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 San Diego, California



Book Introduction

     When Spanish explorer Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo sailed into San Diego harbor in 1542, he wrote about his discovery in his journal, praising the land as “a beautiful and blessed little shore.” 

     One of the most striking cities in America, San Diego is nestled along the protected shores of San Diego Bay, the largest natural harbor in Southern California. It is so close to the Mexican border that Tijuana is included in San Diego’s metropolitan area statistics of nearly three million residents.

     Laced with natural and man-made islands, San Diego Bay is picture-postcard beautiful and has achieved international status as one of the world’s premiere boating capitals. Graceful sailing yachts powered by ocean breezes share the bay with cruise ships, commercial fishing vessels, Navy ships, ferries, tour boats and recreational craft.

     Beyond the harbor, the coastline is rugged and spectacular with high mesas and golden, sandstone cliffs that tower over white, sandy beaches.     

     The beach communities of San Diego are legendary with names that evoke the history and romance of this magical landscape: picturesque Del Mar with its famous racetrack; affluent La Jolla with boutiques that rival Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive. Encinitas with its passionate surfer culture; and Carlsbad with its flower fields and Victorian houses. Cardiff, Mission Beach, Oceanside, Pacific Beach, and Ocean Beach all add their signatures to San Diego.                                                

     Founded in 1769 as a Spanish colonial settlement, San Diego has evolved into a sophisticated city that is reaping the rewards of an ambitious downtown revitalization. Record numbers of tourists arrive each year to enjoy the museums and gardens of Balboa Park, the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Sea World, the revitalized Gaslamp Quarter and the waterfront attractions on the Embarcadero.

     Photographer Brett Shoaf captures the neighborhoods and natural beauty of this remarkable city with 150 evocative images in this stunning photographic portrait. 


This stylish plaza in Del Mar is filled with over 30 trendy shops, boutiques, and award-winning restaurants, all in a setting with stunning ocean views. Shoppers can buy estate art and furniture, hand-made shoes, custom designed Italian jewelry, and clothing at designer boutiques. A spa, salon, market, and dry cleaners round out the amenities.

Tucked between steep, sandstone cliffs, La Jolla Cove and its magnificent sunsets are one of the most photographed settings in Southern California. At high tide, the rocky shore traps water in tide pools. Beachcombers, young and old, enjoy gazing into them to see the creatures that remain behind.


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