Essential Things to Know When Moving to San Diego

Whether you’re a graduate looking for the excitement or just someone who wants a change of climate, moving to San Diego may seem like the ideal choice. And why wouldn’t it? They don’t call it “America’s Finest City” for nothing. But it is much, much more than seemingly endless summer and surfing. Stay with us for a little longer and learn all you should know before you relocate to this California jewel.

Phase One – Weather and Other Crucial Things To Know Before Moving to San Diego

California is, in many ways, all fun and games. And innovation, of course. SD is no exception to that. It is brimming with opportunities in all spheres of life, albeit with somewhat steep prices of, well, everything. But we’ll get to the prices in a sec, and now we’ll stick to the seemingly endless possibilities.

If you’re wondering how to get a job before you move, all you need is some skill. Or entrepreneurial spirit. It’s been long established that SD is among the best places for creating a startup company or a small business. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a career, you may try your luck and knowledge in the booming wireless industry. Qualcomm is a local company, and the likes of Nokia and LG Electronics are present. Biotechnology is also a thing in SD, with lots of research institutions and companies. Still, the biggest employers in town are the US Navy and universities, for those seeking such challenges.

And the greatest part of it all? Once the working hours are done, you may head straight to the beach. It doesn’t matter if you’re not moving in the summer. Its climate is mild, and the weather is sunny all over the year. Besides, the ocean is perfect for surfing. Worry not, Jaws happens on the East Coast.

If you want to live in endless summer and with cool people, you''ll like the city of San Diego, CA

How Much Should I Save Before Moving to San Diego? Check the Cost of Living

Now we get to the biggest, and probably the only downside. Wherever you look, you’ll undoubtedly see the same mantra: it’s God damn expensive! Because it is, no reason to deny it. Luckily, salaries are high enough to cover the cost of living in San Diego.

And housing is undoubtedly the most significant slice of it. According to the data provided by specialized website numbeo.com, monthly rent for a small apartment in the city’s center stands on average at more than 2,100 USD. To buy real estate downtown, you’d have to, again on average, splash more than 600 USD for a square foot. That, as well as almost every other item on the cost-of-living checklist, is on a par or higher than other expensive California cities, such as San Francisco or Los Angeles.

CityAverage Price for 10,7 sq ft in the City's CenterAverage Rent for Small Apartment in CenterYearly Mortgage RateAverage Net Salary
San Diego$6,150$2,1104,14%$5,175
Los Angeles$8,000$2,2554,08%$4,410
San Francisco$13,310$3,5504,20%$7,700
Seattle$7,550$2,1204,14%$5,685
Portland$4,075$1,5904,09%$3,710

So, Is It Worth It to Move to San Diego? It Is, After You’re Finished Looking at the Apartments

So, should this data discourage you from moving to San Diego? Not in a million years! Once you’re done with buying things you need for your first apartment, all the dust settles, and packing up your home becomes just a distant memory, you’ll be wondering how you ever lived anywhere else.

Whether you’re moving to a city alone, or perhaps moving in with your significant other, America’s Finest City will show you its worth and prove to you that you haven’t made a mistake by coming there.

Expenses are high, even for California, but life on the beach all year round is well worth it.

What Are the Best Neighborhoods in San Diego If You’re Wondering Where to Live

One of the first steps after you pick a new city is to choose where to live in it. However, the list of best neighborhoods in San Diego will greatly depend on your preferences and circumstances. Parts of the city may be desirable for families, but not so much for young professionals looking for a good time after hours. Someone might only be interested in being close to the ocean. And the great thing is that there’s something for everybody. So here’s our shortlist of the neighborhoods that might be perfect for living:

  • La Jolla – Though not exactly for folks on a tight budget, La Jolla is the hotspot of activities. It has lovely restaurants, numerous opportunities for shopping and beaches. It’s a neighborhood of many students.
  • North Park – This part of SD is famous for people’s favorite activity: drinking beer. Only here it’s craft beer. There are many breweries in North Park, and when you combine that with a high walk score, what can go wrong?
  • Ocean BeachIf you’re a fan of beaches and surfing, this is a place for you. Here you can enjoy all the seaside activities.
  • Little Italy – Cozy neighborhood favored by people with families. It is near the shore, it is excellent for walking, and has a lot of parks and playgrounds for kids and pets. Grown-ups can enjoy a cold beer before heading to the farmers market to buy groceries.
  • Downtown – As can be expected, Downtown is where the nightlife and all the action takes place. It is well known for pubs and joints of the Gaslamp Quarters. Price of everything skyrockets, though.

Still, and especially if you’re moving from a small town to a big city, you don’t have to worry. Wherever in SD you go, you can expect tight-knit communities where you’ll meet new neighbors in a heartbeat.

How to Move Around After Moving to San Diego

Once you pick a neighborhood, you’d probably wish to explore others. In SD, most residents drive. Therefore, it is reasonable for you to opt for auto transport. Parking may present a challenge, but that depends on the neighborhood.

