What Are the Best Neighborhoods in San Diego, CA?

As the second most populated city in California, San Diego is now home to over 1.4 million residents. With popular attractions ranging from Sea World and the San Diego Zoo to Balboa Park and its amazing beaches, you’ll always have something to do in this west coast city. Even with the high number of tourists visiting throughout the year, locals still consider San Diego neighborhoods to be some of the best in the state.

Whether you want to live right next to the beach or further inland, there are plenty of great options for anyone interested in moving to San Diego. Known for having some of the most comfortable weather in the world, you’ll never need an excuse to go outside and enjoy this beautiful town. To help you find the perfect area suited to your needs, we’ve put together this comprehensive list of the best neighborhoods in San Diego.

1. Carmel Valley

Located just off the coast, in the center of San Diego county, is the neighborhood of Carmel Valley. A beautiful urban area with just over 50,000 residents, the valley is home to strong school districts, office parks, and great shopping.

Carmel Valley

As one of the most sought after areas in the California real estate market, moving to this San Diego neighborhood gives residents a range of housing options including townhomes, condos, and homes for growing families. If you get hungry and you’re looking for a break from the standard fast food options, be sure to check out some of the top local restaurants like Breakfast Republic, Royal India, or Addison.

2. Del Mar

Although it landed within the top 100 on Forbes’ list of America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes last year, you get what you pay for in this Pacific paradise. Spanish for “by the sea”, Del Mar is a beach town with all the restaurants, ocean views, and activities you will ever need. Stop by either Zel’s Del Mar or Kitchen 1540 for a bite to eat, then head over to Powerhouse Park & Beach so you can enjoy the soft sand, children’s playground, and open picnic areas.

If you’re in a gambling mood, or simply want to experience something new, spend a day at the Del Mar Horseracing Track for exciting events and trackside dining. In an area of around 4,300 people, consisting mostly of married couples, Del Mar is a great place to either raise your children or retire.

3. Rancho Santa Fe

Thanks to its elaborately designed, custom-built homes, Rancho Santa Fe is one of the most affluent San Diego neighborhoods you’ll find. With beautiful golf courses like the one at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club and its other amenities, this is a popular community for business executives and even celebrities.

Take a day out on one of the 50-miles worth of horse trails or stop by the Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild to see the work of both renowned and local artists. If you are looking for a high-end home in a luxury neighborhood, then Rancho Santa Fe may be the place for you.

4. La Jolla

A truly unique and luxurious area is the small village of La Jolla. It is well known as one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego for families. With numerous local parks, swimming pools, and date night adventures for couples, there are enjoyable experiences for all ages. It is also home to UC San Diego, one of the most renowned universities in the country.

La Jolla

Finding a home near La Jolla Cove or Windansea Beach will offer you beautiful ocean views right outside your door. It is one of the most eye-catching coastlines you will find anywhere in California. Similar to Carmel Valley, La Jolla has access to great school districts and delicious places to eat.

5. Black Mountain Ranch

This upscale San Diego neighborhood joins Pacific Highlands in North County and features some beautiful and sustainable homes. The two main suburban communities in the area, Santaluz and Del Sur, offer 24-hour security and great views of golf courses, mountains, or valleys, depending on which way you’re facing.

Just down the street from Carmel Mountain Plaza, there are plenty of options for shopping, food, and entertainment. If you like to mountain bike or hike, be sure to take a trip over to Black Mountain Open Space Park and check out the view from the top.

6. Poway

Known as “the city in the country”, Poway is one of the more rural neighborhoods in San Diego. The country atmosphere provides a haven for people who enjoy the outdoors. Go on a hike down Mount Woodson Trail to see the popular Potato Chip Rock. Or go animal watching at Blue Sky Ecological Reserve to catch a glimpse of bobcats, coyotes, deer, rabbits, and more.

Covering a larger area, Poway has a population around 50,000 and a median age around 40 years old. With a very low crime rate compared to both California and the nation as a whole, it is also one of the safest neighborhoods in San Diego.

