National City is San Diego’s second oldest city, developed from an original Spanish land grant and subsequently advertised as the most healthful climate on earth. Today, National City is known for its proximity to everywhere in San Diego, conveniently centered near the US-Mexico border, downtown, San Diego State University, and San Diego Bay.
Although it's relatively small at just over seven square miles and 60,000 residents, National City has a thriving business community. More than 3,000 businesses of every size and industry bring diversity, creating one of the region's most economically healthy cities.
The National City Marine Terminal is the most advanced vehicle import and export facility on the West Coast, processing more than 270,000 vehicles annually. The port area traverses three miles along San Diego Bay and is part of the largest U.S. Navy installation on the West Coast.
Visitors flock to National City to take in several historic sites, view Victorian architecture, enjoy great shopping and restaurants, and take advantage of several budget-friendly hotels near popular San Diego attractions. Be sure to visit four buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places: Granger Music Hall, Brick Row on Heritage Square, St. Matthews Episcopal Church, and the Santa Fe Rail Depot.
It’s easy to pop down to Mexico for a day of sightseeing, shopping, and dining. You can also stay local and opt for a waterfront picnic at Pepper Park. This five-acre oasis has a fishing pier, boat launch, and several grassy areas to spread a blanket, relax and enjoy sunny days. Kimball Park is another favorite destination with 30 acres of tennis and basketball courts, a skate park, and lots of quiet areas for groups big and small. Duffers like to play an affordable round of 9 holes at the National City Golf Course.
Foodies have lots of choices too. You can find every kind of dining in National City, from fast-food and casual to upscale steak and seafood restaurants, depending on your budget and your tastebuds. There are over 200 places to eat in National City, including the legendary San Diego Pretzel Company, founded by Pretzelogist Harris Golden.
National City is served by several major shopping centers, including South Bay Plaza, National City Plaza Shopping Center, Sweetwater Town & Country, Bay Plaza Shopping Center, Grove Shopping Center, and Westfield Plaza Bonita, the largest enclosed mall in the South Bay.
Car buyers also make it a point to head to National City’s “Mile of Cars,” where you will find 21 dealers and more than 5,000 vehicles, making this stretch San Diego’s leader in dollar volume and number of cars sold.