San Diego

San Diego

[san dee-ey-goh]
San Diego, city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay.


San Diego is the second largest city in California and the seventh largest in the United States, and has an excellent natural harbor. It is an important port of entry; a shipping and receiving point for S California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico's Baja California; and headquarters for the 11th U.S. naval district. San Diego has large aerospace, electronic, and shipbuilding industries, and is an important center for the wireless communications industry, biomedical research, biotechnology industries, and oceanography. It is also a distribution and processing point for a highly productive agricultural area. Other manufactures include industrial instruments and machinery, computer hardware and software, apparel, and processed foods. Tourism is an important element in the economy; the city has a delightful climate, miles of beaches, historic attractions, and a proximity to Mexico.

Landmarks and Institutions

San Diego is a cultural, educational, and medical center. Its many health facilities include large naval and veterans hospitals. It is the seat of the Univ. of California at San Diego with its Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego State Univ., the Univ. of San Diego, Alliant International Univ., and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Balboa Park contains an art gallery, several museums (including an aerospace museum), and the enormous San Diego Zoo. Some buildings from the Panama-California International Exposition (1915-16) and the California Pacific International Exposition (1935-36) remain, and there is a spectacular aquatic park.

Also of interest are Cabrillo National Monument and Mission San Diego de Alcalá (restored). Parts of Old Town are now a state historical park. Qualcomm Stadium is home for the city's professional baseball (the Padres) and football (the Chargers) teams. The San Diego Yacht Club, representing the United States, won the America's Cup in 1987, successfully defended it in 1988 and 1992, then lost it in 1995. The city also has an international airport.


The city is located on the site of the first European settlement in California. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay in 1542 and claimed the land for Spain. In 1769 Junípero Serra, a Franciscan missionary, established Mission San Diego de Alcalá and dedicated the Presidio, the first Spanish fort in California. By 1830 most of the people were living in what is now Old Town. It was under Mexican jurisdiction from 1822, when Mexico won independence from Spain, until 1846, when it was captured by a U.S. naval force. The city's population surged when the Santa Fe RR arrived in 1884.

San Diego became an important U.S. naval base during World War I; later, other branches of the military established bases there. In the 1950s, this concentration of military installations gave rise to San Diego's aerospace industry. The diversification of San Diego's economic base in the latter part of the 20th cent. contributed to its rapid growth. An urban revitalization effort begun in the 1980s included Horton Plaza, an expansive shopping mall that won acclaim for its dramatic architecture, as well as the inauguration of a trolley system.


See M. McKeever, A Short History of San Diego (1985); D. Berger et al., San Diego: Where Tomorrow Begins (1987); P. R. Pryde, ed., San Diego (3d rev. ed. 1992).

Pacific Beach is a neighborhood of San Diego, bounded by La Jolla to the north, Mission Beach to the south, Interstate 5 and Clairemont to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. While largely populated by surfers and college students, the population is becoming more professional and affluent, due to rising property and rental costs.

"PB", as it is known by local residents, is also one of San Diego's more popular nightlife areas, with dozens of bars, cafes, and eateries lining both the main east-west street Garnet Avenue, and Mission Boulevard, which runs north-south.


Pacific Beach has miles of shoreline and beaches along the Pacific Ocean to the west and Mission Bay to the South. The boardwalk overlooking the Pacific Ocean runs from Palisades Park South at Beryl Street in Northern Pacific Beach, to Mission Beach, the neighborhood and beach directly to the south.

There is also a sidewalk along Mission Bay which runs around Crown Point through Sail Bay and Mission Beach. The boardwalk is typically crowded with pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers, and shoppers. The beach scene revolves around Crystal Pier, a large pier and hotel at the west end of Garnet Avenue.


As of 2008, alcohol is illegal on the sand beach in Pacific Beach. A referendum will appear on the November 2008 ballot to decide whether the ban will continue.


Effective August 17, 2006, after months of legal debating and thoughts of exceptions, the City of San Diego banned smoking at all city beaches and parks. As of the summer of 2007, smoking on the boardwalk is prohibited as well.


The primary north-south street running along near the beach is Mission Boulevard. The other parallel streets are all named after late 19th century federal officials, in alphabetical order as they move further from the coast: Bayard, Cass, Dawes, Everts, Fanuel, Gresham, Haines, Ingraham, Jewell, Kendall, Lamont, Morrell, Noyes, Olney, Pendelton. Mission Boulevard was formerly Allison Street, being the "A" street of the series.

The east-west streets are named after precious stones, and are roughly in alphabetical order from north to south (two of which are officially misspelled -- Felspar (should be Feldspar) and Hornblend (should be Hornblende):

Other east-west streets also named after stones are not in alphabetical order including: Sapphire, Tourmaline, Opal and Turquoise.

1Despite the fact that Garnet Avenue is surrounded by streets named after other stones, many San Diego residents pronounce it like the surname "Garnette" /gɑrˈnɛt/, instead of the stone "garnet" /ˈgɑr.nɪt/.


Pacific Beach was developed during the boom years of 1886-1888 by D. C. Reed, A. G. Gassen, Charles W. Pauley, R. A. Thomas, and O. S. Hubbell. It was Hubbell who "leared away the grainfields, pitched a tent, mapped out the lots, hired an auctioneer and started to work." To attract people, they built the Race Track and San Diego College of Letters, neither of which survive today. A railway also connected Pacific Beach with downtown San Diego, and was later extended to La Jolla.

Bars and nightlife

Pacific Beach is one of the main centers of nightlife in San Diego. Garnet Avenue between Ingraham Street and Mission Blvd. is the main area where bars and restaurants are located. Pacific Beach tends to cater to a younger college- and post-college-oriented crowd, compared to downtown San Diego's Gaslamp District. Dress codes are generally less strict if they are enforced at all.

The bars in Pacific Beach can be busy on any given night of the week. Some of the popular bars of Pacific Beach:

Moondoggies: Large and very popular bar a block from the Ocean on Garnet, was once the Thursday night spot with it's "$2 You-Call-It's" until a slight decline over the last couple years. Was recently remodled and is now as busy as ever.

Pacific Beach Bar and Grill: Large popular bar with many different areas including Tremors dance club in the back. Can be busy any night of the week, especially Taco Tuesday. Also known for their Sunday Brunch. A favorite spot for the military.

Typhoon Saloon: Large bar that was formerly a bowling alley. Great atmosphere with live bands performing frequently in the back area. Can be busy any night of the week including Wednesday when Steel Panther (formerly known as Metal Skool) performs. Has been popular on Thursdays with $2 well drinks.

Johnny V: Newer large bar, downtown style. Slightly stricter on dress code and pricier than other bars in the area. Has large dance floor. Located just a couple blocks from the sand.

The Tavern: Medium sized bar, 5 blocks from the beach. Popular any day of the week including Monday's with "Shot and a Beer" drink specials.

Bar West: Built on the former site of Margarita Rocks, the only bar on Hornblend. Has downtown style with stricter dress code. Slightly pricier on the drinks, can be busy almost any night of the week.

Plum Crazy: Known locally as "Plum," this popular dive bar is a few blocks from the sand on Garnet. Home of the Philadelphia Eagles. Usually seems to start slow here, but by midnight is usually packed and often has a small line. A great "after-party" spot, has foosball and pool tables.

Bub's Dive: Next to Plum, another popular dive bar. Known for their tater tots. Biker's seems to especially like this place.

Cabo Cantina: Very popular day spot. Has lots of outdoor seating. Beer specials on Mexican beers, bathroom situation is not the greatest. Opens early closes early.

Longboards: Medium to large bar more inland from the rest. Usually more mellow than the other bars but very popular. Live bands often perform.

Silver Fox: More inland on Garnet, near the Vons shopping center. Underground dive bar. Usually has a funky smell and a little older crowd. Known for opening early for those who drink all night. Very crowded on Thursday nights for "$2 You-Call-It's".

Other PB bars include:

The Dog: Dive Bar on Everts

PB Shoreclub: On the boardwalk

Lahaina's: On the boardwalk

Open Bar: On Mission Blvd

Firehouse: On Mission Blvd

PB Alehouse: On Mission Blvd

Miller's Field: On Mission Blvd

Gringo's: Mexican Cantina on Mission and Garnet

Thrusters: Known for great drink specials. Friendly staff and fun atmosphere. Surf/Sports theme on Mission Blvd

Society: Pool hall on garnet

PB Pub: Dive bar

Tropicoso: on Garnet, no hard alcohol

Rocky's: On Ingraham

710 Beach Club: On the west end of Garnet, features live music

Cass Street Bar & Grill: On Cass Street, no hard alcohol but pool tables and good food

External links


To the North:
La Jolla
To the South
Mission Beach

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