April 7 2011 by Jason Fogelson
San Diego has a rich history that stretches back into the 1700's, and a living history that still stands in the form of Old Town, which dates back to 1821 -- antiquity in California terms, where homes from the Twentieth Century are considered significant landmarks.
San Diego's population stands at about 1.3 million people, making it the second-largest city in California and the eighth-largest city in the United States. The San Diego urban area extends well beyond the city limits, including 2.8 million inhabitants -- the third-largest urban area in the country.
Despite its expansive numbers, San Diego maintains a friendly, accessible vibe. Part of that vibe can be attributed to the area's fantastic climate. San Diego averages over 201 days per year over 70 degrees, and average rainfall is less than 13" per year. San Diego rarely gets too hot or too cold, all year round, which makes planning a trip to San Diego much less risky than most destinations. It's almost always a beautiful day in San Diego.
Because of the weather, outdoor activities abound in the area. San Diego boasts some beautiful beaches -- some remote, some right near urban landmarks. San Diego's parks, including Balboa Park, Mission Bay Park and Presidio Park, are popular spots for tourists and residents alike. San Diego County is home to over 90 golf courses, including world-class public courses Torrey Pines, Balboa and Mission Bay.
San Diego is home to one of the great destinations for animal lovers: the San Diego Zoo, which is worth a two-day visit in itself.
Downtown San Diego is home to the Gaslamp Quarter, a National Historic District. The Gaslamp Quarter features restored Victorian architecture, converted warehouses and over 200 restaurants and clubs. It's active every night of the week, the streets full of locals and visitors seeking music, food and fun. It's not unusual to find dozens of shiny custom motorcycles parked near a fancy venue, as the local motorcyclists gather for gastronomic pleasures after a day's ride.
For a motorcyclist, the day's ride is the real attraction of San Diego.
Using the city as a starting point, it is possible to design any style of ride your heart desires. Looking for a cool cruise along the coast? A blast through the desert? A twisty ride through rocky canyons? You can design all three within a short distance from downtown.
Several great websites extoll the virtues of San Diego's motorcycling roads. San Diego Motorcycle Riders is a local rider's resource. Pashnit has a $20 annual subscription service that provides downloadable routes and maps of the area (and others). Motorcycle Roads has a selection of reader-submitted routes.
BEST WESTERN has 27 hotels in the San Diego area, including ten BEST WESTERN PLUS properties (and counting), several of which are Rider Friendly.
So, why not pull out that Ride Rewards card and start planning your trip to San Diego, California?