Are you planning on moving to San Diego soon? The second-largest city in California has a lot to offer, so it comes as no surprise that this is the area you chose for your next adventure. It’s a perfect place to live on the West Coast, and one of the most desirable destinations for veterans to retire. Besides, it offers great employment opportunities, top-notch beaches, and finger-licking cuisine.
One of the most important things to know before moving to San Diego is to know where you’re about to start calling your new home. To help you do that, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to America’s Finest City.
What Should I Know Before Moving to San Diego
Located on the Pacific Coast of California, San Diego is known for its beaches, blue sky, warm climate, numerous parks, art galleries, museums, and gardens. With an estimated population of almost 1.5 million, it’s the eighth-largest city in the United States. It is made up of 18 incorporated cities and towns along with other communities and neighborhoods, such as Old Town, Chula Vista, Carlsbad, South Park, Gaslamp Quarter, etc.
Discovered in 1542, SD was originally named San Miguel. After 60 years, in 1602, it was given the current name. From 1821 to 1848 this area belonged to Mexico, and after the US-Mexican War, SD County became part of the US. During the creation of the State of California in 1850, it was named the birthplace of California.
With warm, dry summers and mild winters, it attracts people from all over the world. Families with kids can enjoy many popular attractions, such as Balboa Park, Sea World, Legoland, SD Zoo, etc. The city’s closeness to Mexico is another attraction – Tijuana and SD are grouped as an international metropolitan area. Besides several sports teams, excellent educational options, a booming economy where military, tourism, research, biotechnology (more than 400 biotechnology companies in the area), and manufacturing stand out, moving to San Diego California will provide you with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Best San Diego Neighborhoods
You have already decided where you should move but have you already found a new house or apartment? If not, you should think hard about the neighborhood you’d like to move to. San Diego is divided into 52 distinct communities, so choosing the right one won’t be easy. Here are some tips on how to do it.
There isn’t exactly an ultimate list of the best neighborhoods in San Diego. This vastly depends on your personal needs and preferences, whether you’re looking for a house or apartment, relocating to the suburbs, or moving into a smaller home. For example, if you’re moving with dogs, you’ll want to live close to a park. On the other hand, if you’re relocating with kids, your choice of a house should be based on the San Diego schools’ locations. Also, maybe you are moving in together with your partner and you want to be in the vicinity of excellent date night restaurants. In other words, put down all your preferences and must-haves on a piece of paper and use them as the criteria for choosing between the best places to live in San Diego, and don’t forget to consider some house-hunting tips too to avoid making common moving mistakes.
An Ultimate Guide Through Our Top-Rated Neighborhoods
Some of the top-notch restaurants in San Diego are located in La Jolla. The neighborhood is also home to countless shopping options and long sandy beaches, but it’s not for everyone’s budget.
A great area for families to live in, Little Italy boasts high walkability, numerous playgrounds, a number of dog parks, and a great farmer’s market. It is definitely the right option for families with children. And when the weather is just right, you can head out to the beach, it is right there.
Do you enjoy tight-knit communities that offer the vibe of a small town? That is the sign that you consider relocating here.
El Cerrito offers the best of both worlds – historic homes and walkable streets paired with good transportation options and a young hip community. If this is something you desire, your search is over.
With 12,000 residents, this is one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego. It’s mostly populated by homeowners, there are several schools nearby, and the neighborhood is upscale.
SD boasts plenty of different neighborhoods, so it's up to you to choose the one according to your needs and preferences
Important Categories When It Comes to the Cost of Living in San Diego
It is no wonder this place is called America’s Finest City – it has a high living standard, an open and welcoming community, lots of amenities, and sandy beaches. However, the cost of living in San Diego isn’t negligible. If you are planning on buying a home, expect to set aside over half a million dollars for it. According to Numbeo, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the center will cost you around $2,100 per month, while outside of the center the price reaches $1,750. If you want three or more bedrooms, you’re looking at amounts between $2,800 and $3,600.
If we take into consideration all factors such as utilities, groceries, transportation, rent, and healthcare, the cost of living here will be almost double the national average. So, if you’re wondering how much should I save before moving to San Diego?, the answer would be – quite a lot. After all, not being financially comfortable and being without a secure and well-paid job can easily cause relocation depression.
Life in SD is expensive, so make sure you have enough savings and well-paid job before you relocate here
Are you wondering who the largest employers are in the town? Relocation will bring you plenty of work opportunities. If you carefully search through the internet, you will see that the town economy is based on military, manufacturing, and international trade. Therefore, after the tourism industry, most work opportunities will be with employers such as:
University of California
So, what salary do you need to live in San Diego? According to some data, the cost of living is 6% higher than California’s average and 49% higher compared with the national average. All in all, the average monthly expenses stand about $2,665, according to sandiegorealestatehunter.com. And if you’re wondering what is the average salary, know that a person working in SD typically earns around $109,000, based on salaryexplorer.com survey. So, if you search for different ways of earning money, the town’s economic climate will enable you to develop all of your business ideas.
Popular Location for Startup Companies
Are you thinking about starting your own business? If yes, there is no better way to do it than moving to San Diego California. The town has more entrepreneurs per capita than SF, and it is amongst the best places for startups and small businesses in the country. This is a sign of a good business environment. According to CrunchBase, there are more than 500 startups in the town, and if you put your mind to it, yours can be one of them. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas with the local government, for they are willing to help fledgling startups.
