San Diego County

The County of San Diego, more commonly referred to as San Diego County is the second most populous county in California and the fifth most populous in the United States. It was established in 1850 when California became a U.S. State. The county seat is San Diego which is the second most populous city in California and the eighth most populous city in the United States. San Diego County has more than seventy miles of coastline. North San Diego County is known as North County. It is the most affluent region of the county. The county is divided into three major regions: North County, South Bay, and East County.

Cities in San Diego County include:

  • Lemon Grove
  • National City
  • Oceanside
  • Poway
  • San Diego
  • San Marcos
  • Santee
  • Solana Beach
  • Vista


Census - designated areas include:

  • Bonita
  • Bonsall
  • Fallbrook
  • Hidden Meadows
  • Lake San Marcos
  • Lakeside
  • Potrero
  • Ramona
  • Rancho San Diego
  • Rancho Santa Fee
  • Spring Valley
  • Valley Center

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.


SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego, established in 1964, is a major tourist attraction in San Diego County. Located in Mission Bay Park in San Diego, the 189-acre park offers both indoor and outdoor marine exhibits and shows that attract millions of visitors each year. SeaWorld San Diego is also engaged in rescuing, rehabilitating, and when possible, releasing injured, orphaned, and stranded marine animals into the Pacific Ocean.



Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, established in 1933, is the largest state park in California consisting of 585,930 acres. The Southern California park includes parts of Imperial County, San Diego County, and Riverside County. The park has 12 designated wilderness areas and 110 miles of hiking trails. The park is primarily desert land but has several natural springs and oases. Wildlife includes bighorn sheep, deer, coyotes, golden eagles, roadrunners, and mountain lions.


Cleveland National Forest

The Cleveland National Forest is a 460,000-acre national forest in San Diego County, Riverside County, and Orange County. The huge national forest was created in 1908 with the consolidation of the Trabuco Canyon National Reserve and the San Jacinto National Reserve. The Mountain Laguna Observatory (MLO), an astronomical observatory owned by San Diego State University (SDSU), is located within the Cleveland National Forest along with the 17,961-acre Agua Tibia Wilderness (ATW). The forest is mostly chaparral, canyons, and arroyos with some forest areas. There are extensive hiking trails and picnic areas.


Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is a 26,000-acre state park established in 1933 in San Diego County near the southern end of the Cleveland National Forest. The highest peak in the park is Cuyamaca Peak which stands at 6,512 feet. It is the second highest point in San Diego County. The park has over 100 miles of trails and 81 campsites. The trails are available to hikers, bikers, and equestrians. Nearby Lake Cuyamaca offers fishing and boating.


Cuyamaca Mountains - Lake

The Cuyamaca Mountains are a mountain range in San Diego County that runs mostly northwest to southeast. The Laguna Mountains are adjacent to the east while Palomar Mountain and Hot Springs Mountain are to the north. Both the San Diego River and the Sweetwater River have their headwaters in the Cuyamaca Mountains which flow more than fifty miles to the Pacific Ocean. Cuyamaca, also known as Cuyamaca Reservoir, is a 110-acre reservoir in the Cuyamaca Mountains. The lake is stocked annually and contains trout, bass, bluegill, and sturgeon.


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.


San Vicente Reservoir

The San Vicente Reservoir is a 1 ,600-acre reservoir located in the Cuyamaca Mountains in San Diego County approximately 25 miles northeast of San Diego. It was created in 1947 upon the completion of the San Vicente Dam on San Vicente Creek. It is the largest reservoir in San Diego and offers boating, fishing, and waterskiing.


Loveland Dam and Reservoir

The Loveland Dam, completed in 1945 on the Sweetwater River in San Diego County, created the 454-acre Loveland Reservoir. The reservoir is utilized for municipal water storage and is open to the public for fishing. The Sweetwater River is a 55-mile-long stream that has its headwaters in the Cuyamaca Mountains and its mouth at San Diego Bay. The stream flows through Chula Vista before reaching San Diego Bay.


Lake Poway Dam and Reservoir

Lake Poway Dam, completed in 1972 near Poway in San Diego County, created Lake Poway Reservoir for the purpose of storing and supplying water, and providing recreational opportunities which include fishing for trout, bass, catfish, sunfish, and bluegill. The 35-acre lake has a 2.75-mile loop trail that circles the lake and links to other trails including the Blue Sky Ecological Reserve trail to Lake Ramona.


Lower Otay Reservoir

Lower Otay Reservoir is 1,100 acre reservoir in San Diego County that was formed in 1918 by the construction of the Savage Dam on the Otay River. Otay Mountain is to the north, Janul Mountain is to the east, Upper Otay Reservoir is to the north, and the city of Chula Vista is to the west. The reservoir is home of the United States Olympic Training Center for rowing sports.


