Moving to San Diego

Archived Responses: 

Nov 2006

My husband and I are relocating to San Diego for a year. We plan on renting our current home out and looking for a house to rent in the SD area. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to live down there? We have a 6 month old baby and a active labrador retriever. I'd like to live in a neighborhood/city where it is safe to walk our baby and dog (preferably close to shops & restaraunts). Thanks!

I'd like to recommend the Kensington/Talmadge area of San Diego. It is a charming area right smack in teh middle of the city (so 20 minutes to everything, including beaches and downtown). Many of the homes there were built in the 1920s/30s with a very specific aethetic (Spanish/CA-style) and the homes are beautiful, big and small. There are real neighborhoods here too, and an eclectic community surrounding the main street, Adams Avenue. Here you'll find one of the best vintage theaters in teh country, The Ken Theater, as well as coffee shops, a few restaurants and a great dive bar (!) The main strip is small, but this area sits right above/between about 4 major freeways, so getting to other areas of teh city is a breeze. I had many many friends who grew up there and I lived there for a short time as an adult. Aside from Hillcrest, it may be the only other place in the city itself that you'll find a hint of a Bay Area vibe

Otherwise, some of the beach communities, ie. Solano Beach, Del Mar, La Jolla would be worth looking at. Some homes, incl. rentals, are steps from the beach and with the beautiful SD weather, you'll find yourself there almost every day of the year! The homeowners of these communities tend to be very wealthy and homogenous, but there is an underlying beach/hibbie vibe that you can find if interested.

Most areas outside the city are very homogenized. Aside from the great weather, you could be anywhere in the country. There is what my friends and I call an ''urban cowboy'' culture there (lots of pick-ups/Bush-Cheney stickers, etc), esp. the more East you go.

Good luck in your search!
retiring in SD

I was born and raised in San Diego, although I have lived in the B.A. for over 10 years now.... I always said I would move to Hillcrest because it felt the most similar to this area. I don't know about the safety of the area, but somewhere near there may be most what you're looking for. If you want to go a little more upscale (or expensive??) try looking in La Jolla near the village... You can walk to shops there and be by the OCEAN!!!
October 2002

I am considering a new job opportunity in San Diego--a very good one financially speaking. Aside from the stress of my husband having to find a new job down there, and then finding new daycare for our 2 1/2 year old son, we have concerns about the San Diego area. I am fed up with the cost of living here (I've been out of work for 11 months and we will never own a home here) and the traffic and general stress level, but we love the Bay Area's ethnic/cultural diversity, the liberal-minded political and social climate, etc., etc. We are afraid that San Diego is too conservative and that there is not much diversity. We love our son's daycare and are worried that we won't be able to find a warm, family setting with a diverse group of kids. Can anyone recommend moving to San Diego in general, or specifically, places to live that might have a little Bay Area/East Bay flavor? My job would be sort of near La Jolla (we cannot afford to live in La Jolla!), and we'd like to be close enough to the coast that the heat is not a problem. Any recommendations on daycare would also be most appreciated! Thanks!

There are plenty of registered democrats in San Diego and the Bay Area is a lot more conservative than most Berkeley residents would like to admit. I lived in San Diego in Point Loma, and spent a lot of time in Mission Hills/Balboa Park where most of the artsy things were happening. You might consider renting in Pacific Beach, Del Mar and Mission Hills if you are looking for something closer to home up here--but buying is just as challenging. SD is no bargain in terms of cost of living. But if you like the beach, play tennis or golf, and enjoy the occasional Old Globe theatre production there is lots to do. Bottomline: SD is not the old Navy town it once was...anymore than the Peninsula is a bunch of bucolic orchard groves. Diversity is relative--I find Berkeley and San Diego not nearly as diverse as New York or London. One thing is for sure--San Diego is not a university town. Brent
July 2001

I am in search of a place to move to in about two years from now. Does anyone know of such a place, by the ocean, with warm weather and warm water that we can swim almost all year around? I have been thinking of San Diego, but don't know very much about it. I have two children so it's important for me to know about public schools and places to take them out. Another important information would be about house pricing and nice safe areas to live. I would greatly appreciate any information you might have. - Thanks. Narniaph

We lived in San Diego for a few years before we came up here. It is a wonderful place to live, and is cheaper (for now) than the Bay Area. The weather is warm year-round, and sunny (except for June gloom). However, the water can get quite depends on your own tolerance, and many people do swim in the ocean year-round. Your own personal tastes and financial situation would dictate the area you'd like to live in. If warm waters are very important to you, you may want to consider the east coast instead (like Florida), or anything on the Gulf. Michelle
Check out this website: It has great info on housing, climate, schools, crime rate, etc. A good resource to get started with when considering a move. Good luck! Jill