Bankers Hill is a neighborhood located in the uptown area of San Diego, California. It is known for its historic architecture, lush gardens, and tree-lined streets. The neighborhood is bounded by Balboa Park to the north, Hillcrest to the east, Little Italy to the south, and downtown San Diego to the west.
One of the main attractions in Bankers Hill is Balboa Park, which is located just north of the neighborhood. The park is home to numerous museums, gardens, and cultural institutions, including the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the Old Globe Theatre. Visitors can also enjoy the park's many hiking and biking trails, as well as the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Another popular attraction in Bankers Hill is the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge, which spans over a canyon and connects the neighborhood to the park. The bridge was built in 1912 and offers great views of the city and the canyon below.
One of the most notable features of Bankers Hill is its historic architecture. The neighborhood is home to numerous Victorian and Craftsman-style homes, many of which date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These homes are known for their intricate details and ornate facades, and many have been beautifully restored and are now open to the public as bed and breakfasts or vacation rentals.
In addition to its historic architecture, Bankers Hill is also known for its lush gardens and tree-lined streets. The neighborhood is home to many private gardens and parks, including the Quince Street Park, which features a playground, a basketball court, and a community garden. The neighborhood is also home to the Kate Sessions Memorial Garden, which is a park dedicated to the city's first woman horticulturist and is filled with many different kinds of plants and flowers.
Bankers Hill is also home to a vibrant and diverse community. The neighborhood is home to many restaurants, bars, and shops, which reflect the diversity of the residents who live there. The neighborhood also has a large LGBTQ community, with many businesses catering to that community.
One of the most popular areas in Bankers Hill is the Fifth Avenue neighborhood, which is located just south of Balboa Park. This area is known for its trendy restaurants, bars, and shops, and is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike.
The Bankers Hill community is also very active and is home to many community events throughout the year. The most notable of these events is the annual Bankers Hill Art and Craft Beer Festival, which features local artists, craft beers, and live music.
In recent years, Bankers Hill has seen a lot of development and growth, with many new condos and apartment buildings being built in the area. This has led to an influx of new residents and a growing sense of community in the neighborhood.
Overall, Bankers Hill is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood that is known for its historic architecture, lush gardens, and tree-lined streets. It is also home to many popular attractions, including Balboa Park and the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge. With its vibrant community and many community events, Bankers Hill is a great place to visit or call home.
Considering moving to San Diego? There are few better paces to live. Not just in California, but in the whole country. San Diego truly has something for everyone.
Pristine beaches, a majestic countryside, perfect weather, and beautiful neighborhoods combine to form an exceptional city. Nicknamed "America's Finest City", San Diego lives up to its stellar reputation.
Not to say everything is perfect in this SoCal metropolis. Dense traffic and high housing prices will make some think twice before moving here.
We cover the essential pros and cons of living in San Diego. Anyone considering a move will want to weigh the pros as well as the cons.
Drop a line in the comments below if you have questions about moving to San Diego. Or contact us directly. We are always ready to help!
Moving to San Diego: Pros & Cons
The Pros of Living in San Diego
There are few places that compare to San Diego. These are our top favorite things about living in 'America's Finest City'.
San Diego County encompasses 4,300 square miles of diverse landscape that includes prime coastline, dense forestation, mountains, desert, fertile valleys, and rocky canyons. Majestic hills and mesas rise from the Pacific shore, converging with the Laguna Mountains to the east.
Comparable in size to Connecticut, San Diego county stretches 86 miles east to west and 65 miles north to south. It is bordered by Orange County to the north, Riverside County to the northeast, Imperial County to the east, and to the south.
The San Diego River runs east to west through the middle of San Diego. The resulting river valley divides the county ito northern and souther segments. Over time the river has altered its flow between Mission Bay and San Diego Bay. Its fresh water led the earliest Spanish explorers to this treasured region.
Out of California's 58 counties, San Diego is the second most populous. It is the fifth largest county in the country.
In spite of its high population, much of the county's land area is surprisingly rural. Agriculture is a linchpin of the rural San Diego economy.
The beaches in San Diego are simply spectacular. And there are many of them. They stretch across 70 miles of magnificent coastline. From southernmost Imperial Beach, to northernmost Ocean Beach, each one offers something unique.
There are family-friendly beaches, party town beaches, off-leash dog beaches, bonfire beaches, bike ride beaches, tide pool beaches, beaches ideal for surfing, and even a nude beach. San Diego has a beach for every lifestyle. In short, San Diego is every beach lover's dream.
Ocean Beach can feel like taking a step back in to time with its glorious vintage vibe. Its diverse crowds include surfers, skaters, and plenty of dog owners. It is a favorite spot among locals who enjoy a day of riding waves, sunbathing, and exploring the tide pools to the south. Great dining, craft breweries, eclectic shops, and a lively night life scene round out this wonderful beach town.
Part of the Mission Bay coast, Pacific Beach stretches from Pacific Beach Drive to Crystal Pier. Locally known as 'P.B.', it is a popular spot among the college crowd and young adults. Its party atmosphere is supported by a varied collection of restaurants, bars, vacation rentals, and hotels. The most popular are just steps from the beach. Crowds are most active during weekends, summer, and holidays.
Outside the summer season and on weekdays the vibe becomes more mellow. One can enjoy a relaxing walk along the boardwalk. Though on any day, you can count on encountering some eclectic personalities.
A mile-long crescent of blissful sandy coastline, La Jolla Shores attracts a broad variety of beachgoers. From families, to surfers, to swimmers, to sunbathers, it is accommodating to all. Anchored by the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier to the north, and La Jolla Bay to the south, it serves as a launching ground for scuba diving and kayaking. At night the beach experience continues, illuminated by the warm glow of bonfires.
The beautiful sands of Tide Beach Park include a patch of reef for tide pooling. A long set of stairs leads down tall steep bluffs to a semicircular cove. This Solana Beach gem is seldom crowded, making it a good choice for sunbathing or a casual dip in the water. At high tide the beach is limited to the cove. Otherwise you can walk north to Seaside Beach or south to Fletcher Cove.
San Diego County covers over 4,500 square miles from the coast to the desert, with neighborhoods as diverse as its landscapes. Anyone can find the perfect place to live here. Even locals can be unaware of all the great places that surround them.
San Diego is not a giant metroplex like New York or Los Angeles. Its villages, downtowns, and farm towns are generously spread out. You never feel like you are stuck in one place.
San Diego neighborhoods can feel like self-contained worlds with distinct personalities. Each offers its own lifestyle experience.
There is a neighborhood in San Diego for everyone. From the hustle and bustle of Downtown, to tranquil countryside communities, to majestic coastal towns along cliffs and sands, there is an abundance of choice.
For a more relaxed pace of life inland neighborhoods are an ideal option. The historic and prestigious Rancho Santa Fe is a picture perfect country paradise. Vista features a charming downtown with original art installations on every corner. Meanwhile, the custom homes of Mt Helix boast some of the best panoramic views in all San Diego.
The most difficult part of living in San Diego is choosing among so many great neighborhoods. Take time to learn and explore. They payoff will certainly be worth it!
