I have lived in San Diego for over 2 years and love it! Throughout my life I’ve lived in 6 states and numerous cities, but I have to admit, San Diego might be my favorite so far. There are many great neighborhoods to explore, and they all have their own unique personality.
I lived downtown my first year in San Diego and loved it! This vibrant city center is the heartbeat of San Diego. If you’ve dreamed of living in a high-rise overlooking a sparkling bay, you can do it here.
There are endless fun activities downtown, such as dining, cafés, boutiques, nightclubs, etc.
The historic Gaslamp Quarter is popular for its dining options and a fun night out.
The Petco Park area is home to the San Diego Padres where you can take in a baseball game.
The waterfront and boardwalk overlooks the San Diego Bay and houses the cruise terminal, Navy Pier, and Seaport Village.
My personal favorite is the Little Italy area. You’ll find great dining and coffee shops here, and the super popular Little Italy Mercato farmers market every Saturday from 8am – 2pm.
Read more on San Diego’s Farmers Markets!
Ocean Beach, or simply OB to locals, has a unique pulse all of its own. Here you’ll find the authentic groovy vibe from the SoCal of old.
This neighborhood has more locals and fewer tourists than other popular beaches such as Pacific Beach. The surfer community, vintage VW vans, and vintage funk atmosphere draws a lot of love to this area.
Trendy Hillcrest is one of the most popular hangout spots for locals, and is most known for its LGBT community. Here you can find many restaurants, cafés, bars, and trendy thrift shops.
Gentrified and culturally diverse North Park is a hipster’s dream neighborhood (and my personal favorite!). Filled with trendy dining options, coffee shops, microbreweries, boutiques and thrift shops, and a popular Thursday farmers market, this neighborhood has it all.
Pacific Beach (PB to locals) is a favorite for tourists, college students and basically anyone looking for a party atmosphere. With no winter in sight, the fun doesn’t stop all year long.
The 3 mile long boardwalk offers anything from surfing, ice cream, burritos, margaritas, and even community yoga on Saturdays and Sundays at 10am.
Even if you know nothing about San Diego, most people have heard of La Jolla. Known as the “Jewel of San Diego”, this hilly seaside community boasts one of the most expensive zip codes in the United States.
Exuding an upscale village atmosphere, here you can find fine dining, luxurious hotels, art galleries, and fancy boutiques.
There are also many outdoor activities such as sea kayaking, hang gliding, and the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course. Also don’t forget the seal watching!
San Diego’s North County
The further north you go, you’ll find the beaches, locale, and housing prices become more desirable and expensive.
Upscale, clean, and refreshing…Encinitas is a gem! Proudly known as one of the best surf towns by National Geographic, the beaches of Encinitas are coveted among locals. Here you can expect an eclectic mix of upscale yoga boutiques, surf shops, and trendy coffee shops.
Beautiful Carlsbad almost feels like a seaside resort. Carlsbad Village is a great place for shopping, restaurants, and beautiful seaside hotels.
Over to you! What’s your favorite neighborhood in San Diego?