San Diego is a major tourist destination, attracting visitors from all
over the world. Among the many attractions are its beaches, and climate,
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California is one of the largest,
most progressive zoos in the world. It is a private zoo, owned and maintained
by the nonprofit Zoological Society of San Diego.
The Zoo advertises high-profile animal exhibits like its panda, polar
bear, tiger and gorilla exhibits in the same breathless way that nearby
amusement parks (such as Disneyland) tout roller coasters. It uses the
profits from its attractions to maintain the animals and support zoological
education, science and conservation. For example, it maintains the Center
for the Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES), literally the last
chance for many species.
The cool, sunny maritime climate is well suited to many plants and animals.
Besides an extensive collection of birds, reptiles and mammals, it also
maintains its grounds as an arboretum, with a rare plant collection. As
part of its gardening effort, it raises some rare animal foods. For example,
the Zoo raises bamboo for the pandas on long-term loan from China, and
it maintains eucalyptus trees to feed its koalas.
San Diego Wild Animal Park
The San Diego Wild Animal Park is one of the main tourist attractions
of San Diego and Southern California. It houses a variety of wild and
endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia,
Europe, North and South America, and Australia. The park is in a semi-arid
environment and one of its most notable features is its large, natural
looking enclosures for the animals. The enclosures hold such animals as
cheetahs, gazelles, lions, giraffes, hippos, zebras, Przewalski's horses,
rhinos, and gorillas. The park is also noted for its California condor
breeding program, possibly the most successful program in the country.
Mission Bay Park
Mission Bay Park is a recreational park south of the Pacific
Beach community of San Diego, California. Wakeboarding, Jet Skiing, and
camping are popular on the bay. With miles of light color sandy beaches
and an equally long pedestrian path, it is equally suitable for cycling,
jogging or sunbathing.
The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park recreates life in
the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872. San Diego became
California's first Spanish settlement when a mission and fort were established
in 1769. Five original adobes are part of the complex, which includes
shops, restaurants and a museum. Other historic buildings include a schoolhouse,
a blacksmith shop, San Diego's first newspaper office, and a stable with
a carriage collection.
SeaWorld is a chain of theme parks in the United States, with
operations in Orlando, Florida, San Diego, California, and San Antonio,
Texas. The parks feature killer whale, sea lion and dolphin shows and
zoological displays featuring various other marine animals. The parks'
icon is Shamu the killer whale.
SeaWorld parks also feature a variety of thrill rides, including roller
coasters like Kraken at SeaWorld Orlando and The Steel Eel at SeaWorld
San Antonio. Journey to Atlantis, a combination roller coaster and splashdown
ride, can be found at both SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego. The
parks are owned by Busch Entertainment Corp., the family entertainment
division of Anheuser-Busch, which is best known for brewing beer but also
owns nine theme parks. One of the biggest attractions is the Shark Encounter,
in which guests are carried through a submerged acrylic tube into the
Torrey Pines Golf Course
Torrey Pines Golf Course is a public golf course owned by the
city of San Diego, California. It sits on the coastal cliffs overlooking
the Pacific Ocean in the community of La Jolla south of Torrey Pines State
Reserve. It has two famous golf courses, the North Course and the South
Course. The South Course was designed by William F. Bell and redesigned
by Rees Jones in 2001. It is now a par 72 course at 7,607 yards in length
from the back tees.
Torrey Pines State Reserve
Torrey Pines State Reserve is located within San Diego, California
city limits and yet remains one of the wildest stretches of land on the
Southern California coast. Two thousand acres (8 km²) of land are
as they were before San Diego was developed—with the chaparral plant
community, the rare Torrey Pine trees, miles of unspoiled beaches, and
a lagoon that is vital to migrating seabirds. There are eight miles of
trails, a visitor center, and guided nature walks on weekends and holidays.
The Gaslamp Quarter is a historic section of downtown San Diego,
California. The area is named for the gas lamps that line the streets
and still provide nighttime lighting. The district's aging buildings are
Victorian Era-themed, but are still in use. The Quarter is home to many
popular attractions, including numerous shops, nightclubs, and PETCO Park,
home of the San Diego Padres.
PETCO Park is an open-air stadium in downtown San Diego, California.
Opened in 2004, it replaced Qualcomm Stadium as the home park of the San
Diego Padres. The stadium is named after the pet food retailer PETCO,
which paid for the naming rights. The construction cost of over $450 million
was partially funded by the San Diego.
Qualcomm Stadium, formerly known as San Diego Stadium and Jack
Murphy Stadium, is a multiple-use stadium in San Diego, California. It
is the current home of the San Diego Chargers of the NFL, the San Diego
State University Aztecs college football team and hosts the Pacific Life
Holiday Bowl college football game every December. Until 2003, it served
as the home of the San Diego Padres in Major League Baseball. The stadium
has hosted three Super Bowl games — Super Bowl XXII in 1988, Super
Bowl XXXII ten years later, and Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. In the early
1960’s, local sportswriter Jack Murphy, the brother of New York
Mets broadcaster Bob Murphy, began to build up support for a multipurpose
stadium for San Diego. In November of 1965, a $27 million bond was passed
allowing construction to begin on a stadium. Construction on the stadium
began one month later. When completed, the facility was named San Diego
Balboa Park is a 1,200 acres (4.9 km²) urban cultural park
in San Diego, California. Unlike some city parks, such as New York's Central
Park, which is mostly free of buildings in favor of open space and recreational
fields, Balboa Park is a cultural complex. Besides open areas and natural
vegetation, it contains a variety of cultural attractions including museums,
theaters, gardens, shops and restaurants as well as the world-renowned
San Diego Zoo.
