San Diego is situated perfectly along the Pacific coastline just 20 miles north of the Mexican Border and 100 miles south of Los Angeles. With a topography that includes nearly 70 miles of beaches, mountainous and desert areas, San Diego remains a top tourist destination with more than 25 million visitors each year. The near perfect climate allows for year-round activities for many unique outdoor enthusiasts.
UC San Diego is located just minutes from sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, rowing, jet-skiing and scuba diving. The city's many beaches are ideal spots for surfing, body boarding, snorkeling, beach volleyball or simply soaking up the sun.
The mild climate and lack of rain provide a perfect hotspot for bicycling and running enthusiasts and several road races are held throughout the year. The weather also accommodates the golf enthusiasts with several beautiful courses, including the well-known Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Hundreds of miles of trails and parks wind throughout San Diego County - from oceanfront land to mountain pine forests, making it very easy to backpack, hike, camp or rock climb in a variety of elevations and environments.
The Pacific Crest Trail, which works its way through 150 miles of San Diego backcountry in its trek from Mexico to Canada, is designated one of America 's National Scenic Trails. Torrey Pines State Reserve has several scenic hiking trails that sport magnificent flowers from late February into late May, as well as some breath-taking ocean views and dramatically sculptured ravines.
Various glider ports, including the most spectacular launching site atop the sandstone Torrey Pines Cliffs near La Jolla, offer outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity for a spectacular view through hang gliding or paragliding.
San Diego has many other attractions, including the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, Sea World and the 130-year-old Balboa Park - a 1,200-acre park in the heart of the city complete with 15 museums, eight gardens and the acclaimed Old Globe Theatre.
Through various cruise ships, visitors may witness the annual migration of gray whales from Alaskan seas to Mexican lagoons.
To obtain a sense of artistic and cultural life in San Diego, movie listings, theater events, upcoming concerts, featured restaurants, and other anticipated events are featured in the San Diego Reader or at Sign On San Diego.
Yearly events include the San Diego Film Festival, Street Scene, an annual rock concert festival and the summertime Del Mar Races. The city's professional sports include the San Diego Padres, San Diego Chargers, San Diego Sockers and the San Diego Gulls.
As California's first city, San Diego has a rich heritage reaching back to the days of 16th century Spanish explorers. With these roots, a Spanish influence is felt deeply in the community. This is most characteristically
exemplified in Old Town San Diego, a cultural and entertainment center.
Today's San Diego is ethnically diverse with a countywide population of 2.9 million residents. Events around the county celebrate this diversity, such as Fiestas Patrias, a traditional Mexican Independence Day celebration in Old Town, the weekly cultural programs sponsored by the 26-nation House of Pacific Relations in Balboa Park and the San Diego Multicultural Festival, held downtown each year. Neighborhoods across the county celebrate their cultural roots with annual festivals that are open to the public.