Let’s face it--there are just some things that San Diego does better than any place else. California’s first city has had no trouble holding the title of one of the nation’s number one vacation destinations. Other California cities may tout glitz and glam, but San Diego has long held the position of the state’s top spot, thanks to its numerous activities, nightlife, weather and pristine beaches (not to mention plenty of glitz and glam). In 2018, the list of reasons San Diego should be made into your new home is endless.
There’s plenty more motives not only to visit, but also to consider buying a home. Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to raise your family, or for the best place to “hang loose,” San Diego tops the list as one of the best places to live, period. Most San Diego residents will tell you first hand how this city beats all the rest--but if you’re looking for a few more reasons why you’ll want to start looking at San Diego real estate, here are our top ten.
1. The Weather
You’ve probably heard about San Diego’s weather—living in it day-to-day is a different matter. San Diego’s summers hang around the 70s and 80s with a high of 87 degrees, while winters stick around the 50s and 60s. With winter temperatures at a national average of 25 degrees, we wouldn’t blame you for California Dreamin’.
2. The Best Mexican Food in the State (and Maybe the Country)
Given the city’s proximity to the Mexican border (including the prime border town of Tijuana), it’s one of the best places for Mexican food. Restaurants, like the old-school Las Cuatro Milpas, serve homemade tortillas and authentic eats, while late-night spots like La Puerta offer up delicious fusions and street-food style tacos. Aside from top-notch authentic Mexican food, you’ll find some San Diego originals, too. Some of your favorite Mexi-Cali foods were invented in San Diego, from the frozen margarita to the California Burrito, a Frankenstein’s monster burrito that mixes french-fries with more traditional ingredients like carne asada.
3. The Beaches--and the Beach Activities
It’s no secret that San Diego’s beaches are paradise on earth. Coronado Beach has been ranked one of the best beaches in the world, featuring crystal clear water and perfect weather. But other beaches like Mission Beach offer just as much in the way of surfing, swimming and a great boardwalk (even a rollercoaster or two). Spots like La Jolla Cave, a sea cave along the coast, also beg to be explored by kayak, or at least deserve to be waded into after a long lounge on the shore (and that’s not even mentioning San Diego’s local whale watching cruises around the coast). You might have to do a little research to find your perfect beach, but then again, what’s to complain about when you have too many options for sun and fun?
4. The Craft Beer
We’d be remiss not to mention San Diego’s excellent craft beer scene. Known as the “Napa Valley of Craft Beer,” San Diego gives other major beer cities a run for their money. Home to over a hundred craft breweries, including heavy hitters such as Stone Brewing Company and Ballast Point, San Diego features out-of-this-world brewpubs, bars--even annual beer festivals. Amongst SD brewers’ greatest accomplishments is the invention of the Double IPA.
5. The Lifestyle
If you’re looking for the quintessential California surfer lifestyle, you’ll find it here. San Diego residents keep it casual all days of the week, from the way they dress to the way they talk (you’ll likely hear a bit more of the word “stoked”).
6. San Diego Convention Center
For families and individuals alike, the San Diego Convention Center will likely make your agenda at some point throughout the year. The 2.6 million square foot building is home to many events in 2018. Some of the most popular throughout the year include the San Diego National College Fair, Comic-con and much more. There are plenty of delicious restaurants, bars and hotels nearby to explore before or after an event.
7. Diverse and Unique Neighborhoods
From the prime eats of North Park to Ocean Beach’s laidback hippie vibe, you’ll find a lot of diversity in San Diego’s various neighborhoods. The well-heeled La Jolla offers some of the most beautiful homes in California, while the farmers’ market in Little Italy is truly unbeatable. You’ll find indie clubs and hangouts in South Park and Golden Hill, and you’ll find great neighborhoods perfect for bike rides and barbeques in Del Mar.
8. Lower Rent and Mortgage Rates
Compared to other California cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Diego is a steal. Buying a home tends to be significantly cheaper than home buying in comparable cities in the state, and you’re more likely to find a spot for less than $2,000 a month. No matter what your budget is for California living, San Diego has the perfect home for you.
9. San Diego’s School System
Families will find a lot to love already about San Diego, from the abundant family entertainment to the endless beaches. But the area’s got a lot to offer in the way of education, too. Three major colleges reside in San Diego, and the city’s public school systems have been consistently ranked among the best. Private schools like the Bishop’s School and Pacific Ridge are equally well regarded, melding academic excellence with unique curriculums.
10. And, Yes--the Zoo
How could any list of San Diego’s best not include the San Diego Zoo? Located in lush Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo has long been known as one of the world’s best. The zoo houses the famous giant pandas, Bai Yun and Gao Gao, as well as several other creatures great and small, from gorillas to polar bears. The Zoo’s sister site, the San Diego Safari Park, is equally worth a visit. Ride the Park’s Africa Tram to view all the Park’s endangered species, and be sure to visit the Condors.