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What Are the Best Neighborhoods in San Diego to Live In?

Check out any list of the best American cities, and you'll see that San Diego is almost always named. This Southern California city has it all: great weather, beautiful beaches, and interesting attractions. Add in the fantastic cultural diversity and excellent schools, and it's clear that the San Diego area is an outstanding place to call home.

Whether you're relocating from within the state or across the country, it's good to know which San Diego neighborhoods appeal to you before you pack everything up and move. That way, you'll settle in perfectly.

Here are the best neighborhoods in San Diego to live in.

La Jolla

"La Jolla" is Spanish for "The Jewel," so that should give you an inkling of what an amazing neighborhood this is. In fact, it's widely regarded as one of the best San Diego neighborhoods, so you can't go wrong by living here.

While it's one of the most expensive places to live in the US, it's worth it when you see what the properties are like. They put you near the gorgeous coastline, giving you outstanding views of the rocky cliffs. You'll only be minutes away from sunbathing on the beach or surfing in the ocean.

La Jolla also has upscale shops, galleries, and restaurants. Plus, it's near the University of California San Diego (UCSD) if you or your kids are interested in higher education. Otherwise, if you're in the science or healthcare fields, there are many job opportunities here, as there are several biotech companies in the area.

Carmel Valley

Are you relocating with the entire family? Then Carmel Valley is where you need to go.

This is a family-friendly neighborhood located in the northern part of San Diego. It has excellent schools, parks, and suburban amenities.

It's further inland, but you're still not too far away from the coast. It puts you further away from the tourist crowds too, as it's more secluded.

Carmel Valley is one of the safest neighborhoods and has great proximity to natural parks. It's ideal for those who want to live a quiet life with their families.

North Park

North Park is a neighborhood that's only a few miles away from Downtown San Diego, so you won't be far from many main attractions. It's amazing for those who like shopping and eating, as there are many stores and restaurants.

North Park is also home to one of the best farmers' markets in the country. It's on all year long on every Thursday, so you won't be short on local and fresh fruits and vegetables.

If you're looking for a hip and eclectic area, then you'll love the artsy vibe here. Not surprisingly, you'll find lots of young professionals and artists. If those are your people, then you'll have a fun time making friends and networking.

East Village

To live in the heart of San Diego, pick East Village. This is the biggest Downtown neighborhood around, and its highlight is Petco Park, home to the San Diego Padres.

Following the success of this stadium's opening in 2004, the area exploded with growth. That's why today, you'll be spoiled for choice in East Village whether you want cafes, restaurants, or live music venues.

What's unique about this neighborhood is you'll get the opportunity to live in converted warehouses if you find regular apartments and houses boring. In addition, if you're trying to cut down on your carbon footprint, then you'll be pleased to know that the public bus and trolley lines are wonderful. It's easy to walk and bike around too.

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach puts you right on the waterfront and offers you a diverse neighborhood, as there are both young professionals and older retirees living here.

"PB" has a reputation for being a party town, but don't let that fool or deter you. It's still a nice area for families, as long as you look in the right places.

This lively neighborhood has a bustling boardwalk, plenty of outdoor activities, and a vibrant nightlife if that's what you're into. There are also lots of trendy cafes, which is fantastic for foodies.

In addition, this neighborhood is in close proximity to Downtown San Diego. You can spend a night there having fun, then return to the beachfront for a good night's rest.


If you're part of the LGBTQIA+ community, then you'll feel right at home in Hillcrest. It's the heart of San Diego's LGBT community, meaning you'll feel safe in your identity here. Not to mention, you'll be in the middle of all the action during Pride celebrations, so it's very convenient.

Hillcrest itself is a very vibrant and lively neighborhood. There are many markets to browse, as well as trendy shops and exemplary restaurants to visit, and nightlife is alive and thumping once the sun goes down.

This neighborhood is nearby Balboa Park too. This large 1,200-acre urban cultural park has gorgeous architecture and history, as well as numerous museums and gardens.

Check Out the Best Neighborhoods in San Diego

The best neighborhoods in San Diego are wide and diverse, meaning that living in San Diego is easy for practically everyone. From a quiet family life in Carmel Valley to the energetic party life in Pacific Beach, there's bound to be a neighborhood that's perfect for you.

Do note that San Diego real estate is hot, so if you want to move, then it's important to snag a property, especially if you're set on a particular area.

If you're interested in relocating to San Diego, then schedule a free call with one of our experts. We can help with our 360-degree virtual showings and home tours!

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