With brilliant year-round sunshine, blue skies, balmy air, and surging surfs that splash down on its hundred miles of sandy beaches, San Diego attracts thousands of sun-worshippers, who swarm there to swim, surf, water ski and kayak in its blue Pacific waters.

Southern California’s coastal region provides outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to go diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, fishing, hiking and cycling. Its many marinas offer sailing, yachting, and other recreational boating activities, including whale watching in season.

The San Diego bay area also offers tourists an enticing array of theme parks and other attractions, such as Disneyland and Magic Mountain, Knottsberry Farm, Universal Studios, and Sea World. The famous San Diego Zoo, Seaport Village, historic Old Town and Balboa Park are also favorite tourist destinations.

For evening entertainment, the San Diego bay area offers many excellent dining choices ranging from excellent seafood restaurants in its beach towns to asian and continental specialties in the city. You can also dine at restaurants on nearby Coronado Island - some with with a spectacular night view of the city’s waterfront and skyline.

Among the most popular beaches in the San Diego area are Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.

Dating back to the turn of the century, Mission Beach is a separate beach town community within the bounds of San Diego. It lies in the center of a continuous stretch of beach known as The Strand, which extends over two miles - from the Mission Bay channel entrance to the north end of Pacific Beach.

Mission Beach draws large crowds during the summer months. It is particularly noted for its landmark Big Dipper Roller Coaster, which is located in Belmont Park, near the water's edge. The north end of Mission Beach is bordered by residential properties.

San Diego's popular Pacific Beach is another community within the City of San Diego. Old and established, it is graced by tall, palm tree-lined streets and multi-million dollar houses perched on its cliffs, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Apartments and smaller private dwellings line the beach front. Pacific Beach is a popular place for college students and young professionals to live, where they can surf in the mornings before class or work.

The boardwalks that border Mission Beach and Pacific Beach offer great people watching - with an interesting mix of surfers, bikini-clad bodies, beach bums, college students, locals and ocean-seeking tourists - walking, jogging, riding bicycles, cruising on skate boards and roller blading up and down the beach front.

The boardwalks and surrounding business districts in both beach towns buzz with a colorful variety of surf shops, California-style clothing shops, espresso cafes, taco stands, art and craft galleries, t-shirt shops, beach burger places, bars and sea food restaurants.

San Diego’s beach towns always pulsate with fun and excitement. Two annual events that attract huge crowds to Pacific Beach are Beach Fest, held annually along the beach, streets and boardwalk near Crystal Pier - typically on a Saturday in October, and the big Pacific Beach Block Party and Street Faire, held on a Saturday in May.

Block Party is over 25 years old now and has become one of San Diego's major events. It features multiple stages that host a variety of bands throughout the day - with a musical mix of Disco, Classic Rock, Reggae, Jazz, Blues, Acoustic and Dance music, plus street performers and other entertainment. As many as 400 booths feature unique arts and crafts, inventions and corporate sponsor exhibits.

So, as the Chamber of Commerce might say - come to San Diego for sun and fun... the surf is up!

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