7. Little Italy

Little Italy is a small community with a big personality. With weekly events like the Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market and others at Waterfront Park, you’ll never be bored in this small San Diego neighborhood. Millennials and other young professionals will love the nightlife with a great selection of local bars like False Idol and Italian restaurants like Filippi’s Pizza Grotto.

little italy sign

In a short walk around the neighborhood you will find water fountains, local art and sculptures, and more experiences within the Italian American culture. Just to the south of Little Italy is Seaport Village which offers additionals shops, restaurants, and live shows.

8. Pacific Highlands Ranch

Even though residents in this neighborhood have a San Diego mailing address, Pacific Highlands Ranch gives its residents the luxurious feel of a North County lifestyle. Still in development, most of the homes in this area have been built after the year 2000.

The final phases of construction work are being completed on the community’s new shopping center known as The Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch. It rests in the center of the neighborhood and will feature locations like Trader Joe’s, a fitness gym, Rite Aid, and a slew of new restaurants.

9. Rancho Bernardo

As the only neighborhood on this list with a lake within its limits (Lake Hodges), Rancho Bernardo takes us further inland than most of the other San Diego regions mentioned so far. Though people often think this area caters to the 55+ community, the large acre lots in this market leave plenty of room for growing families.

Rancho Bernardo

There are few options for those looking for bars and nightlife amenities, so it is a quiet and safe place to live. The Poway Unified School District has some of the top public schools in San Diego, with great athletics programs. Because it is further from the beach and ocean, you’ll find the homes are much more affordable than the neighbors to the west.

10. Carmel Mountain

Yes, another one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego is an area called Carmel Mountain. Not to be confused with its coastal cousin of Carmel Valley, this region has a much smaller population and covers less ground.

The Carmel Mountain neighborhood favors a tight-knit community with a nice town shopping center. You can easily enjoy a suburban lifestyle, but take a quick 20-minute drive if you’re ready for a day at the beach.

Planning a Move to a San Diego Neighborhood?

If you found your future home on this list and need help moving to a neighborhood in San Diego, please feel free to contact us. Our professional San Diego movers can assist with local or long-distance moves, as well as provide temporary storage until you are ready to move in.

How to Find the Best Moving and Storage Company in San Diego

Moving in, to, or from San Diego is a huge process. The right mover can make your experience easy and enjoyable, allowing you to focus on your family and your new home. With the wrong company, it can become a hassle, endanger your belongings, and even turn into a legal issue. To help you avoid any moving pitfalls, and make your moving experience as easy as possible, here are a few tips for choosing the best movers in San Diego.

Start with Recommendations

Before you touch your computer, talk to people you know who have moved in the last few years. Family and friends will give you the details on their companies, and advice on what to look for and avoid. If a close friend highly recommends a company, it’s probably worth looking into. (Note: Don’t sign up with a company just because a friend liked them. They may not be right for your situation!)

Online Moving Company Reviews

5 Five Stars Rating Quality Review Best Service Business Internet Marketing Concept.Online reviews can also be helpful when choosing a moving company in San Diego. If a company has no reviews, or a low overall rating, there’s no reason to waste your time. When looking at online reviews, find a company with a good amount of reviews (at least 20-30) from a variety of people. Look at the overall comments, and any patterns that come up. For instance, if people are very impressed with the mover’s professionalism, you’ll see phrases like “courteous,” “easy to work with,” or “made life simple” come up.

If you’re still not sure, you can also ask the mover for references. Any reputable mover should be able to provide references from real customers, who you can speak with about their experience.

Look at Local Moving Companies

Local San Diego moving companies are usually your best bet, because they know your area. They understand the streets, and the neighborhoods. They’ve worked in your area before. They’ll be able to provide better estimates on their timing and delivery; plus, if they provide storage, you know your possessions will still be nearby.

