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San Diego and surrounds

San Diego and surrounds

Old Sep 25th 2020, 11:21 am
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Default San Diego and surrounds

Hello, most of the threads I found on this are old and closed. We're no longer tied to one location so thinking of moving south for the Winter. I know some of you live (or have lived) in San Diego and it seems to get rave reviews.

For a childless couple (late 40s/50s), used to city life and walkability, would you recommend the Downtown areas - Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, etc.? I have been told they're quite noisy, though we are used to that. Are they relatively safe? (Bear in mind we currently live in Downtown Seattle, opposite the Market. It's all relative.) Alternatively, any beach suburbs to recommend? Anywhere further up the coast, so long as it's warmer than, say, San Fran? (Or inland so long as it's pretty and not on fire. All we need is some grocery stores, cafes and a good wifi connection.)

We don't currently have a car but appreciate we may need one if we're not in a city centre. We'd probably be looking for a 2-3 bedroom apartment but will be limited by having cats, would consider a small house I guess.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old Sep 25th 2020, 2:26 pm
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

If you want to stay close to downtown, I would recommend the Marina area, or Little Italy. East Village is a little cheaper, but also a bit more run-down, and with a big homelessness issue (mostly benign, but mentally unstable folks). I would not recommend Gaslamp Quarter for somewhere to live unless you are a big fan of being surrounded by noisy bars and drunk folks. Most people who live downtwon still need a car to get around. The transit situation her is not great.

For walkability, I would recommend North Park, University Heights, or Hillcrest areas. I still feel like you will need at least one car to get around San Diego, but these neighborhoods have lots of nice restaurants, breweries and bo-ho type offerings, and I know a couple of people who live in these areas who get by without a car.

I would not recommend beach towns in the city (OB, PB)unless you have serious coin and could afford La Jolla. However, the beach towns all the way up the coast to north county are exceptional, in beauty and safety. There are lively downtown areas in Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside. Each has its own 'character'. Encinitas is a little on the younger side, and a little more boho. Carlsbad is much more wealthy suburban types. Oside is more up-and-coming, a little rougher around the edges but has a great downtown and tons of fantastic cafes and restaurants. (Personally I think Oside is my favorite.) It goes without saying the beaches are great, the weather is fantastic, all year round, certainly warmer than SF.
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Old Sep 25th 2020, 2:49 pm
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

Originally Posted by username.exe
If you want to stay close to downtown, I would recommend the Marina area, or Little Italy. East Village is a little cheaper, but also a bit more run-down, and with a big homelessness issue (mostly benign, but mentally unstable folks). I would not recommend Gaslamp Quarter for somewhere to live unless you are a big fan of being surrounded by noisy bars and drunk folks. Most people who live downtwon still need a car to get around. The transit situation her is not great.

For walkability, I would recommend North Park, University Heights, or Hillcrest areas. I still feel like you will need at least one car to get around San Diego, but these neighborhoods have lots of nice restaurants, breweries and bo-ho type offerings, and I know a couple of people who live in these areas who get by without a car.

I would not recommend beach towns in the city (OB, PB)unless you have serious coin and could afford La Jolla. However, the beach towns all the way up the coast to north county are exceptional, in beauty and safety. There are lively downtown areas in Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside. Each has its own 'character'. Encinitas is a little on the younger side, and a little more boho. Carlsbad is much more wealthy suburban types. Oside is more up-and-coming, a little rougher around the edges but has a great downtown and tons of fantastic cafes and restaurants. (Personally I think Oside is my favorite.) It goes without saying the beaches are great, the weather is fantastic, all year round, certainly warmer than SF.
That's great, thanks a lot. Some of them I know of, all of them I will investigate.
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Old Sep 25th 2020, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

It's crazy in a way how things come back around, North Park and University Heights were good neighborhoods, then in my early life-time was the bad part of town, and then came back around as hip places to live.

Downtown was the same, it was not a place to be in the 80's, it was sailors, hookers, bars, then started to get better in the early 90's as the made efforts to clean up downtown. Oh and the big Tuna ships, they were so cool to see.

Anyhow back to current times.

Downtown living is about the only way to get away without having a car, you can likely meet all your needs without a car if living downtown, and take the trolley into Mission Valley for other shopping needs and such, and then maybe renting cars if you need to venture further out, but having lived in Bonita and Chula Vista without a car, I managed to get around on transit, takes more time, but doable if your willing to give up time and such, but a car does make things much easier and much nicer but if your dedicated to not having a car, it's doable, just depends on your priorities, wants and needs.
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Old Sep 26th 2020, 8:57 am
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

Originally Posted by Kooky.
I know some of you live (or have lived) in San Diego and it seems to get rave reviews.
Looking out of the window at the Seattle rain, how I wish I could be back in San Diego. I used to have great views across Poway to the mountains. However all my experiences there were dependent on a car, there was not even a store in (reasonable) walking distance.
Having said that some stay-at-home partners did manage without a car in areas like 4S Ranch & Carmel Mountain. In the managed developments there are a large number of apartments which are within walkable distance to a retail center and transport.

One advantage about living inland is that you avoid the coastal fog, and it is cheaper.

