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San Diego

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Jan 10, 2022

From balmy beaches with a laid-back attitude to a gleaming modern image, San Diego offers much for the tourist to enjoy. Situated on the Southern California seacoast, San Diego is the second largest city in the state, with 1.3 million residents, and has long attracted travelers for its ideal climate, miles of beaches, and location on the Mexican border right across from Tijuana.

For other places with the same name, see San Diego (disambiguation).

San Diego is a huge city with several district articles that contain information about specific sights, restaurants, and accommodation.

But there’s much more here than surfer culture and a quick hop across the border. A rich maritime and military heritage lives on in San Diego, which is home to the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy. The city has also become known for its part in the wildlife conservation movement, owing to the presence of the world-renowned San Diego Zoo and Safari Park and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Natural scenery abounds from rocky tidepools and seaside cliffs to desert hills and canyons inland.

San Diego is a proud city that never seems to cease growing, and though the city has a strong identity many of its residents are newcomers, joining in the flood of immigrants to this city. With this has come the problems associated with Southern California cities, such as traffic jams and air pollution. And yet, though large itself, San Diego is also a place where many come to escape the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, some 100 miles to the northwest.

. . . San Diego . . .

A city defined by its many neighborhoods, San Diego really doesn’t have any clearly defined “districts”. This list, by no means an official division, is a reflection on how a visitor might see the city based on its attractions and amenities.

San Diego districts

  Downtown
A hub of business and nightlife on the bay, downtown has many tourist attractions among its gleaming office and hotel towers.
  Balboa Park-Hillcrest
Balboa is a massive urban parkland in the city’s heart, home to many museums and the renowned San Diego Zoo. Next door is Hillcrest, a trendy urban neighborhood.
  Old Town-Mission Valley
The site of the first Spanish settlement in California, Old Town is a historic district popular with tourists. It sits at the foot of Mission Valley, a major commercial center.
  Coronado
Picturesque Coronado is a separate city from San Diego that is closely tied to the larger city, sitting directly across the bay from Downtown with a splendid beach and the famous Hotel del Coronado.
  Point Loma-Ocean Beach
A scenic peninsula curving around the bay, this area offers gorgeous views of San Diego, beautiful coastline, and quiet, laid-back beach neighborhoods.
  Mission Beach-Pacific Beach
Two popular beach communities with plenty of shops, restaurants, and nightlife, alongside a manmade inlet that is home to Sea World. Mission Bay park is the largest water-based city park in the nation.
  La Jolla
An upscale beach community, it features some of the most picturesque coastline and lovely beaches around, an exceptional aquarium, and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).
  Mid-City
A set of neighborhoods in the heights east of Balboa Park. There isn’t much in the way of tourist attractions out here, but one can find trendy districts with locally oriented restaurants, shops, and theaters.
  North
A large region of the city composed of many suburban neighborhoods stretching far inland to the hills of the north, with a few scattered tourist attractions, including the popular Safari Park.
  San Ysidro
Home to one of the world’s busiest land border crossings, where one can travel between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. This section is not contiguous with the rest of San Diego; you have to travel through the suburbs of National City and Chula Vista on the I-5 or I-805 freeways or take the San Diego Trolley.

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