The coastal community of San Diego is the second-largest city in California. Originally, the area was inhabited by the San Dieguito and La Jolla Native American tribes before it was established as the first European settlement by Spain during the mid-1500s. The city has experienced substantial growth since its founding, and has changed hands between Mexico and the U.S. throughout its extensive history.
Located approximately 120 miles south of Los Angeles, this shoreline community rests along the the U.S.-Mexico border in southern California. San Diego experiences a warm climate throughout the majority of the year, with most of the annual precipitation falling between December and March. Winter weather is mild, and temperatures rarely drop down to the freezing point. Visitors should pack light, with a few pairs of shorts, sunglasses and a bottle of sunscreen, and possibly a light jacket or sweater for twilight chills or day trips near the Pacific.
With its close proximity to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, the city of San Diego boasts a wealth of waterfront activities and tourist attractions. The subtropical climate presents comfortable conditions for visitors interested in spending a day or two enjoying outdoor excursions and the natural beauty of the area.
- SeaWorld San Diego is an adventure theme park that features a wide selection of thrill rides, animal encounters and engaging performances. Get your adrenaline pumping on the steep drops and arching curves on the double-launch Manta roller coaster, or enjoy an interaction with dolphins and other creatures of the deep that call this park home. Acrobatic aquatic performances feature the talents of numerous marine-dwelling mammals, who launch themselves high into the air and engage in death-defying stunts that will surely take your breath away.
- The beaches of San Diego stretch out on 70 miles of pristine coastline and offer guests the opportunity to lay out over white sands and soak up some California sunshine. Join locals in a game of sand volleyball at Mission Beach or compete in the sand castle competition at Imperial Beach in the south bay. Ocean Beach is nestled between the San Diego River and the rolling hills of Point Loma, and often presents prime conditions for surfing, swimming and other waterfront frivolity.
Artistic and Cultural Attractions
An array of meticulously curated museums are dispersed throughout the city of San Diego. These cultural establishments provide guests with a vast collection of cultural relics, fine artwork and notable exhibits that will broaden your perception of the area’s unique history.
- The Museum of Photographic Arts presents an excellent collection of images that illustrate the complexity and evolution of this modern art form. More than 7,000 photographs, films and videos are housed throughout the galleries, which demonstrate historic imagery, aesthetic movements and technological advancements in the field.
- San Diego’s Museum of Art features the work of European masters, contemporary artisans and visionaries of the Far East. The collection includes work from the Italian Renaissance and the Impressionist movement. It offers guests the opportunity to gaze upon centuries-old ceramics, metalwork and paintings from prominent dynasties in China, Korea and other Asian cultures. A feast for the eyes awaits any art connoisseur who ventures into the many galleries of this enlightening museum.
- The San Diego Air and Space Museum is a truly intriguing establishment that boasts a variety of early aviation vehicles as well as some modern-day engineering masterpieces. Discover the history of man’s fascination with flight, and gaze upon relics that carried early adventure seekers to their first ascent into the clouds. Take in the craftsmanship and awesome engineering prowess that built fighter jets and other military aircraft, or explore a new frontier at exhibits that house space-age technologies.
Downtown San Diego
Amid the cluster and congestion of this metropolitan community is a wonderful selection of exquisite dining establishments and nightlife opportunities. After dark, the city takes on a whole new persona filled with wild and enjoyable experiences that are sure to delight travelers who fancy a nocturnal adventure.
- The Gaslamp Quarter features 16 walkable city blocks packed with rooftop bars, bumping nightclubs, chic jazz clubs and happening restaurants. The Tipsy Crow is San Diego’s longest standing bar, tracing its roots back to 1874. The three-level setup is manned by an experienced and friendly staff, and presents guests with a classic atmosphere, craft beers and quality cocktails. Fluxx nightclub is filled with a full spectrum of sensory pleasures. This trendy nightspot is constantly changing themes, and is filled with colorful lights and bumping sound that will keep the party going well into the night and early morning.