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San Diego History





San Diego History


In 1542, Portuguese sailor Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo landed near the tip of Point Loma and claimed the Pacific coast for Spain. Some 227 years after explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo landed, the Portolá expedition built a presidio and Padre Serra founded California’s first mission. On the site of that first settlement in Presidio Park stands the Junipero Serra Museum 2727 Presidio Dr. San Diego, Ca. Phone: 1-619-297-3258. Closed Mon.; adm. fee), which focuses on the period before the American conquest. The city remained isolated until the transcontinental railroad arrived in 1885, then grew during World War I as a Navy home port.

The 1915 Panama-California Exposition took place at Balboa Park (Laurel St. between Park and 6th Aves. San Diego, Ca. Phone: 1-619-239-0512), where fine Spanish revival buildings remain. (Visitor Center, Horton Plaza at 1st Ave. and F St. San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-236-1212 ) Highlights of San Diego Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá (10818 San Diego Mission Rd. San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-281-8449. Adm. fee) Dating from 1774, this plain white mission features a wall of bells and Padre Serra’s original quarters. Built in 1769 under the direction of Father Junâpero Serra, and the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (4002 Wallace St. San Diego, Ca. Phone: 1-619-220-5422), which dates back to 1821, shortly after Mexico gained independence from Spain.

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park (Off I-5 at Old Town Ave. Visitor Center at Robinson-Rose House. San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-220-5422) Surrounded by adobe-and-wood buildings, this plaza is an outdoor museum of mid-19th-century San Diego. Highlights include the 1867 Seeley Stable, with its collection of stagecoaches and Western gear, and the furnished 1827 adobe hacienda of a presidio comandante.

Gaslamp Quarter (Bounded by 4th and 6th Aves., Broadway, and Harbor Dr.) The 16-block national historic district known as the Gaslamp Quarter (Between 4th and 6th Aves. from Broadway to Harbor Dr.), with its many 1880s Victorian commercial buildings, was once the site of San Diego’s notorious red-light district. In its heyday the Gaslamp Quarter counted more than 70 saloons and 120 bawdy houses, as well as opium dens, dance halls, and gambling houses. For information on walking tours, contact the Gaslamp Quarter Association (614 5th St. Suite E. San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-233-5227. Adm. fee). Saturday walking tours leave the William Heath Davis House Museum (410 Island Ave. San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-233-4692. Adm. fee), a New England saltbox house shipped around Cape Horn in 1850.

Cabrillo National Monument (1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr. San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-557-5450. Adm. fee) Located on the lofty point where Cabrillo first made landfall are a Visitor Center focused on Spanish exploration and the 1855 Old Point Loma Lighthouse, which has been refurbished. Cabrillo National Monument commemorates Cabrillo’s discovery; this is also a favorite spot to view the gray whale migrations in spring and fall.

In 1868, San Diego set aside 1,400 acres of cactus and chaparral as a public park. Today Balboa Park San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-239-0512), the city’s most elegant public space, provides a lush setting for serene gardens, striking architecture, picnic grounds, golf courses, and the world-class San Diego Zoo San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-234-3153. Adm. fee), which showcases pygmy chimps, sun bears from Malaysia, and 22 new aviaries called the Wings of Australasia. This most famous Zoo in the World, features over 4,000 rare birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians await you, with over 100 acres of award-winning gardens, entertaining tours and shows. Another star attraction, the Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater and Science Center (619-238-1233. Adm. fee) houses an Omnimax theater and hands-on exhibits. Also on the grounds are the Museum of Photographic Arts . San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-238-7559. Adm. fee), the Natural History Museum . San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-232-3821. Adm. fee), the Model Railroad Museum (San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-696-0199. Closed Mon.-Tues.; adm. fee), and the San Diego Museum of Art San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-232-7931. Closed Mon.; adm. fee).

Down on the Embarcadero waterfront, sailors will delight in the three historic ships moored at the Maritime Museum 1492 N. Harbor Drive. San Diego, Ca Phone: 1-619-234-9153. Adm. fee): the 1863 tall ship Star of India (the oldest iron-hulled vessel afloat), the 1898 San Francisco Bay ferry Berkeley, and the 1904 steam-powered yacht Medea.

