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Living in San Diego, California:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

41 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit San Diego, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 41 people living in San Diego what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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41 comments on “San Diego”

Every mile, or sometimes less, you’ll find yourself in a different community with its own personality and style. One thing they all have in common is a relaxed, chill, laid-back vibe. There’s quite a bit to do here, mostly focusing on individual sports, such as hiking, biking, and beach water activities. The art culture is young and developing, but not prominent. The food culture is dominated by burgers, pizza, tacos, and more tacos, with a dash of Little Italy.

Home prices are off the charts. The weather is great though.

Its housing is very expensive. Both renting and buying is expensive. However, food costs are moderate and many times cheaper than other low cost living areas.

Giselq, says: 2023

You’ll love the beaches and city life, but it’s LOUD and crowded. Lots of homelessness and everything is very expensive. If you’re moving here, save up a lot of money first. Even if you’re visiting, it’s likely to be much more expensive than almost anywhere.

Jessie, says: 2023

San Diego’s property values are extremely high and it’s very costly to buy property or rent. Its weather is about as good as it gets in the U S. Beaches are beautiful. Unfortunately, San Diego also has one of the largest homeless populations. There just isn’t enough affordable housing, so many live in tents and cars. Utilities are about the highest in California. Those who can afford it find San Diego one of the best places to live. Those who can’t had best find a more affordable city.

It’s crowded, expensive and exciting with many things to do. Lots of natural beauty.

If you’re moving to San Diego, CA, you need to make over 73k a year. That amount is considered low income. It’s very expensive to live here on a retired budget.

In San Diego it rarely ever rains; when it does, locals get really excited about it. San Diego houses many so called “mom and pop” shops that only the locals are aware of. These tiny, non-franchised restaurants always have the best food and people. San Diego has good authentic Mexican food that is always praised by tourists and visitors.

Damaris, says: 2020

San Diego County has around 3.338 million residents. San Diego is known for the beautiful beaches, amazing weather, as well as the delicious foods and eateries. Mission Bay is one of the few beaches/bays where it is never overcrowded by tourists, so there is always a spot near the water. This bay also doesn’t really have huge waves. In San Diego, any day could be considered a beach day because of the great weather.

In anticipating a move to San Diego, one must consider that the price of housing is more expensive than many American cities. Also, the time in commuting to and from work in San Diego is greater than in suburban areas. Additionally, whereas the climate can be characterized as mediterranean-like, San Diego is a desert, and suffers from water shortages throughout the year.

San Diego is known for its great weather and fun atmosphere, whether you travel Downtown San Diego over to our coastal side in Pacific Beach. There’s plenty to do for all ages and overall San Diego is a great place to raise a family. Many jobs and also a pretty cool place if you’re into art.

San Diego, California, is a populous city. There is heavy traffic on many freeways on most weekdays. The city of San Diego also has some of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had. Order carne asada fries because the meat is so tender.

Deanna, says: 2020

In San Diego, winter is never too cold and there’s never any snow unless you take a drive up to the mountains. Spring is always the most beautiful with everything turning green again and the air seeming more fresh. Summer temperatures can get pretty hot considering that a lot of San Diego residents don’t have AC, but it makes for an exceptional beach day. The Fall is perfect for wearing sweaters all day, every day.

It is a very beautiful city. The cost of living in San Diego is quite high although that is dependent on where one is coming from, cities in the south of the United States have a lower cost of living. It takes a little while, but anyone moving here will settle in with the flow of life.

Anyone moving to San Diego should first be comfortable with the idea of fun. There are a lot of entertainment spots across the city. It would not be a major exaggeration to say that there is at least one gaming lounge on every street corner. If your ideal environment is a quiet, serene setting, San Diego might not be for you.

Jeremiah, says: 2020

If moving to San Diego, you should consider the cost of living, the amazing climate, and the wide array of unique activities. San Diego has wonderful weather and friendly people. Unfortunately, rents are rather high. San Diego has several beautiful beaches, great restaurants, an exciting nightlife, and a vast selection of colleges too.

