San Diego City Guide
San Diego is a coastal city in southern California, just north of the Mexican border (which it shares with Tijuana). Mountains rise to the city's east, barricading San Diego from the heat and dryness of the Sonoran Desert. The city itself is built atop a series of mesas, with deep canyons running between them. This has the effect of creating small, scattered pockets of natural woodland all throughout the bustling metropolis.
Although the area has long been inhabited by the Kumeyaay natives, it was Portuguese explorer Juan Cabrillo who claimed the bay for Spain. A statue stands at the edge of Cabrillo Park where he first landed in 1542. Cabrillo named the land San Miguel. It was Sebastian Vizcaino who arrived some 60 years later and named the area San Diego, in honor of Saint Didacus. On November 12, 1602, Fray Antonio de la Ascension conducted the first Catholic service of record in California to celebrate the feast day of San Diego.