If you don’t want to be bothered with traffic, or simply wish to lower your carbon footprint, you can use public transportation or ride a bicycle. Downtown San Diego is served by trolley and bus systems, as well as two light rail networks, so no trouble there.

For a bit farther commutes, there is San Diego International Airport (more commonly known as Lindbergh Field), and one terminal of Tijuana International Airport. Yes, Tijuana is just across the border, and there’s a shuttle ride between sister cities every day.

SD residents like their public transportation system

Education in America’s Finest City

When a city is as innovative as SD, top-notch amenities are warranted. It is certainly true when it comes to educational institutions. The San Diego Unified School District runs more than a hundred preschools and elementary schools, as well as around a hundred middle, high and charter schools.

When it comes to higher education, there are several public colleges and universities. Most well-known are the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), San Diego State University (SDSU), and San Diego Community College District. Besides these, there are numerous private universities, both for-profit and nonprofit.

All in all, almost 45 percent of residents older than 25 years have bachelor degrees. That is nearly 15 percent more than on the national level.
For those wishing to improve their knowledge by other means, San Diego Public Library has 36 locations all around town.

If you want to secure a bright future for your children, send them to one of SD universities

Later Stage of the Day – Things to Do in San Diego Once the Shift Is Over

Finally, when the working day is over, comes our favorite time of the day. San Diego is a perfect spot for leisure and culture. One of the best places in that regard is Balboa Park, one of the largest urban parks in the US. Exploring its 1,200 acres of space could also be one of the most romantic things to do in San Diego in case you’re moving with your special someone.

There are numerous museums (among them Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, and Air & Space Museum), but also the world-famous San Diego Zoo. SD is also the home of Legoland and SeaWorld, which are visited by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people each year. As we said before, SD has one of the strongest brewery scenes in the country, on a par with San Francisco and Seattle, its fellow West Coast metropolises.

So far, we stayed in the domain of ordinary stuff that can be found and seen in many cities. Museums are all over the places, and every coastal town has beaches, right? Well, no. Thessaloniki in Greece doesn’t, but you get the point. What truly sets SD apart from the rest of the pack are unique things to do in San Diego.

Food and Sports Related Questions – Best Restaurants in San Diego, the Popular Baseball Arena, and Other Unique Things to Do in San Diego

After such a bombastic intro, we have to deliver, right? So let’s begin with the San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum. It is the USS Midway, an actual aircraft carrier turned into the venue for exhibiting naval airplanes. To stay with ships, divers can explore the Wreck Alley, an area of seabed where the ships have been intentionally sunk.

SD is also the only location on Earth from where you can get to Tijuana in 15 minutes if there’s no jam at the border.

Still, the crown jewel of SD is Comic-Con International, one of the world’s largest conventions on all things comic books, SF, fantasy, and horror. It is held every summer for four days, gathering tens of thousands of actors, writers, cosplayers, and of course, visitors.

 

When it comes to sports, the pro offer hadn’t been vast, to begin with, and it only shrunk when Chargers decided to relocate to LA. The only Big Four franchise left in town is MLB team Padres. They are not even close to winning the championship. But, going to Petco Park guarantees fun and spending quality time with fellow fans. And that is what sports are all about. Or at least that’s what New Yorkers want you to think.

And finally, food. Once you get there, you may sign up for one or more of the city’s culinary tours, and explore the variety and richness of culinary diversity, finding your next favorite joints along the way. It’s difficult to pinpoint the best restaurants in San Diego, but if we had to choose, this would be our favorites places to go and eat out:

  • Tivoli Bar & Grill – the oldest active restaurant in town. It has kept its doors open since 1885, in Gaslamp Quarter. Original safe and cash register are still there, from the time when the famed sheriff Wyatt Earp frequented the joint back in the day.
  • George’s at the Cove – a perfect spot for drinking cocktails while eating seafood and more. All that with a marvelous view of the ocean.
  • Marine Room – another shoreline joint with seafood, but with a touch of Asian cuisine.
  • Galaxy Taco – so close to Mexico, it would be a shame not to enjoy tasty Mexican dishes.
  • Civico 1845 – classic as well as modern southern Italian dishes.

Don’t forget, though, to wander around and try out as many eateries as you can. That is the most reliable way to find the perfect hideout for you and your friends.

People from all over the Earth like SeaWorld, and from there to go to the beach or to discover new food

Ready for Moving to San Diego California Yet?

If you’re not yet fully convinced that SD is the perfect location for you, check out our living in San Diego guide for more details about what life is like in America’s Finest City. And when you make up your mind, consider hiring reliable SD long-distance movers with a wide range of moving services and come see for yourself. Whatever your preferences and life choices, San Diego will not disappoint you. We guarantee that you’ll like your new home.

Written By: Steven Rogers