Jennifer, says: 2020

San Diego is on the Pacific coast of California. Well known for its beautiful warm weather year-round. Visitors from all over the world travel to San Diego for the sun and sand alone! With its many historic landmarks, parks, and beaches, it is hard to stay indoors. Everyday an adventure awaits and residents are friendly too!

Lauren, says: 2020

San Diego is a beautiful city that attracts many tourists throughout the year. The public transportation system is efficient but owning a car makes life so much easier. It is also important to note that rent tends to be on the expensive side, but with good budgeting skills, a life in San Diego can be doable.

Angaliea, says: 2020

In San Diego, if one day you wake up and decide you want to feel warm sand in between your toes or jump over some waves with friends, a quick ten minute drive can make that happen. If you’re in the mood for a hike, the numerous amount of trails makes for a good workout and close-up sight seeing. San Diego is considered one of the most popular cities and a well-known tourist attraction, from its beaches to the diverse population and variety of restaurants. Balboa Park is one of the most visited spots, with museums and greenery.

Michelle, says: 2020

San Diego can be an expensive place because the cost of living is over the national average. The state is drought-prone so people often need to be water conscious. San Diego is very close to fault lines which means that people need to be aware of the proper protocol for one.

San Diego is a beautiful city. It is best known for its wide range of beaches. Also, the Sea World and amusement parks here are famous. The apartments here are not expensive as other cities, it is on the contrary very affordable. Also, the people in the vicinity are good and friendly.

Samantha, says: 2020

San Diego is a beautiful city in Southern California. When visiting, you have the option of visiting mountains or beautiful beaches within the same day. Everything is a short drive away. Do you enjoy a bustling city vive or a quiet stroll through the country? We’ve got both. You’re bound to fall in love with San Diego!

San Diego houses and apartments are very expensive, and therefore one needs to have enough money to afford to live here. They should also know that it is not very cold here, so only a sweater is required during the colder months of the year.

Tiffony, says: 2020

If someone moves to San Diego, CA, it is a beautiful city that is sunny most of the year. They should also know that we have heavy traffic from around three PM to seven PM. The Mexican border is a short 30-minute drive while L. A. is about 4-6 hours depending on traffic.

Rossell, says: 2020

San Diego offers many family activities, and for singles. A simple commute on the San Diego Coaster can take you from downtown to the beaches, to Old Town, where you can visit unique restaurants, a haunted house, and shop in unique shops. Additionally, downtown San Diego offers many sightseeing opportunities as well.

Elizabeth, says: 2020

Someone moving to San Diego should know while part of the city is near the beach, much of it is not. The areas that do have ocean views are extremely expensive, so be prepared to pay for that luxury. San Diegans also often time their movements based on traffic, which can be horrendous!

Julius, says: 2020

The weather in San Diego is fabulous. The temperatures are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit almost year-round. It is a city with many types of geography which includes rocky and sandy beaches, desserts, and mountains. The city is full of life, cultural diversity, and delicious food choices in every corner. You would not get disappointed if you decide to move here.

Margesse, says: 2020

The greenery of San Diego can be seen in various front laws and on many freeways. Everywhere you turn you see people of different color and sizes. With the diversity of people comes the wide-range of food types. Anyone who comes down to San Diego can be guaranteed of finding a restaurant or a new type of food that marries perfectly with their taste buds. San Diego has a selection of colleges and universities. The exceptional colleges in San Diego attract a number of worldwide students drawn not only by the educational opportunities but the astonishing views that the schools have to offer that certainly set them apart from others.

Stephanie, says: 2020

For those interested in moving to San Diego, it’s important to know many of the communities in the county are pricey; however, the year-round sunshine and close proximity to the beach make it worth the extra cost. There are also a myriad of activities and places to explore, such as Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, or the haunted Hotel Del Coronado.

Clayton, says: 2020

San Diego is a wonderful city to not only visit, as it is a bustling tourist town, but also as a great place to move if you are looking for adventure and fun around every corner. The city itself is very vast, and although downtown San Diego has interesting places to visit like Little Italy or the USS Midway or the world-famous San Diego Zoo, there are many other aspects to San Diego that make it a great place! The weather is almost always perfect, and you are almost always close to the Pacific Ocean no matter where you go in the city. Additionally, the residential areas outside of the downtown are safe, with AreaVibes reporting that San Diego’s crime rates are 12% lower than the national average.

