If you’re a Millennial (loosely defined as those born between 1981 and 1996) and are looking for a change of scenery, you may be considering moving to San Diego, a stunning city on the Pacific Coast just 120 miles south of Los Angeles. Not only is it the eighth-largest city in the country, it’s home to 1.4 million people, and features miles of sandy beaches and a natural deep-water harbor.
San Diego has many great neighborhoods for Millennials, some of which are more established with more history, while others are newer and are luring in older singles and young families. Yes, the city is high in terms of cost of living and housing rates, but there’s a high employment rate with a median household income of $71,000.
Here are some of the best neighborhoods to move to in San Diego if you’re a Millennial.
1. North Park
North Park is known for its big craft beer scene. In fact, there have been six new craft breweries erected here over the past decade. But there are plenty of other local businesses, including restaurants and coffee shops, that you can venture to for some good eats. This neighborhood has lots of Craftsman style homes backed by a bike- and pedestrian-friendly downtown where you can check out the many farmer’s and vintage flea markets.
You’ll also find the SDCCU Festival of the Arts here, which is a free event held every May with live music, craft beer and urban art. The median home price is reasonable for San Diego, at under $500,000.
2. Mission Beach
A busy neighborhood perfect for you beach lovers out there, Mission Beach has two sprawling miles of beaches spanning Mission Bay to Pacific Beach. There’s always something to do here, whether you love to surf, swim or play volleyball. Hit up the boardwalk for inline skating, biking, and walking. Don’t forget nearby Belmont Park for its variety of entertainment options such as the beachfront amusement center. Take a spin on the Big Dipper, a 73-foot vintage roller coaster from 1925.
Mission Boulevard divides Mission Beach from Mission Bay. Don’t miss day trips to Mission Bay Park, the largest waterpark like it in the U.S., sitting on over 4,200 acres with 27 miles of shoreline. From jet skiing and sun bathing to swimming and sailing, you’ll never be at a loss as to what to do.
The neighborhood is peppered with condos and beach apartments, a trendy draw for Millennials of all ages. The houses are varied, ranging from upscale modern homes to old-style beach cottages to pastel-hued homes. This area is only for the richest of Millennials (not impossible since San Diego is also a great place to grow a startup), as median prices for homes are at about $1.2 million right now.
3. Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter
The heart of San Diego: this is considered the downtown area and Gaslamp Quarter which lures young professionals, students and Millennials to its upbeat and trendy vibe. Restaurants, clubs, pubs, bars, dueling piano bars and chic night clubs abound. If you work downtown, your commute is pretty much non-existent. And after work, there are endless spots to unwind at happy hour.
4. Pacific Beach
For the laid-back, beachy Millennial, Pacific Beach Drive and the Crystal Pier should be your destination. Punctuated by a classic Southern California vibe, Pacific Beach (“PB”) is the ultimate surf and bar hopping place. If you don’t mind some tourists, you’ll love it here.
5. Normal Heights
This is a nice commuter neighborhood if your job demands a jaunt on the highway. It’s conveniently located near Interstates 805, 8, and 15. Just as trendy and diverse as the rest of San Diego. Adams Avenue, also known as “Antiques Row,” is its claim to fame.
Peruse bookstores, drink coffee or tea in cafes, and browse vintage shops. Or check out the live music and festival scene, home to Southern California’s biggest free music festival, The Adams Avenue Street Fair (every September). There’s also Adams Avenue Unplugged and Art Around Adams.
If you’re more into dive bars, Normal Heights has plenty of those too. Sip a beer and watch the game with your buddies before grabbing some food – whether you like tacos, ethnic or vegetarian dining.
Millennials who want to live the bougie beach life should consider this hilly seaside area. It’s glamorous and wealthy, so if you’re on a budget you may not find anything in your price range here. But if you’re determined to make La Jolla home, you’ll find something affordable to rent with some roommates, such as a small apartment, loft or studio.
Check out the many upscale shops and restaurants here, or head to the seaside cliffs of Torrey Pines State Reserve. This is a great place for the fitness and outdoor living buffs, as there are plenty of hiking trails overlooking majestic views. Don’t miss the La Jolla Underwater Park for kayakers, snorkelers and scuba divers spanning 6,000 acres.
This is an LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood, accessible from Downtown and Balboa Park in just minutes. Hillcrest is known for its safe, walkable streets, chock full of restaurants, shops, and hopping nightlife. It’s also easily commutable from the downtown area.
8. Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is a laid-back, ocean-side neighborhood that’s known as a surfer’s paradise punctuated by bohemian vibes. This area features expansive sandy beaches, located on the south side of the San Diego River’s mouth. Homes are mostly older bungalows, the area happens to have a high walkability score and is a pleasant, quaint, relaxing neighborhood. You’ll find lots of surf shops and boutiques, along with opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and fishing off the pier. There’s even an off-leash area for dogs right on the beach.
No matter which neighborhood you move to in San Diego, you’re sure to find something to fit your lifestyle.
Contact Best Fit Movers
If you’re a Millennial and need help moving to San Diego, contact us for a free price quote online or call us at 858-429-0097.