Little Italy is a a San Diego neighborhood just north of downtown. There
has recently been a great deal of loft and condo construction in that
area, and it is close to the San Diego downtown Santa Fe Train Depot.
In the earlier part of the 20th century, Little Italy was a home to many
of the Italian and Portuguese fishermen that sailed from San Diego bay
in search of tuna and other deep-sea sport- and commercial catches. With
the construction of Interstate 5 through the middle of the area in the
early 1970's, the neighborhood was disrupted, but has seen a recent renaissance
as a restaurant district specializing (obviously) in Italian food and
memorabilia. Close to many businesses and new residences, Little Italy
is an increasingly popular destination for those in town on vacation,
or business people out for lunch. The restaurants stay busy around noon
and after 5 on most weekdays, but the neighborhood is otherwise quiet,
and well maintained by a neighborhood organization that looks after trash
collection, decorations, and special events. The Little Italy board also
maintains esthetic standards on new construction, mandating at least pseudo-mediterranean
Mission Beach Roller Coaster
The Mission Beach Roller Coaster, known as the Giant Dipper, is a wooden
roller coaster, built in 1925. The Giant Dipper is in Belmont Park, right
on Mission Beach in San Diego.
Mission San Diego de Alcala
Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded on July 16, 1769 in what
is now the city of San Diego, California. It was founded by Father Junípero
Serra. It was the first mission in the 21-mission chain in Alta California,
and today known as the "Mother of the Alta California Missions"
and "California's First Church." It was named for Saint Didacus
of Alcalá. Due to the mistreatment of the local Kumeyaay (Diegueños),
the locals rebelled against Spanish rule, and attacked the mission on
November 5, 1775. Father Luis Jayme, who had been left behind to run the
mission while Father Serra moved on to found other missions, was killed.
Peace eventually settled over the area, and by 1797, there were approximately
1,400 Kumeyaay living in the vicinity of the mission. Wheat, corn, wine
grapes, barley, beans, cattle, horses, and sheep were the major crops
of the Spanish mission. In 1795 a system of aqueducts was begun to bring
water to the fields and the mission. After Mexico gained its independence
from Spain, it decided that it was not profitable to maintain the missions.
The missions were offered for sale to the natives, who were unable to
come up with the price, so the mission's property was broken up into ranchos
and sold to Mexican citizens. In 1846 the Mission San Diego de Alcalá
was given to Santiago Arguello. When the United States took over California,
the mission was used by the military from 1846 to 1862. In 1863, President
Abraham Lincoln signed an act declaring that all of the missions would
become the property of the Catholic Church and have remained so since
When the Mission San Diego de Alcalá was granted back to the Church,
it was in ruins. In the 1880s Father Anthony Ubach began to restore the
old mission buildings. He died in 1907, however, and the restoration stopped
until 1931. In 1941 the mission once again became a parish church. In
1976, Pope Paul VI designated the mission church as a Minor Basilica.
The mission is still an active parish serving San Diego.
Star of India
Star of India was built in 1863 as Euterpe, a full-rigged iron ship in
Ramsey, Isle of Man. After a full career, Euterpe was purchased in 1901
by the Alaska Packers Association, who rerigged her as a barque. In 1902,
she began sailing from Oakland, California to the Bering Sea each spring,
returning each fall with holds full of canned salmon. In 1906, the Association
changed her name to be consistent with the rest of their fleet, and Euterpe
became Star of India.
USS Midway (CVB/CVA/CV-41) was an aircraft carrier of the United States
Navy, the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after
the end of World War II. Active in the Vietnam War, as of 2004 she is
a museum ship in San Diego, California.
Mount Soledad is a prominent landmark in the city of San Diego, California.
The 822-foot-tall hill lies between Interstate 5 to the east and the Pacific
Ocean to the west. It is mostly within the community of La Jolla where
the northern and eastern slopes form a sharp escarpment along the Rose
Canyon Fault. The community of Pacific Beach is on the gentler southern
slope. There are several radio and television transmitters located on
the summit including television channels 8 and 10, the CBS and ABC affiliates
respectively. Commercial aircraft approaching San Diego from the direction
of Los Angeles often use Mt. Soledad as their point to start the downwind
leg of their approach to San Diego International Airport.
Just east of the summit of Mt. Soledad is a Korean War Memorial with a
43-foot-tall cross as its centerpiece. The City of San Diego was the target
of a lawsuit in 1989 charging that the presence of the cross violated
the California Constitution.
Point Loma is a scenic hill that sits atop San Diego Bay. Point Loma's
well known landmark is the Cabrillo National Monument, named after Juan
Rodríguez Cabrillo of Spain, the first European explorer to discover
San Diego Bay. The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is part of the monument,
where visitors tour the historic lighthouse that guided ships through
the San Diego Bay from 1855 to 1891.
Jack Murphy Field at Qualcomm Stadium (Football & Soccer)
Petco Park (Baseball)
iPayOne Center (Formerly the San Diego Sports Arena) (Hockey, Arena Football,
Cox Arena at Aztec Bowl (Basketball)
Tony Gwynn Stadium (Baseball)