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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The 10 Best Places to Live in San Diego

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Best Places to Live in San Diego: San Diego seems straight out of a postcard with scenic hikes, an impressive skyline, year-round pleasant weather, and over 175 miles of coastline.

Located on the southwestern tip of California, the state also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, excellent schools, and a host of employment opportunities.

It’s no wonder that San Diego attracts so many people to settle down. 

From paddle-boarding at the city’s vast inland lagoon, soaking up history at over 90 museums, relaxing in its floral gardens, or indulging in Mexican cuisine, the city offers a plethora of activities to indulge in.

It is home to diverse neighborhoods, each with its unique character and offerings. 

Wondering which one would be the perfect place for you to call home?

To help you narrow down your choices, we’ve curated a list of the best places in San Diego to live:-

Dive in!

La Jolla #1

Watch the sun’s rays spread over the horizon as a cool breeze wafts through the palm trees.

Sounds surreal, doesn’t it? Living in La Jolla offers many such experiences.

Set on a beautiful stretch of coastland, this upscale neighbourhood is a paradise for beach lovers.

Torrey Pines #2
La Jolla

From kayaking on the shores to going for a nature walk on the Coastal Walk Trail, there are endless outdoor activities to enjoy here. You’ll also find impressive oceanside restaurants, boutique shops, and fancy retail outlets.

Living in this idyllic place doesn’t come cheap with rent more than double the national average but if you have the budget, go for it. 

Torrey Pines #2

If you’re an avid golfer, you’ll love it here. This beautiful neighbourhood is home to the popular Torrey Pines Golf Course.

The 36-hole golf course is set on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean making it a picturesque setting.

Torrey Pines

The neighbourhood also features the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, offering access to pristine natural surroundings and family-friendly activities such as birding, nature walking, wildlife spotting, and much more.

What’s more?

You’ll also find excellent schools, cafes, restaurants, shops, and street art in the area.

The rent here is almost double the national average price with a median house price being over a million dollars. 

Del Mar Mesa #3

This scenic neighbourhood sits only four miles from the Pacific Ocean and offers the perfect blend of urban lifestyle with semi-rural living.

With 900 acres of its area being preserved wildlife habitats, this picturesque place is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise.

Del Mar Mesa
Del Mar Mesa

Home to Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve and The Preserve at Del Mar Mesa, the place has ample natural areas and features over 10 miles of walking, biking, and hiking trails perfect for a fun outing amidst nature.

The place is also home to plenty of cafes, golf courses, restaurants, and resorts, that add to its vibrant entertainment scene.

What’s more?

Its low crime rate and excellent schools add to its desirability.

You can find rental options for almost double the national average price. 

University Heights #4

Love being in the centre of all the action?

University Heights may be the place for you.

Nestled in the heart of the city, it has an excellent public transportation system and is easily accessible from different parts of the city.

University Heights #4
University Heights

This vibrant neighbourhood has a thriving culinary and entertainment scene with an array of great restaurants, galleries, clubs, and shops.

It is home to a diverse community that is brought closer by lively events such as free summer concerts in the park.

It is one of the most walkable communities and a place where people show avid support toward artists and the LGBTQ+ community.

You’ll find numerous highly rated schools in the area along with various open spaces and a zoo, making it a great place to raise a family.

The housing options here are higher than the national average but the higher median household income makes up for it. It is one of the best areas to live in San Diego.

Little Italy #5

This quaint neighbourhood downtown buzzes with a host of entertainment activities.

Originally built by industrious fishermen and Italian families, this charming place is home to a diverse community and some of the best Italian comfort food in the city.

Little Italy
Little Italy

It features plenty of restaurants, patio cafes, and the vibrant Little Italy Mercato Famers Market. There’s also a lively nightlife scene here with plenty of bars and nightclubs offering live entertainment.

Couple that with a family-friendly community and you get a great place to live for families and young professionals alike.

What’s more?

You can enjoy all these offerings without breaking the bank as the housing options here are cheaper as compared to the other neighbourhoods. 

