San Diego is a large and pleasant coastal city right on the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. It's home to 1.3 million citizens and the second-largest city in the state with many universities and good swimming beaches. It's also known for its ideal climate, bio and communications technologies, long history, nightlife, outdoor culture and ethnic diversity.
The area was long inhabited by the native Kumeyaay people (also known as the Diegueño by the later Spanish settlers), who lived off the land and created a proud culture. The first time Europeans visited the region was in 1542, when Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, sailing under the Spanish Flag, claimed the bay for the Spanish Empire and named the site San Miguel. In November of 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno was sent to map the California coast. Arriving with his flagship "San Diego", Vizcaíno surveyed the harbor and what is now Mission Bay and Point Loma, renaming the area for the Spanish Catholic Saint, St. Didacus (more commonly known as San Diego). San Diego was established in 1769 as the first Spanish mission in California, at the present site of Old Town. However, due to the poor nature of soils in the Old Town area, the mission was eventually relocated about five miles up river in Mission Valley.