San Diego is full of rich history. In fact, the history of California began in San Diego when explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed into San Diego Bay under the Spanish flag and was the first European to discover California.

Centuries later, on October 14, 1913, President Woodrow Wilson reserved a half-acre of Fort Rosecrans on the tip of Point Loma in where Cabrillo first landed for “The Order of Panama … to construct a heroic statue of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo.” Now encompassing 160 acres, the Cabrillo National Monument celebrates 100 years of history with exhibitors from many of Southern California’s federal, state and local agencies, and non-profit organizations during a three-day celebration weekend from Oct. 12 -14, 2013.

But the Cabrillo National Monument isn’t the only other site in San Diego celebrating an anniversary in 2013. Several of San Diego iconic hotels, museums and attractions mark milestones this year.

Century-Old Historic Hotels

The Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla and the famous Hotel del Coronado celebrating anniversaries in 2013

The Grande Colonial Hotel in La Jolla; the famous Hotel del Coronado

Grande Colonial Hotel

Amidst the pristine beaches and bluffs of San Diego’s beautiful coastal village of La Jolla, the luxurious Grande Colonial Hotel celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2013. Completely modernized, yet faithful to its storied past, this intimate boutique hotel harkens back to a quieter, more dignified era. Throughout 2013, the Grande Colonial marks the 100th anniversary of its grand opening in February 1913 with special packages, old-fashioned cocktails and more.

Hotel Del Coronado

Opened in 1888 and designed to be “the talk of the Western world,” the landmark Hotel del Coronado is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Throughout its rich history, The Del has played host to presidents, royalty and Hollywood’s elite and was the glamorous setting for Billy Wilder’s comedy classic Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. The Del celebrates this milestone year with a series of dining and spa specials, guest packages, community events, charitable promotions and the release of a new history book.

Celebrating Science in San Diego

The Salk Institute, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and Air & Space Museum

The Salk Institute, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, and Air & Space Museum

Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies

In 1963, Jonas Salk established the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla. Adjacent to the University of California, San Diego, the institute is world-renowned for its medical research and is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The 26-acre campus, designed by world-renowned architect Louis I. Kahn, overlooks the Pacific Ocean on Torrey Pines Mesa and offers free public tours.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

40 years ago, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park opened its doors and brought interactive exhibits and the world’s first IMAX® Dome Theater to San Diego. Today, the Fleet inspires minds and connects individuals to science and technology through more than 100 hands-on exhibits for all ages, IMAX films and planetarium shows in the recently renovated Heikoff Giant Dome Theater.

San Diego Air & Space Museum

The San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park celebrates its 50th anniversary. The museum first opened its doors in Balboa Park in 1963. When a fire destroyed the museum and its contents in 1978, the San Diego community came together to rebuild, and the museum moved into the historic Ford Building in 1980, where it resides today. The museum is California’s official Air and Space Museum, one of the largest aviation and space museums and home to the third largest aviation archives and library in the country.

Artsy Anniversaries

The Museum of Photographic Arts and the Mingei International Museum

The Museum of Photographic Arts and the Mingei International Museum

Museum of Photographic Arts

The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park celebrates 30 years dedicated to exhibiting photography, film and video. Since its founding in 1983, MOPA has presented dynamic world-class photography exhibitions in San Diego and built a world-class photography collection. The anniversary exhibition 30x: Three Decades highlights one acquisition from each of MOPA’s 30 years and showcases a selection of influential figures in the history of photography, including works by Alexander Rodchenko, Loretta Lux, Thomas Struth, Lee Friedlander, Robert Adams, Marian Drew and many others.

Mingei International Museum

The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2013 with a broad range of signature exhibitions, events and programs. In May 1978, the Mingei International Museum of World Folk Art opened with the mission to further the understanding of art of the people (mingei) from all cultures of the world. Thirty-five years later, the museum continues to offer unique exhibitions and events highlighting the arts, crafts and traditions of cultures from around the world.

Speaking of anniversaries, let us know if you have ever celebrated one in San Diego in the comments below.

2 Responses to 2013: A Year of Anniversaries and History in San Diego

  1. Pingback: 2013: A Year of Anniversaries and History in San DiegoSouthwest Travel

  2. We just celebrated the 125th anniversary of the city of National City last year! It was such a great community event. I look forward to this year’s celebrations!

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