is spanned by the San Diego - Coronado Bridge.

 

Naval Base San Diego

Naval Base San Diego, established in 1922, is the second largest surface ship base of the United States Navy and is one of the largest employers in San Diego and the County of San Diego with more than 26,000 military personnel and over 11,000 civilian employees. Naval Base San Diego is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet, consisting of more than 55 ships and 150 commands. The base consists of 13 piers, 16,000 acres of land, and 326 acres of water.

 

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

The Marine Corps Air Station Miramar is a major installation and employer located in Miramar, San Diego approximately 14 miles north of Downtown San Diego. The 23,11 6-acre facility was constructed in 1917 as Camp Kearny. It is owned by the Department of Defense and operated by the US Marine Corps. Every year, a major airshow is conducted that brings thousands of viewers from all over San Diego County and beyond.

 

Port of San Diego

The Port of San Diego is a large seaport on San Diego Bay, located in the city of San Diego in San Diego County. The port is governed by a seven-member Board of Port Commissioners. One commissioner is appointed by the city councils of Colorado, Chula Vista, National City, and Imperial beach. Three commissioners are appointed by the San Diego City council. The Port of San Diego is the primary port of entry for Honda, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Acura, Fiat, Volkswagen, Dole Food, and many other large corporations.

 

Embarcadero

The Embarcadero is the San Diego cruise ship terminal and is home to the museum ships USS Midway, Star of India, and seven other historic vessels. The Embarcadero, or boarding place, is in Downtown San Diego at the Port of San Diego. The Embarcadero is also the location of numerous restaurants and shops.

 

San Diego River

The San Diego River is a 52-mile-long river located in San Diego County that originates in the Cuyamaca Mountains northwest of Julian. It then flows southwest to EI Capitan Reservoir. Below EI Capitan Dam, the river runs west through Santee and San Diego, through Mission Hills Regional Park, and then into Mission Bay.

 

Mission Bay

Mission Bay is a 2000-acre man-made bay in San Diego located just south of Pacific Beach. The bay is part of 4,235-acre Mission Bay Park which is the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States. The Southern California park is approximately 46% land and 54% saltwater. Mission Bay Yacht Club conducts sailing races throughout the year both in the bay and adjacent Pacific Ocean. Mission Bay has 27 miles of shoreline which includes 19 miles of beautiful sandy beaches with eight designated as swimming areas. Other major attractions include SeaWorld San Diego and Belmont Park which is known for its giant roller coaster and other rides and amusements. Mission Bay is a major tourist attraction.

 

Mission Beach

Mission Beach is a community in San Diego consisting of nearly two miles of oceanfront boardwalk, numerous restaurants and entertainment spots, and lots of shops. The beaches are absolutely beautiful and there are areas where fishing is permitted. Belmont Park is home to the 73-foot Grant Dipper, a carousel, and numerous other rides and amusements.

 

Mission Bay Park

Mission Bay Park, which is within Mission Bay, is the largest man-made aquatic park in the United States consisting of 4,235 acres. Approximately 46% is land and 54% water. Mission Bay Park is the ninth largest city owned park in the United States.

 

Balboa Park

Balboa Park, established in 1835, is a 1,200-acre historic park in San Diego. The park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been declared a National Historic Landmark District. Balboa Park features several beautiful gardens; numerous museums, including special events; and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. More than four million people from all over the world visit the park each year.

 

Balboa Park Golf Course

The Balboa Park Golf Course, the oldest public golf course in San Diego, includes an 18-hole golf course, a 9-hole executive golf course, a driving range, pro shop, practice putting green, professional golf lessons, and excellent views of Downtown San Diego, Point Loma, and the Pacific Ocean. Located in Balboa Park, it is only minutes away from Downtown San Diego.

 

San Diego Natural History Museum

The San Diego Natural History Museum, founded in 1874 as the San Diego Society of Natural History, has been located in Balboa Park since 1933. It is the oldest scientific institution in Southern California and the second oldest west of the Mississippi River. The museum features both permanent and rotating exhibits. Memberships are available. Donations and volunteers are always welcome.

