If you live in a cold weather state, you may be thinking it’s time to move somewhere warmer so you don’t have to face another nor’easter, bomb cyclone or ice storm. Maybe it’s time to move to San Diego. It’s warm and sunny year round (average high is 69.8 degrees, average low is 57.5), the scenery is beautiful, and San Diego boasts some remarkable assets that make it livable.
Living and Working in San Diego
San Diego’s population is about 1.4 million, and with a high percentage of college students and Navy personnel, the city tends to skew younger. The average age of a San Diegan is 33. The weather is near perfect (no shoveling driveways!), and perfect for beaches, surfing and kayaking, hiking and caving.
With lower than average unemployment, and higher than average per capita income, San Diego’s economy looks strong. It has an unemployment rate of 4.9%, just below the national average of 5.2%. Major industries include healthcare, education (San Diego is home to numerous universities and colleges, including UCSD and San Diego State), and tech jobs. Job growth is 2.22%, and the median household income is $65,753. Average commute times are a hefty 27 minutes, and you’ll want a car, as public transit is limited.
The cost of living is higher than the national average mainly due to housing expenses. While San Diego’s housing is less than in San Francisco, it is pricey by any standard. The median home price is $542,300, and the home ownership rate is 52%. Median rent for a 2 bedroom apartment is $1625. Housing options are diverse and include historic homes, townhomes, condos and apartments.
Recreation and Entertainment
As you might expect with a young population in Southern California, outdoor activities are popular. From the gorgeous beaches to the coastal mountains, outdoor recreation is abundant. There’s also plenty of wildlife, from whale watching to hanging out watching seals and sea lions at La Jolla Cove marine refuge. If you’re more of a museum person, check out Balboa Park, where San Diego’s museums of Art, Natural History and the Museum of Man are located. There’s also the USS Midway Museum, a World War II era aircraft carrier docked at Navy Pier.
Make sure your passport is current so you can day trip to Mexico. San Diego is on the border, and day trips to Tijuana, Ensenada and the Baja Peninsula are popular. Just be sure to build in plenty of time for the border crossing, as it can take an hour or more on busy days.
And not surprisingly for a city on the border, San Diego has amazing Mexican food. New residents typically try out a variety before settling in on one favorite. Be forewarned: Locals are vocal about their favorite, so be prepared for lots of conflicting advice on where to get the best tacos. And if you prefer your Mexican inauthentic, be sure to try the California burrito, with carne asada, avocados and fries. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan eateries as well, and the farmers markets are year-round and spectacular. If you’re into craft beer, you may find yourself in heaven: San Diego has more than 100 microbreweries.
Welcome to San Diego!
This southern California city seems to have it all: Weather, great outdoor activities, a thriving economy and a thriving restaurant scene. If you do decide to forego next winter with a move to San Diego, you’ll want a great partner for your move.