San Diego metropolitan area

San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos


San Diego




San Marcos

Country [4]

United States of America

State [5]


Principal cities San Diego
- Carlsbad
- San Marcos
- National City
•Urban 2,026.1 km2 (782.3 sq mi)
•Metro 10,877.72 km2 (4,199.89 sq mi)
Elevation 0 - 1,991 m (0 - 6,533 ft)
Population (2010 Census)[1]
•Density 274.9/km2 (712/sq mi)
Urban 2,729,329 (15th)
MSA 3,095,313 (17th)
MSA = 2010, Urban = 2000
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
•Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)

The San Diego Metropolitan Area, also known as Greater San Diego and officially the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos Metropolitan Statistical Area, is ametropolitan area on the United States Pacific Coast. The U.S. Census of the Bureau defines the San Diego metropolitan area as encompassing all of San Diego County, which is of itself the second most populous county in the U.S.state of California and fifth most populous in the United States.[2] With a population exceeding 3 million, Greater San Diego is the 38th largest metropolitan area in the Americas, 17th largest metropolitan statistical area in the United States, and 4th largest in California as well as being the predominant urban area of the South Coast.[3][4] San Diego is the 2nd largest metropolitan area inSouthern California.

Greater San Diego is anchored by the global city of San Diego while other principal cities of the metropolitan statistical area are Carlsbad, San Marcos, andNational City.[5]

Located in the area is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Eleventh Naval District and the Navy's principal location for West Coast and Pacific Ocean operations, containing five naval bases and one marine base.[6]

The proximity of the San Diego metropolitan area to the Tijuana metropolitan area has created the San Diego–Tijuana metro area, the largest bi-national conurbationshared between the United States and Mexico with over five million residents. The area is a tourist destination for many people with roughly 300,000 visitors crossing into Tijuana daily from Greater San Diego alone.[7]

The urban area and majority of the population of the San Diego metropolitan area is largely located between the Pacific Ocean and the Peninsular Ranges. The San Diego Urban Area (that is, the area of contiguous urban development), is thethird largest in California after the Los Angeles and San Francisco urbanizedareas.[8] The urban area largely reflects the regions image as a relaxed beach and cosmopolitan environment with a mild climate.[9]

The area is bordered by Riverside County and Orange County to the north,Mexico to the south, Imperial County to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

People have been moving to the San Diego metropolitan area from the Mexicali Valley, San Luis Rio Colorado, Yuma, Arizona, and Imperial Valley areas in past years[clarification needed] to take advantage of relatively cooler weather in thesummer and warmer weather in the winter.[citation needed] Also, significant numbers of people across the Mexico-United States border from the Tijuana metropolitan area have been moving to the San Diego metropolitan area as well.[citation needed]


 [hide] *1 Significance


[6][7]San Diego Bay[8][9]Oceanside Pier at sunset

Metropolitan San Diego is renowned for its beach resorts, amusement parks, wildlife parks and zoos as well many museums and beaches. The region is also home to a large home grown surf andskateboard culture hosting many surfing events on its 70 miles of coastline.[10]

The San Diego metropolitan area has within its boundaries San Diego Bay, a natural harbor considered by some one of the best on the North American west coast.[weasel words] The bay is flanked by the San Diego International Airport, the busiest single runway airport in the world and thePort of San Diego, one of the busiest on the American west coast.[11] The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics ranked the Port of San Diego as one of America's top 30 U.S. container ship ports bringing in nearly 3,300,000 metric tons (3,250,000 LT; 3,640,000 ST) of cargo per year. Together with the National City Marine Terminal, the Port of San Diego is the primary port of entry for Honda, Acura, Isuzu, Volkswagen, Nissan, Mitsubishi Fuso, and Hino Motors into America.

