Key findings

  • El Cajon has a Livability Score of 59/100, which is considered below average
  • El Cajon crime rates are 10% lower than the California average
  • Cost of living in El Cajon is 5% lower than the California average
  • El Cajon real estate prices are 10% lower than the California average
  • Rental prices in El Cajon are 12% lower than the California average

Best Places to Live in and Around El Cajon

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      El Cajon Real estate & Rental prices

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      El Cajon, CA

      El Cajon is a great place to live for both families and singles because of the diverse nightlife, family-friendly attractions, great schools and access to major urban resources in nearby San Diego. The temperature runs between the 60s and 80s year-round, and the city has lots of land, nearby recreational resources, mountain views and desert vistas. The city served as a hub for people moving out west for more than 250 years.

      Named for Spanish words that mean “the box,” the area is surrounded and protected by mountains, but the actual city has rich, boxed-in pasture land. The city is only 17 miles in area with a population over 100,000. You can enjoy living in a place with lots of history, attractions, modern amenities and short distances to San Diego, Mexico and desert landscapes.

      The city offers good public schools, rich nightlife, diverse culture and family-friendly living. Area attractions include the Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center, which is a National Historic Monument. The East County Performing Arts Center has been voted the area’s best concert hall, and El Cajon offers plenty of parks, sports fields, playgrounds and recreation facilities.

      Commuting to the San Diego urban area is fast and easy, but there can be rush hour problems in the San Diego city limits. The cost of living in El Cajon is higher than the average, but that’s mostly based on home costs, which are quite high in all California cities. The average cost of living in the United States is 30 percent less than the cost of living in El Cajon. Health care costs in El Cajon are about 10 percent lower than average, and utilities are about 10 percent higher than the national average. The median home price is around $520,000, but rentals are more affordable because they rank among the lowest for California cities at an average of about $1,200.

      Tips for relocating to El Cajon include registering your vehicle within 20 days and getting a California Driver’s license within 10 days. Like all of California, food costs are higher than the national average, but you can save by getting your produce from the city’s farmer’s market.

      Public transportation in El Cajon is provided by the Metropolitan Transit System and Greyhound Bus Lines. The city is a major commuter hub for local and regional routes that are served by buses and trolley lines. Disabled residents have equivalent access to buses and light rail lines, and those with more severe disabilities can use the MTS paratransit operations if they can't access trolleys and buses. Seniors enjoy affordable transportation to all cities in San Diego County through RideFACT services.

      El Cajon is a perfect blend of historical settings, modern amenities and convenient transportation to some of the world’s most visited sites in San Diego County. Younger people are attracted to the city as evidenced by a 10 percent higher demographic than the average California city.

      Top Rated Schools in El Cajon

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Literacy First CharterKG - 121,60767%
      Fletcher Hills ElementaryKG - 668455%
      Granite Hills High9 - 122,47854%
      Mosaica Online Academy Of Southern CaliforniaKG - 123350%
      Blossom Valley ElementaryKG - 552350%
      Eje Middle Academy6 - 817150%
      Grossmont High9 - 122,39449%
      Los Coches Creek Middle School6 - 866346%
      See all El Cajon schools

      El Cajon Reviews

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      Attractions0/10
      Community0/10
      Nightlife0/10
      Dining0/10
      Shopping0/10
      Fletcher Hills is awesome!!!

      Attractions10/10
      Community10/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping10/10
      El Cajon and La Mesa are about a dozen miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Fletcher Hills, in particular, is a community within El Cajon on the boarder of La Mesa/Mt. Helix. This beautiful neighborhood was developed in the late 1920's by San Diego developer Ed Fletcher. The weather is amazing! Winters are mild; while cold in the evening and early morning to remind you there are seasons, the days are marked by sunshine and "light jacket" temperatures. In the summer, a calm, gentle breeze keeps it comfortable and ALWAYS pleasant. Many homes don't even have air conditioning, although I do think that it is better if you do. It is close to the ocean, the mountains, hiking trails, parks, restaurants and shopping. The schools, kindergarten to college, are over-the-top great. Also particularly notable about Fletcher Hills is the neighborly people, always smiling and taking care of each other, a throw back to an earlier time. Speaking of an earlier time, a quick look at the El Cajon city web site tells of its rich history as an important American city! Fletcher
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      El Cajon, CA: A Rarity In Southern California

      Attractions7/10
      Community8/10
      Nightlife8/10
      Dining8/10
      Shopping6/10
      Conveniently located along Interstate 8 near San Diego, El Cajon is a great place to visit or relocate to. Dedicated to affordable living, El Cajon makes searching for homes to rent or buy feasible for prospective residents. Neighborhoods provide a safe and beautiful place to live. Schools are well rated and plentiful in the area.

      Visitors traveling to San Diego will want to stop in El Cajon to visit the Heritage of the Americas Museum, featuring a wide variety of historical to anthropological exhibits. Also El Sycuan Casino is a popular attraction, offering all the amenities of a great casino. There are plenty of major stores and other shopping venues in El Cajon too.

      I traveled through the city of El Cajon twice and both times I ate at Marechiaro's Fine Italian Restaurant. Living up to every word in its name, this location has some of the best food in the San Diego area. All of the cuisine was delicious and I highly recommend Marechiaro's to anyone who loves Italian food. Thornton's Irish Pub makes an excellent place to enjoy drinks after dinner. With a lively but fun atmosphere, this pub is the perfect spot to relax.
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      Reason for reporting
      Source: The El Cajon, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).