Outdoor living is a big highlight of living in San Diego. The mild weather lends itself perfectly to every outdoor activity under the sun and moon. From the mountains to the desert to the sea, the recreational possibilities are endless. With such an abundance of choices, the only issue is deciding.
Featuring 70 miles of coastline and sprawling bays, San Diego is an ideal place for water activities. Soak in the sun on pristine sands, master your surfing skills among a myriad of surf spots, or experience the magic of a bonfire under a full moon.
On weekends and throughout summer San Diego Bay and Mission Bay are full of activity. The most adventurous take to motor boats, water skis, and jet skis. While other prefer to relax on boats and yachts. An extensive network of marinas and wharfs support San Diego's large boating community.
If you love the outdoors, you will adore San Diego. There are few cities that boast such a variety of outdoor activities. From the beaches to the bays and beyond, San Diego is an outdoor wonderland.
San Diego is not only a boating paradise, but also a hiking and biking paradise. From the panoramic trails of Torrey Pines State Reserve, to the winding bike trails around Mission Bay, to the trek up Potato Chip Rock, memorable escapades await.
For family fun and relaxation, San Diego boasts world famous parks, gardens, historic centers, and zoos. Spend a day at San Diego Zoo with its 650 species of animals on a 100 acre park. Neighboring Balboa Park is a cultural oasis of museums, gardens, architecture, restaurants, and year round events. North in Encinitas, San Diego Botanic Garden is a 37 acre sanctuary of rare bamboo groves, desert gardens, tropical rainforest, and native plants.
If you are raising a family or pursuing higher education, San Diego offers exceptional private and public schools. Its public schools include some of the best in the country. Meanwhile, high performing private schools from south county to north county provide diverse educational experiences.
When it comes to higher education UCSD stands at the pinnacle. It ranks among the top 3 US public institutions in terms of research output.
SDSU is also an impressive university. Founded in 1897, it is the oldest higher education institution in San Diego. It ranks among the top 50 public schools for best value and return on investment.
San Diego abounds in educational opportunities for students at all levels. From pre-kindergarten to graduate schools, there is no shortage of excellent options.
Not to be outdone, USD is a private Catholic school consistently ranked among the top 100 colleges in the US. Its beautiful campus overlooks Mission Bay. Graduate programs include a Tier 1 School of Law.
San Diego also boasts an extensive network of community colleges. They are a great option to accumulate college credits towards a university degree. Not to mention a myriad of associate degrees, accreditations, and certificates of completion.
San Diego's flourishing food scene is sustained by thousands of restaurants, bars, cafes, buffets, taverns, and other eateries. The range of cuisine is incredibly diverse and sure to satisfy any palate. Few cities in Southern California can compete. San Diego is blessed with perfect weather as much as incredible food.
The last decade has seen an explosion of iconic eateries throughout San Diego. From the always bustling Crack Shack, to the elegant NINE-TEN, to retro-glam Rare Society, the list is endless.
San Diego caters to every type of food culture. It's known for tacos and food trucks as much as for fine dining. Not to mention its incredible breakfast spots top-tier craft breweries. Your choices are only limited by preference.
The city's geography greatly influences local cuisine. With the ocean to the west and Baja to the south, there is an interesting intersection of styles. Fish tacos and Cali-Baja fine dining are signature regional cuisines. Traditional Mexican ingredients merge with Mediterranean flavors as the food scene continues to evolve.
San Diego is ideally located to take advantage of fresh ingredients. From the waters of Baja to the rich farmlands of California, culinary resources are plentiful. Enjoy exquisite farm-to-table steaks, seafood straight from the ocean, and delectable local produce.
Strong Job Market
With a cutting edge technology and research sector, the largest concentration of military in the world, and a booming tourism industry, San Diego has an extremely resilient and dynamic economy.
Moreover, as Silicon Valley and Bay Area real estate prices continue to climb, many tech workers are moving to San Diego as a more affordable alternative. Anyone seeking a job in big tech will want to seriously consider 'America's Finest City'.
Baja California, with destinations like Ensenada, Los Cabos, La Paz, and Todos Santos, is perfect for summer vacations. Natural beauty, rich biodiversity, and luxury resorts attract crowds from around the world. Discover Baja's rich colonial history when you visit some of Mexico's first Spanish Missions.
Gateway to a life of adventure, San Diego is surrounded by great destinations. From the coast to the mountains to the desert, there is something beautiful to discover in every direction.
A two-hour drive north, Los Angeles is a city of tremendous variety and abundance. With 75 miles of coastline, a myriad of unique neighborhoods, world-class restaurants, and a trend-setting art scene, it is one of the most interesting places on earth.
To the northeast beyond the San Jacinto Mountains, the desert comes alive in Greater Palm Springs, the City of Eternal Sunshine. Its rich Hispanic heritage reflects in community events like Dia de los Muertos, authentic Mexican restaurants like Las Casuelas Terraza, and stunning Spanish revival architecture. Stroll the city's historic sidewalks as you encounter various beautiful murals painted by local artists.
Near Perfect Weather
With average temperatures in the low 70's, San Diego is a year round outdoor paradise. You seldom have to plan around the weather. Even in the middle of winter, you can count on mostly sunny days. Sure you might think twice about taking an ocean dip in the middle of winter, but you won't freeze if you do.
San Diego's Mediterranean climate is much more arid compared to other Mediterranean regions. Winters tend to be extra mild. It is some of the best weather in the world.
San Diego gets an average 12 inches of rain per year. The national average is 38 inches. On average, there are 266 sunny days per year in San Diego. It gets some kind of precipitation 38 days per year on average.
San Diego has a rich multicultural history. It continues to diversify as it attracts people from around the world. The city takes great pride in preserving its heritage and culture. Festivals, neighborhoods, cultural centers, museums, and dining scenes reflect diverse cultures. African-American, Anglo-American, Asian-American, Latin-American, Native-American, Filipino-American, Jewish and more are all represented.
San Diego's warmth comes from its friendly people as much as its sunny weather. The city opens its arms to people from around the world, nurturing a rich diversity of inhabitants.
As great as San Diego is, it is not perfect. Here are the biggest cons of living in San Diego.
One of the most common complaints about living in San Diego is the traffic. As a large and growing metropolitan area, San Diego traffic comes as no surprise. According to INRIX 2019 Global Traffic Scorecard, San Diegans spend 70 hours per year in traffic congestion.
Major bottlenecks include La Jolla Village Parkway, Route 163 between Downtown and Interstate 8, and most of Interstate 5 and Interstate 15. Generally. The worst times are morning and evening rush hours.
Traffic can also become quite heavy around the beaches. Especially on summer weekends and certain holidays like 4th of July.
Even so, other big cities fare far worse. Take Los Angeles, where the average driver spends 103 hours per year in congested traffic.
High Cost of Living
The first thing to consider before moving to San Diego is cost of living. Especially if you are out of state. California taxes are among the highest in the nation.
A state of of paradoxes, California is home to the nation's richest and poorest cities. San Diego is certainly one of the richest. It is one of the most expensive and fastest growing cities in the state. Living here means paying a big premium for real estate.
