Key findings

  • San Diego has a Livability Score of 69/100, which is considered average
  • San Diego crime rates are 19% lower than the California average
  • Cost of living in San Diego is 6% higher than the California average
  • San Diego real estate prices are 19% higher than the California average
  • Rental prices in San Diego are 10% higher than the California average

Best Places to Live in and Around San Diego

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      San Diego Real estate & Rental prices

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      San Diego, CA

      San Diego is the eighth largest city in the United States, and it is extremely popular due to its mild winters and pleasant year-round weather. The city is located just miles from the United States - Mexico border, and it has multi-million dollar views of the Pacific Ocean. While it is a large city, San Diego is much easier to navigate than Los Angeles to the north. The city is a very attractive option for millennials who are looking for a downtown lifestyle that provides entertainment, dining, and walkability.

      San Diego is home to several major United States military installations. The United States Navy Seals train on Coronado Island, and the Blue Angels Navy aerial demonstration team flies out of Air Station Miramar. As a large military community, you will find that San Diego is very patriotic with many events throughout the year to honor veterans and their families.

      If you are not in the military and you are relocating to the city, you will have no problem fitting in thanks to the city's Metropolitan system. While there are no subways in the city, there is a selection of busses and trams that can get you around the city. While it is easier to navigate the city by car, it is possible to get to most locations in the city within a couple of transfers.

      San Diego's Gas Lamp District is one of the hottest spots in town, and it is home to a wide selection of shops, restaurants, and bars. The area also hosts the San Diego Padres professional baseball team. During the summer months, catching a Padres game is a great way to spend a few hours on a beautiful California evening.

      Home prices in San Diego are more expensive than most regions in the country, but must San Diegans agree that it is a fair trade off for the lifestyle that the city offers. It is consistently recognized as one of the fittest cities in the country due to the miles of running trails and easy access to the beach for water recreation.

      History comes alive in San Diego as you tour the U.S.S. Midway to learn about the ship's historic past. The city also has one of the country's most famous zoos that is home to thousands of animals. San Diego is home to two major universities if higher education is something that is of interest to you or your family.

      San Diego is a popular place to live thanks to its natural beauty, entertainment options, and amazing culinary scene. After a long day at work, what could be better than a stroll on the beach with a delicious fish taco in your hand?

      Top Rated Schools in San Diego

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      Ocean AirKG - 678692%
      La Jolla ElementaryKG - 559592%
      Solana Highlands ElementaryKG - 334190%
      Carmel Creek ElementaryKG - 335690%
      Sage CanyonKG - 671088%
      Del Mar Heights ElementaryKG - 644387%
      Torrey Pines ElementaryKG - 555086%
      Del Norte High9 - 121,93386%
      See all San Diego schools

      San Diego Reviews

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      This city is far worse than San Francisco in all ways and I have lived in both. It is very poor on crime. There is a lot of illicit drug use and forced sex across all races. Do not use this areas Craiglist for anything. Hospitals have minimal care. It is not safe in many areas at night. Housing costs are much higher than reported.
      • 1 -9

      Lived there over 10 years, WAY corrupt especially to visitors ESPECIALLY NOW!! They are trying to get people to visit now for vacation because they are BROKE!! So you visit yoll get tickets and fines and jacked all around i promise that I have to laugh watching that hell hole eat crap after all i seen it do to the innocent just to get a little revinue. HEAR ME NOW!! THE SAYING IS TRUE.. go on vacation you will leave on probaton with tons of fines, the crooked pigs there didnt steal enough money so be careful, go to idaho or somthng lol let Cali fall all down, Besides you want to visit a state who ALLOWS ILLEAGLE FELON MS-13 GANG MEMBERS WALK FREELY AND WARN THEM TO RUN FROM ICE??
      • 6 -34
      Don't bother moving here.

      Grew up in San Diego. It's really just an urban sprawl, dry hell hole, with little to no job opportunities. The city practically has no culture, unless you think Mexico-lite is a culture. The people here, a lot of them are just assh0les, a lot of them are rude, confrontational, and just weird. The traffic is terrible here, even worse in the summer because you have to deal with the heat, and then you have to turn on the air-con a lot which means more gas wasted, gas prices are expensive here too. Cost of living is very expensive, rents are one of the highest in the nation. In 2016 and 2017 it was ranked in the top 10 cities to grow economic wealth. This is the reality of this dirty, hot, disgusting city.
      • 9 -28
      Endless areas to explore in SD

      San Diego is huge when you think about it. I was born here and lived here my entire life up until three years ago. You will never run out of things to do. There are lots of different malls, different restaurants, different stores. You can go to the La Jolla beaches to experience some of the most beautiful scenic views, you can go to Fashion Valley Mall to shop for whatever your heart desires, you can go to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and any number of other grocery stores in the area. You can go Downtown to party, Ocean Beach - Pacific Beach - or Mission Beach to surf, there's so many restaurants scattered around everywhere its pretty awesome. As much as San Diego has to offer I don't find myself missing it that much - it's expensive to live there and after you've done everything it starts to just be "alright". If you can afford it here, then it's a really good place to live because you'll never run out of different areas to explore. San Diego State University is also a great campus with a lot of things to do around that area for the college kids. I've never experienced crime myself in San Diego and I lived there for 20 years.
      • 25 -2

