San Diego kids are dripping in sunshine and beach vibes and rich in vitamin “sea.” Channel the magic of San Diego into your baby’s name by paying homage to the people who have made it the best home ever. From a lion named Rex (who inspired the San Diego Zoo) to a nod to the “Mother of Balboa Park,” read on for a list of great San Diego baby names and baby name meanings that boast San Diego culture.


Audrey Giesel was a philanthropist and the wife of Theodor Giesel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) and the upholder of his legacy after his death. The couple lived in La Jolla and you'll see signs of Audrey's good deeds all over San Diego from the Geisel Library which she donated $20 million to and which houses over 4,000 precious and original items from Dr. Seuss, to the San Diego Safari Park where she and the Dr. Seuss Foundation donated the recently added, magnificent Marsupial Walkway where you can frolic freely with kangaroos and wallabies.


Voted California's Best Attraction, Balboa Park is the cultural heartbeat of San Diego. The magnificent 1,200-acre urban park is home to 17 museums and it's a gorgeous place to stroll or to climb the iconic California Tower.


In 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States. San Diego's Cabrillo National Monument pays homage to this fearless conquistador.


Beautiful La Jolla Cove is a serene and heavenly haven for beachgoers, snorkelers and scuba divers. This small, exclusive beach is surrounded by cliffs and bustling with marine life. It's one of the most photographed spots in San Diego and an unbeatable place to watch the sunset.


Why not give your babe the city's namesake? San Diego was named by Sebastian Vizcaíno who arrived in San Diego in November 1602. He named our fine city in honor of both his ship which was named San Diego as well as for the feast of Spanish Franciscan San Diego de Alcala.


Philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps moved to San Diego in 1891 and did a world of good for the city. Among her priceless contributions to society: Ellen founded the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Scripps College, Scripps Hospital and Scripps Clinic. She also built the La Jolla Women's Club, the La Jolla Library and the Children's Pool and she purchased Torrey Pines and other lands and donated them to the public as parks.


Julian is a quaint town and historical district in San Diego County. Famous for its apple pie and apple picking, families love making memories while panning for gold or glamping at this charming locale.


Kate Sessions was nicknamed the "Mother of Balboa Park." She was a horticulturist who owned floral shops and nurseries throughout San Diego and in 1892 she leased land in Balboa Park, which was then called "City Park" for a nursery in which she was required to plant 100 trees a year. By 1902 she played a vital role in the formation of what was to become the lush and bountiful Balboa Park we know and love today.


Barrio Logan is an industrial, artistic neighborhood that is rich in Mexican heritage and cultural roots. Colorful murals depicting activists and icons including Frida Kahlo bring this district to life with artist collectives, galleries, shops and restaurants.


In 1947, Marie Hitchcock and her sister gave the first public performance, a marionette show, at what is known today as the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, where countless kids and families go to enjoy and be entertained by puppetry at this Balboa Park 'mecca.'


Top Gun was filmed in various locations around San Diego including a house in Oceanside, Kansas City Barbeque and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Name your little one after Tom Cruise's bold character in this classic film.


Myrtle Creek Botanical Gardens & Nursery is a secret garden and hidden gem. Filled with happy goats, wild birds, butterflies and fairy gardens, this slice of paradise evokes happiness, joy and respite from life's fast pace.

photo: San Diego Zoo /Christina Simmons


Local French artist Niki de Saint Phalle's amazingly unique and awe-inspiring sculptures may be found in various San Diego locales. Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Escondido is the only American sculpture garden and the last major international project she created.


Rex the lion inspired the creation of the San Diego Zoo in 1916 by Zoo founder Dr. Harry Wegeforth's dream of uniting people with wildlife. Last year, to mark over a century of the Zoo, the largest cantilever bronze animal statue in the world was erected at the Zoo's entrance in Rex's honor.


Three-time Olympic gold medalist Shaun White was born and raised in San Diego and the snowboarder and skateboarder is as cool as he is talented.


Solana Beach is a pristine, idyllic beach in North County San Diego and Solana is derived from Spanish origin and means "sunshine."


Theodor Giesel, better known as Dr. Seuss, called San Diego home and tributes to his talent and his quirkiness abound all over the city.


Taj means "crown" or "jewel" in Hindi, and Taj is a young male rhino who resides at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. His birth was vital for conservation efforts, as he joins only 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos that remain the wild.


Naming your baby Tony will pack a double punch: Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk and professional baseball player or 'Mr. Padre' Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres both bear the name. Hawk was born and raised in San Diego and learned and perfected his skateboarding tricks at Del Mar Skate Ranch. He still lives in San Diego and his son Riley Hawk just opened a coffee shop in Oceanside. Tony Gwynn is ranked one of the best hitters in baseball history, he played 20 seasons for the San Diego Padres and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.


Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is the most beautiful place to stroll or hike with ocean views in San Diego. The rare Torrey Pine tree is an endangered species that only grows in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. It was named after botanist John Torrey and is protected and revered for its uniqueness and scarcity.

––Beth Shea


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