The median sale price for a San Diego home exceeds $750,000. The city will only grow more popular in the future. Many tech workers are moving to San Diego as a cheaper alternative to the Bay Area. Housing inventory remains tight as listings typically attract multiple offers.
Not all San Diego neighborhoods are created equal. And some of them are downright difficult to tell apart. These neighborhoods that have fallen victim to urban sprawl, a problem that is not all too uncommon in 'America's Finest City'.
Urban sprawl is the rapid expansion of a city's geography, often in the form of low density residential housing. When it comes to San Diego, urban sprawl is most prevalent in inland areas away from the central region.
Though life is by no means bad in San Diego's outlying suburbs, they are not the most exciting places to live. For some, the relaxing pace of life is preferable to the busy urban scene.
The suburbs also tend to offer more house for your money. Where you might only afford a small condo Downtown, you can afford a home with a yard further east. It all depends on what your priorities are.
Considering Moving to San Diego?
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San Diego is a thriving area with a great variety of wonderful neighborhoods. From the golden coast of La Jolla, to the resort-style ambiance of Rancho Santa Fe, to the historic homes of Mission Hills, there is an abundance of riches. We put together a list of the 10 best San Diego neighborhoods.
Connected to Downtown via the iconic Coronado Bridge, Coronado is consistently voted one of the best places to live in San Diego. Even more impressive, Dr. Beach places Coronado among the top ten beaches in the country. Its majestic coastline that attracts visitors from far and wide throughout the year.
Sunny weather, wide sandy beaches, gentle surf, an enchanting main street, historic mansions, eloquent gardens, and the infamous Hotel Del Coronado add up to a perfect island paradise. It is little wonder this charmed San Diego neighborhood has been dubbed 'The Crown City'.
Recreation, Shopping, & Dining in Coronado
A stroll down Orange Avenue is a journey of delightful discoveries. Coronado's main artery is lined with independent shops, fine dining restaurants, art galleries, and the one of a kind Coronado Museum of History & Art.
No Coronado experience is complete without a visit to the iconic Hotel del Coronado. Built in 1888, this National Historical Landmark has a rich and storied past that includes presidents and royalty, celebrities and socialites, and even legends of ghosts! Its classic Victorian architecture makes its one of the most distinct hotels in the United States.
More Coronado Highlights
For those who wish to venture beyond the beach there is sailing, surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddling, and even Venetian gondola cruises.
With its high performing schools from preschool through high school, Coronado is a great place to live and learn. The Montessori preschool experience is available five days a week at Sandpiper Montessori School. Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church offers a highly regarded weekday preschool at its historic location.
There are also great options for specialized education. CoSA School of the Arts—an arts conservatory at Coronado High School—offers instruction for grades 9-12 in dance, film, theater, music, graphic arts, and much more. It is the ideal place for those creative types. Meanwhile, Palm Academy—also an adjunct of Coronado High School—offers an alternative educational approach.
Coronado schools are consistently recognized for their academic excellence. Not only in San Diego County but throughout the state of California.
From bay front architectural masterpieces, to historic gems on spectacular lots, to modern condos with sweeping oceanic views, there is no shortage of highly desirable properties in Coronado. Most homes are custom built and in great condition. Though land is extremely limited, there are usually a handful of new construction projects.
When it comes to the best neighborhoods in San Diego, there are few that compare to Coronado. This centrally located San Diego treasure is an enchanted place, and living there a unique pleasure.
Point Loma Peninsula is an inspirational place of dramatic contrasts. The historic Cabrillo National Monument recalls San Diego's rich history. Meanwhile, posh neighborhoods and a great variety of accomodations represent its bountiful present.
Recreation, Shopping, & Dining in Point Loma
A jewel in San Diego's crown, Point Loma is full of hidden treasures. From the historic village center, to Harbor Island and Shelter Island, there are many hubs of activity–places where you can eat, play, have a great time, and meet your neighbors.
In addition to its historic attractions, Cabrillo National Monument is a place of immense natural beauty. Its elevated peninsular location opens up immersive views of the bay, downtown, and the ocean.
A pleasant hike takes you down to the rock intertidal area. Teeming with rich sea life, it is one of the best protected tidepool areas in California.
Once a Naval Training Center, Liberty Station shines as a sprawling waterfront urban village. Its many hotels, fine restaurants, and craft breweries are sure to impress. The popular Liberty Public Market is filled with all the prepared food, beer, wine, and pastries one can imagine.
Not just a place to have fun, Liberty Station is the cultural heart of Point Loma. Dozens of museums, art galleries, design studios, dance companies, educational centers, schools, and other organizations bring together San Diego's creative community.
Another Liberty Station highlight is The Loma Club Golf Course. This funky, out of place nine-hole course is a leftover from the naval training facility. You don't need to golf to enjoy the club. A delicious food and drinks menu make it a fun and inviting space for everyone.
As one of San Diego's principal boating centers, a nautical atmosphere permeates Shelter Island. Marinas, resort hotels, fine dining restaurants, and bayside parks welcome all with the promise of memorable experiences. Many short and long-range sportfishing trips depart from its harbors.
At the southern tip of Shelter Island, Yokohama Friendship Bell rests serenely inside a pagoda statue. The gorgeous bronze bell was a gift from the city of Yokohama, Japan in 1958 to commemorate its sister city status with San Diego.
Schools in Point Loma
Point Loma is home to a strong network of cluster schools. The cluster consists of 9 public schools concentrated in the northern half of the peninsula. Part of the San Diego Unified School District, these schools serve over 6,400 students grades K-12.
As one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego, home prices in Point Loma are higher than average. However, inventory includes condos under 1 million, putting the neighborhood within reach of more buyers.
Point Loma's impressive collection of single-family homes includes historic gems, charming renovations, and iconic gated estates with resort-style amenities. Most homes are unique, and many are recently upgraded. If Point Loma ever had a humble past, its ever improving neighborhoods make it difficult to decipher.
Imagine walking down a bay front city park on a perfect sunny day. Leaves rustle in the gentle breeze as children play in the grass. In the distance you can see the Seaport Village crowds, a lively mix of locals and tourists. Across the bay, Coronado Bridge rises above the water in its simple elegance. Looking towards the city, towering luxury condos glisten in the sun, dazzling with their modern architectural details. Welcome to Marina District in Downtown San Diego.
Recreation, Shopping & Dining in Marina District
The Marina District is a hub of activity rich with places to go and things to see. Classy restaurants, waterfront parks, deluxe hotels, and a myriad of marina destinations secure its status as one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego.
There is a high concentration of quality restaurants in this Downtown neighborhood by the water. Eddie V's is an established favorite with its premium seafood and stake. The Lion's Share is an ideal hangout with its handcrafted drinks and intimate, moody setting. Veteran eatery Salvatore's serves refined Italian fare in a white tablecloth space. Top of the Market serves high-end seafood in a spectacular setting with bay views. For Mexican La Puerta is a chill Mexican spot offering signature drinks and family recipes.
Seaport Village is a 14 acre shopping, dining, and entertainment complex by the bay. Its charming design harkens back to a simpler time of humble fishing villages. Four miles of cobblestone pathways wind their way through the village, bordered by ponds, fountains, and ornate landscaping. There is also a quarter mile stretch of boardwalk along San Diego Bay. With over fifty shops, seventeen eateries, and four bay view restaurants, there is a great deal to enjoy and discover.