San Diego is home of the most consistent and beautiful weather in the world. You can enjoy the fresh air from the ocean, or on many large and clean beaches. View the many spectacular sunsets that are created here. There are so many things to do in San Diego all within minutes by car, bus and the transit system. With so many things to see and do in paradise you will want to make plans. Here are Ninety Nine suggested things to do in San Diego, California.

1  Leave a Foot Print in the Sand
2  Take a Harbor Cruise
3  Learn to Surf
4  Ride a Rollercoaster
5  Go Deep-Sea Fishing
6  Take a Glider Flight
7  Ride on a Biplane
8  Go to A Place of Refuge
9  Camp On A Beach
10  Get a Suntan
11  Hike The San Dieguito Trail
12  Ride Aboard A Hot Air Balloon
13  Golf An Eagle
14  Feed the Seagulls
15  View San Diego From Mt Soladad
16  Hideaway at Black’s Beach
17  Bike or Skate Along A Boardwalk
18  Hang Loose With The Canines At Dog Beach
19  Take A Dinner Cruise
20  Go On An Trolley Tour
21  Visit The Coronado Hotel
22  Explore a Canyon
23  Learn To Skateboard
24  Sail Around The Bay
25  Learn to SCUBA
26  Swim in a Pool
27  Take A Hiking Tour
28  Visit Haunted Houses
29  Whale Watch
30  Eat Really Good Pie
31  Explore Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
32  Cruise The Coastline
33  Experience Kayaking
34  Fly Aboard a Biplane
35  Tour Aboard A Boatcar
36  Find Tranquility
37  View The Carlsbad Flower Fields
38  Go Fly A Kite
39  Go On A 4-Wheel Drive Adventure
40  See the Desert
41  Tour The National Tropical Botanical Gardens
42  Browse Art Galleries
43  Watch a Drone or RC Plane Fly
44  Parrot and Bird Watch
45  Experience SCUBA Diving
46  Take A Wagon Ride
47  Spend The Day In La Jolla
48  Go Shelling On a Beach
49  Tour SD Movie Locations
50  Visit the Harbor For The Day
51  Experience a Tiger
52  Ride The Coast Trolley
53  Go Eco-Trekking
54  Have a Nice Picnic
55  Ride aboard an Old Vintage Carousel
56  See Performing Arts
57  Lay Back In A Hammock
58  Go Seal Viewing
59  Take A Nature Hike
60  See The Sunset from Many Piers
61  Go Hiking
62  Visit San Diego’s Missions
63  Tour An Old Ship
64  Shop San Diego
65  View the Ocean from a Lighthouse
66  Buy Inexpensive Beach Items
67  Discover The Gas Lamp District
68  Walk Along A Trail Next To The Ocean
69  Take A Walking Tour Of Old Town
70  Visit an Art Museum
71  See the Nightlife
72  Check Out Free Museums On Tuesday
73  Catch A Large Format Star Show
74  Wander Through Farmer’s Market On Wednesdays In OB
75  Peer Into A Tidal Pool
76  Acquire Peace in The Japanese Friendship Garden
77  Visit Balboa Park
78  Ride A Horse
79  Go Wine Tasting
80  Experience the IMAX Superdome Theater
81  Go Bass Fishing
82  Take The Family To a Family Park
83  Hunt For Deals At Swap Meets
84  Shop And Dine Seaport Village
85  San Diego On A Sightseeing Bus
86  Be A Kid At Legoland
87  Attend a Puppet Show
88  Ride Aboard A Miniature Train
89  Find Hidden Hideaways
90  Enjoy A Day At Horton Plaza
91  Hike To A Hidden Beach
92  Spend Time Peering From A Mountain
93  Take The Kids To A Lake or Park
94  Dream Away At The Bay
95  Take A Historical Journey
96  View San Diego from Above
97  Go Camping In the Great Outdoors
98  Try A Taste Of Broadway
99  Dance The Night Away




















































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