      I am fortunate in that I work full time and have a pension, which allows me to live fairly comfortably here. However, for many, the cost of living is too high to make ends meet.
      Having said that, living in San Diego is great. The weather is perfect; there is plenty of safe housing in communities with lots of parks, shopping, and other stuff to do. The trolley and other forms of mass transit are affordable and accessible to most of the county. Commuting on the freeways can be challenging, but a little planning goes a long way. I have lived here for 4 years and look forward to many more. The job market in the greater San Diego area is good; I found employment quickly when I beeded to, and had plenty of options as far as who to apply to and what to ask for. My quality of life has never been better!
      • 17 0
      low crime rate (mostly)

      except for our current Mayor, who should be locked up for assault among other crimes against women. but this is/remains truly 'America's finest city". small enough to navigate easily by bike or car, easy to walk and friendly neighborhoods. just don't visit City Hall with out a body guard. well enough about our pervert-in-charge. he won't be there much longer and other cities will become the butt (sic) of sick (sic) jokes. (and well deserved).

      come visit on vacation....stay forever. the weather's moderate--along the coast-never too hot or cold. and Camp Pendleton on the north end of the county protects us from LA/OC. we love it. the cultural aspects are wonderful, Balboa Park and the SD Zoo are world class.
      • 13 -1
      great weather!

      San Diego is a great place to live and raise a family. We moved down to San Diego from Orange County. San Diego has friendlier, warmer people. They have Seaworld, Legoland, great beaches, LaJolla is gorgeous, a must-see. The San Diego Zoo is by far the best Zoo in the Country. If you have dogs, check out the amazing dog beaches!! Raising a family here is outstanding, the schools are very good, the neighborhoods are friendly. Balboa Park is terrific, there is something to do for everyone, museums, playgrounds, etc. There is a beautiful water lily pond in the park that is amazing. I love San Diego!
      • 13 -1
      San Diego, Thank You!

      My wife and I had such a great time in San Diego. Using tickets we purchased last year we had a nice 4 day stay in San Diego. We have lived in Topeka, Ks our entire life. We have taken a few journeys around the country but our recent trip was outstanding. We traveled to San Diego with few expectations. We knew we wanted to take in the beaches, as well as the Gaslamp Quarter.

      During our first day we figured we would be exhausted from our travel to San Diego. With only 4 days to enjoy our time we quickly began to explore the city. The sites were simply amazing. Going from Kansas to California we figured the hustle and bustle would not be very relaxing, however the trip was one of the most relaxing trips we have on record. After we got our bearings on day one, day 2 and 3 were spent doing a little shopping. If you like quaint little shops you will love San Diego. We would often go off the beaten path just to find these small little places. On our last day we decided to go to the Gaslamp Quarter. We had hoped to save the best for last and that is exactly what we did. The architecture from the Victorian era was stunning. Located around 4th and 5th avenue the Gaslamp Quarter covers around 16 blocks of outstanding sights and sounds I suggest you take in on your next visit.

      Overall our trip was much more enjoyable than we had expected. We had a stereotype of the area going into the vacation, and we were surprised to find out exactly what San Diego had to offer. The one bad thing about the trip, coming home.
      • 11 -1
      Great Gay and Lesbian Culture

      I have lived in San Diego for over 10 years and I love it. It is a very diverse culture. If, you are thinking of moving to San Diego, just make damn sure that you leave your narrow minded views where you came from. There is too much beauty within this city to separate yourself from the rest of the city, just because you were raised in a barn!

      I have seen people come and people go. I will say this much.. If you don't have a good job, you had better be a trust fund baby. It is still quite expensive to live here.
      • 2 -11
      Great City For A Weekend Getaway!

      I traveled to San Diego, CA in the summer of 2005 to visit a friend attending San Diego State University. The one thing you can say with authority about San Diego is that you will never get bored in this city. If you have an active lifestyle, there are dozens of ways to keep busy. This includes everything from surfing to ice hockey.

      The city of San Diego is incredibly clean city and the people seemed friendly as well. I asked for directions on numerous occasions and received help from locals every time. During my 3 night stay, I booked at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel (1 Park Blvd). The hotel is located right on the water and offers clean, modern amenities. I was able to get it for just over $100/night.

      The nightlife, bars and restaurants in San Diego are world class. Downtown, or Gaslamp Quarter as they call it, features many high end hot spots with the usual long lineups and steep drink prices. If you're looking for something a little less fancy, there is also a strip of bars located closer to the water and on the beach which are frequented by a younger crowd sporting flip flops and t-shirts.

      Overall, San Diego is a great place to visit and probably live as well. I look forward to returning.
      • 11 0
      Moving To San Diego: The Best Choice For Me!

      I moved to San Diego from Los Angeles to go to college at UCSD in 1994. I never thought I'd live anywhere other than L.A., but once I moved to San Diego, I vowed I would spend the rest of my life there. I truly fell in love with this city. The air is cleaner, the people are friendlier and, for some reason, there is a more relaxed vibe.

      There are so many attractions and things to do and see in San Diego, and because it is in Southern California, the weather is almost always nice enough to do them outdoors. There are beaches galore in San Diego, so you are almost always guaranteed a beautiful ocean view when doing things. There is, of course, the famous San Diego Zoo, Wild Animal Park and Sea World that most never get tired of visiting. For the mostly college crowd, downtown's Gas Lamp provides many clubs are bars, while also home to many fine restaurants.

      There are also many beautiful golf courses around San Diego. Don't forget a visit to Coronado Island, which is home to the famous Hotel Del Coronado, where "Some Like It Hot" was filmed. I certainly cannot say enough about San Diego. But I have never regretted moving here.
      • 12 -1
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The San Diego, CA data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).