The area that is now San Diego was first visited by Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who claimed the bay for Spain in 1542. In 1602, the area was renamed San Diego, after the ship of sailor Don Sebastian de Viscaino. The mission of San Diego, founded in 1769, represented the first European settlement in California. San Diego was incorporated as an American city in 1850 after California achieved statehood. In the early 1900s, the city became a major naval port and currently is home to the largest naval fleet in America. San Diego’s deep water port is the only port on the Pacific coast that can support submarine and shipbuilding yards.
Today, San Diego is a rapidly growing city. With a population of nearly 1.4 million people, it is the second largest city in California and the 8th largest in the United States. It has one of the nation’s most temperate climates, as temperatures range between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit most of the time. The city is home to the San Diego Zoo, one of the world’s greatest and most famous zoos. The zoo is home to over 3,700 animals of over 650 species. It was one of the first zoos in the world that built cage-free exhibits that more closely mirror the actual habitats of animals. It is also one of only a few zoos in the world to feature Giant Pandas.
Here, students can learn all about California’s cities, landmarks, and landforms, simply by clicking on the map. Lots of interactive activities and printouts as well. Perfect for reports or research projects.
Click here for a United States Cities Online Scavenger Hunt
Click here for a United States Cities Printable Scavenger Hunt.