 

San Diego Museum of Art

The San Diego Museum of Art is a fine arts museum established in 1926 in Balboa Park. The museum's collections range in dates from 5000 Be to 1212 AD. New exhibits are regularly added. Nearly half a million people visit the museum annually. Memberships are welcome and available. Donations are always needed and welcome.

 

San Diego Automotive Museum

The San Diego Automotive Museum, established in 1988, is located in Balboa Park in San Diego. Exhibits are rotated every four to five months. Thousands of people visit this fine museum every year. Memberships are available and donations are always welcome.

 

San Diego Air & Space Museum

San Diego Air & Space Museum, established in 1961 and formerly known as the San Diego Aerospace Museum, is located in Balboa Park. The museum, which is open-to the public, contains numerous historic aircraft and spacecraft including: (1) Apollo 9 command module, (2) Spirit of St Louis replica, (3) 1902 Wright Glider replica, (4) P-51D Mustang, (5) F-86 Sabre (6) Mitsubishi Zero, (7) Grumman F-14 Tomcat, and (8) PBY Catalina. The museum also contains an extensive collection of historic photographs.

 

San Diego Zoo

The world-famous San Diego Zoo, established in 1916, is a 100-acre zoo in Balboa Park in San Diego. The zoo houses more than 4,000 animals and over 650 species in mostly open-air, cageless exhibits that create natural habitats. More than four million people from all over the world visit the zoo each year. It is the most visited zoo in the United States.

 

San Diego History Center

The San Diego History Center, formerly the San Diego Historical Society, founded in 1920, is one of several museums located in Balboa Park. The museum showcases the history of San Diego holding over 45 million documents, including an extensive photo collection. The museum became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in 2013.

 

USS. Midway Museum

USS. Midway Museum is a historical naval aircraft carrier that has been converted into a magnificent maritime museum in Downtown San Diego. The USS. Midway served from 1945 to 1992. The museum hosts over 800 events each year and has nearly 26,000 members. Thousands of people visit the popular museum each year.

 

Star of India Museum Ship

The Star of India, built in England in 1863, is an iron-hulled sailing ship that has been converted into a museum. She is the oldest sailing ship still sailing and the oldest ironhulled merchant ship still afloat. The magnificent ship is part of the Maritime Museum of San Diego. It is located at the Port of San Diego just west of Downtown San Diego and just south of the San Diego International Airport. The ship is 62.5 feet long and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark.

 

Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District

The Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District, San Diego's historic Chinatown, is adjacent to and overlapping with the Gaslamp Quarter Historic District. The area has 22 buildings of historic importance dating from 1883 to 1930.

 

Villa Montezuma

Villa Montezuma, constructed in 1887, is a beautiful Queen Anne style mansion in the Sherman Heights neighborhood of San Diego. The property, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is now utilized as a museum and cultural center. The museum is open from time to time to visitors.

 

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve

Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve is a large urban park consisting of more than 4,000 acres within the City of San Diego. It is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The preserve is jointly owned and administered by the city and the County of San Diego. The seven-mile-Iong park is home to the Historic Santa Maria de Los Penasquitos, an adobe home built in approximately 1820-21. Tours of the home are available. Wildlife in the preserve includes bobcats, deer, coyotes, and mountain lions.

 

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is a National Wildlife Refuge in San Diego County governed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is part of the National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located on San Diego Bay in San Diego County. It is also part of the San Diego National Wildlife Complex. The refuge was dedicated in 1999 and consists of 316 acres.

 

Mission Trails Regional Park

Mission Trails Regional Park, established in 1924, is a 7,220-acre open space preserve in the city of San Diego. It is the largest, city owned park in California and the sixth largest in the United States. The highest point in the park is Cowles Mountain which rises to 1,592 feet. The park offers extensive hiking and equestrian trails, 46 campsites, and Lake Murray which is stocked with bass and trout.

 

Tecolote Canyon National Park

Tecolote Canyon National Park in San Diego offers 6.5 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails plus the Tecolote Nature Center which offers numerous exhibits on both animals and plant life in the canyon. The center is also available for meetings, workshops, classes and special events. Mountain lions have been sited in the park. The park is located to the east of Mission Bay.