Start your life from scratch in a popular location for entrepreneurs
SD Public Transportation
America’s Finest City offers many ways of public transportation, which is reliable, affordable, and eco-friendly. With many bus lines and routes, you can’t go wrong, since this is an economical way to explore the metropolitan area. If you need more information about timetables and schedules, visit the Metropolitan Transit System.
Other Transportation Options
In addition to buses, SD and its surroundings boast accessible and affordable public transit systems:
SD trolley lines
Taxis are also widely available, but keep in mind that they can be expensive. Less expensive alternatives are ride-sharing services, like Lyft or Uber. Still, if you would like to visit some attractions outside of downtown SD, think about renting a car as a more convenient option.
Maybe the Best Option – Live Healthy by Riding a Bike and Exploring Beautiful Places and Park Areas
Did you know that SD is a very cyclist-friendly place? Many roads have designated bike lanes with breathtaking views everywhere you go. You can rent a bike and explore vibrant downtown, the waterfront area of La Jolla, or visit Sweetwater Bike Park, recently opened, which is free and open daily from 9:30 a.m. until weather permits. And if you want to go from the Mid-City area to Mission Valley along State Route 15, the SR 15 Commuter Bikeway will provide a safe and direct bike route. This bikeway is separated from vehicle traffic, 12 feet wide, paved, offering two-way travel.
If healthy life is your choice, Sandi will provide you with plenty of outdoor activities, such as swimming and cycling
Mexican Food and Craft Beer Are Just Some of the Exciting Things to Do in San Diego
One of the many great characteristics of this place is that there are always things to do in San Diego. Whether you are a young professional, a college student, or a parent, you’ll never get bored in America’s Finest City.
Do you enjoy good craft beer? Then you’ll be happy to hear that there are over 100 breweries here. Do you consider yourself a foodie? Then don’t miss out on Little Italy Festa. Are you looking for an activity to keep your kids occupied for the weekend? Then why not pay a visit to the Zoo, the Legoland Theme Park, or one of the several children’s museums around the city?
In short, when you are done unpacking after the move, you can enjoy doing more than a few different things in your spare time. You will surely find the right pastime activities here, be it bar-hopping, beer-drinking, enjoying Mexican food, hiking, attending concerts, or something completely different.
Festivals and Events in Your New Hometown
Dedicated to fine arts, this series of festivals attract artists from all over the world and take place several times a year. The festivals, which are more than just events, provide attendees with the opportunity to bring their friends and families, and take part in interactive art installations.
Yet another attraction for all the foodies out there, this festival should definitely be on your agenda. Here you can enjoy tasty meals, and beer, and introduce yourself to local people.
Parade of Lights.
Every year, almost a hundred boats decorated with breathtaking lights float down the Bay for everyone to enjoy. Check this event out, enjoy the weather, and have a fun day by the beach.
Balboa Park Old Globe.
Are you a fan of Shakespeare? Then you should definitely add this summertime event to your list of things to do.
Celebrate the freedom and power of love at one of the most famous Pride Parades in the world. If you like you could gather around some friends, and share this fun and exciting experience with them as well.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.
Do you like running? What about listening to rock music? So why not put those two together and listen to a number of rock bands play to motivate marathon runners along the route? It is a truly unique experience.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the County Fair. A comprehensive celebration of music, culture, and good food, it brings together people from all over the country. A great atmosphere is a sign that you cannot miss this event. Seriously, who doesn’t like county fairs!
SD boasts numerous events and festivals
The Most Important Reasons to Move to San Diego
Known as one of the favorite cities along the West Coast, SD is a place with more advantages than drawbacks. Even more, after relocating here, you’ll wonder why you didn’t make that step earlier. Starting from scratch in America’s Finest City is much more than necessity – it is a lifelong adventure thanks to many amenities, such as:
Excellent weather all year-round (the average yearly temperature measures above 70 degrees)
Work-life balance is possible here
Some of the best beaches in the U.S.
Amazing craft beer and finger-licking Mexican food
Top-rated SD schools and excellent universities
It is home to many innovative companies
The arts culture is never dull here
The rich history of the city
Tips for Moving to San Diego
Now that you learned a little more about San Diego, it is the right moment to start getting ready for the relocation. But how does one go about doing that? Here are some tips to help you prepare for a long-distance move:
Obtain a car with low emission of chemicals. Otherwise, it may take months to sell your vehicle due to severe emission standards in SD.
Update your driver’s license and don’t forget to register the vehicle in your new place of living
If you’re relocating with your dog, make sure to get a dog license if it’s older than five months
Most SD schools base their educational programs on outdoor teaching, so keep in mind that your kiddos will need a lot of sunscreen from the morning until the sunset
Children spend a lot of time outside, even during school hours
Create Fun Memories in America’s Finest City
When you settle down in the town famous for almost perfect weather and breathtaking beaches, you are bound to make some fond memories that will keep you smiling for a while.
You choose to live in San Diego out of many places in the US, not only because of its beauty but because of the things it can give you. From vast entertainment options, such as concerts and marathons, to job opportunities in significant local and international companies. And after everything you’ve learned and read, we’re sure you’ll stop wondering Is San Diego a good place to live. Remember, living here will help you reach all of your dreams.
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