Nestled between canyons and a large natural harbour, San Diego is one of America's fastest growing cities. It has a long history – it was the first city in California settled by Europeans – but is also known for high-tech research and manufacturing, particularly in the biological science and wireless technology industries. It is a major centre for naval, merchant and cruise shipping. The city was established by the Spanish and still has a large Hispanic community and close economic ties to the neighbouring regions of Mexico. Its beaches, nature reserves, and cultural offerings attract a large number of tourists, and the city is home to a significant number of hotels and resorts.
Location: America's Pacific border city
The city is located in Southern California, about 200 kilometres south of Los Angeles and just north of the Mexican-American border. The Mexican city of Tijuana is just 40 kilometres from the San Diego. Its western limits are defined by the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay. The Cuyamaca and Laguna Mountains lie to the east of the city.
Business: A military and trade hub with a high-tech edge
San Diego is home to the world's largest naval fleet and several military facilities, which are major drivers of economic activity in the city. It is also known as a biotechnology and healthcare hub, with large pharmaceutical companies such as Merck and Pfizer operating research facilities in the city here. Its deep-water port and proximity to the Mexican border also make it an important location for international trade and the cruise industry.
Culture: From beer to theatre, something for everyone
The city boasts a broad range of cultural offerings, from important museums, including the Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum, to the renowned Symphony and the acclaimed Old Globe Theatre. It is also home to a highly regarded craft brewing industry, the popular Comic-Con, and the International San Diego Black Film Festival.
Activities: Vibrant and close to nature
San Diego offers a wealth of activities for visitors. It boasts one the world's biggest zoos, and several large nature reserves, both in and around the city. The city's Torrey Pines Golf Course is a world-class facility and is open to the public. Meanwhile, beer fans can enjoy tours of the city's best breweries.