USS Midway Museum
The USS Midway Museum is an unforgettable exploration aircraft carrier history. Self-guided audio tours, flight simulators, and climb-in aircraft models bring the experience to life. Enjoy spectacular views atop the flight deck, including of the Downtown skyline, Coronado Bridge, and the myriad of ships that populate the bay.
San Diego Convention Center
Featuring a 615,000-foot glass enclosed 'Sails Pavilion' with maritime-themed architecture, the San Diego Convention Center is one of the largest in the country. Its interiors are immaculate, spacious, and full of sunshine. It hosts many popular conventions throughout the year, including the wildly popular Comic Con. Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge connects it to Gaslamp Quarter and East Village. With a constant flow of visitors, the convention center is a boon to San Diego's economy.
World Class Hotels
The Marina District is home to world-class hotels with unparalleled amenities and spectacular bay front locations. The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina offers the all the services you expect of a luxury hotel. Every hotel room and suite features impressive views of San Diego Bay. The iconic Manchester Grand Hyatt sets itself apart with two rooftop pools, oversize windows that open to let in the sea breeze, and picturesque views, and spacious rooms. Embassy Suites is right on the waterfront and just a five minute walk to Seaport Village.
Embarcadero Marina Parks
The North and South Embarcadero Marina parks are joined by the South Embarcadero Esplanade extending along the bay front. Embarcadero Marina Park North invites you to relax in its open lawn areas behind Seaport Village. Embarcadero Marina Park South hosts various concerts and festivals on its spacious open lawn. Basketball courts, gazebos, and a fishing pier round out this popular Downtown park.
The New Children's Museum
The New Children's Museum stimulates imagination and critical thinking through engaging experiences with contemporary art. Its multi-level 50,000 sq ft building is an architectural wonder with 'transparent' spaces revealing the building's construction and design. Interactive installations and hands-on activities fill its wondrous rooms and halls. Designed by award-winning architect Rob Wellington Quigley, it is one of California's first green museums.
When it comes to condo living, The Marina District boasts a singular collection of exclusive and iconic high rises. Harbor Club is one of the most celebrated high rises in San Diego. Its amenities include a 95-foot swimming pool a jacuzzi, and 24-hour lobby attendants. The more down to earth Crown Bay Condos are known for their competitive homeowners association fees. Park Place Condominium is a towering 178-unit, 30-story luxury project on the northwest corner of Harbor Drive and Kettner Boulevard. The Watermark is a unique mid-rise covering a full city block. With only 96 units, resident enjoy spacious residences and non-tandem parking spaces.
It would be impossible to find a list of best neighborhoods in San Diego that does not include La Jolla. Ideally located along seven miles of coastline, La Jolla earns its name as 'The Jewel of America's Finest City'. With a rich history that includes the whimsical tales of Dr. Seuss and 'Old Hollywood', La Jolla further adds to its unique appeal. While the city's majestic natural landscape is its main attraction, countless activities, experiences and adventures await.
Education in La Jolla is highly ranked by both parents and teachers. Moreover, test scores are consistently above average. And according to GreatSchools.org, La Jolla includes many schools with a 9-10 rating across all grade levels.
Located north of ritzy Del Mar and south of eclectic Encinitas, Solana Beach offers a laid back, small-town atmosphere that compels you to slow down and smell the roses. Seaside bluffs provide immersive views of the tranquil shoreline and expansive ocean. Its Cedros Design District is one of the best shopping districts in San Diego County. Together with an impressive variety of restaurants and nightlife, Solana Beach has a lot to offer.
Recreation, Shopping, & Dining in Solana Beach
Cedros Design District
The heart Solana Beach is the renowned Cedros Design District. With its varied arts and music venues, art galleries, antique shops, local breweries, European-style cafes, and prized restaurants, you will never run out of things to see and do.
Every Sunday, Cedros Design District adds to its repertoire with a locally sourced farmers market. Seasonal fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and all sorts of artisan wares are on wonderful display.
Solana Beach hosts a delightful array of unique restaurants. Claire's on Cedros is a LEED-certified cottage focused on sustainable cuisine. Fresh-baked pastries and bread are complemented by exceptional California-style comfort food. For pizza there is Pizza Port, a long-time favorite offering wholegrain beer crust. Meanwhile, Tony's Jacal has been serving old-school Mexican food since 1946.
The historic venue Belly Up has attracted countless musical legends since its inception in 1974. Recent major artists include The Killers, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Willie Nelson, and Tom Jones. Most famously, the Rolling Stones played a private event in 2015.
North Coast Repertory Theatre
For the more cultured among us, North Coast Repertory Theatre stages award-winning productions by established and emerging playwrights in an intimate setting. Its doors have been open for almost 40 years going back to 1982.
Beach & Outdoor Life
Solana Beach is an outdoor haven—a paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its famous Coastal Trail is a 1.7 mile beachside path perfect for walking, jogging, and biking. Along the trail, one encounters award-winning artwork and landscaping. It is a truly unique experience.
Fletcher Cove Beach is a small inlet popular for swimming, surfing, kayaking, and fishing. Over at Tide Beach Park a large reef and tide pools bustle with life. It is a very accessible beach popular with families.
Solana Beach has a good mix of condos and single-family homes with prices ranging from below $1M to over $8M for the most exclusive properties. More upscale homes boast impressive features including panoramic ocean views, award-winning architecture, direct beach access, beautiful landscaping, and all types of luxurious upgrades.
Solana Beach real estate has appreciated considerably over the years. Most listings sell quickly and attract multiple offers. Inventory remains perpetually low.
If you want to buy a Solana Beach home, it's important to act quickly and be ready for competing offers. In the end, the effort is well worth it. Solana Beach is undoubtedly one of the best places to live in San Diego.
Named one of the 20 best surf towns in the world by National Geographic, Encinitas embraces its surfing heritage. Covering six miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, Encinitas hearkens back to a simpler time. When historic surf culture first thrived along Highway 101. Encinitas manages to maintain that old time feeling.
Incorporated in 1986, Encinitas brings together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain, and Leucadia. With its pristine beaches, rolling hills, and a vibrant downtown business district, Encinitas attracts visitors from around the world. And it is beloved by its residents, who cherish living in one of San Diego's best neighborhoods.
Recreation, Shopping, & Dining in Encinitas
An eclectic downtown offers a unique blend of independent surf shops, vinyl record stores, and hip coffeehouses. Not to mention some of the most popular surf spots in Southern California. Encinitas is a place of hidden gems.
Flower Capital of the World
Known as the 'Flower Capital of the World', Encinitas features an extensive collection of nurseries and gardens. The largest and most well known is the San Diego Botanic Garden. It boasts one of the most elaborate poinsettia collections in the world.
La Paloma Theatre
San Diego's oldest theatre, La Paloma Theatre has been open since 1928. Its historic Spanish Colonial Revival style building really takes you back. The inside includes handmade and painted floor tiles.
Fairs & Festivals
The annual Encinitas April Street Fair comes to life two days every Spring. It is a free event that brings together a wonderful array of vendors. Explore original arts and crafts, delicious local food, and multiple stages with live music.
