This lovely city by the sea is California's second largest city just after Los Angles, and is only located about 120 miles south down the Pacific Ocean coastline from LA. With a famously moderate climate, family-friendly attractions, and miles of sandy beaches, San Diego is a favorite among travelers. San Diego is located on the very southern end of California stretching from the Mexican border to the south up to Orange County in the north. In between is a sprawling landscape of suburbs, beach cities, inland valleys and a bustling downtown district.
San Diego is a great destination for families looking to entertain children. Home of Sea World, the famous San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, Lego Land and of course beaches, San Diego makes for a great getaway for kids. Beyond the amusement parks, San Diego has a vibrant downtown with many great districts for strolling and discovering fun shops and restaurants, especially the charming Gaslamp Quarter and the waterfront. San Diego's Mission Bay as well as the beaches on the Pacific Ocean play host to a variety of water sports such as surfing, sailing, kayaking and simply playing in the waves. Other must-see areas of San Diego include posh La Jolla with its high-end boutiques and Balboa Park, an extensive area that includes the San Diego Zoo and a multitude of museums, parks and attractions.
Historically, San Diego was first established in 1769 with the first Spanish mission of California. During the 19th century, the area was controlled first by Spain, then Mexico and finally the United States. While California's major boom was during the Gold Rush and concentrated in Northern California. Eventually San Diego grew and became what many call "America's Finest City." Today, the city's architecture reflects its Spanish roots with white stucco and Spanish tiles. San Diego also serves as a great place to discover more of Southern California beyond the city itself, including neighboring Orange County with Disneyland and other family-friendly attractions and Eastern San Diego county featuring a beautiful wine country, providing a great day trip diversion. Travelers of all types can come to San Diego and enjoy the Mediterranean-like climate, some of California's best historical landmarks, a bevy of beaches and first-rate family attractions.