Back in the day, the Kumeyaay and the San Dieguito Indians were the early inhabitants of what is now known as San Diego County. The Spanish came to town in the 1600’s and were later responsible for building the “Mother of the Missions” (the first of the twenty-one California missions) in 1769. Mexico took over for a little bit in 1821 and then in 1847, San Diego went back to American rule. Fast forward to 1867 (and in the new sights of a wealthy businessman named Alonzo Horton) and the true development of this city began.
Today, San Diego is arguably one of the BEST cities on the planet, best known for its “perfect” weather. Located on the scenic, southern coast of California, it is currently the eighth largest city in the United States and the second largest city in the state. And due to all of its positive attributes, it is also one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.
The naysayers will say that San Diego does not get enough rain but the rest of us (almost all 3.1 million of its residents) will just roll our eyes because the Vitamin D that emits from the continued sunshine (331 sunny days last year, by our own unofficial study) makes us generally happier beings.
San Diego is also known for its deep-water harbor, extensive beaches (more than 70 miles worth), over 90 respectable golf courses, and loads of designated hiking, biking, equestrian trails/scenic paths around the county. Tourism brings continues to be a major industry owing to the city’s numerous original attractions such as Balboa Park (home of the historic 1915 Panama-California Exposition), the Belmont/”Giant Dipper” roller coaster (which opened in 1925), Old Town, Hotel Del Coronado, the famed San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (the original breeding operation for the zoo and formerly known as “The Wild Animal Park”) as well as more recent staples like SeaWorld/Aquatica, La Jolla’s Birch Aquarium and Legoland California Resort. There is a reason ComicCon creators wanted to have their event in our city…and our visiting parties drop over $8 billion annually.
So yes, while there is plenty of recreation going on here, we do also work to earn our keep. San Diego has long-term associations with the US Navy and Marine Corps and is enjoying a recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center. Major companies that have their headquarters here in San Diego include Qualcomm, Sempra Energy, Jack-in-the-Box, Illumina, General Atomics, Solar Turbines, Cubic Corporation and Reef Sandals (of course). And to toot our own horn even more, Forbes.com commented recently that San Diego is also the best place to launch a start-up or run a small business. Boom. There you have it.