Top 10 Neighborhoods in San Diego
Check out San Diego’s top 10 neighborhoods and find the right one for you.
|Neighborhood||Walk Score®||Transit Score®||Great For…|
|1. Little Italy||97 / 100||77 / 100||Carbs & garlic bread|
|2. Carmel Valley||33 / 100||0 / 100||People with a car|
|3. Mission Hills||65 / 100||48 / 100||Historic San Diego|
|4. North Park||79 / 100||51 / 100||Hipster bars & restaurants|
|5. Balboa Park||78 / 100||57 / 100||Being close to downtown|
|6. Hillcrest||80 / 100||54 / 100||Foodies|
|7. La Jolla||50 / 100||40 / 100||UCSD students|
|8. Ocean Beach||78 / 100||28 / 100||The beach|
|9. Mission Valley||40 / 100||53 / 100||Shopping|
|10. Pacific Beach||68 / 100||34 / 100||Parties on the beach|
San Diego 101
Thinking of moving to San Diego? Learn what to expect — from the weather to how to get around — before planning your big move.
- San Diego has one of the most pleasant climates in the U.S. Temperatures range from 57°F in the winter to 72°F in the summer.
- Like other major cities, San Diego roads are used heavily during rush hours. Since the weather is normally dry, a small amount of rain can cause major congestion on the roads. But on a typical day, most areas of San Diego can be reached in 20 minutes or less using the main freeways, which include I-5, I-805, I-15, and I-8.
- Most people in San Diego drive. If you feel like going carless, the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Systemoffers a bus that runs throughout the county as well as the San Diego Trolley.
San Diego International Airport
- If you need to travel, the San Diego International Airport services nearly 40,000 passengers each day. The airport is uniquely located in the heart of downtown San Diego. When flying into the city, it can feel like you’re right above the skyscrapers. Check out the view of Balboa Park and one of San Diego’s most famous restaurants, Bertrand at Mister A’s.
- San Diego is surrounded by a handful of top schools — UC San Diego, San Diego State University, and University of San Diego — as well as large bio-tech companies like Neurocrine and Illumina. There are also five military bases located in San Diego.
- One of San Diego’s greatest perks is its proximity to other places. Get to Las Vegas in five hours or Los Angeles in two. For some family fun, Disneyland is only an hour and 45 minutes away. And, if you have your passport ready, Tijuana is a short 45 minute drive across the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Whether you’re moving a lot or a little, hiring a professional company to safely transfer your belongings from one nest to the next is a must. Safe storage is also a great option if you need more time to sort through your valuables before moving them in.
Homes for Sale
- If you are permanently relocating to San Diego, the best way to find available abodes is to start browsing San Diego homes for sale. You can also find out how much house you can afford to buy in San Diego with our Home Affordability Calculator.
Apartments & Rentals
- Moving to San Diego and buying a home right away might be a little overwhelming. If you want to start small, there are plenty of apartment and rental options to choose from. Make sure to check the Walk Score in the neighborhoods you’re considering first!
Whether you’re into nature, baseball, or fish tacos (or all of the above!), San Diego has a lot to offer.
Go to the zoo.
- The San Diego Zoo paved the way for open-air exhibits around the world, and is one of the most prestigious zoos in the country. The zoo features over 3,700 animals of more than 650 species. Keep in mind that the zoo is set on top of the steep hills of San Diego’s famous Balboa Park, so if you want to avoid the hike, take a guided bus tour.
Visit the cove.
- La Jolla Cove is San Diego’s most desirable spot for kayaking, snorkeling, and diving. The water is calm and ecologically protected, providing a safe home for colorful fish. The beach is relatively small, though, so visit early for a good spot. Make sure to try one of the local downtown La Jolla restaurants for fresh clam chowder after a day at the beach!
Walk through Balboa Park.
- Balboa Park is an urban cultural park containing gardens, restaurants, museums, several theaters, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. It will take more than a day to visit all of the park’s attractions, so if you’re limited on time, make sure to walk through the Botanical Building, grab a bite to eat at The Prado, and visit the San Diego Zoo. The park is also a great place for a picnic on a sunny day, and is a frequently used as a backdrop for weddings and quinceaneras.
Go on a hike.
- Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is set along the coast between La Jolla and Del Mar, offering beautiful views of the water and San Diego’s sedimentary history. The hike is 3 miles round trip, with a slight elevation gain of 350 ft., making it a perfect trail for the family. Get there early as parking is limited. If the weather is good, pack a lunch and eat on the beach after your hike!
Eat fish tacos.
- San Diego is known for its fish tacos. Consisting of fresh white fish, cabbage or cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and a fresh-made tortilla, you can expect tasty perfection. On Taco Tuesday’s, many San Diego restaurants promote their tacos and offer a discount. You really can’t go wrong with tacos in San Diego, but it’s always best to take the advice of local surfers who have ranked the city’s top 10 best fish tacos.
Watch the sunset.
- It’s not hard to find a spot to watch a beautiful San Diego sunset. If you want the best, however, head over to Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma. It has inspiring panoramic ocean views, and the California Gray Whale can often be seen migrating from the Bering Sea to Baja, California.
Go to a farmers market.
- Most people think that San Diego residents spend most of their weekends at the beach. In reality, visiting a local farmers market is on the to-do lists of most natives. Some of the most popular markets include the Little Italy Mercato, Hillcrest, and La Mesa farmers markets. All markets feature fresh local produce, food trucks, and occasional live music.
Cheer on the home team.
- It’s always the perfect weather to enjoy a professional game at one of San Diego’s outdoor stadiums. Watch the San Diego Chargers play at Qualcomm Stadium or visit Petco Park for a San Diego Padres baseball game.