I realize that the urban vibe isn’t for everyone, and San Diego County has plenty of wonderful suburbs and bedroom communities to choose from. Whether you desire the sound of the ocean, the best school district or the great outdoors, you are sure to find a good fit.
Here are just a few:
A scenic coastal community located 35 miles north of the city of San Diego, this picture-perfect town includes three lagoons, miles of hiking trails and nearly seven miles of coastline. The golf industry keeps growing in Carlsbad with world-renowned golf manufacturers such as Callaway, TaylorMade, Titleist, Carbite, Odyssey and Cobra all doing business in the city. The Carlsbad Village area is a great place for nightlife and dining. With multiple golf courses, LEGOLAND California Resort, beaches, shopping, art, restaurants and more, Carlsbad has the outdoor life and small town feel that makes it a great place to live.
Chula Vista means “beautiful view” in Spanish. The second largest city in San Diego County is located just seven miles from downtown San Diego and seven miles from the Mexican border and is at the center of one of the richest economic and culturally diverse zones in the United States. One of the nation’s few year-round U.S. Olympic Training centers is there, visitors can shop at the region’s newest lifestyle center, take in an outdoor concert at North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre, or make a splash at Knott’s Soak City USA. And there’s more– top-notch golf courses, a scenic marina, the Living Coast Discovery Center, beautiful parks, and an endless variety of dining, shopping, business and leisure opportunities. The western side of Chula Vista still has a village-type charm, and the Eastlake area has good schools and family-friendly neighborhoods. Watch out for their future development of the Chula Vista Bayfront – which will become a 535-acre recreational, residential and resort destination.
Linked to downtown San Diego by the arching Coronado Island Bay Bridge and to southern San Diego County by a slender, sandy isthmus, Coronado Island is technically not an island, it’s a peninsula. It’s home to the North Island U. S. Naval Air Station and the U. S. Navy SEALS center, but it’s not the military that attract tourists to Coronado Island. It’s not Frank Baum’s Oz House, Wallis Simpson’s home or the Coronado Island Museum, either. It’s the white, sandy beaches that have earned it numerous ratings as one of top ten beaches in the U.S., and one of the most beautiful places in the world. San Diegans and tourists like to visit Coronado because it looks and feels like a charming, patriotic and small town. Beauty comes at price, especially for the world-famous Hotel del Coronado. By 2021, after a $200 million investment for redevelopment and expansion, the 28-acre resort, will have a new entry, 25,000-square foot conference center, great lawn, two parking garages, an expansion of 142 guest rooms, a new signature restaurant, a major transformation of 97 California Cabana rooms, and a redo of the popular ocean-view sun deck.
Located along six miles of Pacific coastline in northern San Diego County, Encinitas is characterized by coastal beaches, cliffs, flat-topped coastal areas, steep mesa bluffs and rolling hills. The city was incorporated in 1986, drawing together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain and Leucadia. Like its neighbor to the north, Carlsbad, Encinitas has both coastal and inland appeal, and the old Coast Highway business district lends some small-town charm. With beautiful beaches, a coastal shopping district over 100 years old, and temperatures between 40 and 85 degrees year-round, Encinitas a spectacular place to call home.
The name means “hidden” in Spanish, and Escondido occupies a shallow valley ringed by rocky hills north of San Diego. Founded in 1888, it is one of the oldest cities in San Diego County. The downtown area of Escondido has become more active in the past few years with the opening of restaurants, cafes, and galleries. The California Center for the Arts, Escondido is the art and soul of the community, featuring concerts & performances, museum exhibits, education programs & special event venues.
In Spanish, it means “the jewel”, and stylish La Jolla is located 15 minutes from downtown San Diego. With many wonderful beaches, cultural activities and fine restaurants, it’s an exquisite combination of a southern European resort atmosphere and Southern California fun. Known to be one of the most affluent communities in the United States, La Jolla also has a down to earth feel. It’s home to renowned institutions, such as the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Stephen Birch Aquarium & Museum, as well as the University of California, San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Arts, & most recently, the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center. La Jolla really is one of California’s prettiest oceanside towns, home to several of the state’s best beaches and highest dollar real estate properties.
La Mesa seems to have it all with its tree-lined streets, parks, good schools, walkable neighborhoods, easy access to retail and commercial areas, a robust public transit system, and a quaint downtown village. Simply put, it is a highly desirable community in which to live, work and do business in San Diego’s East County.
They call Poway the “city in the country” and it very well is. This formerly rustic community off of I-15 just past Mira Mesa has grown up to be a desirable incorporated city with lots of outdoor recreation, family friendly neighborhoods, plenty of amenities, and one of the best school districts around.
Rancho Santa Fe
Rancho Santa Fe is always a fixture on lists for the wealthiest zip code in the United States and California. It’s comprised of six upscale communities. Besides a downtown area with restaurants, upscale boutique shops, various exclusive county clubs and golf courses, Rancho Santa Fe is almost exclusively residential. Rancho Santa Fe is famous for housing a number of prominent political figures and celebrities. The horse lifestyle can be seen all around this area with equestrian trails located around residential estates.
If Escondido is the big hulk of North County, then San Marcos (and by default neighboring Vista) is a young upstart. San Marcos is one of the fastest growing cities in California, and with new housing, retail and industry cropping up along the SR78 corridor; San Marcos is poised for growth. In addition, it has a budding academic reputation because it’s the home to CSU San Marcos and Palomar College.
Santee is another of those cities with that “rural” feel, and the people who live in Santee love living there. It is growing in amenities, housing and establishments, so its residents don’t really have to venture beyond the city limits for activities. The SR 52 and 125 freeways now make commuter access easier to Sorrento Valley and downtown San Diego.