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Communities for Tourists to Explore in San Diego

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San Diego is truly cosmopolitan. The beautiful climate, scenery, and endless amount of activities attract new residents from around the world. Over half of San Diegans were born outside of California and nearly a quarter are foreign immigrants.

San Diego is a melting pot of cultures with ideas and customs brought from all parts of the globe. Combine this with a varied topography where some communities hug the ocean, others are nestled in the mountains or desert, and many more surround the lively downtown area of San Diego, visitors have many opportunities to expand their horizons by exploring different cultures.

You can get started by exploring the communities shown in pictures above. Another great place to visit are the International Cottages in Balboa Park, which are open to the public on Sundays.

In the days ahead, more communities will be added, including the vibrant and LGBT friendly communities of Hillcrest and North Park, just outside of downtown.

Little Italy

Location: Downtown San Diego (Little Italy)

Features: Italian Restaurants, Art & Home Furnishing Shops, Festivals, and Farmers Market.


Oceanside Pier, Beaches, and Local Attractions

Location: Oceanside (38 Miles / 40 Minutes North of Downtown San Diego)

Features: Longest Wooden Pier on the West Coast; 3 Miles of Beaches; Boat Harbor; California Surf Museum; Art Museum; Theatre; Thursday Night Hot Spot


Gaslamp Quarter Attractions and Nightlife

Location: Downtown San Diego (Gaslamp Quarter)

Features: Shopping, Restaurants, Nightlife, Performing Arts, Historical Tours


Coronado Island Attractions

Location: Coronado (6 Miles / 15 Minutes South of Downtown San Diego)


Features: California’s Best Beach; Fine Dining; Theatre; Boutique Shops; Famous Historic Hotel; Magnificent Skyline Views


Ocean Beach

Location: Ocean Beach (7 Miles / 15 Minutes West of Downtown San Diego)

Features: Beach Community with a 1960’s Theme; Very Laid Back; Eclectic Mix of People; Dog Beach; Ocean Pier; Antique Shops and Restaurants.


Mission Beach

Location: Mission Beach (8 Miles / 15 Minutes Northwest of Downtown San Diego)

Features: Most Popular Beach in San Diego for the Young and the Young-at-Heart; Place to See and Be Seen; Boardwalk; Beach Volleyball; Amusement Park


Pacific Beach Activities & Nightlife

Location: Pacific Beach (10 Miles / 20 Minutes Northwest of Downtown San Diego)

Features: Most Popular Beach Area for College Students in San Diego with access to a Boardwalk, Restaurants, Bars, and Shops


Village of La Jolla

Location: La Jolla (12 Miles / 20 Minutes North of Downtown San Diego)

Features: Art Galleries; Exclusive Shops; Luxury Cars; Fine Dining; Spectacular Setting; Accessible from downtown San Diego on a top-rated Sightseeing Tour


Borrego Springs

Location: Borrego Springs is surrounded by the Anza-Borrego Desert (93 Miles/ 2 Hours East of San Diego Coastal Areas)

When to Visit: October through May

Features: Desert Town Providing Hospitality to Guests of the Anza-Borrego Desert; Includes Resorts, Spas, Stargazing, Adventure Activities, Life-Size Pre-Historic Animals, and Cultural Events.


Historic Mountain Town of Julian

Location: Julian (62 Miles / 1.25 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego)

Features: Historic Town in the San Diego Mountains with Hiking, Wine Tasting, Gold Mines, Stargazing, Shops, Famous Apple Pie, and Surrounded by Forests