San Diego has a perfect climate and a magnificent natural harbour. Shaped like a hook and protected by the peninsula of Coronado the bay forms a natural deep-water harbour where the second largest Californian City has grown. It is the sixth largest city in America. As well as its famous San Diego Zoo and Sea World Marine Park it has many museums and art galleries in the Balboa Park area. To the north of San Diego is the rugged coast with its beach resorts and wild reserves, including the well known beach resort of La Jolla. Situated four miles north of Mission Bay, La Jolla is a beautiful coastal resort set among cliffs and coves with many designer clothes shops and jewellers. To the east of the city are mountains giving way to the desert towards Palm Springs. South of the city is the Mexican town of Tijuana, a short trolley-ride away but be cautious and aware of pickpockets if you go there.

Not far from downtown San Diego is Mission Bay a very popular spot for recreation and an ideal spot to stay on holiday with its miles and miles of sandy beaches and it’s equally long pedestrian pathway. Sea World is close by and also Belmont Park which includes a restored wooden giant dipper dating from 1925 among other rides.

The spectacular Coronado Bay Bridge built in 1969, to replace a ferry service, takes you to Coronado Island where the Pacific shore has a wonderful beach and is dominated by the famous Hotel Del Coronado opened in 1888, with its many terraces and gables; a lovingly preserved grand Victorian seaside hotel.

Places to Visit

Enjoy the Water Sports, Sailing, Swimming and Belmont Amusement Park at Mission Bay. Visit Balboa Park, Sea World and the Famous Zoo. Take a trip Downtown – shop at The Horton Plazawalk round the old Gas Lamp Quarter. Take a drive or cab over the Coronado Bay Bridge and visit the famous Hotel Del Coronado – have lunch at their beachside café. Take a trip up the coast to La Jollla.

History

The bay of San Diego was discovered in 1542 by the Portuguese explorer Rodriguez Cabrillo and colonisation followed in 1769. San Diego was the first of twenty-one missions started in California by the Spanish friar Junipero Serra in 1769. The presidio and mission were built near the San Diego River in what is now the old town, 4 miles north of the present downtown area. In the 19th century gold prospectors, hide dealers and whalers visited San Diego bay. The US Navy arrived in 1904, making San Diego one of the most important naval centres in the world.

Modern San Diego began in 1870 when Alonzo Horton from San Francisco developed the town’s waterfront areas including the grid streets in the Gaslamp Quarter. The city’s main street is Broadway, dominated by the 1915 Spanish colonial style Santa Fe depot (station) at the western end. There are many award winning modern buildings in the downtown area including the Museum of Contemporary Art and the American Plaza. The Galleon style San Diego convention centre opened in 1989, overlooks San Diego Bay. Horton Plaza at Broadway built in 1985 and named after Alonzo Horton consists of 140 shops painted in various attractive pastel shades and is built on several interlocking levels. The Gaslamp Quarter once an area for notorious prostitution, gambling and drinking, was revitalised in the 1970s and is now a National Historic District.

Multi Centre Holidays including Cruising

Please contact me for advice concerning properties in San Diego.  A number of cruise itineraries now start at San Diego to the Mexican Riviera and some continue through the Panama Canal. At other times there are cruise departures to the Hawaiian Islands. San Diego can also form part of a multi centre itinerary taking in other centres like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs – either as a fly-drive or by air without the need for a car.

Click for San Diego Map

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Contact Simon at Designer Travel  Tailor-made Holidays & Cruises

Photo : SeaWorld  50

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