In its boundaries is a world city, the City of San Diego which is classified as a beta world city, coined America's Finest City.[12] With a population of over one million, San Diego is the second most populous city in California, and the eighth most populous in the United States. Money Magazine rated it the fifth best place to live in 2006 and according to Forbes the city ranks as the fifth wealthiest in the United States.[13][14]

The metropolitan area's biggest industries are manufacturing, military, and tourism.[citation needed]The economy of the city is composed largely of many sciences (biotechnology/biosciences & computer sciences) as well as electronics manufacturing, defense-related manufacturing, financial and business services, ship-repair, ship-construction, software development, telecommunications, wireless research, agriculture and tourism.[citation needed] Located in the metropolitan area, San Diego is also host to the University of California, San Diego, located in the coastal community of La Jolla. The San Diego metropolitan area is host to one of the largest naval fleets in the world, and has become the largest concentration of Naval facilities in the world.[citation needed]

[10][11]Panoramic view of La Jolla from the Torrey Pines cliffs

San Diego's Spanish influence can be seen in the many historic sites across the city, such as the Spanish missionsand Balboa Park. Cuisine in San Diego is diverse, and includes European-American, Mexican-American, and Asian-American cuisine. Annual events in San Diego includeComic-Con, San Diego/Del Mar Fair, and Street Scene Music Festival.


[12][13]View of Downtown San Diego at night.[14][15]Downtown San Diego.[16][17]San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina[18][19]View of La Jolla.

The San Diego metropolitan area is situated on the western slope of the Peninsular Ranges and faces the coastline. The region contains 70 miles (110 km) of coastline. Many of its most popular and well known cities are located on the Pacific coast while famous mountain towns lie dotted in the coastal mountains. Population density maps will show that San Diego, and the other major cities that anchor the metropolitan area are in a line on the coast while many suburban communities and cities flow east to fill in mountain valleys.

Camp Pendleton interrupts the continuous urban development of Southern California and affects the commuting patterns of Greater San Diego. In 2000, only about 3% of San Diego County residents left the county for work while 40,000 people commuted into the metropolitan area.[15]However developing growth can be observed on the I-15 corridor leading to the Southland.

The area is crossed by five west-flowing rivers and numerous streams, which help create a landscape of mesas, canyons and gorges on the western or coastal portion of the area. This landscape has forced development to be on mesas, leaving the gorges ultimately undeveloped creating pockets of wildlife. Many of these areas have been preserved as wildlife refugesattracting many tourists.

[edit]Major cities - 100,000+ inhabitantsEdit

Population figures for California cities are 2010 State of California estimates

[edit]Other cities - 40,000+ inhabitantsEdit

[edit]Cities with under 40,000 inhabitantsEdit

[edit]Urban areas of the regionEdit

The San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA MSA is a multicore metropolitan region containing several urban areas. Populations are from the U.S. Census Bureau. [16]



Name State(s) Type (UA/UC) 2009


1 San Diego CA UA 2,764,786
2 Ramona CA UC 25,269

[edit]Geographic featuresEdit

[20][21]La Jolla Shores[22][23]Palomar Observatory

Metropolitan San Diego's coastline features many coastal lagoons and inlets as well as several bays. The inland or eastern (not to be confused with East County) part of the area is mountainous and thinly populated before it crosses the mountains and turns to the desert scrub of Anza-Borrego State Park.


Main article: Climate of San Diego, California[24][25]Cleveland National Forest

Under the Köppen climate classification system, the San Diego area straddles areas ofMediterranean climate (CSa) to the north and Semi-arid climate (BSh) to the south and east.[17]As a result, its often described as "arid Mediterranean" and "Semi-arid Steppe". San Diego's climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters with most of the annual precipitation falling between November and March. The city has mild, mostly dry weather, with an average of 201 days above 70 °F (21 °C) and low rainfall (9–13 inches (23–33 cm) annually). Summer temperatures are generally warm, with average highs of 70–78 °F (21–26 °C) and lows of 55–66 °F (13–19 °C). Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) only four days a year. Most rainfall occurs from November to April. Winter temperatures are mild, with average high temperatures of 66–70 °F (19–21 °C) and lows of 50–56 °F (10–13 °C).

