“California’s Birth Place”, as San Diego is known, has benefited from one of the best climates in the United States, along with a rich history starting with the Kumeyaay People, the arrival of Cabrillo, then the Republic of Mexico, and now the United States-all benefiting from it’s natural deep water Harbor and proximity to trading partner Mexico with which she shares it’s prosperous border. San Diego is 120 miles south of Los Angeles and is the second largest city in California. The eighth largest city in United States, San Diego has an estimated population of 1,481,069 and given its location immediately adjacent to the border of Mexico the San Diego-Tijuana conurbation makes it the second largest transborder agglomeration between the US and a bordering country after Detroit-Windsor.
San Diego is the seat of San Diego County and is a considerable economic engine as a center of international trade, military and defense related activities, biotechnology, manufacturing and tourism.
San Diego’s historic roots are still very much in evidence at the foot of Presidio Hill, where the original town’s center was. Now known as ‘Oldtown’ or Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, it’s picturesque adobes, refurbished barns and vintage Victorian structures remain largely unchanged as does an assortment of popular restaurants, shops, hotels and theaters attracting many tourists who enjoy the enchanting trip back through time and California’s colorful San Diego history.
Not far from historic ‘Old Town’ is one of the most grand and beautiful civic park complexes in any city in America, Balboa Park. Balboa Park has been home to the World Exposition of 1915, and two World’s Fairs: the Panama–California Exposition of 1915, and the California Pacific International Exposition of 1935. The exotic assortment of wild animals featured at the 1915 Exposition created the start of what is now known as one of the world’s foremost and important zoos, the famed San Diego Zoo.
As early as 1852 the southern portion of Point Loma Peninsula was set aside for military use. Over the next decades, the Army set up reinforcement coastal artillery batteries and called the area Fort Rosecrans. In 1901 the Navy started creating a significant presence with the establishment of the Navy Coaling Station in Point Loma. This is expanded eventually to Naval Base San Diego, the San Diego Naval Hospital, Camp Kearney, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Camp Matthews, and the Naval Training Center San Diego.
San Diego’s Deepwater Port has a direct and positive impact on the city’s economy. The only major shipbuilding and submarine yards on the West Coast are in San Diego and several major national defense contractors call the city home, including Cubic, General Atomics, and NASSCO. The largest naval fleet in the world also calls San Diego home, including the majority of the US Pacific Fleet’s surface combatants, all of the Navy’s West Coast amphibious ships and a variety of Military Sealift commands and Coast Guard vessels.
Given the city’s climate and many tourist attractions, San Diego is also a major tourist destination spot. Annually people from all over the world come to San Diego to enjoy Sea World San Diego, Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo, Mission San Diego de Alcala, Belmont Amusement Park or Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. San Diego hosted more than 34 million people visiting last year, collectively spending an estimated $8 billion dollars locally. Traditionally, tuna fishing and canning were major industries in San Diego, and Bumblebee Food and Chicken of the Sea still remain and thrive. An interesting attraction, Comic-Con International, the largest and most important of it’s kind in the world, attracts major stars from the motion picture and television industries every year to the striking San Diego Convention Center on the waterfront along with more than 130,000 comic book and fantasy film fans, many of whom dress in costume for the event. The San Diego Convention Center is a beautiful 2,600,000 square foot facility, designed like a sailing ship that stands out on the waterfront and attracts 849,000 visitors a year annually who spend 600 million dollars in attendee spending, and contribute 1 billion to the local economy. The Convention Center was the home of the 1996 Republican National Convention, and the 2007 California Democratic Party Convention.
Also thriving in San Diego are high tech and biotech companies such as ESET, Kyocera International, Nokia, Cricket Communications, Novatel, Qualcomm, Websense Inc., Nventa Biopharmaceuticals, Neurocrine Biosciences, Intuit, Semantic, Mitchell International, Axure, Aonix, Sempra Energy, Envision Solar, Allerca, InvivoGen, Amlyn Pharmaceuticals Mindtouch, Resmed, Accelrys, AltexSoft, Illumina, Sequenom, Nuvasive, Silicon Beach, Mobile One, GenMark Diagnostics, Skyriver, PETCO, Mindtouch, Veoh, Dexcom, Genesee Scientific, Quidel Corporation and Solar Turbines, among many others in this dynamic city and surrounding areas.
For sports fans, San Diego’s QUALCOMM Stadium, Home of three NFL Super Bowl Championships, Plus college football’s Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl, hosts the NFL San Diego Chargers. Downtown’s popular new Petco Park hosts Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres. There are also three NCAA Universities in San Diego, the NCAA Division I San Diego State Aztecs, and their men’s and women’s basketball games are played at Viejas Arena. In professional golf, the Farmers Insurance Open of the PGA Tour happens every year at the scenic Torrey Pines Golf Course, Site of the 2008 US Open Golf Championship. The San Diego yacht club hosted the America’s Cup three times as well in San Diego from 1988 to 1995. The Over-the-Line Volleyball Championships are held at Mission Bay every year-the scene where that sport was invented.
Colleges and Universities of note in San Diego include: San Diego State University, or SDSU, San Diego City College, San Diego Community College District, University of California San Diego, or UCSD, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, Chapman University San Diego Christian College, University of San Diego, or USD, California International Business University, or CIBU, California College San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, or PLNU, National University, Alliant International University, or AIU, John Paul the Great Catholic University, University of Redlands School of Business, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, or FIDM, Coleman University, Design Institute of San Diego, or DISD, the Art Institute of California, UEI College, Platt College, New school of Architecture and Design, Pacific Oaks College, Southern States University, or SSU, the UCSD School of Medicine, California Western School of Law, Woodberry University, University of San Diego School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and the Western Sierra Law school.
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