If you’re moving to San Diego, know you will be pleasantly surprised by all of the many things there are to do in this amazing city. The diversity of activities, terrains, and cuisines are just a few of the reasons many people love living and vacationing here often.

San Diego is a notable military town, as there are several military bases in the county. San Diego is also next to the Tijuana, Mexico border. San Diego is diverse, health conscious and has a temperate climate that remains relatively consistent all year, with the acception of travel to outlying areas of the county; for example the mountains tend to have rainfall in spring, and snow in winter.

When moving to beautiful San Diego, it is important to know tacos are an essential commodity in this town. San Diego residents spend much of their waking hours in search of the perfect taco vendor. Word of mouth is the only acceptable form of taco research in this city. It is always important to cherish a quality find in the world of tacos as a resident of San Diego.

there is plenty to do in San Diego. There are numerous hiking trails to go on, and the beach is a short drive away. San Diego is also known for its great Mexican food. There is also a large military population due to the three large naval bases in its vicinity.

Although San Diego is a busy city, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you drive east of the city, you will find beautiful desert trails with plenty of wildlife to enjoy. You can also enjoy water sports at the beaches. The San Diego Zoo also presents a wonderful way to learn about wildlife and the environment.

Michelle, says: 2020

San Diego is a beautiful city with numerous attractions and moderate weather. It has a thriving arts and cultural community including a world-class symphony, theaters, and arts organizations. San Diego’s proximity to the ocean, forests, and deserts allow for all kinds of physical activities, including surfing, kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, and more.

Kristina, says: 2020

The weather is sunny and clear most of the year. The air is fresh, varying from cool to warm most of the time. It has the convenience of big city amenities with friendly small-town vibes. The 70 miles of coastline provide unparalleled access to the beach. San Diego is also said to be the one area where people can be at the beach, mountain, and desert in one day. Not to mention lakes and parks. For history, arts, and culture, look no further than Balboa Park, the Smithsonian of the West.

Patricia, says: 2020

San Diego is a beautiful, typically sunny city with plenty to do and see. If you enjoy the ocean, there are many beaches to choose from and each has its own charm. Additionally, the downtown is home to many restaurants and bars that range from rustic to eclectic. While San Diego can have that “big city” feel, it is also full of natural beauty and quaint neighborhoods that allow anyone who needs a break to escape an urban atmosphere. San Diego will soon feel charmingly familiar to you, while still providing fun surprises and new things to do around each corner.

Monyatta, says: 2020

San Diego is much like people’s ideas of it. Tourists tend not to be surprised by the miles of beaches, bustling harbor, or abundance of palm trees. The weather rarely dips below the 60s and mainly hovers between 70 and 80 degrees; for the majority of that time, the sun is mostly or fully out. Seeing sunshine daily all year affects your mood. The notable exception to our perpetual spring is May and June, whose tendencies toward cloudiness are lovingly called May Grey and June Gloom. If the weather wasn’t enough to make the trip worthwhile, visitors will soon notice that San Diegans are relaxed people, lacking the “hustle” culture of New York or Los Angeles. If you’re lucky enough to befriend a San Diegan during your stay, ask them where their favorite burrito place is. San Diego Mexican food is a unique spin-off and should not, under any circumstances, be missed out on. Then ask what their favorite tourist attractions are. In fact, ask the first ten people you meet where you should go and you’ll get no fewer than eleven different suggestions. San Diego is crawling with preserved culture and history to the extent that you will miss out on some of it, but that’s just your excuse to come back!

Abigail, says: 2020

San Diego is a beautiful city. It consists of people who are typically laid back and have good personalities, and are welcoming to others. San Diego weather is what most people move to the state for, because it is not too hot or dry, but also has a nice breeze from the ocean intermittently.

Amanda, says: 2020

San Diego is a very welcoming city, with kind people and a lot of fun to be had. While most may think that all the City is only good for its beaches, San Diego actually has a wide range of places and climates that any new resident can visit. These range from deep pine forests to arid desert plains, not counting our world-renowned beaches.

Terran, says: 2020

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