The climate in the San Diego area, like much of California, often varies significantly over short geographical distances resulting in microclimates. In San Diego's case this is mainly due to the city's topography (the Bay, and the numerous hills, mountains, and canyons). Frequently, particularly during the "May gray/June gloom" period, a thick marine layer will keep the air cool and damp within a few miles of the coast, but will yield to bright cloudless sunshine approximately 5–10 miles (8.0–16 km) inland. This happens every year in May and June.[18] Even in the absence of June gloom, inland areas tend to experience much more significant temperature variations than coastal areas, where the ocean serves as a moderating influence. Thus, for example, downtown San Diego averages January lows of 50 °F (10 °C) and August highs of 78 °F (26 °C). The city of El Cajon, just 10 miles (16 km) northeast of downtown San Diego, averages January lows of 42 °F (6 °C) and August highs of 88 °F (31 °C).[19][20]

Rainfall along the coast averages about 10 inches (25 cm) of precipitation annually, which occurs mainly during the cooler months of December through April. Though there are few wet days per month during the rainy period, rainfall can be heavy when it does fall. However, the rainfall is greater in the higher elevations of San Diego. Some of the higher areas of San Diego can receive 11–13 inches (28–33 cm) of rain a year.

[hide]Climate data for San Diego, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 65.8


























Daily mean °F (°C) 57.3


























Average low °F (°C) 48.9


























Precipitation inches (mm) 1.799


























Avg. precipitation days 4.7 4.4 5.2 2.8 1.1 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.9 1.4 3.8 4.5 29.4
Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN)[21]


[26][27]Mission San Diego de Alcalá

The area of Metropolitan San Diego has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years by theKumeyaay, Luiseño, Cupeño and Cahuilla peoples.[22] It is the site of the first visit by a European to present-day California and the first permanent European settlement in California. The Metro area contains 131 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the San Diego Presidio, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and Mission San Diego de Alcala.

The first European to visit the region was Portuguese-born explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillosailing under the Spanish Flag, who sailed his flagship San Salvador from Navidad, New Spain. In 1542, Cabrillo claimed the bay for the Spanish Empire and named the site San Miguel.[23] In November of 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno was sent to map the California coast. Arriving on his flagship San Diego, Vizcaíno surveyed the harbor and what are now Mission Bay and Point Loma and named the area for the Catholic Saint Didacus, a Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego. On November 12, 1602, the first Christian religious service of record in Alta California was conducted by Fray Antonio de la Ascensión, a member of Vizcaíno's expedition, to celebrate the feast day of San Diego.[24]

In 1769, Gaspar de Portolà established the Fort Presidio of San Diego overlooking Old Town. The same year, Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Franciscan friars under Father Junípero Serra.[25] The area was a Spanish colony, part of Alta California under the Viceroyalty of New Spain, until 1821 when Mexico gained its independence. Alta California was ceded to the United States in 1848 and admitted to the Union as the 31st state in 1850.

Periodically the area has been subject to wildfires that force thousands to evacuate. The most recent have been the Cedar Fire in 2003 and the Witch Creek Fire in 2007. The State of California defines a fire season in which fires are most likely to occur, usually between the months of late July and late October (which are the driest months of the area). Signs are posted in numerous spots of Greater San Diego providing information on the level of threats from fires based on weather conditions.[citation needed]

[edit]Regions of the San Diego metropolitan areaEdit

[28][29]North County

San Diego - San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos metropolitan area · 3,001,072 (2008 est.)

Changes in house prices for the region are publicly tracked on a regular basis using the Case–Shiller index; the statistic is published by Standard & Poor's and is also a component of S&P's 10-citycomposite index of the value of the U.S. residential real estate market.[citation needed]


[30][31]A surfer at Black's Beach.[32][33]The Star of India docked in San Diego, California.

