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It’s not easy, as a city, playing third fiddle in the Golden State behind the glitter of Los Angeles and the Silicon smarts of San Francisco. But San Diego — which local boosters call “America’s Finest City” can make such claims based mostly on what people do in their spare time.

This is one active city; where else do you see businessmen change into their wetsuits at lunch time to go surfing at Tourmaline, or any of the other sixty beaches in San Diego County? Where else can you rub shoulders with top triathletes training year-round in fabulous Mission Bay? Who doesn’t want to be outside in a city that receives 2,500 hours of sunshine, annually and where the average daily temperature seldom reaches the high 80s?

San Diego tries harder in its own way, attracting millions of tourists — many of them on convention junkets — which has led to a thriving downtown scene that’s packed most nights by locals and visitors alike who keep the restaurants, bars, and nightclubs hopping well into the wee hours. Other charms include the USS Midway, an immaculately preserved aircraft carrier that is a monument to the nearby military bases that made San Diego boom in the postwar period. Petco Field, perennially voted as one of the top baseball stadiums in America, is home to the San Diego Padres and also conveniently located downtown. Regardless of where you find yourself in San Diego, little doubt that San Diego is a leader in the craft beer scene.

Where San Diego really shines, however, is in what might best be described as “neighborhood friendliness.” Six neighborhood districts serve up a unique style and vibe; from East Village and Gaslamp Quarter downtown to the splashy luxury of La Jolla to LBGT friendly Hillcrest and hip, historic University Heights. Due to its proximity to the border with Mexico, Latino neighborhoods in Imperial Beach, Old Towne and Barrio Logan thrive.