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Katie Sagal

Fun Facts About San Diego: Your Essential Trivia

You've heard of the zoo and the Gaslamp quarter, but how much do you know about San Diego? Test your knowledge of this SoCal city with our top San Diego facts below.

Top San Diego facts 1-10

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  1. SeaWorld San Diego is the first of the three SeaWorld parks founded in the U.S.
  2. Balboa Park is the world’s largest urban cultural park.
  3. The Hotel del Coronado was once the largest resort in the world, and today remains a luxurious getaway destination.
  4. The Davis-Horton House (formerly known as the William Heath Davis House) is the oldest wooden structure in the entire city.
  5. With over 700,000 flora, the San Diego Zoo qualifies as an official botanic garden.
  6. While there are currently no pandas at the San Diego Zoo, the zoo is renowned for being among the most successful in implementing a breeding program, with six cubs born at the zoo in total.
  7. San Diego is considered one of the most temperate cities in the world. Its average year-round temperatures are 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).
  8. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is home to a cheetah that reaches speeds of up to 70 mph on her daily official Cheetah Runs. Learn more about the difference between the Safari Park and Zoo.
  9. The USS Midway is the longest-serving aircraft carrier of the twentieth century.
  10. The USS Midway was known as a “floating city” for its massive size: it’s 972 feet in length and weighs 74,000 tons.

Top San Diego facts 11-20

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  1. Built in 1925, Belmont Park’s Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster is officially a National Historic Landmark.
  2. Located at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon was the first manned vehicle in recorded history to achieve flight in 1783.
  3. UC San Diego is home to the most significant collection of Dr. Seuss manuscripts in the entire world.
  4. Founded in 1874 as the San Diego Society of Natural History, the San Diego Natural History Museum is the oldest scientific institution in southern California.
  5. It is one of the best locations to see whales year-round: depending upon the time of year, you can see Gray Whales, Blue Whales, Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Pilot Whales and Orcas on a whale-watching cruise.
  6. Garibaldi is the official marine fish of the state of California. You can find them near the La Jolla Caves.
  7. In some circles, the Whaley House is considered the most haunted house in America.
  8. Tony Hawk is from San Diego, and he’s so beloved that May 29th is Tony Hawk Day in the city.
  9. The Living Coast Discovery Center is located right on the coast, on the Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, making it one of the most immersive animal park experiences in the country.
  10. Run by the scientists at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the Birch Aquarium hosts more than 5,000 fish in 60+ habitats – the largest oceanographic museum in the United States.

Top San Diego facts 21-25

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  1. The Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park was founded as a gesture of friendship between San Diego and its Japanese sister city, Yokohama.
  2. San Diego County produces the most avocados in the United States, accounting for about 60% of California avocado growth.
  3. The San Diego Model Railroad Museum boasts the largest model railroad display in the entire world.
  4. Everyone’s favorite spray lubricator, WD-40, was invented in San Diego in 1953.
  5. The San Diego Padres have one of the more unique mascots in Major League Baseball – "The Swinging Friar,” who was chosen as the mascot in 1961. This is in tribute to Franciscan Friars – Father Junípero Serra and Don Caspar de Portolá – who founded the first Spanish colony in southern California right here.

Save on attractions

Admission to many popular San Diego attractions is included with a pass for San Diego by Go City®. You can make huge savings on admission vs gate price.

Added tip: There is a tradition of kids free in October, meaning kids' tickets are free for the month at many popular attractions. Please always confirm this is still true during tour visit.

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