California travel guide



San Diego Travel Guide

City of San Diego

San Diego is located in 120mi/200km south of Los Angeles, with a population of 2,933,462 people. It is the second biggest city in California and the seventh largest in the U.S. The southern boundary of town is also the border with Mexico, being on two protected bays, San Diego Bay, which is separated from the sea by Point Loma and by Coronado Island/North Island, and the multi-lobed Mission Bay north of the San Diego River. San Diego is home to numerous beaches, a pleasant Mediterranean climate and multiple military institutions, like the United States Navy, the United States Coast Guard and the United States Marine Corps.

San Diego is the oldest city of California and from its foundation in 1769, where the development was slowest. Early in the Second World War (about 1940) San Diego had hardly 150,000 inhabitants, then its attractions have increased to such an extent that it has become the second town in California, after Los Angeles.

In 1542 a Spanish expedition by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo had sailed on San Diego Bay and discovered what was later to be named as California. On his trip along the Californian coast 60 years later Sebastian Vizcaino arrived to the bay and gave it the name of his flagship, St Didacus de Alcala. Didicus (Diego in Spanish) was a 15th century Franciscan monk who was honored after his death as a reward for his fantastically strict regime of penitence. In 1769 an expedition arrive from the governor of Baja California, Don Gaspar de Portola, to Alta California with some Franciscan monks on board, including Father Junipero Serra, blessed in 1988, who began to build the first of 21 mission stations on July 16th 1769 which is also the date when San Diego positively came into being. The present day Mission of San Diego de Alcala is to be found some 6mi/ 10km inland from its original site.

San Diego now hosts a variety of neighbourhoods and residents to rival Los Angeles. San Diego declares its Spanish-Mexican heritage in every corner; you won't forget that bustling Tijuana is just across the border, less than 30 minutes away. Despite that infamous poverty of the city, San Diego boasts one of the nation's expensive housing markets and a biotech/tourism/telecom economy that's firing on all burners. And the stylish young residents and shop owners they attract are, in turn, updating and enriching San Diego's dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

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