San Diego's mild climate, miles of beaches, fun attractions and great schools make the city one of America's best places to live.
Famous for its weather, “America’s Finest City” often shows up on Best Places to Live lists, including our ranking of the Top 10 Largest Cities. If you move to San Diego, you might wind up in one of its eclectic neighborhoods, such as downtown’s revitalized East Village; historic Little Italy; “hipster” North Park; lively Barrio Logan; laid-back Ocean Beach; college hangout Pacific Beach; tony La Jolla; and dozens of neighborhoods with undeveloped canyons, hiking and biking trails that give each of them a suburban feel.
So what will it take to get you to move to San Diego? Here are 11 reasons to relocate to San Diego:
Great San Diego schools – San Diego Unified School District’s programs for exceptional students include “Seminar” for the highly-gifted. Moreover, San Diego High School ranked 22nd on Newsweek’s America’s Best High Schools in 2006. Overall, 11 area schools ranked on U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 list of America's best high schools.
Parks – San Diego has more than 300 parks, including Mission Trails Regional Park, and 40,000 acres of undeveloped open space. Balboa Park has the world-famous San Diego Zoo, Old Globe Theatre and museums – free for residents on Tuesdays – many of which were built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
San Diego's beaches – San Diego’s beaches are world renowned, stretching from the Silver Strand along San Diego Bay, to Coronado, home of the historic Hotel del Coronado, to Dog Beach along the San Diego River, to the Children’s Pool in La Jolla where seals love to play.
Old-fashioned boardwalk fun – Located along the boardwalk in Mission Beach, Belmont Park features the “Giant Dipper” wooden roller coaster, a National Historic Landmark, carnival rides, amusement arcades and The Wave House, with an on-land, water wave simulator.
San Diego Bay and Mission Bay – “Paradise Point Resort is probably the best place for water worshipers to play – you can swim, surf, paddleboard, take a water taxi directly to SeaWorld, rent a sailboat or speedboat, water ski or jet ski,” says Sarah Weinberg-Scalo of the San Diego Tourism Authority.
New San Diego Central Library – The nine-story facility includes a 350-seat auditorium, a three-story domed reading room, a 9,100-square-foot children's room, a teen center, a technology center and a multipurpose room. “We’ve all gone to libraries, but I’ve never been to any library like this!” says Patty Lee Putter of San Diego Family Fun.
San Diego's amenities – San Diego has 90 golf courses, including three municipal courses – Balboa Park, Mission Bay Golf Course and Practice Center, and Torrey Pines, home of the Farmers Insurance Open PGA Tour event. San Diego is also known for its skateboarding parks.
Crazee Burger – Featured in Guy Fieri’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, Crazee Burger has just about any kind of burger sensation you can think of: franchaise, or burger ala brie, cajun, buffalo, kangaroo, ostrich, gator, chinook, bluecrab and old-fashioned triple-cheese Angus. There are two locations: North Park and Old Town.
San Diego's microbrews – Any of San Diego’s 80-plus breweries make San Diego a uniquely livable place, Weinberg-Scalo says. Don’t miss San Diego Beer Week when every November, hundreds of beer-centric events take place throughout the county during this 10-day festival that highlights San Diego’s award-winning craft beer, breweries and pubs.
Coffee cuppings – Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, named Roast magazine’s Roaster of the Year, offers coffee tastings, or “cuppings.” “Cuppings are really a systematic, if not a ritualistic way of tasting coffee; not just brewing, but analyzing the aroma as it changes when the coffee is brewed through water,” says Chuck Patton, owner.