Not to be outdone, the Encinitas Fall Festival goes all the way back to 1989. Live entertainment, children's rides, and over 400 vendors and 200 local stores converge for an unforgettable Encinitas experience.
Encinitas is a beachside enclave like few others. A culture of healthy living combines with incredible year round surfing opportunities. Beginners may want to start at Grandview Beach for its accommodating combination of swells. Just to the south of Encinitas Self-Realization Center, Swami's is a popular point break. Surfers of all skill levels can carve huge waves throughout the year. Meanwhile, D Street is the access point to a mile-long beach known as Boneyards. Its rocky shores filter out the sunbathers.
Those just looking to relax will enjoy Moonlight State Beach. Located at the end of Encinitas Boulevard, the shore drops down near sea level. It is the most accessible Encinitas beach. A large sandy area, playground, bathrooms, showers, fire pits, and volleyball courts make it ideal for a beach filled afternoon.
Sea Cliff, a small park next to Swami's parking lot, is also a great place to relax. Shady trees, picnic tables, and barbecue grills make for an idyllic setting.
Schools in Encinitas
As a fairly large community, Encinitas has a wide range of public and private schools. Many with above average records.
From luxury beachfront homes along sublime seaside cliffs, to voluminous homes on tranquil suburban streets, to warm and vibrant condos, Encinitas real estate covers a broad range of property types. The Encinitas real estate market can be divided into two basic categories, coastal and inland.
Encinitas' coastal real estate market lies west of the I-5 between San Elijo Lagoon to the south and Batiquitos Lagoon to the north. A majority of homes in this area are valued in the multi-million dollar range. The most exclusive of the exclusive occupy the hallowed land west of Pacific Coast Highway. Homes along this stretch feature amenities like direct beach access, panoramic ocean views, oceanfront inifinty pools, and wall to wall windows.
The inland real estate market does not get much more affordable compared to coastal. But you get more for the same price. The most exclusive inland homes feature panoramic hilltop views, large private lots, multi-level decks, and large backyard pools. There are even some equestrian properties.
South Park is not the biggest or flashiest neighborhood on our list. But there is something special abou it. Encompassed by Switzer Canyon to the north, Juniper Canyon to the east, and Balboa Park to the west, South Park exudes a relaxing small town feel.
As you walk down its tree-lined sunny streets, past custom homes and modern condos, past busy restaurants and bars full of joyful patrons, South Park enchants you with its humble charms.
Recreation, Shopping & Dining in South Park
A highly walkable neighborhood, South Park boasts a wonderful range of restaurants, bars, shops, and parks. From the bustling businesses along Fern St and 30th St, to the lush fields of Balboa Park, there is a good deal to explore. One always finds people out and about in South Park, giving the neighborhood a lively yet relaxed atmosphere.
There are several superb restaurants that have really made their mark in South Park. Buena Forchetta's wood-fired pies and global wine list always attract a crowd. Its neighbor Kindred offers vegan fair and creative cocktails in a whimsical setting. Piacere Mio is another popular Italian restaurant with high quality fare. For more traditional Italian fare, Mazara Trattoria is a fine choice with its cozy setting and mural-covered walls. Eclipse is a chocolate bar and bistro serving delectable desserts and delicious meals. For Indian food, Curryosity is always a highly satisfying culinary experience.
Bars, Taverns, & Breweries
When it comes time to enjoy a drink with friends, South Park provides excellent options. The Rose Wine Bar offers thoughtfully sourced wines in an open, airy setting. Open-air beer garden Station Tavern serves American comfort food and craft beers. Always busy, Fernside attracts the crowds with its signature cocktails and chef driven fare.
Good coffee is easy to come by in South Park. Seven Seas brews specialty coffee sourced from micro lot farms. Communal Coffee serves its gourmet coffee and treats from a charming vintage trailer. Cafe Madeleine transports you to France with its crepes, pastries, and espresso drinks in a cozy outdoor setting.
South Park shopping includes an ever dependable ExpressTarget and a delightful assortment of independent shops. Bad Madge & Co. is a vintage shop with fashionable clothing, jewelry, furniture, and home decor. The trendy, loft-like Thread + Seed sells premium quality clothes by select brands. Gold Leaf is a rustic-chic boutique with colorful furniture, home decor items, and gifts.
Balboa Park Golf Course & Grape Street Dog Park
South Park is bordered by Balboa Park to the west, giving residents easy access to Balboa Park Golf Course and Grape Street Dog Park. The golf course is in amazing condition and makes for an incredible afternoon with friends. Meanwhile, Grape Street Dog Park, surrounded and shaded by towering eucalyptus trees, is always a lovely place to take your dog.
Schools in South Park
There are only a couple schools located within South Park. Mcgill School of Success describes itself as a small school with a big heart. This free, public charter school serves kindergarten through 5th grade students. Albert Einstein Academies is an IB Primary Years Programme-certified charter school that serves elementary grade levels.
South Park is a small and highly desirable place to live. Most real estate listings sell quickly and at above average prices. If you plan to buy a home in South Park, it's important to keep up on daily inventory.
Bankers Hill is an upscale neighborhood bordered by Mission Hills and Hillcrest to the north, Downtown to the south, and Balboa Park to the East. It has undergone a great transformation in the last several years. Many old buildings and homes have been transformed into gleaming condo developments. Meanwhile, historic homes dating to the 1800s are restored as office suites and bed & breakfasts. Bankers Hill's central location puts the best of San Diego at your fingertips.
Recreation, Shopping, & Dining in Bankers Hill
One of the most walkable neighborhoods on our list, Bankers Hill is a perfectly situated urban mecca. Its sweeping panoramic views, fine dining restaurants, and central location just west of Balboa Park create an idyllic ubran landscape.
Living in Bankers Hill means having magnificent Balboa Park as your backyard. Literally if you are lucky enough to reside in a Sixth Ave condo accross the street from the park. Its myriad museums, event venues, cultural centers, art and crafts shops, restaurants, and parks, and hiking trails invite you down paths of discovery and enjoynment.
Bankers Hill boasts a restaurant scene that rivals larger neighborhoods like Downtown and La Jolla. While not in sheer quantity, certainly in terms of quality. Fifth and Sixth Ave bring together some of San Diego's best restaurants into a span of a few blocks.
For some of the most exquisite Italian cuisine in the city, Civico by the Park and CUCINA Urbana are consistently excellent. Both are top-rated by food critics and beloved by the public.
There is also a fine selection of French inspired restaurants. Parc Bistro-Brasserie serves authentic French cuisine in a rustic setting filled with vibrant flower pots. The iconic Mister A's draws in diners with its bay and skyline views and French-hued American cooking.
For vegan fare you can't go wrong with Evolution and Donna Jean, situated side by side on the corner of Fifth Ave and Quince St. Evolution has a drive through window, making it ideal for take home orders. Meanwhile, Donna Jean is a wonderful sit down place with its spacious patio and herb garden.
For desert, there is none other than the most famous desert restaurant in San Diego–the one and only Extraordinary Desserts. Its showstopping cakes and deserts make it a must visit for locals and visitors alike.
