One of the biggest cities in California, San Diego is a popular tourist destination, but it’s also a place where many visitors decide they don’t want to leave. It has that beautiful Southern California weather while being more laidback than Los Angeles.
Moving to San Diego is exciting, and depending where you’re moving from, it can be a big adjustment. Here are the six things you should know about San Diego before you move.
It’s a Collection of Diverse Neighborhoods
Like Los Angeles, San Diego has a certain image associated with it, but you should know that it actually has many different neighborhoods, each with their own unique vibe.
Pacific Beach has long been a party hotspot for young adults, although rising housing costs have increased the average age. Ocean Beach is a beach town with a relaxed atmosphere. North County is more luxurious, and there are plenty of suburban communities sprinkled throughout San Diego County.
Traffic Is No Picnic
Everyone talks about how bad traffic is in Los Angeles, but it’s not much better in San Diego. Rush hour results in plenty of gridlocked freeways, and there are plenty of streets and freeways you’re better off avoiding at certain times of day.
The traffic also means that you should take your potential commute into account when choosing a place to live. If possible, it’s good to live in the same neighborhood that you work. If not, check what traffic will be like during your commute and choose a neighborhood that will be a reasonable distance away. Remember, it’s about how long the drive takes, not how many miles it is.
It Has Some Spectacular Beaches
Since San Diego is right along the Pacific Ocean, it has a great collection of beaches. Like the neighborhoods, each beach has its own vibe, and every San Diegan has their own favorite. Some like the more elegant beaches in Encinitas and La Jolla, while others prefer the excitement of Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach.
Keep in mind that San Diego banned drinking on the beach. That doesn’t stop many people, but the police can ticket anyone who does it.
There’s No Shortage of Attractions
San Diego is more than just a place for beach bums to surf. It has a plethora of different attractions to keep everyone happy.
Families can check out Legoland, the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld and the many parks. Young adults have all kinds of nightlife options, with the best bars and clubs concentrated in the Gaslamp District. San Diego is also the site of many events, such as Comic-Con.
Housing Is Expensive
You pay a premium for that year-round sun in Southern California. Whether you rent or buy, it’s not cheap to live in San Diego, and many households spend a third or more of their monthly income on housing.
Of course, how much you pay for housing will depend on which neighborhood you choose. There are affordable parts of San Diego; they just tend to be in the less desirable areas. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dangerous to live there, but you could end up in a neighborhood that doesn’t have much to do. You’ll need to figure out whether you want to pay more to live in a great neighborhood or save money on housing while living farther away from the fun.
Great Food Is Everywhere
San Diego can satisfy your hunger no matter how much you want to spend. You can go to upscale restaurants offering many different cuisines, from sushi spots in downtown to old-school steakhouses in Del Mar.
The best part about the food in San Diego, though, is undoubtedly the Mexican food. Being right across the border from Mexico, San Diegans can score excellent Mexican food, and it doesn’t cost much, either.
There’s a lot to learn about San Diego, and much of it you’ll figure out after you arrive. But it’s good to know a bit about the city before you make your move so that you don’t feel too much like a fish out of water.