 Hillcrest #6

Wish to feel the exuberant energy of the city? Head to this vibrant neighbourhood. Centre of San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community, Hillcrest is filled with quirky shops, excellent restaurants, gay bars, and friendly people.

A hub of culture and diversity, it offers something for everyone. From appreciating sculptors at Harper’s Topiary Garden, walking across the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge, to exploring the famous Balboa Park just north of Hillcrest which features 1200 acres of beautiful gardens, 16 museums, and performing arts venues & the San Diego Zoo, there are endless activities to enjoy here.


What’s more?

You’ll also find an exciting nightlife scene here along with a low crime rate.

The rental options here are varied, depending upon your choice of accommodation. If you’re looking for an affordable option, you can find reasonably priced studio apartments here, with prices at par with the national average.

Pacific Highlands Ranch #7 

This affluent neighbourhood is one of the newest planned communities in the city and offers easy access to nearby beaches, excellent dining options, numerous golf courses, and upscale shopping districts.

Pacific Highlands Ranch
Pacific Highlands Ranch

Half of its land is preserved as a natural habitat and it features plenty of nature trails, open spaces, and parks, making it a great option for those who love an active lifestyle.

Housing options here are close to a million but the residents also enjoy a high median household income.

Looking for a place to raise a family?

The neighbourhood is also known for its excellent schools and low crime rate. 

With so much to offer, it is one of the best places to live in San Diego.

Gaslamp Quarter #8

If you’re a party person looking for a happening neighbourhood, Gaslamp Quarter won’t disappoint. With plenty of clubs, lounges, and sports bars, there is no dearth of entertainment options for a night out.

It is home to Trailer Park After Dark, one of the most happening spots in the city.

Gaslamp Quarter
Gaslamp Quarter

The place also features historic buildings, the Balboa Theatre, Gaslamp Museum, and the Gaslamp Artisan Market, offering a host of fun activities for a day out.

This historic neighbourhood takes its name from the 50 Gaslamp streetlights that were installed here in the late 19th century.

How intriguing!

You can also find decent schools and affordable rental options here although buying a house is pricey.  

Scripps Miramar Ranch #9

Wish to enjoy a tranquil vibe with access to big-city amenities?

You can get the best of both worlds at Scripps Miramar Ranch.

What began as an estate owned by E.W. Scripps gradually developed into a vibrant community that has plenty of unique offerings.

Scripps Miramar Ranch
Scripps Miramar Ranch

In close proximity to Lake Miramar, the neighbourhood offers an array of outdoor recreational activities including fishing, kayaking, waterboarding, and tubing.

What’s more?

It is only 20 minutes away from Downtown San Diego, offering easy access to its rich dining, shopping, and entertainment scene.

The location also opens up plenty of job opportunities. Enjoying such impressive offerings doesn’t come cheap but if you can splurge on housing, the place won’t disappoint. 

San Pasqual Valley #10

Wish to enjoy a suburban vibe in a scenic setting?

San Pasqual Valley sits in the northernmost region of the city and much of it is part of the San Pasqual Valley Agricultural Preserve. You’ll find plenty of citrus, avocado, and dairy farms in the area.

San Pasqual Valley
San Diego Zoo Safari Park

It is also home to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park spread across 1,800 acres as well as the San Pasqual and Clevenger Canyon Open Space Park, offering an array of outdoor recreation activities.

With ample kid-friendly activities and excellent schools, it draws many families to put down their roots here. Buying a house is slightly expensive here but the high household median income makes up for it. 

Pick the one that ticks off all the boxes on your checklist and get ready to begin the next chapter of your life in this stunning city. 

Follow us for more such tips!


Q. Where is the best place to raise a family in San Diego County? 

Del Mar Mesa and Torrey Pines are amongst the best places for families in San Diego County. 

Q. Is San Diego a good city to raise a family in?

With stunning beaches, ample parks, museums, historic sites, and excellent schools, San Diego is a great place to raise a family. 

Q. What is a comfortable salary to live in San Diego?

A salary between $80,000 to $100,000 is considered to be sufficient to live comfortably in San Diego. 

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