San Diego, also known as “America’s finest city” offers 70 miles of sun-drenched coast, an inviting ocean, and a year-round daily forecast of 70°F. It’s home to quite a few amazing attractions and establishments. From restaurants and San Diego rooftop bars, to amazing natural spectacles like its 4 wildlife preserves and more, San Diego truly has something for everyone to enjoy. Keep reading to learn more about some of the features that make San Diego so special.
Balboa Park: A Hub of Art and Culture
Balboa Park is a huge complex made up of more than 1,200 acres. It offers 17 museums and various gardens as well as arts and international culture associations. In 1867, Alonzo Horton bought 800 acres of land in what is now downtown San Diego, and later convinced the city to dedicate 1,400 acres of public land to a public park, which officials creatively named “City Park.” It was Renamed in 1910 in honor of Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the first European to set eyes on the Pacific ocean.
Many of the park’s buildings were used by the U.S. military during WWII serving as operations, storage, and even makeshift barracks during the conflict in the Pacific. What is now the Naked Butterfly Garden was once home to a troupe of performing nudists, although today the park is a little more PG and family friendly. This sprawling complex is also home to the world famous Robert H. Fleet Science Center, which boasts the world’s first domed Omnimax theater.
San Diego Zoo
Located within Balboa Park is the world famous San Diego Zoological Park. It is one of the largest 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. The San Diego features African rain forest habitat, as well as a desert and even an arctic tundra habitat complete with polar bears!
The San Diego Zoo is also home to beautiful botanical gardens which are home to more than 4,500 species of plants, including orchids, fig trees, palms, and coral trees. The park also grows bamboo, eucalyptus, acacia, and hibiscus, which are used to feed the animals.
Gaslamp Quarter Nightlife
This historic 16 block quarter is also home to some of the hottest music venues, bars, and restaurants in san diego. The area, originally known as the “stingaree” was once a disreputable area that had fallen into disrepair during the mid 20th Century and remained that way until Councilman Tom Hom organized concerned local business owners to initiate a change for the better. The creation of the modern Gaslamp quarter arose from a community decision to create a Victorian themed 16 ½ block area spanning from the bay to Broadway between 4th and 6th Avenues. Brick sidewalks were laid out and faux gas lamps erected in order to enhance the historical feel of the neighborhood.
When the sun goes down and the lamps are lit, the Gaslamp comes alive as a playground for adults. At popular San Diego nightclubs and bars you can find live music performances and headliners from today’s top DJs and performers, as well as huge dance floors.
The Gaslamp district is also home to hundreds of one of a kind restaurants and shops where you can get a delicious bite to eat, or shop for the perfect outfit. You’re sure to find something you love in the Gaslamp.
Beautiful Natural Beaches
San Diego is home to more than 70 miles of beautiful beaches like the stunning La Jolla Cove. Nestled between sandstone cliffs, this hidden pearl of a beach gives way to the deep, gorgeous blue-green waters of the bay, where snorkelers and scuba drivers can explore waters teeming with marine life, thanks to the area’s inclusion in the La Jolla Underwater Park Ecological Reserve.
Just north of La Jolla Cove is La Jolla Shores, a mile-long stretch of sand is known for its gentle waves, so it’s an ideal spot for beginner surfers, families with young swimmers, and boaters alike, as it’s the only beach in city limits with a boat launch.
Diversity of Culture
What really makes San Diego truly special, is its rich diversity and blend of cultures. San Diego, since it’s origins, has been a true american melting pot. A unique mix of cultures and people from all across the world call San Diego their home, the result of the amalgamation of so many different walks of life make for an atmosphere that is quintessentially Californian.
There is so much to do in San Diego, that even locals who live there for their whole lives can’t experience everything the city has to offer. The unique local culture and attractions, as well as the beautiful wildlife and beautiful beaches truly make San Diego “America’s Finest City”
San Diego is a wonderful place to visit, and an even more wonderful place to live. It’s many amenities and attractions, as well as the year round beautiful weather mean that there is always something to do for locals and tourists alike.
Have you ever been to San Diego? What were the best attractions to see when you were there? Leave us a comment with your favorites in the section below.