Good Luck with your search. San Diego remains the best city I have lived in (although Tokyo was the safest).
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Old Sep 26th 2020, 9:08 am
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

Originally Posted by OldJuddian
Looking out of the window at the Seattle rain, how I wish I could be back in San Diego. I used to have great views across Poway to the mountains. However all my experiences there were dependent on a car, there was not even a store in (reasonable) walking distance.
Having said that some stay-at-home partners did manage without a car in areas like 4S Ranch & Carmel Mountain. In the managed developments there are a large number of apartments which are within walkable distance to a retail center and transport.

One advantage about living inland is that you avoid the coastal fog, and it is cheaper.

Good Luck with your search. San Diego remains the best city I have lived in (although Tokyo was the safest).
Exactly - 3 or 4 days into Fall and I am already fed up of this colour! (Taken just now.)



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Old Sep 26th 2020, 9:11 am
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

Originally Posted by Jsmth321
It's crazy in a way how things come back around, North Park and University Heights were good neighborhoods, then in my early life-time was the bad part of town, and then came back around as hip places to live.

Downtown was the same, it was not a place to be in the 80's, it was sailors, hookers, bars, then started to get better in the early 90's as the made efforts to clean up downtown. Oh and the big Tuna ships, they were so cool to see.

Anyhow back to current times.

Downtown living is about the only way to get away without having a car, you can likely meet all your needs without a car if living downtown, and take the trolley into Mission Valley for other shopping needs and such, and then maybe renting cars if you need to venture further out, but having lived in Bonita and Chula Vista without a car, I managed to get around on transit, takes more time, but doable if your willing to give up time and such, but a car does make things much easier and much nicer but if your dedicated to not having a car, it's doable, just depends on your priorities, wants and needs.
Thanks, J. To be honest we have missed a car during this six month virtual lockdown and have had some real issues with zipcar - just not enough of them available, and people not returning them on time (one was over an hour late, we ended up having to Uber to pick another one up - we had a full day planned - and we'd been avoiding Uber so were not happy). Zipcar support is also pants. We may well end up getting one.
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Old Sep 26th 2020, 9:28 am
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

I have never lived in San Diego, but have friends there and visited a bunch of times several years back. Honestly, I was miserable being without a car even for my short visits. I caught a bunch of buses, which took at least 3 times as long as traveling from A to B by car, plus the inconveniences of limited schedules. It also seems to have been designed entirely with cars in mind, in terms of things being far apart, so even if distances are walkable, you get a bit of a "traversing great distances" feel.

On the plus side, SD is exactly the right climate for convertibles, if you are that way inclined. I would have loved to have my old MX-5 there.
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Old Sep 26th 2020, 9:40 am
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds




Nice February day in San Diego, was around 70F, taken in Feb 2019.
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Old Sep 26th 2020, 9:45 am
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

Originally Posted by Jsmth321


Nice February day in San Diego, was around 70F, taken in Feb 2019.
I found San Diego by googling "where is it always in the 70s".
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Old Sep 26th 2020, 11:16 am
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

Originally Posted by Jsmth321



Nice February day in San Diego, was around 70F, taken in Feb 2019.
The view from Point Loma, my wife's office was a stone's throw from here and she could look out of the wind and watch the whales migrating.
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Old Sep 26th 2020, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

Originally Posted by username.exe
The view from Point Loma, my wife's office was a stone's throw from here and she could look out of the wind and watch the whales migrating.
Oh nice, that would be a nice office view....

I never had an office view, but the view from the employee parking lot (at the time anyhow, don't think it's an employee lot anymore) had a really nice view for a parking lot, could see downtown, Coronado Bridge, and North Island, was a nice view when leaving/coming to work.

Looks like it's a public parking lot as of May 2019, surprised actually nothing has been built there considering the view...



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Old Sep 27th 2020, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

I spent a bit of time in the SD area last year (I was working for a client in Torrey Pines). If I was going to move there I would definitely pick one of the coastal towns (unless you need to be in SD for work, the traffic on I-5 at rush hour tends to be bad). Downtown SD was a bit drab and had a bad homeless problem (which I figure might be worse now). Encinitas was my favourite one of the coastal towns but I would be happy anywhere from Del Mar to Carlsbad. You will definitely need a car though, everything is really spread out.
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Old Sep 27th 2020, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

Presume as you are only moving for the winter, you work from home and have no commute?.
If one was intent on living downtown SD then, personally, I would be looking at the lovely highrise apartment buildings overlooking the Bay. While near to the restaurant and bar areas it would not be as noisy as being in the Gaslamp area itself. Yes, there is a homeless problem downtown, but if wanting to be able to just walk out of your apartment straight to the theatre, restaurant, bar, ball park etc then you just have to learn to live with it.
For beachside towns, La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff are all places which have appeal.
No matter where you live, you WILL need a car (unless you never intend to leave downtown).
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Old Sep 27th 2020, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: San Diego and surrounds

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl
Presume as you are only moving for the winter, you work from home and have no commute?.
If one was intent on living downtown SD then, personally, I would be looking at the lovely highrise apartment buildings overlooking the Bay. While near to the restaurant and bar areas it would not be as noisy as being in the Gaslamp area itself. Yes, there is a homeless problem downtown, but if wanting to be able to just walk out of your apartment straight to the theatre, restaurant, bar, ball park etc then you just have to learn to live with it.
For beachside towns, La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Cardiff are all places which have appeal.
No matter where you live, you WILL need a car (unless you never intend to leave downtown).
Seattle has quite the homeless population as well, entire west coast San Diego to Vancouver Canada seem to have the same issues to varying degrees, it can't really escaped.

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