San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA: Wikis


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San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos
Map of the San Diego Metro (SD)

Common name: San Diego Metro (SD)
Largest city San Diego
Other cities  - Carlsbad
 - San Marcos
 - Chula Vista
 - Escondido
 - Oceanside
 - Imperial Beach
Population  Ranked 25th in the U.S.
 - Total MSA - 3,001,072[1]
 - Density 2,665/sq. mi. 
Area 27,298 sq. mi.
70,669 km²
State(s)  California
 - Highest point 11,499 feet (3,505 m)
 - Lowest point N/A feet (N/A m)

The San Diego Metropolitan Area (SD Metro) is the metropolitan area centered on the city of San Diego, California, a gamma world city. San Diego is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Eleventh Naval District and is the Navy's principal location for West Coast and Pacific Ocean operations.[2].

The San Diego metropolitan area is the third largest metropolitan area in Southern California. The area contains five major naval bases and the U.S. Marines base Camp Pendleton. The area is renowned for its beaches and mountains as well as many world famous resorts, amusement parks, wildlife parks and zoos, and museums.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines the area as the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos Metropolitan Statistical Area, consisting of San Diego County. The metropolitan statistical area is bordered by Orange County to the north, Mexico to the south, Imperial County to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.



View of Downtown San Diego at night.
Downtown San Diego.
Marriot Hotel in San Diego.
View of La Jolla.

The San Diego Metropolitan Area is situated on the western slope of the southern california coastal mountain ranges and contains 70 miles of coastline. San Diego and the other major cities that anchor the metro area lie on the Pacific coast, as their many communities filter out into a suburban sprawl that covers the coastal hills.

The area is crossed by five west-flowing rivers and numerous streams, which create a landscape of mesas and numerous canyons and gorges on the western or coastal portion of the area. This landscape has forced development to consist of being on mesas ultimately leaving the gorges undeveloped, many being preserved as wildlife refuges. The inland or eastern (not to be confused with East County) part of the area is mountainous and thinly populated before it crosses the mountains turns to the desert scrub of Anza-Borrego State Park. SD Metro is divided by the county of san diego into the several distinctive regions of the San Diego Bay Area, North County (Coastal and Inland), East County, South Bay, and Inland (Inland is populated by unincorporated CDP's).



Central City

San Diego Bay Area

South Bay

North County


East County



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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5][6]

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.

Weather 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
Daily mean °F (°C) 57.3
Average low °F (°C) 48.9
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.8
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)[7]


The area of San Diego has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years by the Kumeyaay Indians.[8] It is also the site of the first visit by a European to present-day California and the first permanent European settlement in California. The Metro area contains 131 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the San Diego Presidio, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and Mission San Diego de Alcala.

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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11]

The San Diego Metropolitan Area has also been host to many wildfires that force thousands to evacuate. The most recent have been the Cedar Fire in 2003, and the Witch Creek Fire in 2007. The State of California has a Fire Season in which fires are most likely to occur, usually between the months of late July and late October (which are the driest months of the area). Signs are posted in numerous spots of SD Metro providing people information on the levels of threats from fires based on weather conditions.


Major highways



A surfer at Black's Beach.

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.Tourism has affected the city's culture, as San Diego houses many tourist attractions, such as SeaWorld San Diego, Belmont amusement park, San Diego Zoo, and the nearby San Diego Wild Animal Park and Legoland California. San Diego's Spanish influence can be seen in the many historic sites across the city, such as the Spanish missions and Balboa Park. Cuisine in San Diego is diverse, and includes European-American, Mexican-American, and Asian-American cuisine. Annual events in San Diego include Comic-Con, San Diego/Del Mar Fair, and Street Scene Music Festival.

Hundreds of movies and a dozen TV shows have been filmed in San Diego, a tradition going back as far as 1898.[12][13]

San Diego board culture

San Diego is a venue for surf and skateboard culture.[14]



Balboa Park

BalboaPark Museum.jpg

Balboa Park is a 1,200 acre (4.9 km²) urban cultural park in San Diego, California, United States named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa. Many of the trees here were planted by the famous American gardener Kate Sessions. Placed in reserve in 1835, it is one of the oldest sites in the United States dedicated to public recreational usage. Besides open areas and natural vegetation, it contains a variety of cultural attractions including museums, theaters, gardens, shops and restaurants as well as the San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. The park is managed and maintained by the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department.

San Diego Zoo

Along this boulevard are many of the park's museums and cultural attractions, including the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Art Institute the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the Natural History Museum, the San Diego Historical Society, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and the Timken Museum of Art where admission is always free. There are a number of gardens located in the park. These include Alcazar Garden, Botanical Building, Cactus Garden, Casa del Rey Moro Garden, Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, Japanese Friendship Garden, Marston House Garden, Palm Canyon and Zoro Garden.

Wildlife Parks & Zoos

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, is one of the largest and most progressive zoos in the world with over 4,000 animals of more than 800 species. It is also one of the few zoos in the world that houses the giant panda.[15] It is privately operated by the nonprofit Zoological Society of San Diego on 107 acres (0.43 km2) of parkland leased from the City of San Diego, and ownership of all animals, equipment and other assets rests with the City of San Diego.

SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego is a theme park located in San Diego, California. The park is owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a division of The Blackstone Group.SeaWorld's main attraction is its orcas, several of which are housed in 7 million gallon habitats that are each known as Shamu Stadium. Shamu was the name of the first orca brought to SeaWorld San Diego in the 1960s. "Shamu" is now used as a stage name for adult Orcas in performances at SeaWorld parks. The Orcas all have individual names.

San Diego Wild Animal Park

The San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park is a zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in the city and Southern California. The Park houses a large array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. The park is in a semi-arid environment and one of its most notable features is the Journey into Africa tram which explores the expansive African exhibits. These free-range enclosures house such animals as cheetahs, antelopes, lions, giraffes, okapis, elephants, zebras, Przewalski's horses, rhinos, and bonobos. The park is also noted for its California condor breeding program, the most successful such program in the country.


Hotel del Coronado

Front view of the Hotel del Coronado.

Coronado is home to the famous Hotel del Coronado, built in 1888 and long considered one of the world's top resorts. It is listed as a National Historic Landmark and appeared in films such as Some Like It Hot and The Stunt Man. It was the setting of the Dashboard Confessional song Stolen. The historic hotel has had many notable American guests, including Charles Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Willie Mays, Magic Johnson, and Muhammad Ali. Many presidents have also visited, including William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush.

See Also


External Links


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