EI Capitan Reservoir and Dam

The 1536 acre EI Capitan Reservoir is a large reservoir in central San Diego County in the Cuyamaca Mountains approximately 30 miles northeast of the city of San Diego. The reservoir was formed by the construction of the EI Capitan Dam in 1934 on the San Diego River. Fishing is permitted, but boating is allowed only part of the year. There are no camping areas available.


Dixon Lake-Reservoir

Dixon Lake is a 59-acre, beautiful artificial lake and reservoir located in San Diego County north of Escondido. It was constructed in 1971 and is open to the public for fishing, picnics, and camping at its 44 designated camp sites. The lake is regularly stocked with bass, trout, bluegill, and other fish. Dixon Lake is known for large largemouth bass.


Laguna Mountains

The Laguna Mountains are a mountain range in eastern San Diego County that runs in a northwest - southwest direction for about 35 miles. The southern section is in the Mountain Empire region of San Diego County while the northern section is in the East County region. The headwaters of three perennial streams are located in the Laguna Mountains: Cottonwood Creek, Noble Creek, and Kitchen Creek. The highest point is Cuyapaipe Mountain which rises to 1,944 feet. The Laguna Mountains are a highly popular recreation area.


Mountain Empire

Mountain Empire is a rural, undeveloped area consisting of small towns and wilderness in southeastern San Diego County. The area is considered by many to be a part of East County - San Diego. The area consists of portions of the Laguna Mountains and is just west of Imperial County. Towns include Campo, Pine Valley, Descanso, and Potrero.


San Diego Christian College

San Diego Christian College, founded in 1970, is a private, evangelical college located in Santee which is a suburb of San Diego. The accredited college offers Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, and Master of Science degrees as well as teaching credentials. San Diego Christian College teaches that the Bible is inerrant and that no other writings are to be accepted as divinely inspired or authoritative. Enrolled students average 800.


John Paul the Great Catholic University

John Paul the Great Catholic University (JPCatholic), founded in San Oeigo County in 2003, is located in the North County city of Escondido. The accredited, private Roman Catholic university offers two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in business and one in communications media, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in humanities. JPCatholic is well known for its focus on business entrepreneurship. Enrollment averages 310 students.


California State University San Marcos

San Diego State University San Marcos, also known as Cal State San Marcos, was founded in 1989 as a campus of California State University (CSU). Enrollment currently exceeds 14,000 students. CSU offers 43 Bachelor's degree programs, 23 Master's degree programs, and 13 teaching credentials. The 340-acre campus is located in the city of San Marcos which is located in the North County region of San Diego County.


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.


Grossmont College

Grossmont College, established in 1961, is a 135 acre public community college in EI Cajon which is in eastern San Diego County. Grossmont College together with Cuyamaca Community College make up the Grossmont - Cuyamaca College District. Enrollment currently exceeds 18,000 students. The college offers the Associate of Arts degree and the Associate of Science degree plus more than 150 certificate programs.


Cuyamaca College

Cuyamaca College, established in 1978, is a 165-acre public community college in Rancho San Diego which is in eastern San Diego County. Cuyamaca College together with Grossmont College make up the Grossmont - Cuyamaca College District. Enrollment currently exceeds 10,000 students. The college offers the Associate of Arts degree and the Associate of Science degree plus more than 66 training certification programs.


Palomar College

Palomar College, founded in 1946, is a public two-year, accredited college. The main campus is in San Marcos in North San Diego County. In addition to the main campus, Palomar College has five learning centers in Escondido, Fallbrook, Rancho Bernardo, Ramona, and Camp Pendleton. More than 20,000 full-time and part-time students are enrolled. Palomar College offers the Associate of Arts degree, the Associate of Science degree and nearly 200 Certificates of Achievement. Earned college credits are transferable to the University of California and all California State University schools.


Franciscan School of Theology

The Franciscan School of Theology (FST), established in 1854, is a small Roman Catholic graduate theological school at the Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in Oceanside, which is in North County, San Diego. FST is affiliated with the University of San Diego. The school offers a two-year Master of Theological Studies degree and a three-year Master of Divinity degree which is required for ordination to the priesthood.


Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, commonly referred to as Camp Pendleton, established in 1942, is a 125,000-acre Marine Corps base in San Diego County. The base, which is one of the largest Marine Corps bases in the United States, is bordered by Oceanside to the south, San Clemente and Orange County to the north, Fallbrook to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Marine Corps Air Station is part of Camp Pendleton.


Save Our Heritage Organization

Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO), founded in 1969, is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving historic landmarks and architecture in San Diego County including the Whaley House in Old Town San Diego and the George W. Marston House located in Balboa Park, San Diego.





Timeline of San Diego


San Diego HOA Management