Robert Arends

Did You Know: Surprising San Diego Trivia!

Sunset at Oceanside Pier.

Three of my favorite words are “Did you know.”

As in did you know these surprisingly fun, eye-opening facts about San Diego? There are A LOT of factoids about America’s Finest City I’ve been collecting over the years, but following are five to start with and really impress your friends. 😉

Did you know…

1. SoCal’s Only Gold Rush

Family Panning for Gold - Julian Mining Company

Gold panning in Julian!

The only Gold Rush to take place in Southern California was in 1870 in San Diego’s historic East County mountain town of Julian. In March 1870, the richest SoCal gold mine, Stonewall Mine, was discovered.  Before it was abandoned in 1893, the mine produced $2 million in gold (valued today at $60 million).

2. The Most Missions

Did You Know - Mission San Diego Alcala is one of four missions in San Diego County

Mission San Diego de Alcala

San Diego County has the most missions in the state – four in all: Mission San Diego de Alcala, Mission San Luis Rey, Mission San Antonio de Pala and Mission Santa Ysabel near Julian. Mission San Antonio de Pala is the only California mission still used as a school and place of worship by Native Americans.

3. The Largest Collection of Outdoor Murals in the Country

Chicano Park, Barrio Logan.

Chicano Park, Barrio Logan.

Chicano Park, located beneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the downtown neighborhood of Barrio Logan, is home to the largest collection of outdoor murals in the country. In the early 1970s, resident artist Salvador Torres envisioned local Chicano painters and sculptors turning the bridge’s pylons “into things of beauty, reflecting the Mexican-American culture.” There are 20 large, colorful outdoor murals within Chicano Park.

4. A Head Above Our Piers

Sunset at Oceanside Pier.

Sunset at Oceanside Pier.

The Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach is the only pier on the West Coast that provides lodging over the ocean. The Oceanside Pier in Oceanside is the longest (1,942 feet), wooden construction over water pier on the Pacific Coast.

5. The Largest State Park in the Continental US

Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park Wildflowers

Wildflowers in the Anza-Boreggo Desert State Park

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego’s East County is the largest state park in the continental United States, encompassing over 640,000 acres.  It was through the Borrego Springs Valley that Spanish soldier Juan Bautista de Anza discovered the first land route to California in 1774.

Suzzanne

Did You Know? More Surprising San Diego Trivia

San Diego is well known for having the most pleasant and near-perfect climate in the U.S. But did you know San Diego is also a city of many firsts? The region boasts a number of notable facts (i.e. the largest, oldest, first, most..) that relate to its history, arts and culture, attractions, sporting activities and more.

Following is a list of some fun and fascinating San Diego trivia. How many did you know?

Old Town San Diego

1. San Diego is the birthplace of California. The first European exploration of the West Coast was by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese navigator sailing for Spain, who landed in San Diego on September 28, 1542.

Mission San diego de Alcala

2. San Diego County has the most missions in the state, with four in all: Mission San Diego de Alcala, Mission San Luis Rey, Mission San Antonio de Pala and Mission Santa Ysabel.

Coronado Bridge

3. The first person to drive over the landmark San Diego-Coronado bridge, which opened in 1969 connecting downtown San Diego with Coronado, was Ronald Reagan.

San Diego International Airport

4. The San Diego International Airport is the busiest, single-runway major airport in the nation and the second in the world after London Gatwick.

La Jolla Playhouse

5. Between The Old Globe and the Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego has sent more shows to Broadway than any other city in the U.S.

Birch Aquarium

6. The Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla is the largest oceanographic museum in the country.

Belmont Park

7. The Giant Dipper, a classic, wooden roller coaster in Belmont Park along Mission Beach, is one of only two ocean-side coasters on the West Coast. Built in 1925, it is also the only roller coaster in the U.S. to have National Landmark status and to be on the National Register of Historic Places.

8. San Diego County has the largest number of farms (almost 7,000) in the U.S. and ranks first in the nation for value of floriculture, nursery, greenhouse and sod products. San Diego County also produces the most avocados of any region in the country.

Hotel Del Coronado

9. The Hotel Del Coronado has hosted ten United States presidents, including the first state dinner held outside the White House in 1970. The resort also unveiled the world’s first electrically lighted, outdoor Christmas tree in 1904.

Geisel Library, UCSD

10. The University of California, San Diego’s Geisel Library in La Jolla houses the world’s largest collection of original Dr. Suess manuscripts and other materials. Dr. Seuss (Ted Geisel) was a one-time resident of La Jolla.