San Diego was named in honor of Saint Didacus, which is Diego de Alcala in Spanish. It is the second largest city in California and the eighth largest in the United States.
The area where San Diego is located has been populated for at least 10,000 years by the Kumeyaay Indians. In 1542 the area was discovered by the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, in the name of Castile. In the name of Spain Cabrillo claimed the area, and named it San Miquel. Sixty years later Sebastian Vizcaino mapped the coast of California in 1602. Gaspar de Portola created the Fort Presidio of San Diego in 1769. The Mission San Diego de Alcala was founded around the same time by Franciscan friars under the leadership of Junipero Serra. Americans began to pour into the area as a result of the California Gold Rush, in 1848. When California was admitted to the union of the United States of America in 1850 San Diego became the seat of the newly created San Diego County, and in that same year San Diego was incorporated as a city. In 1889 the first city charter was adopted. The current charter was adopted in 1931.
San Diego is known for its incredible weather. Many tourists are there for attracted to the area to enjoy a myriad variety of outdoor activities. There are beautiful beaches, a world famous zoo, the Belmont amusement park, Balboa Park, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and of course Sea World San Diego. Many sites of interest for visitors take tourists back to the development of the area under the Spanish. Such places as Mission San Diego de Alcala and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park help visitors to better understand the roots of today’s modern and thriving city.