Many popular 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 Photographic Arts are located inBalboa Park. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is located in an ocean front building in La Jolla and has a branch located at the Santa Fe Depot downtown.

The Columbia district downtown is home to historic ship exhibits belonging to the San Diego Maritime Museum, headlined by the Star of India, as well as the unrelated San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum featuring the USS Midway aircraft carrier. The city of San Diego houses many tourist attractions, such as SeaWorld San Diego, Belmont amusement park, the San Diego Zooand the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The Legoland California amusement park is located in Carlsbad. Nationally known theaters include the Old Globe Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse. The San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, and San Diego Lyric Opera perform regularly.

There are two Spanish missions, San Diego de Alcala in San Diego and Mission San Luis Reyin Oceanside.

[edit]Sports teamsEdit

Team Sport League Venue
San Diego Padres Baseball Major League Baseball PETCO Park
San Diego Chargers Football National Football League Qualcomm Stadium



[34][35]Horton Plaza

Tourism plays a large part in the economics of the San Diego metropolitan area. Tourists are drawn to the region for a well rounded experience, everything from shopping to surfing as well as its mild climate. Its numerous tourist destinations include Horton Plaza, Westfield UTC, Seaport Village,Westfield Mission Valley and Fashion Valley Mall for shopping. SeaWorld San Diego and Legoland California as amusement parks. Golf courses such as Torrey Pines Golf Course and Balboa Park Golf Course. Historical places such as the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Wildlife refuges, zoos, and aquariums such as the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, San Diego Zoo's Safari Park, San Diego Zoo and San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park. Outdoor destinations include the Peninsular Ranges for hiking, biking, mountainboarding and trail riding. Surfinglocations include Swami's, Stone Steps Beach, Torrey Pines State Beach, Cardiff State Beach, San Onofre State Beach and the southern portion of Black's Beach.

The region is host to the second largest cruise ship industry in California which generates an estimated $2 million annually from purchases of food, fuel, supplies, and maintenance services.[26] In 2008 the Port of San Diego hosted 252 ship calls and more than 800,000 passengers.[27]


[36][37]Hotel del CoronadoMain article: Hotel del Coronado*Hotel del Coronado - Coronado is home to the famous Hotel del Coronado, built in 1888 and long considered one of the world's top resorts.[28] It is listed as a National Historic Landmark and appeared in films such as Some Like It Hot and The Stunt Man. It was the setting of the Dashboard Confessional song Stolen. The historic hotel has had many notable American guests, including Charles Lindbergh, Thomas Edison, Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Willie Mays, Magic Johnson, and Muhammad Ali.[citation needed] Many presidents have also visited, including William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt,Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush.


Main article: Balboa Park, San Diego, California*Balboa Park - Balboa Park is a 1,200 acre (4.9 km²) urban cultural park in San Diego, California, United States named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa. Many of the trees here were planted by the famous American gardener Kate Sessions. Placed in reserve in 1835, it is one of the oldest sites in the United States dedicated to public recreational usage. Besides open areas and natural vegetation, it contains a variety of cultural attractions including museums, theaters, gardens, shops and restaurants as well as the San Diego Zoo. Balboa Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977. The park is managed and maintained by the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department. Many of the park's museums and cultural attractions, include the San Diego Museum of Man, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts, the San Diego Art Institute the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, the Natural History Museum, the San Diego Historical Society, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and the Timken Museum of Art where admission is always free. There are a number of gardens located in the park. These include Alcazar Garden, Botanical Building, Cactus Garden, Casa del Rey Moro Garden, Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden, Japanese Friendship Garden, Marston House Garden, Palm Canyon and Zoro Garden.

