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San Diego
—  City  —
From top San Diego Skyline, middle left - Coronado Bridge, middle right - museum in Balboa Park, bottom - Hotel del Coronado

Flag

Seal
Nickname(s): America's Finest City
Motto: Semper Vigilans (Latin for "Ever Vigilant")
Location of San Diego
within San Diego County
San Diego is located in the USA
San Diego
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 32°42′54″N 117°09′45″W / 32.715°N 117.1625°W / 32.715; -117.1625
Country United States United States
State California California
County San Diego
Demonym San Diegans, San Diegouns, San Diegites
Founded July 16, 1769
Incorporated March 27, 1850
Government
 - Type Mayor-council
 - Mayor Jerry Sanders (R)
 - City Attorney Jan Goldsmith
 - City Council Sherri Lightner
Kevin Faulconer
Todd Gloria
Tony Young
Carl DeMaio
Donna Frye
Marti Emerald
Ben Hueso
Area
 - City 963.6 km2 (372.1 sq mi)
 - Land 840.0 km2 (324.3 sq mi)
 - Water 123.5 km2 (47.7 sq mi)
Elevation 22 m (72-400 ft)
Population (January 1, 2009)[1]
 - City 1,279,329
 Density 1,611.9/km2 (4,174.8/sq mi)
 Metro 3,001,072
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 92101-92117, 92119-92124, 92126-92140, 92142, 92145, 92147, 92149-92155, 92158-92172, 92174-92177, 92179, 92182, 92184, 92186, 92187, 92190-92199
Area code(s) 619, 858
FIPS code 66000
GNIS feature ID 1661377
Website http://www.sandiego.gov/

San Diego (pronounced /ˌsæn diːˈeɪɡoʊ/), named after Saint Didacus (Spanish: Diego de Alcalá), is the ninth largest city in the United States, second-largest city in California and 46th largest city in the Americas. Located along the Pacific Ocean on the west coast of the United States, San Diego has a population of 1,279,329.(July 2008 estimate) [2] This coastal city is also the county seat of San Diego County[3] as well as the economic center of the San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos Metropolitan Area considered congruent with the county. San Diego is also the largest city of Southern Border and is the region's western anchor. The city was rated the fifth best place to live in 2006 by Money Magazine.[4] According to Forbes the city of San Diego ranks as the fifth wealthiest in the United States.[5] San Diego's biggest industries are manufacturing, military, and tourism.

San Diego's economy is largely composed of agriculture, biotechnology/biosciences, computer sciences, electronics manufacturing, defense-related manufacturing, financial and business services, ship-repair, ship-construction, software development, telecommunications, wireless research, and tourism. The presence of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with the affiliated UCSD Medical Center promotes research in biotechnology.[6]

Contents

History

The area of San Diego has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years by the Kumeyaay Indians.[7] The first European to visit the region was Portuguese-born explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailing under the Spanish Flag, who sailed his flagship San Salvador from Navidad, New Spain. In 1542, Cabrillo claimed the bay for the Spanish Empire and named the site San Miguel.[8] In November of 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno was sent to map the California coast. Arriving on his flagship San Diego, Vizcaíno surveyed the harbor and what are now Mission Bay and Point Loma and named the area for the Catholic Saint Didacus, a Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego. On November 12, 1602, the first Christian religious service of record in Alta California was conducted by Fray Antonio de la Ascensión, a member of Vizcaíno's expedition, to celebrate the feast day of San Diego.[9]

In 1769, Gaspar de Portolà established the Fort Presidio of San Diego overlooking Old Town. Around the same time, Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Franciscan friars under Father Junípero Serra. By 1797, the mission boasted the largest native population in Alta California, with over 1,400 Neophytes living in and around the mission proper.[10] It is the southern end in California of the historic mission trail El Camino Real. After Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, Mission San Diego de Alcalá's fortunes declined in the 1830s after the decree of secularization was enacted, as was the case with all of the missions under the control of Mexico. However, it remains an active Catholic church and is a National Historic Landmark.[11]

In 1847 San Diego was a destination of the 2,000-mile (3,200 km) march of the Mormon Battalion, members of whom established a brickyard and built the city's first courthouse at the corner of San Diego Avenue and Mason Street in Old Town.[12]

The Battle of San Pasqual, a battle of the Mexican-American War, was fought in the San Pasqual Valley which is now part of the city of San Diego. With the end of that war and the great influx of Americans during the gold rush of 1848, California was admitted to the United States in 1850. San Diego was designated the seat of the newly-established San Diego County and was incorporated as a city in 1850. The first city charter was adopted in 1889. The current city charter was adopted in 1931.[13]

The original town of San Diego grew up at the foot of Presidio Hill, in the area which is now Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. The location was not ideal, being several miles away from navigable water. In the late 1860s Alonzo Horton promoted a move to "New Town", several miles south of the original settlement, in the area which became Downtown San Diego. People and businesses flocked to New Town because of its location on San Diego Bay convenient to shipping. New Town quickly eclipsed the original settlement, known to this day as Old Town, and became the economic and governmental heart of the city.[14]

In the years before World War I, the Industrial Workers of the World labor union conducted a free speech fight in San Diego, arousing a brutal response.[15]

San Diego hosted two World's Fairs, the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 and the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935. Many of the Spanish/Baroque-style buildings in the city's Balboa Park were built for these expositions, particularly the one in 1915. Intended to be temporary structures, most remained in continuous use until they progressively fell into disrepair. Most were eventually rebuilt using castings of the original facades to faithfully retain the architectural style.[16]

Significant U.S. Naval presence began in 1901 with the establishment of the Navy Coaling Station in Point Loma, and expanded greatly during the 1920s.[17] After World War II, the military played an increasing role in the local economy, but post-Cold War cutbacks took a heavy toll on the local defense and aerospace industries. The resulting downturn led San Diego leaders to seek to diversify the city's economy, and San Diego has since become a major center of the emerging biotechnology industry.[18] It is also home to telecommunications giant Qualcomm.[19]

In October 2003, San Diego was the site of the Cedar Fire, which has been called the largest wildfire in California over the past century.[20] The fire burned 280,000 acres (1,100 km2), killed 15 people, and destroyed more than 2,200 homes.[21] In addition to damage caused by the fire, smoke from the fire resulted in a significant increase in emergency room visits due to asthma, respiratory problems, eye irritation, and smoke inhalation; the poor air quality caused San Diego County schools to close for a week.[22] Four years later many additional wildfires, including the Witch Creek and Harris fires, damaged parts of the city of San Diego, completely destroying some areas and communities (particularly within Rancho Bernardo and Rancho Santa Fe), as well as many other parts of the county (especially Ramona) during the severe Southern California fire season of 2007.[23]

Geography

The city of San Diego lies on deep canyons and hills separating its mesas, creating small pockets of natural parkland scattered throughout the city and giving it a hilly geography. Traditionally San Diegans have built their homes and businesses on the mesas, while leaving the canyons relatively wild. Thus, the canyons give parts of the city a segmented feel, creating gaps between otherwise proximate neighborhoods and contributing to a low-density, car-centered built environment. The San Diego River runs through the middle of San Diego from east to west, creating a river valley which serves to divide the city into northern and southern segments. Several reservoirs and Mission Trails Regional Park also lie between and separate developed areas of the city.

Downtown San Diego is located on San Diego Bay. Balboa Park lies on a mesa to the northeast, surrounded by dense urban communities including Hillcrest to the north. The Coronado and Point Loma peninsulas separate San Diego Bay from the ocean. Ocean Beach is on the northwest side of Point Loma. Mission Beach and Pacific Beach lie between the ocean and Mission Bay, a man-made aquatic park. La Jolla lies north of Pacific Beach and west of Mira Mesa. The city contains more than 100 identified neighborhoods.[24]

The Cuyamaca Mountains and Laguna Mountains rise to the east of the city, and beyond the mountains are desert areas. Cleveland National Forest is a half-hour drive from downtown San Diego. Numerous farms are found in the valleys northeast and southeast of the city. San Diego County has one of the highest counts of animal and plant species that appear on the endangered species list among counties in the United States.[25]

Climate

Under the Koppen climate classification system, the San Diego area straddles areas of Mediterranean climate (CSa) to the north and Semi-arid climate (BSh) to the south and east.[26] As a result, its often described as "arid Mediterranean" and "Semi-arid Steppe". San Diego's climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters with most of the annual precipitation falling between November and March. The city has mild, mostly dry weather, with an average of 201 days above 70 °F (21 °C) and low rainfall (9-13" annually). Summer temperatures are generally warm, with average highs of 70–78 °F (21–26 °C) and lows of 55–66 °F (13–19 °C). Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) only four days a year. Most rainfall occurs from November to April. Winter temperatures are mild, with average high temperatures of 66–70 °F (19–21 °C) and lows of 50–56 °F (10–13 °C).

The climate in the San Diego area, like much of California, often varies significantly over short geographical distances resulting in microclimates. In San Diego's case this is mainly due to the city's topography (the Bay, and the numerous hills, mountains, and canyons). Frequently, particularly during the "May gray/June gloom" period, a thick "marine layer" cloud cover will keep the air cool and damp within a few miles of the coast, but will yield to bright cloudless sunshine approximately 5–10 miles (8.0–16 km) inland. This happens every year in May and June.[27] Even in the absence of June gloom, inland areas tend to experience much more significant temperature variations than coastal areas, where the ocean serves as a moderating influence. Thus, for example, downtown San Diego averages January lows of 50°F and August highs of 78°F. The city of El Cajon, just 10 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, averages January lows of 42°F and August highs of 88°F.[28][29]

Rainfall along the coast averages about 10 inches (250 mm) of precipitation annually, which occurs mainly during the cooler months of December through April. Though there are few wet days per month during the rainy period, rainfall can be heavy when it does fall. However, the rainfall is greater in the higher elevations of San Diego. Some of the higher areas of San Diego can receive 11–13 inches (280–330 mm) of rain a year.

Climate data for San Diego, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 65.8
(18.8)
66.6
(19.2)
66.4
(19.1)
68.4
(20.2)
69.1
(20.6)
71.6
(22)
76.3
(24.6)
77.7
(25.4)
77.2
(25.1)
74.7
(23.7)
70.0
(21.1)
66.0
(18.9)
70.8
(21.6)
Daily mean °F (°C) 57.3
(14.1)
58.6
(14.8)
59.6
(15.3)
62.0
(16.7)
64.1
(17.8)
66.7
(19.3)
71.0
(21.7)
72.5
(22.5)
71.4
(21.9)
67.8
(19.9)
62.0
(16.7)
57.3
(14.1)
64.2
(17.9)
Average low °F (°C) 48.9
(9.4)
50.7
(10.4)
52.9
(11.6)
55.6
(13.1)
59.2
(15.1)
61.9
(16.6)
65.7
(18.7)
67.3
(19.6)
65.7
(18.7)
61.0
(16.1)
54.0
(12.2)
48.7
(9.3)
57.6
(14.2)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.8
(45.7)
1.53
(38.9)
1.77
(45.0)
0.79
(20.1)
0.19
(4.80)
0.07
(1.80)
0.02
(0.50)
0.1
(2.50)
0.24
(6.10)
0.37
(9.40)
1.45
(36.8)
1.57
(39.9)
9.9
(251.5)
Avg. precipitation days 4.7 4.4 5.2 2.8 1.1 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.9 1.4 3.8 4.5 29.4
Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN)[30]

Ecology

Like most of southern California, the majority of San Diego's current area was originally occupied by chaparral, a plant community made up mostly of drought-resistant shrubs. The endangered Torrey Pine has the bulk of its population in San Diego in a stretch of protected chaparral along the coast. The steep and varied topography, and proximity to the ocean creates a number of different habitats within the city limits, including tidal marsh and canyons. The influence of humans has altered existing habitats and has also created habitats that did not exist prior to human development, by construction of buildings, the introduction of new species, and the use of water for lawns and gardens. A number of species of parrots, including the Red-masked Parakeet and Red-crowned Amazon have established feral populations in urban neighborhoods such as Ocean Beach. The chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitats in low elevations along the coast are prone to wildfire, and the rates of fire have increased in the 20th century, due primarily to fires starting near the borders of urban and wild areas.[31]

San Diego's broad city limits encompass a number of large nature preserves, including Torrey Pines State Reserve, Border Field State Park, Mission Trails Regional Park. Torrey Pines State Preserve and a coastal strip continuing to the north is the only location where the rare species of Torrey Pine, P. torreyana torreyana, is found.[32] Due to a combination of the steep topography that prevents or discourages building, and some efforts for preservation, there are also a large number of canyons within the city limits that are nature preserves, including Tecolote Canyon Natural Park,[33] and Marian Bear Memorial Park in the San Clemente Canyon,[34] as well as a number of small parks and preserves.

Cityscape

Panorama of San Diego as viewed from Shelter Island

Communities and neighborhoods

There are around one hundred named areas within the city of San Diego.

Northern: Carmel Valley, Clairemont Mesa East, Clairemont Mesa West, Del Mar Mesa, La Jolla, La Jolla Village, Mission Beach, Mission Bay Park, North Clairemont, Pacific Beach, Pacific Highlands Ranch, Torrey Hills, Torrey Pines, University City

Northeastern: Black Mountain Ranch, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Miramar, Miramar Ranch North, Mira Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Encantada, Rancho Peñasquitos, Sabre Springs, San Pasqual Valley, Scripps Ranch, Sorrento Valley, Torrey Highlands

Eastern: Allied Gardens, Birdland, Del Cerro, Grantville, Kearny Mesa, Lake Murray, Mission Valley East, San Carlos, Serra Mesa, Tierrasanta

Western: Burlingame, Hillcrest, Linda Vista, Midtown, Midway, Mission Hills, Mission Valley West, Morena, North Park, Ocean Beach, Old Town, Pacific Beach, Point Loma (including Roseville-Fleetridge, Shelter Island, Sunset Cliffs, La Playa and the Wooded Area), University Heights

Central: Balboa Park, Bankers Hill, Barrio Logan, City Heights, Downtown (Columbia, Core, Cortez Hill, East Village, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton, Little Italy, College West, Darnall, El Cerrito, Gateway, Kensington, Normal Heights, North Park, Oak Park, Talmadge, Alvarado Estates

Southeastern: Encanto, Golden Hill, Paradise Hills, Skyline

Southern (separated from the rest of the city by the cities of National City and Chula Vista): Nestor, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, Tijuana River Valley

Downtown urban renewal

Downtown San Diego has experienced some urban renewal since the early 1980s. This has resulted in the opening of Horton Plaza, the revival of the Gaslamp Quarter, and the construction of the San Diego Convention Center. PETCO Park opened in 2004. The North Embarcadero is slated to have parks in addition to a waterfront promenade.[35] Balboa Park is scheduled to be linked to downtown.[36]

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 500
1860 731 46.2%
1870 2,300 214.6%
1880 2,637 14.7%
1890 16,159 512.8%
1900 17,700 9.5%
1910 39,578 123.6%
1920 74,361 87.9%
1930 147,995 99.0%
1940 203,341 37.4%
1950 333,865 64.2%
1960 573,224 71.7%
1970 696,769 21.6%
1980 875,538 25.7%
1990 1,110,549 26.8%
2000 1,223,400 10.2%
Est. 2008 1,279,329 4.6%
source:[37][38]

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,223,400 people, 450,691 households, and 271,315 families residing in the city.[39] The estimated city population in 2008 was 1,279,329. The population density was 3,771.9 people per square mile (1,456.4/km2).

There were 451,126 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.30.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2000, 24.0% of San Diego residents were under 18, and 10.5% were 65 and over.[40] The median age is 32; two-thirds of the population is under 35.[41] The San Diego County regional planning agency, SANDAG, provides tables and graphs breaking down the city population into 5-year age groups.[42]

Race

As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 65.3% of San Diego's population; of which 48.2% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 6.9% of San Diego's population; of which 6.7% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.6% of the city's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 15.0% of the city's population; of which 14.8% were non-Hispanic. Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.4% of the city's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from some other race made up 8.3% of the city's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 3.5% of the city's population; of which 2.4% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 27.0% of San Diego's population.[43][44]

Other estimates

According to estimates by the San Diego Association of Governments, as of January 1, 2008, the population of San Diego rose to 1,336,865, up 9.3% from 2000.[45] The population was 45.3% non-Hispanic whites, 27.7% Hispanics, 15.6% Asians/Pacific Islanders, 7.1% blacks, 0.4% American Indians, and 3.9% from other races. Median age of Hispanics was 27.5 years, compared to 35.1 years overall and 41.6 years among non-Hispanic whites; Hispanics were the largest group in all ages under 18, and non-Hispanic whites constituted 63.1% of population 55 and older.

Crime

Like most major cities, San Diego had a declining crime rate from 1990 to 2000. Crime slightly increased in the early 2000s.[46][47][48] In 2004, San Diego had the sixth lowest crime rate of any U.S. city with over half a million residents.[48] From 2002 to 2006, the crime rate overall dropped 0.8%, though not evenly by category. While violent crime decreased 12.4% during this period, property crime increased 1.1%. Total property crimes were lower than the national average in 2004.[citation needed]

Economy

The San Diego skyline at night

The three largest sectors of San Diego's economy are defense, manufacturing, and tourism, respectively.[49]

By 1990 several corporate headquarters had left San Diego. Through a spokesperson, Mayor of San Diego Maureen O'Connor said that the losses of corporate headquarters "has nothing to do with San Diego per se as much as the overall business climate."[50]

Defense

A F/A-18 Hornet flying over San Diego
San Diego harbor, seen from Point Loma Cabrillo Monument, August, 1962

Military bases in San Diego include U.S. Navy ports, Marine Corps bases, and Coast Guard stations. Marine Corps institutions in the city of San Diego include Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. The Navy has several institutions in the city, including Naval Base Point Loma, Naval Base San Diego (also known as the 32nd Street Naval Station), Bob Wilson Naval Hospital, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego. Close by San Diego but within San Diego County are Naval Amphibious Base Coronado and Naval Air Station North Island (which operates Naval Auxiliary Landing Facility San Clemente Island, Silver Strand Training Complex, and the Outlying Field Imperial Beach). San Diego is known as the "birthplace of naval aviation," although Pensacola, Florida makes a rival claim.

San Diego is the site of one of the largest naval fleets in the world, and San Diego has become the largest concentration of Naval facilities in the world due to base reductions at Norfolk, Virginia and retrenchment of the Russian naval base in Vladivostok. Two of the U.S. Navy's Nimitz class supercarriers, (the USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan), five amphibious assault ships, several Los Angeles-class "fast attack" submarines, the Hospital Ship USNS Mercy, carrier and submarine tenders, destroyers, cruisers, frigates, and many smaller ships are home-ported there. Four Navy vessels have been named USS San Diego in honor of the city.[51]

Manufacturing

There are San Diego companies that develop wireless cellular technology. Qualcomm Incorporated was founded and is headquartered in San Diego; Qualcomm is the largest private-sector technology employer (excluding hospitals) in San Diego County.[52] According to the San Diego Business Journal, the largest software company in San Diego is security software company Websense Inc.[53] San Diego is also home to more than 400 biotechnology companies.[54]

The economy of San Diego is influenced by its port, which includes the only major submarine and shipbuilding yards on the West Coast, as well as the largest naval fleet in the world. Due to San Diego's military influence, several major national defense contractors were started and are headquartered in San Diego, including General Atomics and NASSCO.

Tourism

Tourism is a major industry owing to the city's climate, its beaches, and numerous tourist attractions such as Balboa Park, Belmont amusement park, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park, and SeaWorld San Diego. San Diego's Spanish influence is reflected in the many historic sites across the city, such as Mission San Diego de Alcala and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Annual events in San Diego include Comic-Con, the Buick Invitational golf tournament, the San Diego/Del Mar Fair, and Street Scene Music Festival.

San Diego County hosted more than 30 million visitors in 2009, of whom approximately half stayed overnight and half were day visitors; collectively they spent an estimated $8 billion locally.[55]

The cruise ship industry, which is the second largest in California, generates an estimated $2 million annually from the purchase of food, fuel, supplies, and maintenance services.[56] In 2008 the Port hosted 252 ship calls and more than 800,000 passengers.[57]

The San Diego Convention Center hosted 68 out-of-town conventions and trade shows in 2009, attracting more than 600,000 visitors.[55]

Research

Several areas of San Diego (in particular La Jolla and surrounding Sorrento Valley areas) are home to offices and research facilities for numerous biotechnology companies. Major biotechnology companies like Neurocrine Biosciences and Nventa Biopharmaceuticals are headquartered in San Diego, while many biotech and pharmaceutical companies, such as BD Biosciences, Biogen Idec, Integrated DNA Technologies, Merck, Pfizer, Élan, Genzyme, Cytovance, Celgene and Vertex, have offices or research facilities in San Diego. There are also several non-profit biotech institutes, such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Scripps Research Institute and the Burnham Institute. The presence of University of California, San Diego and other research institutions helped fuel biotechnology growth. In June 2004, San Diego was ranked the top biotech cluster in the U.S. by the Milken Institute.[58] As of 2009, there were approximately 1,940 full-time biological technicians employed in the San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos area, with an annual mean wage of $48,270, and an annual median wage of $46,500.[59].

Personal income

In 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $45,733, and the median income for a family was $53,060.[60] Males had a median income of $36,984 versus $31,076 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,609.[60] About 10.6% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.0% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over. SANDAG estimates that, by 2008, the household median income rose to $66,715.

Real estate

San Diego Skyline from the Silver Strand

Prior to 2006, San Diego experienced a dramatic growth of real estate prices, to the extent that the situation was sometimes described as a "housing affordability crisis". Median house prices more than tripled between 1998 and 2007. According to the California Association of Realtors, in May 2007, a median house in San Diego cost $612,370.[61] Growth of real estate prices has not been accompanied by comparable growth of household incomes: Housing Affordability Index (percentage of households that can afford to buy a median-priced house) fell below 20% in early 2000s. San Diego metropolitan area had the second worst median multiple (ratio of median house price to median household income) of all metropolitan areas in the United States. As a consequence, San Diego had experienced negative net migration since 2004, with significant numbers of people moving to Baja California and Riverside county, with many residents commuting daily from Tijuana, Temecula, and Murrieta, to their jobs in San Diego. Others are leaving the state altogether and moving to more affordable regions.[62]

From 2005 to 2007, San Diego experienced more than a 15% decline in real estate prices, which continued to accelerate into 2008. The two-year drop already experienced is worse than the four-year period between June, 1992, and November, 1996, when the region experienced an 11.8% decline in housing prices.[citation needed] Much of the decrease is blamed on the speculative attitude of investors in the early 2000s, who bought much of the available real estate, hoping to "flip" it for a large profit shortly thereafter, and the availability of "stated income" and other "exotic" loans available. When the decline hit, and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) adjusted, many investors simply abandoned their properties, and areas that recently experienced double-digit annual increases in property value, such as San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami, and Las Vegas were hit the hardest.[63] In the first quarter of 2008, the number of foreclosures repossessed by banks exceeded the number of home sales.[64]

Education

Primary and secondary schools

The San Diego Unified School District, also known as San Diego City Schools, is the school district that serves the majority of the city, it includes 113 elementary schools, 23 middle schools, 4 atypical schools, 10 alternative schools, 27 high schools, and 25 charter schools. In the northern part of the county, Poway Unified School District and San Dieguito Union High School District are districts outside city limits, but serve several schools within city limits. In the southern part of the county, Sweetwater Union High School District serves multiple schools within city limits, although it is headquartered outside city limits.

Colleges and universities

According to education rankings released by the U.S. Census Bureau, 40.4 percent of San Diegans ages 25 and older hold bachelor's degrees. The census ranks the city as the ninth most educated city in the United States based on these figures.[65]

Public colleges and universities in the city include San Diego State University (SDSU), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and the San Diego Community College District, which includes San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego Miramar College. Private colleges and universities in the city include University of San Diego (USD), Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), Alliant International University (AIU), National University, San Diego Christian College, John Paul the Great Catholic University, Coleman University, University of Redlands School of Business, Design Institute of San Diego (DISD), Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising's San Diego campus, NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Pacific Oaks College San Diego Campus, The Art Institute of California- San Diego, Southern States University (SSU), and Woodbury University School of Architecture's satellite campus.

There is one medical school in the city, the UCSD School of Medicine. There are three ABA accredited law schools in the city, which include California Western School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and University of San Diego School of Law. There is also one unaccredited law school, Western Sierra Law School.

Libraries

The city has multiple public libraries, including the main San Diego Public Library. The municipal library is headquartered downtown, and has 34 branches throughout the city.[66] The libraries have had reduced operating hours since 2003 due to the city's lack of finances. In 2006 the city increased spending on libraries by $2.1 million.[67] In addition, SDSU features the Malcolm A. Love Library, and at UCSD, the Geisel Library.

Culture

See also: List of museums in San Diego
The Museum of Man is one of several museums in Balboa Park.

Many popular museums, such as the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, and the Museum of Photographic Arts are located in Balboa Park. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is located in an ocean front building in La Jolla and has a branch located at the Santa Fe Depot downtown. The Columbia district downtown is home to historic ship exhibits belonging to the San Diego Maritime Museum, headlined by the Star of India, as well as the unrelated San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum featuring the USS Midway aircraft carrier.

"Californiascope", San Diego Harbor.

San Diego has a growing art scene. "Kettner Nights" at the Art and Design District in Little Italy has art and design exhibitions throughout many retail design stores and galleries on selected Friday nights. "Ray at Night" at North Park host a variety of small scale art galleries on the second Saturday evening of each month. La Jolla and nearby Solana Beach also have a variety of art galleries.

The San Diego Symphony at Symphony Towers performs on a regular basis and is directed by Jahja Ling. The San Diego Opera at Civic Center Plaza, directed by Ian Campbell, was ranked by Opera America as one of the top 10 opera companies in the United States. Old Globe Theatre at Balboa Park produces about 15 plays and musicals annually. The La Jolla Playhouse at UCSD is directed by Christopher Ashley. Both the Old Globe Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse have produced the world premieres of plays and musicals that have gone on to win Tony Awards[68] or nominations[69] on Broadway. The Joan B. Kroc Theatre at Kroc Center's Performing Arts Center is a 600-seat state-of-the-art theatre that hosts music, dance and theatre performances. The San Diego Repertory Theatre at the Lyceum Theatres in Horton Plaza produces a variety of plays and musicals. Other professional theatrical production companies include the Lyric Opera San Diego and the Starlight Theatre.

Hundreds of movies and a dozen TV shows have been filmed in San Diego, a tradition going back as far as 1898.[70][71]

San Diego board culture

A surfer at Black's Beach.

San Diego is a venue for surf and skateboard culture.[72]

Sports

San Diego has several sports venues. The National Football League's San Diego Chargers plays in Qualcomm Stadium, also the NCAA Division I San Diego State Aztecs, as well as local high school football championships. International soccer games and Supercross events take place at Qualcomm where Major League Baseball was once played. Three NFL Super Bowl championships have been held there. Two of college football's annual bowl games are held there: the Holiday Bowl which features a Pac-10 team against a Big-12 team and the Poinsettia Bowl. Balboa Stadium was the city's first stadium, constructed in 1914, where the San Diego Chargers once played. Currently soccer, American football, and track and field are played in Balboa Stadium.

Major League Baseball's San Diego Padres play in Petco Park. The semi-final and final games of the inaugural World Baseball Classic were played there in 2006, and an earlier round of the second WBC was held there in 2009. Some soccer and rugby events occasionally take place in the ballpark. The USA Sevens, an event in the annual IRB Sevens World Series for international teams in rugby sevens, a variant of rugby union with seven players per side instead of 15, was held in the stadium from 2007 through 2009 before moving to Las Vegas for 2010.

Basketball is played in the San Diego Sports Arena, where ice hockey, indoor soccer and boxing have taken place. NCAA Division I San Diego State Aztecs men's and women's basketball games are played at Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl on the campus of San Diego State University. College football and soccer, basketball and volleyball are played at the Torero Stadium and the Jenny Craig Pavilion at USD.

The San Diego State Aztecs (MWC) and the San Diego Toreros (WCC) are NCAA Division I teams. The UCSD Tritons (CCAA) are members of NCAA Division II while the Point Loma Nazarene Sea Lions and San Diego Christian College (GSAC) are members of the NAIA.

The San Diego Surf of the American Basketball Association is located in the city. San Diego has had two NBA franchises, the San Diego Rockets and the Buffalo Braves. The Rockets represented the city of San Diego from 1967 until 1971. After the conclusion of the 1970–1971 season, they moved to Texas where they became the Houston Rockets. Seven years later, a relocated NBA franchise (the Buffalo Braves) moved to town and was renamed the San Diego Clippers. The Clippers played in the San Diego Sports Arena from 1978 until 1984. Prior to the start of the 1984–1985 season, the team was moved to Los Angeles, and is now called the Los Angeles Clippers.

Other sports franchises that represented San Diego include the San Diego Conquistadors of the American Basketball Association, the San Diego Sockers (which played in various indoor and outdoor soccer leagues during their existence), the San Diego Flash and the San Diego Gauchos, both playing in different divisions of the United Soccer League, the San Diego Spirit of the Women's United Soccer Association, the San Diego Mariners of the World Hockey Association, and three different San Diego Gulls ice hockey teams. The San Diego Riptide and the San Diego Shockwave were indoor football teams that played at the Sports Arena and Cox Arena, respectively. San Diego has been a candidate for a Major League Soccer franchise, especially due to the city recording FIFA World Cup television audiences which are double the national average.[citation needed] The city has pursued a franchise. Some observers believe that the city may get one of three franchises to be offered before 2010.[citation needed] The city had an active men's team playing in the fourth level of American soccer, the San Diego Pumitas.

San Diego has the largest championship drought in the nation with at least two major-league sports franchises; dating back to 1963 (47 Years as of 2010), as well as being the largest United States city to have not won a Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup, NBA Finals or any other Major League sports championship. Some fans believe that there is a curse on the major league teams in the city.[73]

The city-owned golf course at Torrey Pines hosts the annual Buick Invitational tournament on the PGA Tour. Torrey Pines was also the site of the 2008 U.S. Open Golf Championship.

San Diego is also home to several premier amateur sports events, such as the San Diego Crew Classic, held in Mission Bay every spring and featuring 100 or more college and amateur crews. The amateur beach sport Over-the-line was invented in San Diego, and the annual world Over-the-line championships are held at Mission Bay every year. The San Diego Yacht Club hosted the America's Cup yacht races three times during the period 1988 to 1995.

The city hosts several well-known road races including the original Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in June, the America’s Finest City Half Marathon[74] in August, the La Jolla Half Marathon[75] in April, and several triathlons.[76]

Club Sport League Stadium
San Diego Padres Baseball MLB (National League) Petco Park
San Diego Chargers American Football AFL 1961–1969, NFL 1970–present Qualcomm Stadium
San Diego Sockers Soccer PASL-Pro Del Mar Arena at Del Mar Fairgrounds
San Diego WFC SeaLions Soccer Women's Premier Soccer League Cathedral Catholic High School
SD United Soccer Women's Premier Soccer League Torero Stadium
San Diego Boca FC Soccer National Premier Soccer League Balboa Stadium
San Diego Surf Basketball American Basketball Association Cathedral HS Arena
San Diego Sting Football Women's Football Alliance John Landes Park
So Cal Scorpions Football Independent Women's Football League La Jolla High School

Media

The following are published within the city: the daily newspaper, The San Diego Union-Tribune and its online portal, signonsandiego.com,[77] and the alternative newsweeklies, the San Diego CityBeat and San Diego Reader. Another newspaper is the North County Times, which is distributed in San Diego's North County area.

San Diego's first television station was KFMB, which began broadcasting on May 16, 1949.[78] Since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed seven television stations in Los Angeles, two VHF channels were available for San Diego because of its relative proximity to the larger city. In 1952, however, the FCC began licensing UHF channels, making it possible for cities such as San Diego to acquire more stations. Stations based in Mexico (with ITU prefixes of XE and XH) also serve the San Diego market. Television stations today include XHTJB 3 (ONCE TV), XETV 6 (CW), KFMB 8 (CBS), KGTV 10 (ABC), XEWT 12 (Televisa), KPBS 15 (PBS), KBNT 17 (Univision), XHAS 33 (Telemundo), K35DG 35 (UCSD-TV), KNSD 39 (NBC), XHDTV 49 (MNTV), KUSI 51 (Independent), and KSWB-TV 69 (Fox). San Diego has a 93.5% cable penetration rate, one of the highest in the country.[79] As such, most of the city's stations air on their own cable channel number for each area:

  • Channel 6: Cable 6
  • Channel 8: Cable 8
  • Channel 10: Cable 10
  • Channel 12: Cable 12 (Cox Cable Only)
  • Channel 15: Cable 11
  • Channel 21:
  • Channel 27:
  • Channel 33: Cable 22 (Cox Cable Only)
  • Channel 39: Cable 7
  • Channel 45:
  • Channel 49: Cable 13
  • Channel 51: Cable 9
  • Channel 57:
  • Channel 69: Cable 5

The radio stations in San Diego include nationwide broadcaster, Clear Channel Communications; CBS Radio, Midwest Television, Lincoln Financial Media, Finest City Broadcasting, and many other smaller stations and networks. Stations include: KOGO AM 600, KFMB AM 760, KCEO AM 1000, KCBQ AM 1170, K-Praise, KLSD AM 1360 Air America, KFSD 1450 AM, KPBS-FM 89.5, Channel 933, Star 94.1, FM 94/9, KyXy 96.5, Free Radio San Diego (AKA Pirate Radio San Diego) 96.9FM FRSD, KSON 97.3/92.1, KIFM 98.1, Jack-FM 100.7, 101.5 KGB-FM, KPRI 102.1, Rock 105.3, and another Pirate Radio station at 106.9FM, as well as a number of local Spanish language radio stations.

Government

The mayor, city council members, and city attorney seats are all officially non-partisan by state law. There are 8 members of the city council, each elected from single member districts. The mayor and city attorney are elected directly by the voters of the entire city. The mayor, city attorney, and councilmembers are elected to four-year terms, with a two-term limit.[80]

In 2006 the city's form of government changed from a "City manager system" to a "strong mayor system". The change was brought about by a citywide vote in 2004. The mayor is in effect the chief executive officer of the city, while the council is the legislative body.[81]

Elections

In August 2007, registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by about 7 to 6.[82] Despite the edge in voter registration for Democrats, the current mayor, Jerry Sanders, is a Republican. San Diego is the largest city in the country with a Republican mayor. San Diego has not elected a Democratic mayor since 1988. Democrats hold a 6-2 majority in the City Council, including the current Council president, Ben Hueso. As noted above, city elections are officially nonpartisan.

Politics

On September 18, 2007 the City Council, with support from Mayor Sanders, voted 5-3 to endorse a pending lawsuit before the California Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 22, which banned same-sex marriage in California. Proposition 22 was supported by 62 percent of San Diego voters.[83] Proposition 22 was later ruled unconstitutional by the California supreme court. In 2008 California voters passed Proposition 8 to change the California constitution to match the wording of Proposition 22 defining marriage as only being valid or recognized between a man and a woman. Approval for Prop 8 received 53.7% of the votes in San Diego County.[84] Disapproval for Prop 8 received 54% of the votes in the city of San Diego itself.[85] In a surprise move, the conservative Republican Mayor Jerry Sanders publicly reversed his stance declaring support for same sex marriage in July 2008. In a tearful speech, the Mayor vowed he would support his gay daughter Lisa Sanders in her fight against Proposition 8, and that he "he just couldn't tell her she did not have the right to get married", mere hours before he was expected to veto a City Council motion supporting same sex marriage.[86] This is most notable as it signified one of the most prominent conservative public figures to oppose Proposition 8.

A series of financial scandals has rocked the city in recent years. A scheme to underfund pensions for city employees, the San Diego pension scandal, led to the resignation of newly elected Mayor Dick Murphy[87] and to the filing of criminal charges against six pension board members.[88] In an unrelated scandal, two city council members, Ralph Inzunza and deputy mayor Michael Zucchet—who was to take Murphy's place—were convicted of extortion, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for taking campaign contributions from a strip club owner and his associates, allegedly in exchange for trying to repeal the city's "no touch" laws at strip clubs. Both subsequently resigned. The judge later set aside (overturned) the conviction in Zucchet's case[89]

State and federal

In the state legislature San Diego is located in the 36th, 38th, 39th, and 40th Senate District, represented by Republicans Dennis Hollingsworth and Mark Wyland, and Democrats Christine Kehoe and Denise Moreno Ducheny, and in the 74th, 75th, 76th, 77th, 78th, and 79th Assembly District, represented by Republicans Martin Garrick and George A. Plescia, Democrat Lori Saldaña, Republicans Joel Anderson and Shirley Horton and Democrat Mary Salas. Federally, San Diego is located in California's 49th, 50th, 51st, 52nd, and 53rd congressional districts, which have Cook PVIs of R +10, R +5, D +7, R +9, and D +12 respectively[90] and are represented by Republicans Darrell Issa and Brian Bilbray, Democrat Bob Filner, Republican Duncan D. Hunter, and Democrat Susan Davis.

On November 28, 2005, U.S. Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigned over a bribery scandal. Cunningham represented California's 50th congressional district, which mostly lies north of the city of San Diego proper. He is currently serving a 100-month prison sentence.[91]

Post office

The United States Postal Service operates post offices in San Diego. The San Diego Main Post Office represents ZIP Code 92128. It is located in the Carmel Mountain neighborhood of San Diego. Built in 1992, it is approximately 1,300,000 square feet (121,000 m2). This made it one of the largest inland post offices in the United States not affiliated with an airport in any way.[92][93] Other portions of the City of San Diego are served by those of the remaining 921XX ZIP Codes which are in use, and certain portions of the city closely identify with their ZIP Codes.

Transportation

Freeways and highways

I-5 looking South towards downtown San Diego.

With the automobile being the primary means of transportation for over 80% of its residents, San Diego is served by an extensive network of freeways and highways. This includes Interstate 5, which runs south to Tijuana and runs north to the Canadian border through Orange County, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Portland, and Seattle; I-8, which runs east to Imperial County and Arizona; I-15, which runs north to the Canadian border through Riverside County and Salt Lake City; and I-805, which splits from I-5 at Sorrento Valley and rejoins I-5 near the Mexican border. Notable state highways are SR 94, which connects downtown with I-805, I-15 and east county; SR 163, which connects downtown with the northeast part of the city, intersects I-805 and merges with I-15 at Miramar; SR 52, which connects La Jolla with east county through Santee and SR 125; SR 56, which connects I-5 with I-15 through Carmel Valley and Rancho Peñasquitos; and SR 75 (San Diego-Coronado Bridge), which spans San Diego Bay.

Several regional transportation projects have been undertaken in recent years to deal with congestion on San Diego freeways. This includes expansion of Interstates 5 and 805 around "The Merge," a rush-hour spot where the two freeways meet. Also, an expansion of Interstate 15 through the North County is underway with the addition of high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) "managed lanes". There is a tollway (The South Bay Expressway) connecting SR 54 and Otay Mesa, near the Mexican border. According to a 2007 assessment, 37% of streets in San Diego were in acceptable driving condition. The proposed budget fell $84.6 million short of bringing the city's streets to an acceptable level.[94]

Major highways

Public transportation

San Diego is served by the trolley, bus, Coaster, and Amtrak. The trolley (system map) primarily serves downtown and surrounding urban communities, Mission Valley, east county, and coastal south bay. A planned Mid-Coast line will operate from Old Town to University City along the 5 Freeway. There are also plans for a Silver Line to expand trolley service downtown.

The Amtrak and Coaster trains currently run along the coastline and connect San Diego with Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura via Metrolink. There are two Amtrak stations in San Diego, in Old Town and Downtown.

The bus is available along almost all major routes; however, a large number of bus stops are concentrated in central San Diego. Typical wait times vary from 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the location and route. Trolleys arrive at each station every 7 to 30 minutes (depending on time of day and which trolley line is used). Ferries are also available every half hour crossing San Diego Bay to Coronado.

Cycling

San Diego's roadway system provides an extensive network of routes for travel by bicycle. The dry and mild climate of San Diego makes cycling a convenient and pleasant year-round option. At the same time, the city's hilly, canyoned terrain and significantly long average trip distances—brought about by strict low-density zoning laws—somewhat restrict cycling for utilitarian purposes. Older and denser neighborhoods around the downtown tend to be friendlier to utility cycling. This is partly because of the grid street patterns now absent in newer developments farther from the urban core, where suburban style arterial roads are much more common. As a result, a vast majority of cycling-related activities are recreational. The city has some segregated cycle facilities, particularly in newer developments although the majority of road facilities specifically for bicycles are painted on regular roadways. In 2006, San Diego was rated as the best city for cycling for U.S. cities with a population over 1 million.[95]

Air

San Diego International Airport, also known as Lindbergh International Airport or Lindbergh Field, is the primary commercial airport serving San Diego. It is the busiest single-runway airport in the United States,[96] serving over 18 million passengers every year, and is located on San Diego Bay three miles (4.8 km) from downtown. There are scheduled flights to the rest of the United States, Mexico, Hawaii, and Canada. It serves as a focus city for Southwest Airlines. Other airports include Brown Field Municipal Airport (Brown Field) and Montgomery Field. Aeroméxico provides a shuttle service from San Diego[97] to General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.

There has been debate regarding the placement of a new international airport, as operations at Lindbergh Field are limited due to the physical size of the property. While the San Diego Airport Authority has endorsed the current site of the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, the military said it has no intention of relinquishing that site. A vote on the issue took place on November 7, 2006 against Proposition A, in which voters rejected the proposal to move the airport to Miramar.[98] The military has rejected the proposals for a dual-use airport because the area around Miramar has already been set aside as safety corridors for military aircraft accidents. A shared commercial/military airport would force military aircraft to fly outside of those safety corridors. The Airport Authority, following Proposition A, is investigating other sites; however, due to the proximity of the Pacific Ocean and Mexican border, as well as the rough terrain, there are few (if any) possible alternatives.

Sea

Sailboats in San Diego Harbor

The Port of San Diego manages the maritime operations of San Diego harbor. Cruise ships arrive and depart from San Diego's cruise ship terminal on B Street Pier. Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Celebrity Cruises have home port cruise ships in San Diego during the winter season. A new cruise terminal on Broadway Pier is set to open in 2010.

San Diego is home to General Dynamics' National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), the largest shipyard on the West Coast of the United States. It is capable of building and repairing large ocean-going vessels. The yard constructs commercial cargo ships and auxiliary vessels for the U.S. Navy and Military Sealift Command, which it has served since 1960.

Sister cities

View of Coronado and San Diego from the air

San Diego has fifteen sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:[99]

See also

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  72. ^ "Culture: San Diego". Atlas International. http://www.atlasinternational.com/en-GB/usa/lifestyle/. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  73. ^ Are San Diego Sports Teams Cursed? - San Diego 6
  74. ^ America’s Finest City Half Marathon website
  75. ^ La Jolla Half Marathon website
  76. ^ Triathalon website
  77. ^ signonsandiego.com
  78. ^ Stigall, Gary (May 3, 1999). "KFMB-TV Turns 50". Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 36 San Diego. http://www.sbe36.org/1999/0509_kfmbtv50.html. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  79. ^ . Television Bureau of Advertising. July, 2009. http://www.tvb.org/rcentral/markettrack/archivebymarket.asp?marketid=168. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  80. ^ San Diego City website
  81. ^ San Diego City website
  82. ^ "Voter Registration in the City of San Diego" (pdf). San Diego Office of the City Clerk. August 1, 2007. http://www.sandiego.gov/city-clerk/pdf/voterstats.pdf. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  83. ^ Hoffman, Allison (September 20, 2007). "San Diego Mayor Backs Same-Sex Marriage" (pdf). guardian.co.uk. http://web.archive.org/web/20071201001356/http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6935328,00.html. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  84. ^ California Proposition 8 Results by County
  85. ^ San Diego County Proposition 8 Results by Community
  86. ^ [1]
  87. ^ Business Week, June 13, 2005
  88. ^ San Diego City Beat, June 15, 2005
  89. ^ [www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/09/01/05-50902.pdf Appeals Court opinion, Sept. 1, 2009]
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  91. ^ "Cunningham Moving to Arizona Prison". Washington Post. 2007-01-05. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/05/AR2007010501858.html. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  92. ^ "Post Office Location - MIDWAY DU." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  93. ^ "Postal Service extends acceptance of mail for April 15 tax filing deadline postmark at select locations." United States Postal Service. April 6, 2009. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
  94. ^ Hall, Matthew (May 2, 2007). "City: 37 percent of streets in acceptable driving condition". San Diego Union-Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20070502-1610-bn02streets.html. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  95. ^ "San Diego, Madison (WI) and Boulder (CO) Are Best among Cities of Their Size, While Atlanta, Boston and Houston Are Worst". Bicycling. January 26, 2006. http://www.bikechattanooga.org/BicyclingMagazineRecognizesChattanoogainTop21Cities.html. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  96. ^ Downey, Dave (April 24, 2006). "FAA chief says region right to consider bases". North County Times. http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2006/04/25/news/top_stories/20_02_594_24_06.txt. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  97. ^ Lindquist, Diane (November 23, 2006). "Creating a connection". San Diego Union-Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061123/news_1b23flight.html. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  98. ^ Craver, Joe W. (November 19, 2006). "A clear rejection on Miramar, so...". San Diego Union-Tribune. http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061119/news_mz1e19craver.html. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  99. ^ "Online Directory: California, USA". Sister Cities International. http://web.archive.org/web/20080116164532/http://www.sister-cities.org/icrc/directory/usa/CA. Retrieved April 22, 2009. 
  100. ^ "Miasta partnerskie Warszawy". um.warszawa.pl. Biuro Promocji Miasta. 2005-05-04. http://um.warszawa.pl/v_syrenka/new/index.php?dzial=aktualnosci&ak_id=3284&kat=11. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  101. ^ "Eight Cities/Six Ports: Yokohama's Sister Cities/Sister Ports". Yokohama Convention & Visitiors Bureau. http://www.welcome.city.yokohama.jp/eng/tourism/mame/a3000.html. Retrieved 2009-07-18. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

San Diego is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.
San Diego Bay from Harbor Drive
San Diego Bay from Harbor Drive

San Diego [1] is a modern city on the Southern California seacoast, the second largest city in the state, known for its ideal climate, miles of beaches, and location on the Mexican border, right across from Tijuana. It has a rich heritage built around sailing and is home to the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy. It is also well known for its part in the wildlife conservation movement, being home to a SeaWorld theme park and the "world-famous" San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park. San Diego is an excellent place to escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Los Angeles.

San Diego Districts Map
San Diego Districts Map

Except for bureaucratic purposes, San Diego really doesn't have any clearly defined "districts", and the areas don't make much sense from the standpoint of the average visitor to San Diego or citizen of the city. San Diego is defined by its many individual neighborhoods, which are too numerous to list here.

This list of "districts" is by no means an official breakdown of the city, but one that is meant to make sense from the standpoint of a visitor, based on the number of attractions and/or amenities the average visitor will find in each area.

  • Downtown – The central business district of the city, downtown is also a hub of nightlife and has many attractions.
  • Balboa Park-Hillcrest – Located in the heart of the city, Balboa is a massive urban parkland, home to many amazing museums and the renowned San Diego Zoo. Next door is Hillcrest, a trendy urban neighborhood.
  • Old Town-Mission Valley - Old Town is the site of the original settlement of San Diego. Nearby is Mission Valley, a major commercial center situated along the San Diego River.
  • Point Loma-Ocean Beach – Located on a peninsula jutting out into the ocean, this area is home to gorgeous views of San Diego, beautiful scenery, and lovely beachfront neighborhoods.
  • Mission Beach-Pacific Beach - Two popular beach communities with plenty of shops, restaurants, and nightlife, alongside a man-made inlet known as Mission Bay, home to Sea World.
  • La Jolla – An upscale beach community that's almost a separate city from San Diego and the locale of the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).
  • Mid-City – Treated here as a region of the city, mid-city is composed of many urban and suburban neighborhoods in the heights of eastern San Diego.
  • Northeastern – Also treated here as a region of the city, Northeastern is composed of many suburban neighborhoods stretching far to the north, with a few scattered attractions.
  • San Ysidro - Home to the world's busiest land border crossing, where one can travel between San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.

In addition, there are many communities and suburbs in the San Diego area that are not actually part of San Diego (such as Coronado). See the San Diego County article.

A view of downtown San Diego
A view of downtown San Diego

History

The area had long been inhabited by the native Kumeyaay people (also known as the Diegueño by the later Spanish settlers), who lived off the land and had created a proud culture. The first time a European visited the region was in 1542, when Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, sailing under the Spanish Flag, claimed the bay for the Spanish Empire and named the site San Miguel.

In November of 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno was sent to map the California coast. Arriving with his flagship "San Diego", Vizcaíno surveyed the harbor and what is now Mission Bay and Point Loma, renaming the area for the Spanish Catholic Saint, St. Didacus (More commonly known as San Diego).

San Diego was established in 1769 as the first Spanish mission in California, at the present site of Old Town. However due to the poor nature of soils in the Old Town area, the mission was eventually relocated about five miles up river in Mission Valley.

In the 19th century, San Diego passed from Spanish to Mexican to American hands. In 1850, a few years after the United States gained control of California, San Diego was officially designated a city. But with much of the westward expansion to California centered on the gold rush and San Francisco, American influences were slow to come to San Diego. Eventually they did, however, and in the later decades of the 19th century the railroad came to San Diego, resulting in further growth of the city and the establishment of Downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods.

The U.S. Navy discovered San Diego in the early 20th century, and constructed a coaling station on Point Loma in 1907. Ten years later, the Naval Air Station on Coronado island was established, and in later years the Navy would take on an increasingly important role in the city's economy. Today San Diego is home to the Navy's Pacific Fleet, and is a favorite leave location for sailors.

In recent decades, growth in San Diego has exploded, with many corporations moving their headquarters here and a huge influx of residents. Today it's a favorite destination for retirees and tourists.

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 66 66 66 69 69 72 76 77 77 74 70 66
Nightly lows (°F) 50 51 54 56 60 63 66 67 66 61 54 49
Precipitation (in) 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

Check San Diego's 7 day forecast at NOAA

The San Diego area can be an incredible place to visit almost any time of the year. With coastal temperatures around 75 degrees (24°C) most of the time, the weather is ideal. The climate of Southern California is rather complex, however, and temperatures change rapidly as one travels from the coast eastward. In the summer during the day, the temperature might increase as much as one degree Fahrenheit for each mile going east. In the winter, especially at night, eastern areas are usually relatively cooler. Some valleys and other areas have significantly different weather due to terrain and other factors. These are often referred to as "micro-climates". September is usually the hottest month of the year in the daytime. September and early October are labeled as the most at-risk months for wildfires, because of the long absence of any substantial rainfall. Along the beach during the warmer half of the year, it can get surprisingly cool after dark, even when it's not too cold a short distance inland. The months of March and April typically see the strongest winds. Along the coast, fog is most common September through April; it is not uncommon to experience 3-7 foggy days per month.

During the late summer and fall there is a reversal of the usual climate conditions. Hot dry air blows from the desert to the coast. These winds are called the Santa Ana winds. Milder Santa Ana winds can result in excellent dry air conditions, but powerful ones can last days on end, significantly raising temperatures, creating tremendous fire danger, and making the outdoors unpleasant.

San Diego Overview Map
San Diego Overview Map

By plane

San Diego International Airport (IATA: SAN) [2] is less than 10 minutes from downtown San Diego. The descent into the airport from the east is remarkably close to downtown buildings, which can be a bit alarming for first-time visitors. It is served by legacy carriers such as American Airlines [3], Delta Airlines [4], Continental Airlines [5], Northwest Airlines [6], United Airlines [7], and US Airways [8], as well as major low fare carriers including JetBlue [9] and Southwest Airlines [10]. Beware that even discounted coach airfares between San Diego and Los Angeles (about 120 miles/190 km) can cost nearly as much a trip to the east coast. Many Angelenos, making San Diego a weekend get-a-way, opt for Amtrak. Detailed Amtrak data is below. (Flying will usually be greatly discounted or even free for connecting flights if it's part of the overall routing, but you must leave LAX within four hours for domestic flights or 24 hours international.) The only international flights from the airport go to Mexico and Canada. Visitors from other countries would most likely travel through Los Angeles or San Francisco. Fixed point ground transportation between LAX and San Diego is extremely limited and taxi/van service is more costly than flying (except for groups of about six or more). If arriving at Los Angeles Airport, always know the method and cost of how you're getting to San Diego in advance.

There are a number of airport shuttle companies that handle transportation to and from the airport. They cost around $15 per person. Metro bus #992 The Flyer ($2.25) travels 10 minutes to downtown San Diego, and connects to the Coaster commuter train, the Trolley, and the Amtrak station.

Driving out of the airport can be a little confusing. Unless you're headed to Point Loma or Harbor Island, you want to go east towards downtown. The first left turn after the airport is Laurel Street to Balboa Park. The second one is Grape Street, and this has access to all the freeways. Caution: Do not run the red light, or an automated camera will issue a citation of at least $340! For the I-5 north freeway, stay in the left lane of Grape St., or the right lane for I-5 south. The 163 north and 94 east freeways are via I-5 south. Remain in the right freeway lanes for the 163 and 94 as these exits will come very quickly. If going downtown, Petco Park (baseball), Seaport Village, or the Convention Center, just stay on Harbor Drive from the airport. However, for the east side of downtown (except at rush hour), it may be easier to use the 10th Ave. exit from I-5 south, which is the furthest right lane of the 163 freeway exit.

McClellan-Palomar Airport (IATA: CLD) is the other commercial passenger airport in San Diego County. Commercial operations are limited to one commuter airline, United Express, which provide service to Los Angeles. The airport is located in the city of Carlsbad, about 35 miles north of downtown San Diego. Exiting the airport by car, turn right onto Palomar Airport Road and proceed onto Interstate 5 southbound to reach San Diego proper. There is an AVIS car rental facility on-site.

Tijuana International Airport (IATA: TIJ) is within the vicinity of San Diego and offers numerous flights from Mexico and recently additionally long-haul service from Shanghai and Tokyo, allowing many tourists from the Pacific Rim, the option of bypassing Los Angeles International Airport and making it easier to connect to the San Diego area.

Private pilots will prefer the nearby general aviation airports, Montgomery Field (ICAO: KMYF) in Clairemont Mesa, Gillespie Field (ICAO: KSEE) in El Cajon, or Brown Field (ICAO: KSDM) east of San Ysidro. Some air taxi and air charter firms offer specials to the San Diego area from local airports, including from many smaller Los Angeles airports and from the San Luis Obispo area.

Santa Fe Depot
Santa Fe Depot

Amtrak, +1 800 872-7245, [11], operates from the historic Santa Fe Depot, located in downtown at 1050 Kettner Blvd. The station is the southern terminus of Amtrak's frequent Pacific Surfliner [12] route, which runs north to Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo. The depot is within walking distance of downtown hotels and situated near San Diego Bay. The city operates a bus line (Route 992, the "Airport Flyer") between the train depot and San Diego International Airport.

There is also a secondary rail station located at the Old Town San Diego Historic Park. It is used mainly for travel within San Diego County, although Amtrak also serves it on weekends and holidays.

Other rail services include the COASTER, +1 800 262-7837, [13], a commuter train that runs north from downtown along the coast into northern San Diego County all the way to Oceanside where it meets the Metrolink rail service from Los Angeles and the Sprinter rail service from Escondido. Service is mostly limited to the weekday rush hours, with limited service on Saturdays, and none on Sundays. Fares are based on how far you ride; a one-way fare will be in the range of $4-$5.50. Tickets must be purchased from the ticket vending machines located at each station.

By car

San Diego is easily accessible by car using any one of the three major interstate roadways, the 5, 8, and 15 Freeways.

  • I-5 begins in San Ysidro, at the US-Mexico border crossing, and continues northward through Los Angeles and Central California to Oregon and Washington, terminating in Blaine, Washington at the US-Canadian border crossing.
  • I-8 begins near the coast in Ocean Beach and continues eastward through eastern San Diego and Imperial Counties into Arizona, where it connects with Interstate 10.
  • I-15 begins in southern San Diego County and continues northward into the California deserts, through Nevada, Utah, and Idaho, eventually terminating at the US-Canadian border in northern Montana.

Additionally, there are numerous other freeways that crisscross the county, making access to most places in San Diego relatively easy. However, be advised that traffic is frequently congested during daytime hours.

  • Greyhound, [14], +1 619 515-1100, has a station in downtown San Diego on Broadway Street. Private charter lines operate service between other California cities (especially Los Angeles) and Mexico.
  • LuxBus, [15], offers four daily trips to and from Anaheim, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.

By boat

The Cruise Ship Terminal [16] in downtown San Diego currently only services excursions departing from San Diego to Baja Mexico and Los Angeles. These include dinner cruises, three-day gambling cruises and 'party excursions' to the Mexican coastal ports of Baja.

Get around

Public transportation exists and can be used to get around effectively. Some buses run late at night (up to around midnight) but this doesn't apply to all routes so it requires significant planning. Read the Bus section below. Taking the bus will also significantly increase the amount of time you spend traveling from place to place. Overall, renting a car will significantly add to your enjoyment of a trip to San Diego if you want to "see it all".

By car

The San Diego metropolitan area is large and sprawling. If possible, car travel is the most efficient way of navigating the city and county. Throughout the Downtown and beach communities on-street parking is metered. Parking meters accept coins, pre-paid Parking Meter Cards, and some newer meters accept credit cards. For more information parking meters and enforcement, or to purchase a pre-paid meter card please visit the City of San Diego Parking Administration website.

By public transit

Bus

The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) [17] operates bus service to almost all parts of the county, although service in many areas is sparse and infrequent. The weakest points in the transit system are suburb-to-suburb travel and poor links between some of the individual coastal communities, both of which often require long trips to one of the transit hubs. If you will be mainly in the areas around downtown, the bus may be suitable, but service is weaker in outlying areas.

There is bus service every 15 minutes or more frequently (at least on weekdays) between Downtown San Diego and a number of destinations useful to tourists. These include the Airport, the Zoo, and neighborhoods such as Hillcrest, North Park, and La Jolla (about an hour ride). There is frequent service to Sea World from the Old Town Transit Center, where the trolley stops. Service from Downtown to Coronado and Ocean Beach is only once every 30 minutes.

The fare is $2 for local/neighborhood routes, $2.25 for urban routes, and $2.50 for express routes. Transfers are not available. Day passes (which also include rides on the Trolley and a $2 discount on Coaster fares) cost $5. All downtown buses intersect with Broadway at some point. During the day all kinds of people will be taking the bus. At night some people might feel a little less comfortable, but generally not unsafe on the main parts of downtown. The MTS has offices in downtown, on Broadway.

Trolley (light rail)

San Diego Trolley
San Diego Trolley

The San Diego Trolley [18] is a light rail system operated by the MTS which mainly serves tourists and people living in the southern and eastern parts of the city that need to get to downtown areas. There are three trolley lines: blue, green, and orange. The Blue Line operates from the US-Mexico border at San Ysidro and runs to Old Town, via Chula Vista, National City, and Downtown. The Green Line travels from Old Town east to Santee, via Mission Valley and SDSU. The Orange Line connects the eastern cities of El Cajon and La Mesa with Downtown (generally not as usable for tourists except for getting around parts of downtown). Trains run from at least 5AM-12AM every day. Frequency varies, but the trolley usually runs every 15 minutes, with service reduced to every 30 minutes for late-night, weekend, and holiday service.

Standard one-way fares run from $1.25 to $3 depending on how far you travel. Day passes (which include bus service) run at $5, and there are 2, 3 and 4 day passes available. Tickets have to be purchased from the vending machines at the station before you board the train. There's no formal system to check if you've purchased a ticket, but there are trolley guards that may come around and ask to see your ticket, and the fine is normally around $120 for not having a ticket.

By Bike

The weather in San Diego is ideally suited for bicycle riding, and bikes are a good way to explore the beach side communities. Many of the beach side community's residents use bikes to get around their neighborhood because of the parking situation. A good lock is a necessity though. The beach areas are flat and some beach cruiser rental spots can be found along the boardwalk areas in Mission/Pacific Beach. In other parts of the city, cycling is a much more difficult with the numerous difficult-to-cross freeways, as well as the hills, valleys and older streets, but is possible for the avid cyclist. A bicycle map of San Diego is available.[19]

Talk

Like much of California, English is the predominant language with Spanish widely spoken. Store signs are commonly written in both languages and most businesses have bilingual employees that speak both English and Spanish. Tagalog is also commonly spoken in San Diego by the city's large Filipino population.

See

See San Diego with children for travelers with children.

A couple of discount passes offer admission to a number of places:

  • Go San Diego Card [20] – This enables free admission and express entry to over 50 attractions.
  • Southern California CityPass [21] – Gives you one day each at SeaWorld San Diego and the San Diego Zoo, another day at Universal Studios Hollywood, and a 3 day park hopper ticket for Disneyland.
Cactus Garden, Balboa Park
Cactus Garden, Balboa Park

These are just the most significant sights. More specific information may be found under the individual District articles.

  • Balboa Park – Here you'll find an expansive campus of museums, parks, gardens and arboretums. Neo-classical Spanish architecture, flowering gardens, a beautiful clock tower and intriguing museums make visiting Balboa Park a must.
    • San Diego Zoo. – Located in Balboa Park. Possibly the premier zoo in North America, the San Diego Zoo encompasses over 100 acres of displays and habitats. Animal shows run constantly, and there are creatures here that aren't visible in any other zoo on the planet. Definitely worth a visit, but you need a full day to really do it justice.  edit
  • Wild Animal Park. – The sister park to the San Diego Zoo. The park covers 1800 acres and is located about 30 miles north of San Diego near Escondido, in the San Pasqual Valley in Northeastern San Diego.  edit
  • Sea World. – Home of Shamu. Sea World San Diego allows visitors a chance to interact with aquatic animals in an exciting way. Through shows, displays and enclosures people can learn about the worlds oceans and the creatures that inhabit them. See the Mission Beach article.  edit
  • La Jolla – An upscale coastal community of San Diego, La Jolla includes secluded coves, beaches and ocean cliffs to explore. There are dozens of coffee shops, restaurants and high-end shopping outlets to be explored in La Jolla.
    • Harbor seals, Children's Cove. Originally a small beach built for children, this scenic little spot has become a breeding ground for harbor seals.
    • Birch Aquarium – Fantastic exhibits include physical oceanography, standard aquarium fish, and a massive kelp tank.
Point Loma lighthouse
Point Loma lighthouse
  • Point Loma Lighthouse, Cabrillo National Monument – From the high vantage point of Point Loma visitors can get a panoramic view of the Naval Air Station, downtown San Diego, the Coronado Bridge and the distant mountains. The lighthouse is a short walk and allows stunning sunset views of the Pacific Ocean and off-shore islands. Cabrillo National Monument commemorates the landing of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's expedition for Spain of California in 1542.
  • Old Town – This area includes preserved buildings and icons of the Spanish heritage of San Diego and the Old West, from 19th century cannons to the haunted Whaley House. Shopping and restaurants dot this historic district and living history performances regularly take place.
  • Downtown – The urban center of the city, with plenty of restaurants, shopping, and nightlife.
    • San Diego Maritime Museum – Home to a collection of 19th century sailing ships including the Star of India, the world's oldest active sailing ship, as well as a steam ferryboat and a former Soviet Union attack submarine.
    • USS Midway Museum – A former aircraft carrier of the US Navy, it is now open for tours and home to a collection of former naval aircraft housed on her expansive flight deck. Guided tours and displays offer the public a unique look into the life aboard a powerful, old warhorse.
  • Mission San Diego de Alcala. – Located in Mission Valley Mission San Diego is the oldest of the California missions.  edit
  • Hotel Del Coronado. – Located in Coronado, this gorgeous hotel was constructed in the late 1800's and is located at the beach. Offers high class shops and service on one of San Diego's most beautiful and clean beaches.  edit
Individual listings can be found in San Diego's district articles
  • Beaches – Along San Diego's coast one can find miles of beaches for swimming, surfing, and general beach-going. In the San Diego area, one can find good beaches at Imperial Beach south of San Diego, Coronado, the beach towns of Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, and up the coast of Northern San Diego County. Each beach is unique, ranging from popular white sand beaches to harsh surf spots to the clothing-optional Black's Beach in La Jolla.
    Riding a wave
    Riding a wave
  • Surfing – San Diego's miles of beaches provide excellent opportunities for surfing. Conditions vary by beach. There are also numerous surf schools throughout the San Diego area.
  • SailingMission Bay and San Diego Bay are excellent places for sailing, windsurfing, and jet skiing.
  • Boating - San Diego Bay offers amble opportunities for sailors to enjoy the water, with plenty of anchorages and marinas catering to all boaters (see Point Loma, Downtown, Coronado and Chula Vista for specific places). Boat launch ramps are located at Shelter Island (Point Loma), Coronado, National City and Chula Vista. Some anchorages require a permit, while others do not. If a permit is required, it can be obtained at the Shelter Island Harbor Police Facility, 1401 Shelter Island Drive (Point Loma), +1 619 686-6272. There are also several moorings located throughout the Harbor for vessels ranging from two to 65 feet in length. See the SD Mooring Company Office, 2040 N. Harbor Island Drive (Point Loma), +1 619 291-0916, [22] for a mooring application.
  • Whale-watching – California gray whales migrate south along the coast each February. There are some great places along the coast to view the migration, such as the overlook in Cabrillo National Monument (in Point Loma), and several private companies offer sailing tours during the migration season that bring you much closer to the whales.
  • Scuba diving – San Diego features some great dives including the Yukon, Ruby E and others in Wreck Alley. You'll see kelp beds and much more. In addition, several dive boat operators have regular runs to the Coronados Islands off the Mexican coast where you can dive with sea lions. Please be aware that diving here is usually considered cold water diving and the visibility is not always the greatest.
  • Hang gliding – At the edge of cliffs towering above the Pacific Ocean, the Torrey Pines Glider Port in La Jolla allows anyone to soar over one of the most pristine sections of coastline in southern California. Training and tandem glides with an expert are offered.
  • Golfing – There are many public and private golf courses scattered throughout San Diego. The Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla hosts the PGA Tour Buick Invitational annually in Jan or Feb.
  • Hiking & biking - San Diego’s near perfect climate, unique landscape, and low-crime rate make it one of the most pleasant places in the country to enjoy outdoor exercise. Because of this, visitors and locals alike will have no trouble finding a biking, hiking, or walking trail to suit their needs. There are numerous hiking trails and bike paths to choose from - big and small, highly visible or hidden. Information on some of the most popular individual trails can be found in the district articles.
  • Rock climbing - San Diego offers some unique opportunities for rock climbing both outdoor and indoor. Although San Diego is really considered a destination climbing area, specialist climbing companies offer guided rock climbing from professional climbers for the beginner to the experienced climber. All the climbing companies provide all the required equipment such as helmets, shoes and harnesses, and usually require an orientation meeting the week of the climb for all participants. Most good climbing spots are located either in Northeastern San Diego or Inland San Diego County.
PETCO Park
PETCO Park
  • San Diego Chargers – Qualcomm Stadium (in Mission Valley is near the intersection of I-15 and I-8). [23]. San Diego's professional football team can wow the fans by being bad one year and then great the next. They play in the massive Qualcomm Stadium, located in Mission Valley. Tickets $54-$92.
  • San Diego Padres – PETCO Park (in Downtown, near the Gaslamp district), [24]. See the Major League Baseball Padres play at the brand new PETCO Park in downtown. Price ranges for seats vary widely, from $5 for a spot on the grassy lawn beyond the outfield wall to nearly $50 for a seat behind home plate. $5-$60.
  • San Diego State University Aztecs – Cox Arena (in Mid-City; exit I-8 at College Avenue and turn right on Canyon Crest Drive), [25]. The college basketball team plays their home games at the Cox Arena in the SDSU campus. The Aztecs college baseball team plays at Tony Gwynn Stadium (also on the SDSU campus) and the college football team plays at Qualcomm Stadium.
  • University of San Diego Toreros – Jenny Craig Pavilion (in Mission Valley; exit I-8 at Morena Blvd and turn right on Linda Vista Road), [26]. The Toreros have college basketball, baseball, and football teams which play at facilities located on the USD campus.

Learn

Universities in the area:

  • University of California, San Diego [27] – State public university.
  • San Diego State University [28] – State public university.
  • University of San Diego [29] – Private, Catholic university.
  • Point Loma Nazarene [30] – Private, Protestant Christian university
  • California Western School of Law [31] – Private university.
  • The Salk Institute for Biological Research [32] – Prestigious nonprofit research institute.
  • The Scripps Research Institute [33] – Private research institute.
  • The Scripps Institution of Oceanography [34] – Famous marine biology institute.
  • The Burnham Institute for Medical Research [35] – Private research institute.
  • La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology [36] – Nonprofit research institute.
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law [37] – Private Law school.

Work

San Diego is a major technology and defense hub of California and the United States. Major industries include defense, telecommunications, technology, biotechnology, computers and scientific research. With five major military bases located within fifty miles of San Diego, defense related services and support are a key part of San Diego's prosperity.

Individual listings can be found in San Diego's district articles

San Diego is dotted with major shopping centers and upscale boutiques catering to nearly every style of dress and expression. The most well-known shopping centers in the area are Horton Plaza in Downtown, Fashion Valley and Westfield Mission Valley in Mission Valley and Westfield UTC near La Jolla. In addition to these, one can find numerous other malls and outlet centers across the city.

If you're more interested in smaller shops and more local businesses than you'd ordinarily find in your average mall, Downtown, Hillcrest, and the beach neighborhoods (Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, etc.) offer a slightly more unique shopping scene. San Diego county has some unique antique markets, with a treasure trove of high end stores, as well as a host of second hand shops, bric a brac, and vintage stores.

Individual listings can be found in San Diego's district articles

The district sections of San Diego offer more details on local places to eat. Food representing almost every world cuisine can be found somewhere in the city.

Like other large metropolitan areas, San Diego carries a wide variety of national and international food. Major restaurant chains are found in almost every district.

Individual listings can be found in San Diego's district articles

Bars and clubs can stay open past 2AM but are not permitted to sell alcohol after this time. Expect beer bars to be open until midnight and bars and clubs to call last call around 1:30-1:50 AM A medium-sized beer generally costs 4-5 USD in a restaurant. The best bar scenes in San Diego are in the Gaslamp Quarter area of Downtown and in Pacific Beach.

Individual listings can be found in San Diego's district articles

San Diego offers a wide range of accommodations and a wide range of price levels. If one doesn't mind splurging, there are a number luxury highrise hotels in Downtown and numerous beachside (and bayside) hotels and lavish resorts along the coast in Coronado, Ocean Beach, Point Loma (along the bayside), Mission Beach/Bay, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla.

There are also many vacation rentals/beach cottages available for the traveler, most of which can be found along the shores of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.

For travelers with a smaller budget, San Diego also has a few downtown hostels and many chain motels scattered across the city. A high concentration of the chain motels are located along Hotel Circle in Mission Valley.

Contact

The most common area code for San Diego Metropolitan area, including downtown, the southbay and the eastern suburbs is 619. North of I-8/Mission Valley uses 858, and the far northern suburbs (Escondido, Oceanside, etc.) use 760. Be sure to look when dialing a phone number that may be in a different area code. Most public telephones and hotel phones have the area code next to the phone number on the actual device.

There are numerous Wi-Fi hot spots in San Diego, many of which are at internet cafes. A good list of the best hot spots can be found here: [38]. The San Diego Public Library system also offers wireless internet at many of its locations [39].

Stay safe

San Diego is considered to be one of the safest cities in California. Though crime is present, violent crime is on an overall decrease, but property crime still exists. You can now view real time crime reports of the area you plan to visit [40]. One should use the same precautions as you would in any large metropolitan area. Avoid walking in Southeast San Diego or Barrio Logan (near or under the Coronado bridge) at night. If you do or must, avoid walking down dark alleyways or approaching unknown people. Most people do not encounter any problems if they avoid buying illegal drugs or prostitution. In addition, gangs are not as present as they are in Los Angeles, but they still exist.

In an emergency (immediate danger to loss of life or limb), call 911. Be aware that if you call from a cell phone, 911 calls are currently directed to the California Highway Patrol, which can result in delays in contacting city police. (911 calls made from land-line telephones are directed to the appropriate local agency.)

In many cases, when within the city limits, it may be more appropriate to directly dial the San Diego non-emergency number, (619) 531-2000. For example, to report a crime in progress when you are not in direct danger, it is probably best to call the San Diego Police (or other local municipality) directly.

Police

San Diego is served by a professional police force [41] as well as a county sheriff department. Additional protection is offered on the major highways by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). To report a non-emergency within city limits, call (619) 531-2000.

Fire Department

The city of San Diego fire department offers fire protection, emergency medical care, hazardous waste cleanup, and search and rescue functions. If you dial 911 for an emergency the first responders will be the San Diego Fire Department. Urban brush fires are always a risk during the summer and fall, but rarely affect tourists.

Beach Safety

Rip currents are notorious in San Diego for their strength and sudden appearance. Do not go out in the water without lifeguard supervision or at night. At La Jolla Shores, rip currents can be so strong that people standing (not swimming) in waist-deep water have been pulled out over their heads -- sometimes with deadly results (especially for non-swimmers). Except for sunbathing, avoid low tide like the plague at this beach. (This means the largest of the two daily tide cycles. Check newspaper weather page for Scripps Pier, or view the Weather Channel.) All of the major beaches have lifeguards on duty in the summertime, with only the more popular beaches having lifeguards year round.

Many of the ocean cliffs are made of a compressed sandstone and are prone to collapse, even in dry weather. If walking along the cliffs at the beach, try to be as far away from them as is practical. Obey all signs. Heavy rain may cause rising bacteria and chemical levels in the ocean waters. Care should be taken to read the newspapers or call the county health office to see if the water is safe for swimming. Generally most people keep away from the beaches for 24 to 72 hours after rain.

Access to the beaches is safely made by using any of the public stairways provided; they are well maintained (except at Black's Beach) and free. The stairs at Black's Beach are in disrepair, so use at one's own risk. Wear sturdy shoes, and don't try unless you are in very good physical condition and able to climb the 300 ft. (100m) back from the beach. Beware of the false trails going down the cliffs, as every year a few people get stuck (or worse!). Take a little time to familiarize yourself with the area and observe where others are going. Though a long walk, you can also get in from the north via Torrey Pines State Beach. (Parking $8 in the lot or free along the highway.) High tide will cut off this route, so plan ahead.

The bridge that connects Torrey Pines (north of Black's Beach) with Del Mar (former Hwy US 101) is old and in need of repair. Avoid walking directly underneath, as pieces of concrete occasionally fall off. It's still considered safe enough to drive over for now. If concerned, access this area from the south via I-5 and Genesee Avenue (exit #29) which soon becomes N. Torrey Pines Rd. Always supervise children very closely at places such as Sunset Cliffs and the Torrey Pines Glider Port above Black's Beach. It may be necessary to hold their hand at all times. If you have unruly kids, don't go there.

Thefts do occur at the beach and can ruin a perfectly wonderful day. Do not leave any purses or other personal items of value alone on the beach or in an open car. Vehicle burglaries are more prevalent in most beach communities and take place in broad daylight. If possible, do not leave anything of value in your car even when locked. Most kayak and beach rental shops offer safe boxes free of charge, and will store your valuables while renting.

In addition, take caution when around certain beach areas, as you may wander (inadvertently) onto a military instillation, where security is tight and beaches are either reserved for military patrons and their families or training centers.

Also note that as of November 2009, a temporary ban of alcohol on all public beaches and coastal parks in the city of San Diego was made permanent by San Diego voters. Violators can be given up to a $250 fine, with repeat offenders fined up to $1,000 and six months in jail. The web site sandiego.com [42] provides information on locations in San Diego County where one can still legally consume alcohol on the beach or at beach bars.

  • San Diego Union-Tribune, [43] – The Union-Tribune is San Diego's main daily newspaper.
  • San Diego Daily Transcript, [44] – A daily business publication printed every business day.
  • San Diego Reader, [45] – A free weekly publication and the largest alternative paper in the city.
  • San Diego CityBeat, [46] – Another alternative free weekly paper.
  • Voice of San Diego, [47] – A nonprofit, independent online newspaper.
  • UCSD Guardian, [48] – A free student-operated newspaper at the University of California San Diego, published twice a week.
  • North County Times, [49] – A daily paper focusing on issues facing the communities of Northern San Diego County.
  • Diario San Diego, [50] - The only once daily Spanish newspaper focusing on the Hispanic community of San Diego County, whent from being published daily -Monday to Friday-, to by weekly -Mondays and Fridays-, is now a weekly.

Hospitals

There are numerous public and private hospitals in San Diego. These range from state funded institutions such as UCSD-Hillcrest and Thorton to private, world-renowned hospitals of Scripps La Jolla and the Children's Hospital. Non-profit Sharp Health Care also owns several hospitals, and has many "Urgent Care" centers for non-serious injuries such as a broken arm (daytime and early evening only). First-rate, world-class medical care can be found at any of these hospitals, as well as interpreters for more than a dozen languages.

San Diego is home to some of the most cutting edge health research in the country. The University of California, San Diego Medical Center is known for it's world class research. Some residents head to Mexico for cheaper health care, but this can be risky, and it would be more wise to use San Diego hospitals and clinics. Many of the institutions have doctors of all nationalities so language may not be a problem for some whose English skills may not be so good.

Smoking

Smoking is banned in all restaurants, bars, public offices, and other places by order of California law. Although in tobacco shopes and in coffee shops where tobacco is sold, you may smoke within these premises. There is a county wide ban on smoking in all state parks and there are city wide bans in San Diego, Del Mar, and Solana Beach that forbids smoking on public parks and beaches. El Cajon bans ALL outdoor smoking in public places. A new law enacted in January of 2007 prohibits smoking within 25 feet of any MTS transit station or bus stop. Beginning July 1, 2007 those caught smoking near transit facilities will face a fine of $75.

  • San Diego is probably the best city in America for making a quick trip to Mexico. Tijuana, San Diego's twin city across the border, is very easy to reach by public transit. The San Diego Trolley's Blue Line provides service from downtown San Diego to the US-Mexican border. The trip on the trolley takes about 45 minutes from downtown. Once you reach the end of the line (San Ysidro), follow the people and signs to the border crossing. It takes less than five minutes from the trolley stop to cross the border, followed by either a 20-minute walk or a five-minute taxi ride to reach Av. Revolucion, the main tourist shopping area in Tijuana. If you take a car, avoid driving hassles and long waits when returning by parking in pay lots near the border and walking across. Taxis, buses, and private car hires are all available. If traveling to Tijuana Airport, Mexican airline Volaris operates a bus service between that airport and San Diego's Santa Fe Train Depot.
  • For a delightful, low-key alternative, drive 60 minutes on the American side to the small border crossing of Tecate (home of the Tecate brewery). It's a short walk to the town square. Coming back, there are typically only a couple of people in line at the pedestrian crossing. You can easily combine a trip to the train museum in nearby Campo with a quick trip across the border for lunch!
  • The greater San Diego County has a lot of smaller, more private beaches to the north (e.g., Del Mar and Encinitas), and some great small towns to stay in and explore. Carlsbad, about 30 miles north on I-5, is home to the popular Legoland California theme park. Further east, the Imperial Valley and the California Desert give a change of scenery.
  • Julian is the largest and most popular mountain community in San Diego County. Also, nearby is Cuyamaca Rancho State Park and Palomar Mountain which has a large observatory. Beware, on hot summer days, the mountains are actually warmer than the city (as they're next to the desert).
  • There are no boats to Catalina Island (Avalon) within San Diego County. You'll have to go north into neighboring Orange County to the pier at Dana Point. By car, take I-5 to exit #79 Pacific Coast Hwy 1 (make reservations).
  • Temecula Wine Country is located about 60 minutes northeast of San Diego and makes a good day trip. There are about thirty wineries(with tasting rooms) located fairly close to each other. One hour further is the mountain resort of Idyllwild which features shopping and outdoor activities in an alpine forest.
Routes through San Diego
Santa AnaDel Mar  N noframe S  Chula VistaTijuana
END  W noframe E  La MesaEl Centro
RiversideEscondido  N noframe S  END
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SAN DIEGO, a city, port of entry and the county-seat of San Diego county, in S. California, U.S.A., on the Pacific Ocean, about 10 m. N. of the Mexican border, and about 126 m. (by rail) S.E. of Los Angeles. Pop. (1880) 2637; (1890) 16,159; (1900) 17,700, of whom 3768 were foreign-born; (1910 census) 39,57 8. It is served by numerous steamship lines and by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the Los Angeles & San Diego Beach, the San Diego Southern, and the San Diego, Cuyamaca & Eastern railways. A railway between Yuma, Arizona, and San Diego was under construction in 1910. The harbour, next to that of San Francisco the best in California, has an area of some 22 sq. m. The Federal government has made various improvements in the harbour, building a jetty 7500 ft. long on Zuninga Shoal at the entrance and making a channel 225 ft. wide and 27-28 ft. deep at low tide. The city site, which is a strip of land 25 m. long and 2 to 4 m. wide, is nearly level near the bay. San Diego is the seat of a State Normal School and has a Carnegie library. There is a coaling station of the United States Navy, and the United States government maintains a garrison in Fort Rosecrans. At Coronado (pop. 1900, 935) across the bay are Coronado Beach, and the Hotel del Coronado, with fine botanical and Japanese gardens; on the beach people live in tents except in the stormier season. Within the city, `on the top of Point Loma, is the Theosophical Institution of the "Universal Brotherhood." San Diego has one of the most equable climates in the world, and there are several sanatoriums here. The economic interests centre in fruit culture, especially the raising of citrus fruits and of raisin grapes. There are also warehouses, foundries, lumber yards, saw-mills and planing-mills - logs are rafted here from Washington and Oregon. National City (pop. 1900, 1086), adjoining San Diego on the S. and the S. terminus of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe system, has large interests in lemon packing and the manufacture of oil, citric acid and other lemon by-products. In 1905 the total 'value of the factory products of the city was $ 1 ,974,43 0 (1 94.8% more than in 1900) .

San Diego is under the commission form of government; in 1905 the city secured as a charter right the power to "recall" by petition any unsatisfactory city official and to elect another in his place, and the initiative and referendum were incorporated in the charter, but were practically inoperative for several years. By a charter amendment of 1909, the city is governed by a ' commission of a mayor and five councilmen, elected at large.

About 4 m. N. of the business centre of San Diego is the site of the first Spanish settlement in Upper California. It was occupied in April 1769; a Franciscan "mission" (the earliest of twenty-one established in: California) was founded on the 16th of July, and a military presidio somewhat later. San Diego began the first revolution against Governor M. Victoria and Mexican authority in 1831, but was intensely loyal in opposition to. Governor J. B. Alvarado and the northern towns in 1836. It' was made a port of entry in 1828. In 1840 it had a population -of 140. It was occupied by the American forces in July 1846, and was reoccupied in November after temporary dispossession ' by the Californians, no blood being shed in these disturbances. In 1850 it was incorporated as a city, but did not grow, and lost 'its charter in 1852. In 1867 it had only a dozen inhabitants. A‘ land promoter, A. E. Horton (d. 1909), then laid out a new 'city about 3 m. S. of the old. Its population increased to 2300 'in 1870, and this new San Diego was incorporated in 1872, and ' was made a port of entry in 1873. The old town still has many ruined adobe houses, and the old "mission" is fairly well preServed. The prosperity of1867-1873was Jollowed by a disastrous ' crash in 1873-1874, and little progress was made until 1884, when San Diego was reached by the Santa Fe railway system. After 1900 the growth of the city was again very rapid.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Etymology

From Spanish, from Santiago, a combination of "Sant’ Iago", and "Saint James". Sant is from Latin Sanctus, "holy" or "saint". Iago is a northwestern Spanish form from Latin Jacobus, "James". The name Diego is sometimes confused with the Latin name Didacus.

Proper noun

San Diego

  1. A city in southwest California.
  2. Places named after Saint Diego.

Anagrams


Spanish

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Proper noun

San Diego

  1. The name Saint Diego (Sant’ Iago, Saint James of Alcalá), sometimes also confused or connected with the Latin name Didacus.
  2. Places named after Saint Diego.

Related terms

References

Wikipedia:San Diego Wikipedia:Didacus of Alcalá








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