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  San Francisco

San Diego is a city of different flavors and topography. A coastal city in Southern California located close to the Mexico boarder gives San Diego a mild year-round climate, its natural deep-water harbor, and its long association with the U.S. Navy. The city is comprised of canyons and hills giving parts of the city a segmented feel, creating gaps between otherwise proximate neighborhoods. San Diego hosts an array of activities with SeaWorld, Comic-Con, the 4th largest Pride celebration held annually in July, the world famous San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and the Marina.

San Diego was originally centered in the Old Town district, located at the foot of Presidio Hill in the area which is now Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Old Town is the oldest settled area in San Diego and is the site of the first European settlement in present-day California. Old Town is truly a great tourist spot to experience the culture of old San Diego. Old town San Diego has hotels, art galleries, specialty shops, restaurants, amazing architecture and so much more to experience.

Hillcrest is San Diego’s “gayborhood”, located off the 163 Freeway, stretching from University Avenue and Washington Street to Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Many streets are lined with trees and there are Craftsman homes and Mid-Century modern apartment buildings all around. San Diego Gay Pride is an annual celebration for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In July, there has been a parade, then a two-day festival in Balboa Park. It is considered to be the largest civic event in the city of San Diego. Hillcrest’s "City Fest" is an annual street festival which features food, live entertainment, a beer garden and street vendors. Other regular events in Hillcrest include a weekly farmers market on the grounds of the local Department of Motor Vehicles, a Book Fair and Mardi Gras. Hillcrest is a walk able neighborhood with cafés, restaurants, and shops near the main residential pockets. Parking can be difficult, which is why so many walk this town.

Located next to Hillcrest is San Diego’s downtown. Downtown San Diego’s historic buildings boast amazing architecture combined with a unique sophisticated city center. Framed by inland mountains and one of the most beautiful natural harbors in the world, downtown San Diego’s dazzling cityscape is a testament to years of redevelopment and urban revitalization. The Quarter is home to many events and festivals, including Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp, Street Scene Music Festival, Taste of Gaslamp and ShamROCK, a St. Patrick's Day event. PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres is located one block away in downtown San Diego's East Village. Boutique shopping and trendy cafes abound in colorful Little Italy; outdoor recreation, public art and nautical history fills downtown’s waterfront, and the region’s rich arts and culture is on display in the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art.

Balboa Park is another attraction the city of San Diego offers. The park is bounded by Sixth Avenue to the west, Upas Street to the north, 28th Street to the east, and Russ Boulevard to the south. The Central Mesa is hope to much of the park's cultural facilities, and includes scout camps, the San Diego Zoo, the Prado, and Inspiration Point. East Mesa is home to Morley Field and many of the active recreation facilities in the park. This urban cultural park boasts Spanish architecture all through the parks grounds. Most of the buildings lining this street are in the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture style, a richly ornamented eclectic mixture of European Spanish architecture and the Spanish Colonial architecture. Balboa Park is a must see as the beauty of the outdoors can’t be beat.

If you travel north up the 5 freeway towards La Jolla, you can visit Casa Beach, otherwise known as Children’s Pool Beach. This is a small sandy beach located at 850 Coast Boulevard, at the end of Jenner Street, in La Jolla. A sea wall built was built and protects the beach from waves, making it a favorite spot for divers and swimmers. The sea wall was built in order to create a Children's Pool, a place where children could play and swim protected from the waves. Interestingly over the years, the beach has become home to seals that enjoy the calm beach protected by the sea wall.

The city of San Diego provides outdoor recreation and scenic beauty. An impressive city, San Diego boasts theater, dance, music, literature and art. Mission Bay Park is home to West Coast's largest aquatic park, which covers more than 4,000 acres and offers a wide range of recreational activities. See how vibrant culture makes San Diego a vibrant city.

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