Local companies have an added benefit: you can go right to them. We all know not to trust folks on the internet, so why should moving be any different? Each year, hundreds of people make the mistake of signing up with a company they’ve only ever talked to online or via the phone. This is a big mistake, and it’s one of the main sources of moving scams that create a bad name for the whole industry.

Get Multiple Moving and Storage Estimates

Never simply go with the first offer, and always question the lowest offer; there’s usually a reason they’re so cheap or quick to make a move. When you’re looking at San Diego movers, we suggest getting at least three estimates before making your choice. These estimates should happen in person; a phone-call estimate can be wildly off-target, which can cause problems later on.

When the mover visits your home, they should be asking plenty of questions. If they just want to drop a number and leave, they are not the company for you. They should ask about your moving date, what the new location is like, if you have basement storage or special objects (like pianos) that need to be moved, and more.

Pay attention to the estimator; they will give you an impression of what the rest of the company is like. They should be polite, pay attention to details, and answer any questions thoroughly. If you aren’t connecting with them, they might not be the right movers for you.

Ask Questions

The mover making the estimate shouldn’t be the only one asking questions. You should have a list of questions ready to go. Don’t know what to ask? Here are a few to start with:

Are there any extra moving fees?

One hand gives money in other hand over blue backgroundMost movers will charge extra for packing your things themselves, and that includes labor and materials. There are 2 levels of mover packing: full packing and a partial pack. A full pack means they come in, wrap all your possessions and box it up! A partial pack could be for a room that’s especially difficult, like the kitchen, or awkward items you aren’t sure how to pack yourself.

The benefit of having your movers pack your things is that everything they pack is covered by their insurance. This means they are liable for anything that they pack that breaks or is otherwise damaged. Moving companies can’t offer that same protection for the things you pack, because they can’t guarantee the quality of the packing.

Other things that cost extra may surround your house’s architecture and the street it’s on. Stairs and elevators, especially when moving to or from an apartment, are often added to your cost “per flight” of stairs. If your new home is on a narrow street or has a small driveway, you may have to pay a fee to have your belongings moved to a smaller truck. Always ask about any additional fees before signing any documents.

Is Your San Diego Mover Licensed and Insured?

Your mover should be able to provide their business’s information and credentials easily when asked. Since California requires movers to have a PUC License, make sure to ask for that first. You can then use the following resources to verify your movers are legit.

  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB): The BBB has reports on upwards of 20,000 moving companies. In addition to review, the BBB will assign each company a grade; it will also feature any complaints received about a company.
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA): Search a company’s USDOT number for detailed information about their business, license and insurance, truck numbers and more. You can also call their complaint hotline at 888-368-7238 and inquire about your company to see if they have any existing complaints.
  • California’s Moving and Storage Association: You can use this site to verify your mover’s business address, name and contact information.

Who Works for Your Mover?

Like anyone else doing work in your home, you need to make sure that a moving company’s workers are people you’re comfortable with. Employees should be subject to background and drug tests, have experience moving, and treat your belongings with care.

For example, at Move-Central, applicants go through a rigorous application process before being selected. They must have experience not only in moving, but also providing excellent customer service. Additionally, every applicant is subject to background checks and drug tests, to make sure your moving team is reliable, responsible, and easy to work with.

Storage in San Diego

Numbered self storage and mini storage garage units VIIIAre you moving to a smaller place? Are you using temporary housing? There are plenty of situations in which you might need your belongings stored temporarily. One benefit of having a full-service moving and storage company is that they own their own warehouses. Instead of having to pay separately for moving and storage, everything is filed under one company. Plus, it means the same people will have an eye on your belongings the whole time, until you need them again.

Make sure that the warehouse a moving company uses for storage is secure, and that they inventory each of your belongings, so nothing goes unaccounted for. Plus, ask if they will wrap larger items, such as furniture, to prevent damage throughout the entire process.

