With an estimated population of a bit more than 1.4 million people, San Diego ranks as the second-largest city in California and the eighth-largest in the United States. The city is home to the nation's largest military community that together with a diversity of neighborhoods provide San Diego with a unique flavor.
The heart of San Diego is the historic Gaslamp Quarter where Victorian-style buildings and modern skyscrapers meet. Here, you will also find the city's coolest restaurants, theaters, art galleries, concert venues and fashion boutiques. Neighboring the Gaslamp Quarter is East Village, San Diego’s largest downtown community and home to PETCO Park, San Diego Padres' baseball stadium. It is also the center for luxury hotels, foodies and live music.
North of downtown is Old Town, which has preserved the city’s Spanish and Mexican heritage, where some of the its first houses can be seen. Adjacent to Old Town is Uptown, a pedestrian-friendly area that consists of North Park, University Heights, and Hillcrest. This area, particularly Hillcrest, serves as a center of the city’s gay and lesbian community.
Further west, between the airport and La Jolla, is the scenic coastal area, which encompasses beach communities such as Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, both famously popular with surfers and students. If you continue north, you will eventually reach a stunning piece of coastline that belongs to La Jolla, home to some of the most beautiful and safest beaches in Southern California. It is also where you will find one of the region’s most affluent communities and some of the best – and most expensive – dining.