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  • San Diego stands on the West Coast of the United States.

  • Situated right on the border with Mexico,

  • it's the southern-most city in California and is home

  • to almost one-and-a-half million people.

  • Ever since the Europeans first settled here in the 18th century,

  • San Diego has been a city whose fortunes and personality

  • has been influenced by the warm currents of the Pacific Ocean.

  • With a deepwater harbor, the city has always been an important trading port,

  • and at one time was the tuna fishing capital of the world.

  • Today San Diego is the mainland home to the US Navy's Pacific Fleet.

  • San Diego's Old Town is often called the "birthplace of California".

  • This heritage precinct preserves and recreates life

  • from the early Mexican and American periods.

  • In the 1860s the city's development and focus shifted to the waterfront,

  • however Old Town remains an important center for community and cultural celebrations.

  • San Diego's Downtown area rises straight from the water's edge.

  • The Central Business District is home to some beautiful heritage buildings,

  • but to feel the real pulse of San Diego, head to the Gaslamp Quarter.

  • This 16-block historical neighborhood of Victorian buildings

  • really lights up at night as theatergoers and university students pour into the area.

  • A few blocks inland from Downtown is the largest urban parkland in the US -

  • a place where nature, culture, and fabulous architecture converge.

  • Balboa Park features over a dozen museums with collections ranging

  • from automobiles to aviation, and from art to natural history.

  • There are almost twenty different gardens to explore,

  • including a recreation of the Alcazar Gardens of Seville.

  • Balboa Park is laced with miles of paths and trails which connect its many treasures -

  • like the San Diego Zoo.

  • This is one of the world's greatest zoological parks,

  • and one of the few places outside of China where you can come face to face

  • with a Giant Panda.

  • To truly appreciate San Diego's relationship with the 'seven seas',

  • head to the Downtown waterfront area.

  • Here you'll find the Maritime Museum and the Navy Pier.

  • Climb aboard the USS Midway, the longest serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century.

  • At the nearby Broadway Pier, jump aboard a ferry and leave the busy Downtown behind.

  • It's just a short ride to Coronado, where the pace slows.

  • Locals have been kicking back in the sunshine here since the 1880s.

  • Just across the harbor entrance is Point Loma,

  • the place where explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first stepped ashore in 1542.

  • Loma is Spanish for 'hill', and the views here are incredible.

  • When the weather is right, you can see all the way to Mexico.

  • Heading north, the dramatic cliffside neighborhoods of Point Loma

  • open out into an endless string of California beaches -

  • the kind of beaches that inspired all those Beach Boys songs!

  • Each beachside community is unique;

  • Mission Beach is relaxed and laid back, while neighboring Pacific Beach

  • with its vibrant bar scene likes to stay up late and party.

  • A great way to explore these coastal neighborhoods is to hire a beach cruiser

  • and hit the promenade.

  • A little further up the coast is 'the jewel city' - La Jolla!

  • Surrounded by ocean on three sides, La Jolla is all about pristine coastline,

  • picturesque streets and beautiful architecture.

  • This is about as good as California Dreaming gets.

  • Even the sea lions agree!

  • San Diego is a dream destination for children too.

  • The little ones can let their imaginations run wild in Legoland,

  • while at historic Belmont Park, the Giant Dipper

  • has been thrilling kids of all ages for almost one hundred years.

  • The people of San Diego have a deep abiding respect for the ocean.

  • The Birch Aquarium plays an important part of the city's tradition

  • in marine research and conservation.

  • Then of course, there's SeaWorld, which has been entertaining

  • and educating visitors from around the globe since 1964.

  • Exploring San Diego can build up an appetite.

  • With its proximity to Mexico and the sea,

  • there's no prize for guessing what the specialties are.

  • So why not wash down that shrimp taco with an ice cold beer.

  • Of course, the ideal way to end your San Diego day is to grab a friend or two,

  • head to the water, and simply look to the west.

San Diego stands on the West Coast of the United States.

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San Diego Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

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    Wonderful posted on 2013/11/26
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