[edit]Wildlife Parks & ZoosEdit

[38][39]Orca at SeaWorld[40][41]African lions at the Wild Animal ParkMain article: SeaWorld San Diego*SeaWorld San Diego - SeaWorld San Diego is a theme park located in San Diego, California. The park is owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a division of The Blackstone Group. SeaWorld's main attraction is its orcas, several of which are housed in seven-million-gallon habitats that are each known as Shamu Stadium. Shamu was the name of the first orca brought to SeaWorld San Diego in the 1960s. Though the orcas all have names of their own, they take the stage name Shamu when in performance. Main article: San Diego Zoo Safari Park*San Diego Zoo Safari Park - The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, formerly the San Diego Wild Animal Park, is a zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in the city and Southern California. The Park houses a large array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, andAustralia. The park is in a semi-arid environment and one of its most notable features is the Journey into Africa tram which explores the expansive African exhibits. These free-range enclosures house such animals as cheetahs, antelopes, lions, giraffes, okapis, elephants, zebras, Przewalski's horses,rhinos, and bonobos. The park is also noted for its California condor breeding program, the most successful such program in the country.


[42][43]USS Decatur (DDG-73)

San Diego is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Eleventh Naval District and is the Navy's principal location for West Coast and Pacific Ocean operations.[29] Naval Base San Diego, California is principal home to the Pacific Fleet (although the headquarters is located in Pearl Harbor). NAS North Island is located on the north side of Coronado, and is home to Headquarters for Naval Air Forces and Naval Air Force Pacific, the bulk of the Pacific Fleet's helicopter squadrons, and part of the West Coast aircraft carrier fleet.

The Naval Special Warfare Center is the primary training center for SEALs, and is also located on Coronado. The area contains five major naval bases and the U.S. Marines base Camp Pendleton. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is the major West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps and serves as its prime amphibious training base.[30] It is located on the Southern California coast, bordered by Oceanside to the north, San Clemente to the south, and Fallbrook to the east.

[edit]Major business districtsEdit


[edit]Colleges and UniversitiesEdit

The region is home to an array of universities and public colleges. Public colleges and universities in the region include San Diego State University (SDSU), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and the San Diego Community College District (includes San Diego City College), San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego Miramar College. Private colleges and universities include University of San Diego(USD), Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), Alliant International University (AIU), National University, San Diego Christian College,John Paul the Great Catholic University, Coleman University, University of Redlands School of Business, Design Institute of San Diego (DISD), Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising San Diego, NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Pacific Oaks College San Diego Campus, The Art Institute of California- San Diego, Southern States University (SSU), and Woodbury University School of Architecture's satellite campus. Medical schools included UCSD School of Medicine and ABA accredited law schools included California Western School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and University of San Diego School of Law. There is also one unaccredited law school: Western Sierra Law School.

[44][45]Panorama of Earl Warren College mall at UCSD, showing from left to right: Geisel Library, Engineering Building Unit (EBU) 1, the Powell-Focht Bioengineering Building, the Computer Science Building, and EBU 2 (visible through trees)===[edit]Primary and Secondary===

Approximately 50 primary and secondary school districts are found in this South Coast area. These included Central Union High School District, Grossmont Union High School District, Poway Unified School District, San Diego Unified School District, San Dieguito Union High School District, Sweetwater Union High School District and Vista Unified School District.



The San Diego metropolitan area is served by many newspapers. Most notable is the major newspaper, The San Diego Union-Tribune, which is ranked 25th in the country.[31] The Union-Tribune serves both San Diego County and neighboring Imperial County. Major local newspapers include the North County Times, based in Escondido and serving portions of Riverside County and North County. The Los Angeles Times is also delivered. Many of the area's cities and towns have their own local newspapers.


[46][47]View of San Diego skyscrapers along Harbor Drive - a main Bay transport artery===[edit]Roads===


Airport IATA code ICAO code City
San Diego International Airport SAN KSAN San Diego
Montgomery Field MYF KMYF San Diego

Other airports include


[edit]See alsoEdit

[48] San Diego portal
[49] San Diego–Tijuana portal
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