Something Good is Brewing
Bankers Hill is home to multiple popular breweries. The Corner Drafthouse is a cozy local hangout with a wraparound patio serving craft Southern California brews. The Balboa is a small tavern known for its cocktails, live music, and vintage decor. If you really want to be impressed visit Pure Project Balboa Park. Its 1000-sq. ft. outdoor patio ticks all the boxes. With 20 rotating taps, there is always something new to try.
In the Middle of Everything
Bankers Hill enjoys the perfect San Diego location. Not only is it next to the main entrance to Balboa Park, it is next to many other great neighborhoods.
Little Italy to the south is always bustling with activity. Its countless restaurants, pastrie shops, and ice cream parlors are a delight to explore.
Hillcrest to the north has a lively nightlife scene. The Hub Hillcrest Market is a modern retail center with grocery stores, shops, restaurants, and various services.
For all your shopping needs, travel a bit further north to Mission Valley. The malls of Mission Valley and Fashion Valley cover just about every shopping need one can imagine. While Mission Valley caters to a broad market, Fashion Valley attracts high end shoppers with luxury stores like Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom.
Schools in Bankers Hill
As one of the smallest neighborhoods on this list, only a couple schools reside directly within Bankers Hill. The Museum School is a tuition-free, public charter school serving all San Diego students from kindergarten through 8th grade. Its curriculum goes beyond the basics with project based departments and enriching arts classes. City Tree Christian School is dedicated to academic excellence integrated with a Christian moral foundation. It serves students from preschool through middle school.
Bankers Hill's impressive collection of real estate includes modern condos, exclusive high rise penthouses, and historic single family homes. As time goes by, smaller, older properties are replaced by multi-unit luxury developments. It seems there is always a new building under construction in this popular San Diego neighborhood.
Mission Hills is a very popular San Diego neighborhood just north of Downtown, west of Hillcrest, and south of Mission Valley. Residents enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline, San Diego Bay, and Old Town. It is one of the city's oldest and most sought after neighborhoods.
The first homes were built on the best spots in the early 1900s. More modern homes were built to infill the hillsides and canyon rims starting in the 1950s. Any list of the best places to live in San Diego is sure to include magnificent Mission Hills.
Recreation, Shopping, & Dining in Mission Hills
Though a primarily residential area, Mission Hills features various independent shops and restaurants. These are concentrated in the business district that runs along West Washington from Hillcrest. Enjoy new American cuisine at Harley Gray Kitchen & Bar, farm-to-table at Farmer's Bodega, or fine Italian dining at The Red Door. For Chicago-style pizza there is famous Lefty's. Or you can indulge in gourmet cheeses from around the world at Venissimo Cheese.
The charming Mission Hills Nursery on Fort Stockton Drive is one of San Diego's oldest and most popular nurseries.
Mission Hills is distinguished by its impressive array of custom luxury and historic homes. Marveling at these beautiful estates, it becomes clear why Mission Hills is one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego.
Rancho Santa Fe is a bucolic community in North San Diego County covering a 6.8 square mile area. Eucalyptus-covered Rolling hills merge with acres of orchards in this beautiful affluent neighborhood. One of California's first planned communities—defined by stunning Spanish Colonial Revival architecture—is located in Rancho Santa Fe.
Recreation, Shopping, & Dining in Rancho Santa Fe
Rancho Santa Fe is home to Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa. Part luxury hotel, part restaurant, part spa, and all relaxation, this five-star resort is a popular local spot. Its Spanish Colonial architecture includes 49 private luxury 'casitas'. Enjoy memorable Coastal Ranch cuisine in a welcoming al fresco dining atmosphere.
At the center of 'The Ranch' one finds the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club, offering members a myriad of ways to enjoy their day. Visitors can enjoy lunch on the patio, casual dining, a peaceful horse ride, and more. Its Max Behr designed golf course opened in 1929. It has been recognized as one of the top 100 walking courses in the country.
Best San Diego Neighborhoods: From the Coast to the Countryside
The best San Diego neighborhoods are not concentrated in a single region. They are spread among a highly diverse geographical area. Choosing the right neighborhood for you is a matter personal preference.
Do you like the hustle and bustle of urban settings? Do you like to be in the middle of it all? Urban central neighbrhoods like the Marina District and Bankers Hill will have a strong appeal.
Are you looking for a neighborhood with a more relaxed atmosphere? Do you prefer living close to the beach? Coastal neighborhoods like La Jolla, Solana Beach, and Encinitas are excellent neighborhoods that can feel like a permanent vacation.
Is your priority to live somewhere quiet, away from the haste and commotion of the city? Do you prefer the countryside over the city? An inland neighborhood like Rancho Santa Fe can provide the tranquil lifestyle you seek.
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Known for its great weather, diverse mix of cultures, exceptional cuisine, beautiful beaches, and bustling social scene, San Diego is one of the most popular places to live in the country.
As home prices continue to rise, affordable San Diego neighborhoods become increasingly scarce. However, there are still several places where home prices remain relatively affordable.
The central and northern communities of San Diego tend to be the most expensive. You can find much better deals in eastern and southern communities. But as the county becomes more popular, it may not be this way for long. Currently, these are the most affordable San Diego neighborhoods:
The sixth largest city in the county, El Cajon remains one of the most affordable places to live in San Diego. The city boasts a vibrant and diverse community full of attractive residential neighborhoods, well-maintained parks, popular recreation and social centers, high-performing schools, public libraries, and other communal amenities.
El Cajon's dynamic business environment includes global and national corporations, in addition to independent retailers and small businesses. Taylor Guitars, among the world's top guitar manufacturing companies, is headquartered in El Cajon. The city is also home to Parkway Plaza, a sprawling retail mall with over 170 stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues. These include Regal Cinema, Best Buy, JCPenney, Dick's Sporting Goods, and so many more.
As a large city with many neighborhoods, El Cajon real estate varies greatly in terms of property types, architectural styles, and price. While the majority of properties are single-family homes, one can always find a decent selection of condos and townhomes for sale.
Imperial Beach was almost excluded from the list. That is because this residential beach city is improving rapidly. From an enhanced main boulevard, to a slew of posh new restaurants, to renovated parks, and there is much to love. Even with all these improvements, it remains one of the more affordable places to live in San Diego. However, as Imperial Beach transitions from sleepy beach town to swanky beach town, home prices will continue to rise.
Located in the southwest corner of San Diego County, Imperial Beach is a mere five miles north of Mexico, and encompasses a 4-mile stretch of beautiful beachfront. Surfing, fishing, horseback riding, volleyball, and general recreation all await you along the coast.
Located just a few miles east of Downtown San Diego, Lemon Grove offers the charm of small-town life with the conveniences of a big city. Originally made famous by its thriving lemon industry, and by its motto of 'Best Climate on Earth', the city enjoys a rich historical heritage. With new commercial and residential developments, in addition to various revitalization projects, municipal leadership is working hard to ensure the community's future.
Not only does Lemon Grove feature the best climate on earth, it remains one of the most affordable places to live in San Diego. Median home prices are below the county average, and still below the $500,000 mark.
