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San Diego Geography
 
 
 

The city of San Diego has deep canyons and hills separating its mesas (elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs), creating small pockets of natural parkland scattered throughout the city and thus giving San Diego a hilly geography. The same canyons give parts of the city a highly segmented feel, creating literal gaps between otherwise proximal neighbourhoods and contributing to a low-density, car-centred built environment.

Downtown San Diego is located on San Diego Bay. Balboa Park lies on a mesa to the northeast. It is surrounded by several dense urban communities and abruptly ends in Hillcrest to the north.

The Coronado and Point Loma peninsulas separate San Diego Bay from the ocean. Ocean Beach is on the west side of Point Loma. Mission Beach and Pacific Beach lie between the ocean and Mission Bay, a man-made aquatic park. La Jolla, an affluent community, lies north of Pacific Beach and west of Mira Mesa.

Mountains rise to the east of the city, and beyond the mountains are desert areas. Cleveland National Forest is a half-hour drive from downtown San Diego. Numerous farms are found in the valleys northeast and southeast of the city. San Diego County has one of the highest counts of animal and plant species that appear on the endangered species list among counties in the United States.

 

 
 

 



 


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