 

University of California, San Diego

The University of California, San Diego, also referred to as UC San Diego and UCSD, established in 1960, is a public research university in La Jolla which is a seaside community within the city of San Diego. UCSD consists of twelve undergraduate and professional schools and seven undergraduate residential colleges. The university occupies 2,178 acres and has more than 50,000 students enrolled. UC San Diego is ranked among the best universities in the world by all standards.

 

San Diego State University

San Diego State University (SDSU), established in San Diego in 1897, is the third oldest university in the 23 member California State University (CSU) system. Enrollment now exceeds 37,000. SDSU operates a branch campus, the Imperial Valley Campus (IVC) in Calexico and a smaller branch campus in Brawley which is also in neighboring Imperial County. The university awards 190 bachelor's degrees, 91 master's degrees, 30 doctoral degrees, and 26 teaching credentials. Several of the buildings on the main campus are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego (USD), established in 1949 in San Diego, is a Roman Catholic research university with an enrollment approaching 10,000. Even though USD is a Catholic University, it is no longer governed directly by the Diocese of San Diego. A lay board of trustees currently governs the operations of the university. USD offers 89 undergraduate and graduate programs which includes a paralegal school, an accredited law school, a school of business, and a school of engineering.

 

Southwestern College

Southwestern College is a two-year, accredited community college in San Diego County. Locations are in Chula Vista, National City, Otay Mesa, and San Ysidro. Earned college credits are transferable to the University of California and all of the California State Universities. Southwestern College offers the Associate of Arts degree, the Associate of Science degree, and numerous certificate programs.

 

San Diego City College

San Diego City College is a 60-acre, two year community college, established in Downtown San Diego adjacent to Balboa Park in 1914. Enrollment now exceeds 18,000 students. The college offers: 250 majors and certificate programs. College credits are transferable to all of the California state and university schools.

 

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College, established in 1963, is a 104-acre public community college located in the Claremont Mesa community in San Diego. The college, also known as Mesa College, is the largest community college in San Diego and the 16th largest in California. Mesa College is one of only ten community colleges in California to offer four-year Bachelor's degrees. It also offers the Associate of Arts degree and the Associate of Science degree. Enrollment currently exceeds 24,000 students.

 

San Diego Christian College

San Diego Christian College (SDCC) founded in 1970, is a private, non-denominational evangelical college in Santee, California, a suburb of San Diego. Up until 2014, the college was known as Christian Heritage College. The college offers the Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, and of Master of Science degrees and teacher's credentials.

 

Alliant International University

Alliant International University, established in 1952, is a private, for-profit university with over 4,000 students, most of whom are graduate students. The main campus is in San Diego. Additional campuses are in Los Angeles, Irvine, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno. Alliant International University consists of California School of Professional Psychology, California School of Education, California school of Management and Leadership, California School of Forensic Studies, School of Nursing and Health , and the San Francisco Law School.

 

National University

National University, headquartered in San Diego and founded in Los Angeles County in 1971, is the second largest private non-profit university in California and one of the largest in the United States. The institution has 20 campuses including locations in Oxnard and Los Angeles. National University is organized into five schools: the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Engineering, Technology, and Media. Enrollment now exceeds 40,000 students.

 

Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges is a 1,234-acre lake and reservoir located in San Diego about 31 miles north of Downtown San Diego, just north of Rancho Bernardo and immediately south of the border with Escondido. The beautiful lake has 27 miles of shoreline and is about 115 feet deep. Fishing is permitted for nine months of the year. Windsurfing and kayaking are permitted throughout the year.

 

Miramar Lake

Miramar Lake, also known as Miramar Reservoir, is a 182-acre reservoir located in the Scripps Miramar Ranch community of San Diego. The reservoir was completed in 1960. Its main source of water is the Colorado River Aqueduct. Recreational activities include boating and fishing. There are also abundant picnic areas and a walking trail that surrounds the lake.

 

Timeline of San Diego

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