Founded in 1869 and incorporated in February 1912, the name of this beautiful city has never strayed from being called La Mesa, CA. Located about 13 miles east of downtown San Diego, the area has long lived under the civic motto of “the Jewel of the Hills.” And it fits!
With a growing population of great people including both young families and retirees, the area is rapidly becoming one of the most popular cities in the county.
As you have been scoping out cities around San Diego, you may be thinking about moving to La Mesa. We’ve put together this complete guide to tell you everything you’ll need to know if you’re planning on living here. Learn everything from popular nearby activities to the best neighborhoods to move into by reading below.
1. People of La Mesa
With the La Mesa population at over 60,000 residents, the area has been steadily growing year after year since the 1920s. The city’s median household income is about $56,693, making the area a middle-class suburb. But it has also been home to a number of famous celebrities.
NFL football player, Reggie Bush, went to high school in La Mesa along with Ellen Ochoa, who was the first Hispanic woman to go into space. Both Dave Mustaine of the rock band Megadeth and Bill Walton, the NBA basketball player and sportscaster, were born here. While Pearl Jam vocalist and guitarist, Eddie Vedder, has also lived in La Mesa.
2. Oktoberfest in California
You’ve heard of Oktoberfest that takes place in Germany, right? Well, did you know La Mesa holds a major festival to celebrate this time of year as well? The city hosts more than 200,000 attendees every year in late September or early October.
People come from all over to eat, drink, and have a good time at this annual party that is spread all across the town. This year’s La Mesa Oktoberfest will be taking place from Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 6.
3. Things to Do and Places to Eat in La Mesa
While Oktoberfest will give you a few fun days you’ll probably want other things to do for the rest of the year when living in La Mesa. Easily one of the most popular local activities is a visit to the Mission Trails Regional Park. You can take part in a variety of fun ventures here including guided nature walks, the 5-Peak Challenge, or a hike along the Oak Canyon Trail.
The most well-known area around Mission Trails Regional Park is Cowles Mountain. It is a frequent spot in mid-December for hikers who want to join others for the Cowles Mountain Winter Solstice Walk.
View this post on Instagram
And though all these outdoor adventures are enough to develop a big appetite, La Mesa has the solution with plenty of great places to eat. One option is Farmer’s Table with its New American-style food with indoor and outdoor patio dining. Or you can visit Himalayan Cuisine to try some unique Nepalese entrees like Biryani, Tandoori, and lamb dishes.
If you’re in the mood for a drink, you can also stop by The Hills Local Pub to quench your thirst alongside a hearty burger or some tacos.
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
4. Great Local Neighborhoods
If you’re thinking about moving to La Mesa, one of your first thoughts will probably be to figure out where you want to live. This city offers all the perks of urban life without the noisy atmosphere of a major downtown area. And with that in mind, you’ll find a handful of great La Mesa neighborhoods to choose from. The La Mesa zip codes are 91941, 91942, 91943, 91944, as well as the standard area code of 619 for phone numbers.
La Mesa Village is a local community offering gorgeous, tall homes and easy access to the local MTS trolley, which offers affordable rides straight to San Diego. If you’re looking for a contemporary home surrounded by tall trees and great views, La Mesa Highlands might be the right place for you.
5. Cost of Living in La Mesa
With the exception of housing, the cost of living in La Mesa is less than the average across the state of California as well as in San Diego. Residents living in La Mesa tend to save about 3.5% on groceries, over 7% on healthcare, and 12% on local transportation prices compared to state averages.
Now when it comes to housing, you will find prices that are about 10% higher than California’s average communities. The average cost of a home in La Mesa is $571,400. It is currently considered a cold market with little to no change expected over the next year.
Following a similar trend for those who want to lease an apartment or home, the average cost of rent in La Mesa is between $1,611 per month and $3,209 per month. This is an estimated difference between a one bedroom location and a five-bedroom home.
6. Successful School System
La Mesa schools are made up of a handful of local school districts to fill the needs of the large family-oriented community. Primary age students have locations like Murdock Elementary and La Mesa Dale Elementary offering strong education and good teacher to student ratios. One of the top-rated schools in the entire county is College Preparatory Middle School for junior high age children.
Local high schools have played host to quite a few of the notable residents mentioned above. This includes Helix High School, where NFL star Reggie Bush attended. As well as Grossmont High School, where astronaut Ellen Ochoa graduated as a senior.
The one college in the area is National University La Mesa, which is usually recognized for its BA in Business, but also had good programs in both Psychology and Criminal Justice.
7. Small Job Market, But Close to Major Cities
Apart from a few major retail chains like Costco and Walmart, there aren’t many large employers within the borders of La Mesa. But since the city is only about 10 miles from downtown San Diego, it is fairly common for many locals to commute for work either there or to El Cajon and Lemon Grove.
One large company providing a number of La Mesa jobs is Sharp Grossmont Hospital, a healthcare provider which is part of the Sharp network.
8. La Mesa Weather
We’ve said this once or twice about the climate in suburbs around San Diego, but we’re happy to say it again and again. The weather in La Mesa joins other nearby communities with some of the most envious temperatures in the world. Between winters in the low 40s and summers rarely surpassing the high 70s, local residents enjoy comfortable seasons all year round.
Moving to La Mesa?
With the fact that the population in this city always seems to be going up, it’s clear that no one living in La Mesa ever wants to leave. From the amazing weather and great neighborhoods to Oktoberfest and the many other things to do, this city truly has a lot to offer.
If you’re thinking about moving to La Mesa, we’d love to help out whenever you are ready to make the change. Here at Move Central, we have an exceptional crew of movers that have completed over 25,000 individual relocations in just over a decade.
To learn more about our professional moving services, give us a call today at (858) 230-8281. Or fill out the Request a Quote form at the top of this article to get a free moving estimate from one of our top representatives!