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Reasons to Love San Diego Right Now

Our fifth annual feel-good, intentionally boastful list of all things SD.


Dane Morris | Photo by K.C. Alfred/U-T San Diego via ZUMA Wire

  • Because of this guy. Encinitas third grader Dane Morris, age 8, has style beyond his years. He is top ranked in the Western Surfing Association’s Under-9 division, but he only does it for the stoke.

  • Because we now have easier access to Tijuana International Airport, thanks to the Cross Border Xpress. Along with Lindbergh Field and McClellan-Palomar, that gives us three commercial airports at our disposal. Take that, JFK-LaGuardia-Newark!

  • Because our docs do double duty—at the zoo. Since gorillas, orangutans, monkeys, and even giant pandas have similarities to humans, local physicians have been collaborating with zoo staffers during C-sections, organ transplants, and countless other medical procedures. Plus, they do it on a completely volunteer basis. Wild!

Leading the Way

La Jolla Library

  • Because America’s Finest Charter School scored the highest among low-income schools on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress test. And the Chollas View school is only four years old. Hey, kids and teachers, keep up the good work!

  • Because you can earn college credit at SDSU while drinking wine in Spain. The first course of the Wine Education Abroad program starts this April in Spain’s Catalonia, Rioja, and Basque regions. And for more college fun, SDSU hopes to revive its sustainable surf tourism trips to Costa Rica, Peru, and Panama in 2017.

  • Because we are studying climate change in our our own dedicated institution. Richard and Carol Dean Hertzberg gifted $5 million to UC San Diego to establish the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Taking on the world’s problems—because we can!

  • Because we’re opening a bookstore! Verbatim Books in North Park will bring back the magical experience of walking among aisles of colorful spines and discovering the perfect read on a physical shelf. Sometimes the original thing just can’t be beat.

  • Because we have the country’s first hands-on biotech lab in a public library. La Jolla Library partners with local orgs as well as big names like the Salk Institute for workshops, demonstrations, and lectures. The lab also has a 3D printer!

  • Because San Diego is one of the few places in the world that's using genomics to save the lives of newborns. Rady Children’s Hospital will soon begin sequencing the genomes of patients to reach a diagnosis more quickly, thanks in part to Ernest Rady and the innovative minds at local biotech firm Illumina.


Because we can claim these superlatives...

The World’s Largest Outdoor Pipe Organ

  • Best Work-Life Balance
    Career resource specialist Zippia ranked San Diego the No. 1 city in the country for work-life balance, taking into account the number of hours we work, our commute times, and the fun things we have to do around town.

  • Sexiest City
    At least according to Victoria’s Secret Twitter fans. VS Angel Martha Hunt celebrated with us at Fashion Valley last September.

  • The World’s Largest Outdoor Pipe Organ
    On April 23 in Balboa Park, the Spreckels Organ Society will host a free dedication concert to debut the organ’s newest pipes, the result of a fundraising campaign that brings its total to 5,005. (The current champion, in Austria’s Kufstein Fortress, has 4,948 pipes.) Put that in your pipe and smoke it!


Rob Quigley's East Village House

  • Because the Genius Architect who designed our Central Library lives just a few blocks from that library, not in a manse in Rancho Santa Fe. Rob Quigley and his wife, Kathleen Hallahan, also an architect, saw the East Village’s potential long before the rest of us. They built it, and we came!

  • Because a couple of Point Loma High grads made craft beer and sold their company for ONE BILLION DOLLARS. Raise a glass of Sculpin to Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, which hit pay dirt when Constellation Brands—owner of Corona, Modelo, and Pacifico—added Ballast Point to its portfolio.

Getting Fit & Going Green

The next generation of yoga instructors

  • Because we’re becoming less car-dependent.
    Signs that we’re moving away from our reliance on private vehicles: a $200-million plan for bike infrastructure, a proposal for an aerial gondola, DecoBike, a cyclist for a mayor, and our invention of the ElliptiGO. Let’s stop sitting in traffic and make our greenhouse gas goals!

  • Because 77 percent of San Diegans live within a half mile of a park.
    And nearly a quarter of the city is covered in parks. A recent study by the Trust for Public Land ranked us ninth in the nation (tied with Seattle) for quality and quantity of parks and facilities, percentage of residents living in proximity to parks, and more.

  • Because we’re training the next generation of yoga instructors.
    Six NoCo girls between the ages of 12 and 16 are earning their yoga teaching certifications. One of the trainees teaches a free yoga class at the Encinitas Library, while another is serving as an ambassador for Ivivva, Lululemon’s clothing line geared toward kids. They’re giving new meaning to “child’s pose.”

  • Because we help our vets Zen out.
    San Diego’s brave men and women are moving from the front lines to the yoga mats thanks to Connected Warriors, a nonprofit that provides free yoga classes to service members. About 14 instructors currently guide 100 soldiers and marines through their weekly asanas. Welcome om!


  • Because Top Chef is putting San Diego’s food and beer scene in the spotlight. (Finally!)
    This season’s chef-testants, including Chad White of the now-shuttered Común Kitchen & Tavern, are traversing the Golden State. Their San Diego stop is rumored to feature Chef Javier Plascencia, Stone Brewing Co.’s Steve Gonzalez, Ballast Point’s Yuseff Cherney, and an elimination challenge that takes place at Juniper and Ivy and reportedly focuses on—you guessed it—fish tacos.

  • Because we can see pre-Olympic action in person at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. Watch the second round of the U.S. Archery Team Olympic trials April 17–22 and the U.S. BMX Team Olympic trials June 11–12.


Photos by K.C. Alfred/U-T San Diego via ZUMA Wire; Darren Bradley; Eduardo Contreras/UT San Diego; Kevin Sutton

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