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The people of San Diego come from all backgrounds of nationalities, interests, occupations and income levels. The city has traditionally had a strong Mexican influence, as seen in the historic missions of Mission Valley. Its Americanization can be seen in its plethora of shopping malls and restaurants.
Thanks to the great waves and the perfect weather, a surfing culture has grown in the area, and numerous competitions are held throughout the year. You can visit the beautiful beaches, caves, and coves of La Jolla and Torrey Pines Park.
Over a dozen large colleges and universities are located in San Diego, so there is a large young and educated population. The nightlife scene near the major campuses is always lively. Many graduates stay in the area, joining the growing computer and biotechnology industries that have a strong roots here.
Locals enjoy the performing arts scene, with various musical and theatrical productions hosted at major venues, such as the Old Globe Theatre, the La Jolla Playhouse and Copley Symphony Hall, almost daily. La Jolla Playhouse usually has one world premiere play each season.
The variety of ethnic restaurants throughout the city is a reflection of the population. Thai, Greek, Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese and many other specialty cuisines give visitors numerous tasty choices for authentically prepared meals.
Mission San Diego was founded by Father Junipero Serra. These missions, founded from southern to northern California, were responsible for the settlement and growth of the state.
The San Diego Museum of Art is in Balboa Park and features an interesting modern (and California) art collection.
San Diego's Little Italy is one of the most cultural neighborhoods in the city. A visit to their Saturday Mercato Farmer's Market is a treat for all the senses. And, don't miss the Art and Design District in NoLi (North Little Italy).