Best Places to Live in San Diego

Today, we’re going to talk about the best places to live in San Diego. I know there’s a lot of wonderful communities to talk about, but I picked three and Courtney picked three to give us a total of six of our favorite neighborhoods to talk about today on Off the 56!

One of my favorites which we don’t talk about very often is Del Cerro. It’s a little further east and down near San Diego State University. It’s actually very close to Lake Murray. It’s a really cool neighborhood and I love the architecture. Most homes in Del Cerro were built between 1950 and 1970. So, there’s a lot of mid-century modern homes in the area, which I love. A lot of those homes are single story, too, which you don’t always find here in San Diego. Every home has its own personality, they aren’t tract homes, and they’re on pretty good-sized lots. You can get a little more yard for your money than you can in other parts of San Diego. You’ve also got great local schools and are in a great location near Lake Murray, which is a really cool reservoir where you can fish. You can jog, hike, or bike around it, too. Del Cerro is a cool neighborhood and I just think it has a lot of character. 

Next on our list is Carlsbad Village. It’s a very walkable area near lots of great beaches. You’ve got Beacon’s Beach and Tamarack Beach, just to name a few. Lots of a good surfing and parking is actually pretty good at some of those beaches. Plus, it has one of the top-rated school districts in all of San Diego. Not to mention there’s plenty to do. Great restaurants, breweries, and Legoland. If you’re ever looking to do a staycation here in San Diego, they actually have a lot of family-friendly hotels up in Carlsbad. Another cool spot is the Flower Fields, which start blooming usually in March. It goes on for about eight weeks so it’s definitely worth checking out. Carlsbad is at the North end of San Diego County, which means it’s a bit further from Downtown, Balboa Park, and other areas of San Diego. But if you have to commute for work up to LA or Orange County, Carlsbad is a really good option because you’re closer. You can also jump on the Coaster over there in Oceanside and shoot up to LA on the train.

Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach

Another of my favorite neighborhoods is one we’ve actually done a video about, Solana Beach. It’s not a huge community, but it’s a great neighborhood and it’s got good schools. Obviously, the home prices are a little higher because you’re close to the beach, but it’s just a really cute little part of town. They have Fletcher Cove, which we’ve told you about before. They’ve got good restaurants and Cedros Design District, which is like their arts district full of boutiques and furniture stores. It’s a good place to see a show as well at the Belly Up. You can get really close to some of your favorite artists because it’s a very small venue. Solana Beach also has some great surfing of its own, while also being close to some of San Diego’s best surf spots in Del Mar, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Encinitas. There’s also a Coaster stop in Solana Beach which makes it easy to get up to LA, Long Beach, Santa Barbara, or to make your way to Downtown San Diego.

One Paseo in Carmel Valley

Next on the list is Carmel Valley, which is just west of where we live in Torrey Highlands. Carmel Valley is known as one of the most central spots in all of San Diego, sitting at the border of North and South County. It’s also got some of the best schools in all of San Diego, making it a great choice for families. The price points are a little bit high since you’re about five minutes to the Del Mar beaches and have such excellent public schools. Carmel Valley also offers new construction opportunities, particularly around Pacific Highlands Ranch. There’s a lot to do in the area like the shopping at One Paseo or visiting every one of the twenty-two neighborhood parks. One downside about Carmel Valley though is that it doesn’t have a big nightlife scene. It’s definitely a suburb so most things close around by about 10 o’clock at night.

Torrey Meadows Park in Torrey Highlands

Another neighborhood I love that’s close to Torrey Highlands is Del Sur. Del Sur offers residents apartments, condos, townhomes, single family homes, and luxury estates all within the same community! That makes Del Sur pretty cool since you could live there in whatever type of home you can afford. It’s a master-planned community that is highly walkable with lots of usable space. There are also community pools, playgrounds, lots of parks, hiking trails, and more. You always see people walking their dogs and riding bikes. Plus, there are tons of community events throughout the year and great local schools. Del Sur is a little more expensive than some areas of San Diego, though, as they have higher property taxes and higher Mello-Roos fees. 

Koi Pond at Balboa Park

Last, but not least is the neighborhood of South Park. What I like most about South Park is its location. It’s super close to Balboa Park, you can easily get to the museums, the Zoo, or over to Downtown within minutes. South Park has really good restaurants and is also a super walkable neighborhood. It’s not too busy and is a little bit quieter than nearby North Park or Hillcrest. South Park has a lot of coffee shops, boutiques, and even some tasting rooms popping up. The only downside of living in South Park is that the schools are not that great. So that tends to be why people don’t always stay there forever, but it’s definitely a good place to start or a great place to live if you don’t have kids. The 1920’s Craftsman-style home is one of my favorites and you can find a lot of these in South Park. The whole neighborhood just has great character. 

So that’s our list of the six best places to live in San Diego! There are many more amazing neighborhoods to discover, but if we had to narrow it down, those would be our top choices. If you’re planning to move to San Diego or already live here and want a change of scenery, we’d love to help you find your next home. Reach out to us! We’d love to help.