The majority of real estate for sale is made up of single-family homes. Though many of these are older homes, they have been upgraded and renovated over the years. It is not uncommon to find custom kitchens, hardwood floors, upgraded bathrooms, and expansive yards.
One the other hand, if you are looking for a fixer-upper–a place you can upgrade yourself–Lemon Grove is an ideal place to look. A significant portion of properties are in disrepair, and can be purchased at competitive prices, with the intent to repair and renovate for habitation or resale.
National City is steadily becoming a popular local destination, and remains one of the cheapest places to live in San Diego. The second oldest city in the county, National City is truly in the center of it all. Its central location gives it a strong competitive edge, not to mention a robust transportation network, and thriving business industry. National City is a short drive from multiple notable areas including downtown, the US-Mexico border, San Diego International Airport, Balboa Park, and so much more.
Real estate for sale in National City offers the chance to live in a central San Diego location without paying exorbitant prices. While single-family homes dominate the National City housing market, one can also find condos and townhomes, often at lower price ranges. As a matter-of-fact, some units are priced under $200,000, a rarity in San Diego. Meanwhile, single-family homes start in the low $400,000 range.
If you are looking to move to San Diego, and want to stay central without breaking the bank, National City is a great place to start. As the city continues to grow and improve, National City home prices are expected to rise. It's a good time to get in on something that can quickly change.
Located between the Mexican border to the south and Chula Vista to the north, San Ysidro is vibrant and growing neighborhood. With the busiest port of entry in the country, there is a constant flow of visitors, sustaining a strong local economy. More recently, San Ysidro has established itself as a residential community of home owners, with new and expanding residential developments.
Even with all this expansion, San Ysidro remains one of the most affordable places to live in San Diego. It is one of the few places left with properties under $300,000, though these are limited to condos and townhomes. Single-family homes start in the high $300,000 range, with the most expensive listed above $500,000.
A mainly suburban community in East San Diego, Spring Valley is surrounded by natural beauty including rolling hills, scattered woodlands, and seasonal creeks. Spring Valley is situated just south of El Cajon and north of La Presa. Neighborhoods range from dense suburban developments to rural developments where homes sit on multi-acre plots.
As a community on the periphery of San Diego, growth has been relatively slow. However, this is quickly changing as demand for continues to soar. As of now, Spring Valley remains one of the cheapest places to live in San Diego County, with home prices that remain below average.
Spring Valley has many homes for sale spread over a broad area. Property types are a good mix of single-family homes, condos, townhomes, multi-family properties, and even land. As a matter of fact, it is one of the places left in San Diego where one can still find plenty of lots for sale. Some condos and townhomes still list for under $300,000, providing a great opportunity to first-time home buyers who are looking to enter the market without breaking the bank. Meanwhile, single-family homes list between approximately $400,000 and $800,000, with a handful of homes approaching $1,000,000 or more.
Located between downtown and the Mexican border, lies South Bay San Diego–the gateway to Baja California. The area is home to a number of exciting cities and neighborhoods, thriving commercial centers, beautifully maintained parks, and vast nature reserves. Popular outdoor activities include surfing, fishing, horseback riding, hiking, RV camping, and mountain-biking. Moreover, you'll find some of the most authentic Mexican food this side of the border.
South Bay San Diego Cities & Neighborhoods
South Bay San Diego is full of great neighborhoods from coast to inland. Want to be close to the water? Imperial Beach offers beachfront living with an easy drive to Coronado Island and Downtown San Diego. Looking for a luxury home? Bonita features beautiful custom homes in tranquil tree-lined neighborhoods. Interested in a brand new home? Explore the many new neighborhoods of East Chula Vista. Whatever your lifestyle preferences, you can find an ideal place to live in the South Bay.
Bonita: A Relaxed South Bay Enclave
Bonita features some of South Bay San Diego's most charming and exclusive neighborhoods. Residents enjoy lots of nearby coffee shops, parks, walking trails, and shops. With above average public schools and safe neighborhoods, Bonita is an ideal place to raise a family.
Located in the Lower Sweetwater Valley, Bonita occupies a five-mile stretch of the Sweetwater River, its valley, and surrounding hills. It is bounded by the Sweetwater Reservoir to the east, and Insterstate 805 to the west. State Route 54 marks its northern boundary.
The residential portions of Bonita consist of housing developments built throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Neighborhoods feature lush greenery, tree-lined streets, beautifully landscaped yards, and a nice quiet atmosphere. Residents describe bonita as an easy place to live and a great place to grow up in. There is plenty to do outdoors, and if you want to own horses, there are various open areas where one is free to ride them.
The vast majority of Bonita real estate is single-family homes, with a handful of condos and townhomes. As one of South Bay San Diego's more exclusive communities, Bonita home prices start at around $650,000. Meanwhile, the most expensive homes are priced well above $1,000,000.
As the largest city in South Bay San Diego, Chula Vista sits at the center of an economically, culturally, and ecologically diverse region–one of the most distinct regions in the United States. With a population of 270,471 as of this article's publication date, it is the second largest city in San Diego County. Boasting over 50 square miles of coastal landscape, rolling hills, numerous parks, and miles upon miles of trails, making it ideal for outdoor lovers.
In the last couple decades, Chula Vista made tremendous progress in terms of economic growth and community development. Quality infrastructure, a strong consumer base, a well-educated workforce, and safe neighborhoods are the pillars of this South Bay San Diego city's success. Civic leaders have a great vision for the future, with a 535-acre bayfront mega-project in the works.
Chula Vista Bayfront Project
As of September 2019 the Chula Vista Bayfront Project is underway. The local and state-approved land use plan is a collaboration between the Port of San Diego and City of Chula Vista. This project represents one of the last large-scale waterfront opportunities in Southern California. When complete, it will transform the Bayfront into a premier commercial, tourist, and recreation destination.
Though the entire project will take up to 20 years or more, the first competed improvements–Harbor Park and Sweetwater Park–are expected in the next few years. Harbor Park will provide signature amenities, a wide range of recreational opportunities, and large open spaces for picnics and celebrations.
In total, the new Chula Vista Bayfront will include:
70 acres of new parks
120 acres of open natural space, habitat replacement, and wetlands
Shoreline promenade with walking and biking trails
2,850 hotel rooms
600,000 square feet of space for restaurant, retail, and marina-support services
220,000 square feet of space for commercial and recreation uses
1,100-3,000 square feet of space for parking
Living in Chula Vista: Urban & Suburban Mix
Living in Chula Vista offers residents an urban and suburban mix, with neighborhoods in every part of the spectrum. No matter what part of Chula Vista one lives in, parks, shopping centers, entertainment venues, restaurants, and nature reserves are never more than a short drive away.
For first-time home buyers and those seeking more affordable homes, Northwest and Southwest Chula Vista are particularly ideal–one can still find single-family homes under $400,000. If a condo or townhome fits your needs, there are many in East Chula Vista also under $400,000.
Located in the southwest corner of South Bay San Diego, Imperial Beach is the southernmost beach town in the United States. Just 5 miles north of the Mexican border, one can glance a twin Mexican beach town just on the other side. The 4-mile stretch of coast that makes up Imperial Beach features a host of activities including year-round surfing, sport fishing, horseback riding, and beach volleyball. The pier provides majestic vies of various landmarks including Coronado Islands and the Coronado Bridge. Imperial Beach is connected to Coronado via the Silver Strand, a 7 mile isthmus popular for camping and bicycling.
