Do you know why Sand Diego of California is one of the most famous cities of the United States of America? Because it was the first place on the West Coast to be visited by Europeans during the early conquests. With a population of over 1.3 million, it is the eighth most populous city in the USA (by city proper population) and second most populous one in California (beaten only by Los Angeles, of course). Located 120 kilometres south of L.A., San Diego is adjacent to the Mexican border. The city pertains to the San Diego-Tijuana conurbation, the second largest transborder agglomeration (beaten only by the infamous Detroit–Windsor) in the USA.
San Diego is famous for its beaches, natural deep harbour, health care, research centres and favourable climate. Trade and manufacturing also add to its fortes but let’s stick to the ideas that tourists should be aware of. If you are wondering about the nickname that we have given it in the title, then we have to reveal that it is nothing else but the translation of its motto from Latin: “Semper Vigilans”.
San Diego is located within the bounds of the semi-arid Mediterranean climate zone and for this particular reason, it enjoys forgiving, mild temperatures all year long. Most summer days are sunny and dry whilst winters are a bit rainier. To put its agreeable climate into perspective, let us share the fact that San Diego has more than 200 days with an average temperature above 21 degrees Celsius every year. That means that you can pack those swimsuits and surfboards and prepare to rock the beaches.
San Diego is served by the eponymous San Diego International Airport and it is located almost 5 kilometres north-west of the downtown area. Funnelling more than 20 million passengers each year, it is one of the largest airports in the south-western part of the USA. An interesting fact that you should be aware of is that the metropolitan area of San Diego is the largest one that isn’t a hub. But it is a focus city for the Alaska Airlines and the Southwest Airlines. Additionally, the San Diego International Airport is the busiest one in the USA with a single runway. This doesn’t make it any less safe or reliable, though, do not worry (wink)!
San Diego may not appear as gigantic as New York City but it still cannot help but be congested. Even the extensive highway system that encircles and pierces it cannot facilitate a smooth flow of vehicles. This means that renting a car in the city might prove a bit problematic for you might lose far too much time cursing at fellow car-cruisers (wink). Just kidding, always avoid road rage! We recommend that you stick to the rapid transit system or the light rail system if you have the possibility.
SIGHTS AND ACTIVITIES:
We know for a fact that countless tourists only visit San Diego for its world-famous zoo. Well, we are here to recommend it to you for it has 40 hectares of excitement for you to explore. With over 650 species and over 3,700 specimens, the San Diego Zoo has everything that you might long for. From clouded leopards to bonobos (pygmy chimps), you can find anything there. It is also one of the few international zoos that can boast with successfully breeding pandas. Notable exhibits are named as follows (we recommend that you check out each and every one of them): Absolutely Apes, Children’s Zoo, Elephant Odyssey, Panda Trek, Ituri Forest, Monkey Trails, Polar Bear Plunge.
You have probably heard of countless public parks by now but few of them can be compared to San Diego’s Balboa Park. Stretching upon a massive land area of 490 hectares, it harbours recreational areas, playgrounds, pathways, museums, theatres and even the aforementioned San Diego Zoo. Maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of San Diego, Balboa Park first saw the light of day in 1868. Today, we thought that we would do something different – we are going to give you a full list of the important establishments that can be found within the bounds of the park. We encourage you to visit as many of them as possible and to take your children with you. The list goes as follows:
– Centro Cultural de la Raza
– San Diego Natural History Museum
– Mingei International Museum
– San Diego Hall of Champions
– Museum of Photographic Arts
– Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
– San Diego Air & Space Museum
– Veterans Museum and Memorial Center
– San Diego Art Institute
– San Diego Automotive Museum
– San Diego History Center
– San Diego Model Railroad Museum
– San Diego Museum of Art
– George W. Marston House
– San Diego Museum of Man
– Timken Museum of Art
If you long to visit an outdoor oceanarium, you might want to take a look at the massive SeaWorld San Diego. Encompassing an area of 77 hectares, it has over 4.3 million visitors each year. From penguins to killer whales and from dolphins to polar bears, you can find anything there. Take your time to thoroughly introduce yourself to the marine life of Planet Earth! Also, do not forget about the 2 roller coasters that are waiting for you to scream your lungs out (wink).
As you can see, San Diego is a place where you may go for entertainment. Lo and behold, Las Vegas is not the only place where one can get excitement for the rest of one’s life. Know also that San Diego is one of the safest cities of the USA, so there is generally nothing to worry about when it comes to petty crimes. Safe travels!