How We Make San Diego a Great Place to Live… and Visit


Summertime in San Diego, and the livin’ is… busy.

We get visitors all year round, but summer is the season we’re especially teeming with tourists. While we may not be crazy about the crowds, we know tourism is a major driver of the local economy. More than 35 million people came to the region last year, spending billions of dollars.

Although we’re not in the tourism business directly, County workers do things every day to make this a great place to live anda great place to visit. As we get into the thick of the summer I wanted to highlight some of the things you do collectively to make the season so enjoyable!  

Those of us who live inland know there’s more to San Diego than beaches, but let’s face it, surf and sand are our claim to fame. And that reputation rests on the water being clean for swimmers.

The County’s Department of Environmental Health has an extensive program to check water all along our coastline to make sure it is indeed safe. You don’t even need to get to your favorite beach to see the swimming conditions. Go to SDBeachInfo.comto receive water quality information from Oceanside to Imperial Beach! 

And if you want to skip the ocean and instead lounge by the pool, you can enjoy one of our public pools or spas without any worries.  DEH inspectors are hard at work there, too, ensuring water quality standards are met to keep you safe.

What about those summer barbecues, food trucks at picnics, or just plain summer dining out? While the chefs handle the flavor, our restaurant inspectors make sure every bite you eat is germ-free.

Mosquitoes and other summer pests? Yep, we help to minimize impacts associated with those lovable creatures through inspections, pesticide compliance and trappings.

Leaving town? Do you need a passport to go on that summer vacation? The County processed 27,000 passport applications this past year so that our residents could travel abroad to see their friends and relatives or explore cultures around the world.

How about enjoying a family park? We have campsites throughout our park system for an overnight staycation, summer camp activities for kids out of school or even movie nights for your family or a special date. And out on the hiking trails, our Sheriff’s department is helping those who run into trouble get back out safely.

We take no credit for our world famous weather, but we do play a part in keeping our skies blue. The Air Pollution Control District works with businesses to make sure they operate cleanly. It gives out millions of dollars in grants so customers can get trucks or other equipment that cut pollution in addition to constantly monitoring the air around the county. 

Did you sign up for one of our summer library reading programs? Kids and adults are logging some serious hours enjoying fiction and non-fiction literature as part of their summer down time. And soon-to-be kindergartners are participating in a 10-session program to help them prepare socially and academically for their formal academic journey.

Some of our social workers and community partners welcomed foster kids to their first ever summer camp experience. In some cases, siblings were re-united, while in other cases, friendships were initiated and lifetime memories were made. 

Summer travel requires extra trips to the gas pumps. Agriculture, Weights and Measures makes sure every gallon you pump is accounted for in your tank! They also make sure that those summer shorts and sandals you bought were scanned properly so that your credit card was charged accurately.

Our outdoor yoga classes, the Live Well 5K, nature hikes and sports fields help round out some healthy entertainment to cap off another great summer.  Our first responders keep each of these events safe while other county employees organize and execute them to the pure delight of our residents.

There’s so much that makes San Diego attractive, for anyone visiting or living here as we do. I hope you’ll have a chance to savor some of it yourselves over the next couple months. You set the bar for the quality of life our residents and visitors are enjoying this summer, and you deserve to enjoy it, too!