Imperial Beach is home to the unique ecology of the Tijuana River Estuary, where fresh water from the Tijuana River mixes with the salt water of the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the largest salt water marsh in all of Southern California. As one of the top birding spots in San Diego, it hosts various endangered birds and rare wildlife.
Annual events include free fish derbies, challenging triathlons, and the Sun & Sea Festival–a joyous celebration of the finest in sand castle art. There is also the Surfboard Museum, an outdoor art project about the history of surfing in Imperial Beach.
Imperial Beach Neighborhoods & Real Estate
Imperial Beach neighborhoods can be divided into those on the beachfront–Palm Plaza, The Breezes, Seacoast Beach Homes–and Imperial Palms further inland. Real estate in the beachfront neighborhoods includes a good mix of single-family homes, condos, and townhomes, many with spectacular ocean views. A short walk up Palm Ave or Imperial Beach Boulevard takes you into the quiet streets of Imperial Palms with its classic American homes–many built around and after WWII.
National City: South Bay San Diego's Original City
As the second oldest city in San Diego County, and the oldest in South Bay San Diego, National City is truly at the center of it all. Its central location, robust transportation network, and business industry give it a coveted competitive edge. National City is a 10-15 minute drive from key destinations including the San Diego Bay, Downtown San Diego, San Diego International Airport, and various colleges and universities.
National City is bounded by Interstate 5 to the west, and Interstate 805 to the east. Both the San Diego Trolley and Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) connect the city to the wider region.
National City is home to over 3,000 businesses–a staggering number considering its population of 61,363. It is one of the densest business climates in Southern California, and includes everything from major industries to family-owned operations.
National City Neighborhoods & Real Estate
Though not known for its residential areas, National City has a few distinct neighborhoods worthy of mention when it comes to South Bay San Diego real estate. They include Lincoln Acres just east of the I-805 and north of SR-54, Paradise Village to the north, and Paradise Valley to the east. These residential enclaves are removed from the city's bustling commercial centers.
Real estate for sale in National City consists of one and two-story single-family homes, multi-family homes, and a handful of condos. Those looking for affordable San Diego real estate should not skip over National City. It's one of the few places left in the county with single-family homes priced below $500,000. In a place as popular as San Diego, this can quickly change as more and more neighborhoods experience major revitalizations.
Bounded by I-5 to the east, it is conveniently located within a short drive of many popular destinations. A 15 minute drive north and you are in downtown, 10 minutes south and you've crossed the border to Tijuana, 10 minutes west and you've arrived at Imperial Beach.
Nestor Real Estate & Homes For Sale
Nestor real estate consists mainly of single-family homes, with some condos and townhomes. It remains one of the more affordable neighborhoods in South Bay San Diego. Condos and townhomes for sale start at around $375,000, while single-family homes list for $575,000 and above. Most Nestor homes are of modest size and either one or two-story.
Reflecting the strength of the San Diego real estate market, many Nestor properties are recently renovated. It's one of those neighborhoods that can quickly change as San Diego becomes ever more popular.
Located between Chula Vista to the north and the U.S.-Mexico border to the south, Otay Mesa is quickly transforming into a thriving industrial, commercial, and even residential community.
For the past several decades, Otay Mesa was defined by its industrial developments, consisting of indistinct warehouses and office buildings. In the next few years, new neighborhoods, new roads, a new border crossing, and a total re-invention of Brown Field Municipal Airport promise to redefine the character of this South Bay San Diego community.
The new Brown Field Municipal Airport will include three dozen new hangars, a large hotel, and 1.5 million square feet of retail, industrial, and office space. It will serve as the community's new commercial hub, and create over 4,000 new jobs.
Otay Mesa Real Estate: An Emerging South Bay San Diego Neighborhood
With vast new housing developments planned for the near future, Otay Mesa will soon offer some of the best values in San Diego real estate. With rent and land prices still relatively low, new homes are expected to be affordable relative to San Diego County. Various prominent builders are already on board. Among them, ColRich and Pardee Homes, who plan to build thousands of new housing units. Residential developments will be concentrated in the western part of Otay Mesa.
Otay Mesa West: A South Bay San Diego Residential Enclave
Otay Mesa West is one of the southernmost neighborhoods in San Diego. Situated a couple miles north of where the I-805 and I-5 merge into the Tijuana-San Ysidro port of entry, it is bounded by Otay Valley Regional Park to the north, and San Ysidro to the south.
Real estate in Otay Mesa West is a good mix of single-family homes and condos. It remains one of South Bay San Diego's more affordable neighborhoods. While condo prices start at around $300,000, single-family homes list for $485,000 and above. Property sizes range in size from cozy to large family homes with 5 bedrooms.
If you are a first-time home buyer, or looking to move to San Diego but can't afford something central, Otay Mesa West is a good place to consider.
Bounded by the I-805 to the west and CSR-905 to the south, Ocean View Hills is an attractive South Bay San Diego community with a tranquil suburban ambiance. Major thoroughfares include Del Sol Blvd and Otay Mesa Road. This well established community dates back to 2000, with most major construction completed by 2005.
Apart from its residential areas, Otay Mesa West also includes shopping and recreation areas. Just east of the freeway is a Vons, Walmart, Home Depot, AMC theatre, and various other popular businesses. On the opposite end of the community is Ocean View Hills Corporate Center which offers warehouse and office space. For outdoor activities, there is Ocean View Hills Neighborhood Park and Ocean View Hills Hiking Trails.
Ocean View Hills Real Estate & Homes For Sale
Real estate in Ocean View Hills is an impressive combination of large, well-maintained single-family homes and modern condo developments. The most affordable properties start in the mid $400,000 range. Meanwhile, the most expensive list for upwards of $600,000. It is a pleasant place to live, with large open areas and a feeling of being closer to the countryside. Moreover, it is a very short drive away from Chula Vista and all it has to offer.
San Ysidro: South Bay San Diego Gateway to Baja California
South of National City and Chula Vista, San Ysidro serves as the world's busiest land border crossing, where the U.S. Interstate 5 crosses into Tijuana, Mexico. Though many think of San Ysidro as a place to drive through to get to the border, this South Bay San Diego community enjoys a rich history and strong sense of community pride.
San Ysidro is always bustling with activity, as constant commuters cross south into Tijuana and north through San Ysidro. This steady stream of travelers sustains a robust local economy anchored by Las Americas Premium Outlets–a 560,000 square feet outlet mall located just west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry. A great variety of name brand outlet stores attracts shoppers from San Diego County as well as Tijuana.
San Ysidro Real Estate
San Ysidro has two main residential areas, one directly west of Las Americas Premium Outlets, and the other further north, away from the border crossing and south of CSR-905. Real estate for sale consists primarily of single-family homes, with some condos and townhomes.
It is among South Bay San Diego's most affordable neighborhoods, with condo and townhomes prices starting at under $300,000. Meanwhile, single-family homes list for $400,000 and above. There is a good mix of older and newer homes, as well as recently renovated properties.
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