Living in San Diego: Things to Do and See in San Diego, California

Downtown San Diego—A Vibrant Urban Paradise

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Everything You Wanted to Know About San Diego

Downtown San Diego, framed by the breathtaking San Diego harbor, is one of most beautiful cityscapes in the world. Known for its idyllic year-round climate and myriad of world-class family attractions, this vibrant urban metropolis is home to eight distinctive neighborhoods, including Core, Columbia, Cortez Hill, East Village, Gaslamp Quarter, Horton Plaza, Little Italy and Marina.


The schools in the area mirror the rich diversity of the neighborhoods, offering choices in public and private education including alternative and charter schools, as well as a virtual academy for high school students.


The Gaslamp Quarter is a 16.5 block historic district, bustling with restaurants, nightclubs, entertainment and shops. PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, is located in Gaslamp, as is the USS Midway Museum, which displays the city’s rich Navy history. Little Italy features a vibrant dining scene, while outdoor recreation, public art, and nautical history are characteristic of the Marina district.


“There is simply no other community like downtown San Diego in my opinion,” says downtown specialist and Willis Allen REALTOR®, Pat Edmondson. “I call it a small town-big city because it is so friendly,” she adds. “What I really enjoy is the ‘walkability’ of the city—everything here is accessible without a car. You can get to work, shopping, schools, recreation, entertainment, public transportation and much more, all on foot.”

What Is the History of San Diego?

In 1869 Alonzo Horton, whom many consider the father of San Diego, built a wharf at the foot of Fifth Avenue to the tune of about US$45,000. On March 24, he sold US$5,500 worth of commercial and residential lots in one day, and San Diego began to boom. It took more than a hundred years for the revitalization to really catch on. But today San Diego has been transformed into one of the country’s newest and most dynamic metropolitan areas.

How Many People Live in San Diego?

Population: 28,000

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