Never Pay A Big Deposit

No mover worth their salt will ever ask for a big deposit before the move. If a moving company is making this request, it’s time to talk to someone else. There are 2 main reasons to do this:

  1. It weeds out the scammers. A huge deposit can be a red flag for companies that will take your money, and perhaps your stuff, and run.
  2. Keeping your money in your pocket ensures a timely delivery. If a moving company has already been paid, they can end up keeping your belongings in storage limbo for far longer than you anticipated. They have no incentive to be timely. With a small or nonexistent deposit, you give the movers an extra reason to get your belongings to your new home on time.

Finding the Best San Diego Mover for You

I hope you find these tips helpful as you prepare for your move. Remember, moving should be a time when you can get excited about your new home, not worry about the moving process! If you need a moving company in San Diego, or have any other questions, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help.

Moving to La Jolla, CA? The Complete Guide

Think La Jolla, CA might be your new home? Check out our guide to living in La Jolla. We’ve covered it all: neighborhoods, schools, activities and more. So get excited! Relocating to La Jolla might be the best decision of your life.

Interesting Facts about La Jolla

It’s “The Jewel City”

La Jolla’s nickname is “The Jewel” of San Diego, “The Jewel City” or “the jewel of the sea.” The story is that “La Jolla” is an alternate spelling of “la joya” which means “the jewel” in Spanish. Scholars have long disputed the idea, but the name persists, and we may never know how it truly got started. Relocating to Sunny San Diego? You need one of the areas best moving companies, call today!

The Myth of the Munchkin Houses

This myth about La Jolla has been busted, but it is still one of the area’s most famous points of interest. After filming “The Wizard of Oz” in California, rumors spread that the little people who had starred in the movie gathered to create a small community on the coast. The rumors were supported by the existence of “munchkin houses” in La Jolla, which were so small, that a person of average height could touch their roofs.

Today, there is one “munchkin house” left in La Jolla. However, even that is an illusion. Because of the way the house was built into the hillside, it appears to be small from afar. Since the house was built in the 1930s, when the average height for a man was 5’ 8,” the doors may be lower than you’d expect; still, they’re definitely big enough for the average person.

It’s Got 7 Miles of Beaches

The beaches here are some of the most beautiful in the world, and they’re a great place to enjoy La Jolla outdoor activities! There are 10 public beaches in La Jolla, each a bit different than the next. For example, La Jolla Shores features a public launch for kayaks, while Children’s Beach was constructed with a barrier to create easy waters for kids to swim in.

La Jolla Demographics

There are about 33,000 people living in La Jolla today. The community has a suburban feel to it, and attracts both families and singles to the area with its gorgeous weather and views, and strong community feeling. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the residents of La Jolla:

They’re Highly Educated

About 75% of La Jolla residents have received at least a Bachelor’s Degree, with 38% of the population having achieved a Master’s Degree or higher. Suitably, La Jolla also is the home of the University of California at San Diego (USDC), which is counted among the top universities in the world.

They’re PROUD

Gay Pride Parade spectator holding small gay rainbow flag during Toronto Pride Parade in 2017La Jolla is home to a proud LGBTQ+ community. The San Diego Pride Parade is one of the biggest events of the year, and one of the largest Pride events in the country, and La Jolla joins right in with their own Pride Month Celebrations.

They’re All Ages

While La Jolla isn’t the most ethnically diverse (83% of residents identify as White), it’s a welcoming spot for people of all ages. If you look at the statistics, folks between 25-64 are evenly distributed. Even those over 65 only account for 28% of the residents.

How Much Does it Cost to Live in La Jolla?

The average cost of living in La Jolla can vary wildly, with a good portion of both renters and homeowners, and a mix of retirees, singles and families. One noticeable trend is that the closer you get to the water, the more expensive everything is.

The average home in La Jolla is sold for $1.6 million. Apartments start at $1,100 a month for a one bedroom, though even a studio could be two or three grand a month along the shore. You can also rent a home in La Jolla, they are usually more expensive per foot than apartments.

LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 17, 2018: The Geisel Library, is the main library building of the University of California San Diego campus, named in honor of Audrey and Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss).Schools in La Jolla

Schools in La Jolla are known for the academic achievements of their students. La Jolla High School is a California Distinguished School, and is the only school on the West Coast to be part of the Cum Laude Society. There are also numerous private schools available, including The Bishop’s School, La Jolla Country Day School, and The Gillispie School. Additionally, USCD offers La Jolla residents easy access to top university programs.

Jobs in La Jolla

La Jolla’s unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country at just 2.5%. The majority of people working in La Jolla are in blue collar work; 30.7% of La Jolla professionals identify their jobs as white collar. The median average income for men is just above $94,00 per year; women see a lower number here, with a median around $44,000 per year. The poverty rate is practically non-existent, even when compared to the whole of San Diego, which has a 15% poverty rate.

Where to Live in La Jolla

La Jolla is actually a neighborhood in San Diego, but that doesn’t stop the area from being broken down into smaller communities. The Jewel City has three main parts: Bird Rock, University Towne Center (UTC) and La Jolla Cove.

Bird Rock

Local lore says that Bird Rock was indeed named after a rock that looked like a bird. But don’t take that as a test of the neighborhood’s creativity and excitement. Bird Rock is one of the best San Diego neighborhoods. The walkable, peaceful community is known for being family friendly, which is emphasized by the fact that 66% of its residents are homeowners.

UTC

UTC refers to the eastern portion of La Jolla, also commonly called “University City.” UTC is known for having more affordable housing options than Bird Rock or La Jolla Cove, making it a popular location for students and young singles. Though the average home cost is only about $400-$500K (about half the average for La Jolla overall), more than 70% of residents in UTC choose to rent.

La Jolla Cove

Named after and encompassing the cove itself, La Jolla Cove is a beach community perfect for those who love a view of the water. Homes in the cove will tend to be more expensive than those further inland, but the access to the shore is unbeatable.

What’s the Weather like in La Jolla?

Like most of Southern California, La Jolla’s weather is mild year-round. Plus, the positioning of the cove created a microclimate, so La Jolla residents enjoy even more stability in the weather. The temperature here averages around 70 degrees, but almost never goes above 90 or below 50.

On average, La Jolla receives less than 2 inches of rain per month, with 0 average inches during the summer months. Snow hasn’t stuck to the ground in La Jolla since December 13th, 1967. Even the clouds are known to dissipate before the afternoon, leaving you with sunshine, sunshine, and more sunshine.

Fun Things to do in La Jolla

Head to George’s for Dinner

When someone living in La Jolla says they’re “going to George’s,” they almost never mean a friend’s house. George’s At The Cove is a fine dining experience offering incredible views, complemented by a menu touted to be one of San Diego’s best. At George’s, you can expect fresh-caught seafood, sensational steaks, and delicious local wines to try.

Catch a Show at the Playhouse

In La Jolla, “The Playhouse” refers to the La Jolla Playhouse, a nonprofit theater company founded by actors Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer. Since 1947, the play has produced countless shows, many of which have gone on to become hits on Broadway. It’s also received over 300 theater awards, including more than 30 Tonys.

If the quality of the shows wasn’t tempting enough, The Playhouse is also a La Jolla attraction for foodies. Every Friday, food trucks line up outside the venue. The best part? The Playhouse covers the cost of local beer samplings, so your drink is on them.

Watch the Sunset

tranquil beach sunsetLa Jolla is famous for its gorgeous sunsets. Whether you’re lucky enough to be able to see the horizon from your home, or you’re sitting on the beaches, there’s nothing as relaxing as watching the sun go down while listening to the sound of the waves. Want a higher view? Check out the La Jolla Cliffs. If you’re brave enough, you can even dive from them.

 

So, Should You Move To La Jolla?

If you like what you’ve read, the answer could be YES! When you’re ready, La Jolla’s best moving and storage company is here to help. If you have more questions about the area, or want a detailed quote, give us a call at (858) 230-8281.

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