Relocating to San Diego - What neighborhoods should I be looking at?


Miki Dora status
May 28, 2008
So far away
Every time I’ve visited San Diego I’ve had the feeling I want to live there someday. Someday is now.

I’d like a studio or 1 br within 20 minutes of the beach. I’m planning on getting a job waiting tables or bar tending til I figure out what’s next, so I’d like to be close to an area where the tips will be good.

There are some places in Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach that seem appealing, but I haven’t spend enough time in either of those areas to know if that’s where I want to live. I really like Del Mar because of the dog beach and general vibe. I’m more into kitesurfing than surfing now and it looks like the sanctioned areas for that are around mission bay??

I emailed about a place in sunset cliffs???



Duke status
Dec 17, 2008
It's the best county in California. There really isn't a bad place to live, even in East County but somewhere in the middle of the county like Del Mar and La Jolla would be the best place for good tips
  • Like
Reactions: jamesgang


Nep status
Jan 27, 2002
Shrub Oak,N.Y.,USA
While going to Navy electronics school I lived for a summer with two roommates on Sapphire Street in Pacific Beach about 3 or 4 blocks off of the beach in 1980. Sapphire St. is next to Tourmaline St. and there's beach access at the foot of Tourmaline. I learned to surf there. It was wonderful. Even in July we'd just open up a door at either end of our ground floor garden apartment and a breeze would just stream through. We had no AC but I never missed it. It was a great spot, Close to LaJolla, close to the bars and surf shops in Pacific Beach. It was about eight ground and second floor one and two bedroom apartments with a common walkway in from the street. It was really nice, like a little community of us tenants - we became friends and had BBQ's together. I walked down every day to surf. I often think of how good I had it there and how I didn't realize it at the time.

Then we moved to Ocean Beach, two or 4 blocks from the pier, right across the street from the beach, near the lifeguard station and bathrooms. At the time OB was a little roughshod, with leftover down on their luck hippies yelling at each other (or at nothing) on the street. But it was really nice there with pizza, falafel and shopping close by. I learned to run on that beach.

If I went back I would choose Pacific beach I think. It was quieter and much more relaxing and at least at that time I think you would meet a better quality of girl and people in general there.


Gerry Lopez status
Nov 4, 2012
How old are you? OB and PB are great if you're young and working in the bar/restaurant scene. They lose appeal when you're older. The whole stretch from S. Mission jetty to La Jolla is pretty rad. I started down there when going to college and just kept moving north as I got older.

All that said, I'd find a job first and then a place to live nearby.
  • Like
Reactions: ShiverMeTimbers


Duke status
Sep 26, 2005
Tower 13
Depends on the vibe you want.

No County SD, surf hipster yuppy vibe, everyone surfs, not a very diverse culture but amazing beach vibes if you're into that sort of thing.

Central SD has more wave variety and more diverse population. PB is kind of younger college vibe unless you live north PB. Mission bay is good for kiting but most people do it on foils cause it's not really windy enough here. OB is more of grungy vibe even though it's gentrified quite a bit.

As indicated above, I'd find a job in a coastal town then decide where to live from there. You could have a job downtown and find something in Bay Park and be pretty happy. Accessible to a lot of what you're looking for.

SD is pretty diverse so it's pretty hard to give a recommendation without knowing you.

I was born and raised in central sd so feel fret o PM me with questions, I'd be happy to help.


Kelly Slater status
Apr 16, 2014
Honolulu, Hawaii
Good Luck, AJ. You're going to have fun.

Sister used to live in PB and it was the most enjoyable place ever in my early 20's. Probably wouldn't like it now though.


Nep status
Dec 31, 2008
When I lived there, the good bartending/server gigs were tough to come by -- lots of folks like the service industry schedule and the tips. PB is central, most proximal to LaJolla, tons of bars and restaurants, but living in the surf ghetto can get old. Try to live somewhere that keeps you off the freeway as much as possible.


Legend (inyourownmind)
Jan 14, 2020
thought you had some type of finance experience in a past life? Would it be that hard to bite the bullet and go back to the grind for a few years? You can build boards on the side while stacking some cash to invest. SD is a great city with a lot to offer but the surf isn’t that great for the most part.


Legend (inyourownmind)
Nov 28, 2016
Sounds snarky, but it's really the best advice. Rosarito to TJ playas is prime surf/living territory. The number of people commuting over the border to work in San Diego is quite astounding.

Every morning, thousands of CA plated cars pass through the Sentri lanes. Every afternoon, traffic can back up slightly on the 5 for those returning to MX via El Chaparral.

One of the (not so) great secrets of the Wall: it doesn't block/restrict flow for 98% of the people, either MX or US citizens. There are always tons of Baja plated cars in the Sentri lanes.

You may have noticed I mentioned Sentri a few times. If you cannot pass the background check for global entry, then disregard all of the above.

If you can, then you can enjoy being a first hand witness to the full economic linkage between SoCal and N Baja that is taking place. It's one of the great present/future trends*, so while the same old losers continue to complain instead of paying attention to what's going on, those with a clue are already in position.

*As every surfer knows - either intuitively or actually - population growth (as registered by increasingly crowded line ups) is an exponential function. That is, the doubling rate @ only 2% growth is 35 years. IOW, Calif will grow from a population of 40m to 80m in the next 35-40 years.

This dynamic is driving a lot of equity both out of the state and south of the border. Either figure it out and get with the program, or mope about and complain. Your choice - no one gives sh!t which option you choose.
Last edited: