Relatively free from smog and overbuilt freeways, SAN DIEGO is the second most populous city in California – affluent and libertarian, but also easy-going and friendly. In 1769 it was the site of the first Spanish mission in California, but the city only really took off with the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad in the 1880s. During World War II the US Navy made San Diego its Pacific Command Center, but since the end of the Cold War the military sector had reduced dramatically; San Diego has since become a biotech industry hub and is home to telecommunications giant Qualcomm, founded here in 1985. However, it is San Diego’s reputation as an ocean-oriented “resort city” that provides much of its current appeal, its long white beaches, sunny weather and bronzed bodies giving rise to the city’s well-deserved nickname, “Sandy Ego”.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

8 of the most beautiful state parks in the USA

8 of the most beautiful state parks in the USA

The USA's national parks get a lot of hype. From the Grand Canyon to the Everglades, America's backyard is pretty special. But while ever-increasing visitor num…

18 Jul 2018 • Jacqui Agate insert_drive_file Article
Keeping Austin weird: why the time to visit is now

Keeping Austin weird: why the time to visit is now

Kooky, liberal and easy to fall in love with, Austin feels a world away from clichéd images of conservative, oil-rich Texas: a "blueberry in the tomato soup" a…

06 Jul 2018 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
The many faces of changing Detroit: America's comeback city

The many faces of changing Detroit: America's comeback city

In 2013 Detroit became the largest city in American history to file for bankruptcy. But now the city is on the rebound: cool start-ups are filling once-neglec…

23 May 2018 • Jacqui Agate local_activity Special feature
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs