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San Diego Real Estate

Known as America’s Finest City, San Diego is one of the most desired spots to live in and to visit in the US. Located north of the Mexican border and south of Orange County, with the Pacific on its western shores and mountains and desert to the east, San Diego has had for most of its history a small-town feel. It was, and is, a place to go to enjoy life, to take advantage of the near-perfect Southern California weather, to raise a family, and to grow a business.

After World War II, San Diego began experiencing unprecedented growth and now has a population of over 1.3 million just in the city itself. With the county included, the region has over 4 million residents. San Diego is now the second largest city in California and the eighth in the United States.

San Diego Homes for Sale

Though the area was visited by Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo in 1542, and named by another explorer, Sebastian Vizcaino, in 1602, (after Saint Diducus--San Diego in Spanish), the town dates from 1769 when Fransiscan missionary Father Junipero Serra and a small contingent of Spanish missionaries, and troops led by Gaspar de Portola, came to the area from Baja California and established the first California mission, San Diego de Alcala, which is still a functioning church and popular tourist destination today.

When Fr. Serra and the Spanish arrived, they found many Indian villages and a people who had a thriving culture and who traded extensively throughout the southwest and California. The Kumeyaay Indian tribe was one of the most established nations in North America and there remains an Indian population today throughout the San Diego area who continue to celebrate their culture and history.

As the Mexican era ended after the Battle of San Pasqual, in the eastern backcountry of San Diego county in 1848, San Diego was incorporated as a city in 1850 and became the county seat. Significant development didn’t start though until the 1880s when Alonzo Horton and other developers began building the downtown area. The US Naval presence began in 1907, and two significant expositions in 1915 and 1935 established San Diego as a tourist destination. Many of the Spanish and Baroque-style buildings in Balboa Park date from those expositions, and are used today to house museums, art galleries, and shops.

Downtown San Diego continues to be a popular destination for conferences and conventions, as well as shoppers, theater-goers, and partiers. Significant development has occurred since the 1980s beginning with Horton Plaza, the revival of the Gaslamp Quarter, the construction of the San Diego Convention Center, and most notably the building of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, which has revitalized the downtown area and created a business corridor that now extends from the bayfront to Balboa Park.

San Diego’s economy, which has been supported mainly by the military and the aerospace industry since World War II, has in recent years become more diverse, with a huge influx of technology, computer, and telecommunications companies, such as Qualcomm, as well as a growing and healthy biotechnology and biosciences sector.

San Diego is served by Lindbergh Field, an international airport that is the busiest single-runway airport in the nation, and is located on San Diego Bay three miles from downtown. Plans are underway to expand the airport or possibly move it to another location in the county.

Still, a large portion of San Diego’s economy depends on military installations such as Camp Pendleton north of San Diego, the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar, and US Navy bases on Point Loma and in San Diego Bay, which is home to most of the Pacific fleet and submarines. Because of San Diego's military influence, major national defense contractors, such as General Atomics and Science Applications International Corporation are headquartered here. And one of the most popular tourist events is the annual Air Show at Miramar.

San Diego is known as a great place to raise a family. The city has had a declining crime rate since the early 1990s and in 2004 had the sixth-lowest crime rate of any US city over half a million residents. The San Diego Unified School District includes 113 elementary schools, 23 middle schools, 27 high schools and 25 charter schools. And there are other districts within the county, and nationally-known private schools.

There’s plenty for the kids and for you to do here too such as visit the San Diego Zoo, Seaworld, nearby Wild Animal Park and Legoland, the city's beaches and golf tournaments like the Buick Invitational in Torrey Pines, which will host the US Open in 2008. There are also museums such as the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the San Diego Museum of Man, and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

San Diego is also known for being a great sports town with the San Diego Padres having won the Western Division in Major League Baseball for the past two years, and the San Diego Chargers football team having a regular season record of 12-2 and making it to the playoffs. Plans are underway to build a football stadium in the greater San Diego area, which could host a Superbowl in the near future. College sports at San Diego State University and University of San Diego are also popular. Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn is the coach of the San Diego State Aztecs baseball team.

San Diego was also the place where the sport of Triathlon was born in the 1970s and the area continues to be a great place for running, swimming, biking, scuba diving, snorkeling, hang-gliding, and other extreme sports. The annual Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in the city draws 25,000 participants annually, and the San Diego Challenge Half-Ironman benefits challenged athletes and includes a swim in La Jolla cove, a 56-mile bike route through the county, and a half-marathon that finishes up back in La Jolla. The ARCO Olympic facility is in Chula Vista, which hosts US athletes training to win Olympic medals.

So, whether you want to visit San Diego, move your family here, or relocate a business, you’ll find the region to be a great place for any of those things, and a wonderful place to live life to its fullest. It truly is America’s Finest City.

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