Best Neighborhoods to Live in Around San Diego

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• These 5 San Diego Neighborhoods Ranked As The Best Places to Live •

San Diego was recently voted the most fun place to live in the United States — and for a good reason. It’s one of the most beautiful, cleanest cities in the United States.

The weather is as close to perfect as it gets, with an average temperature of around 70 degrees year-round. Take advantage of the weather and hit up one of the many pristine beaches, or enjoy various outdoor activities in the area.

San Diego is home to some of the best food around, with more than 7,000 restaurants located within the city limits. The city is diverse with a thriving arts and culture scene, boasting a number of museums, art galleries, botanical gardens, zoos, and more.

San Diego also hosts some of the most superb real estate in California, guaranteed to offer whatever you’re seeking in your next home. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best neighborhoods to live in San Diego.

Best neighborhoods to live in San Diego


Carlsbad, nestled along the beautiful coastline in North County San Diego, is known for its old European city charm and the ambiance of a typical Californian coastal resort community. Residents of Carlsbad enjoy a quiet neighborhood surrounded by a plethora of natural beauty, complete with all of the luxurious amenities and some of the friendliest neighbors around.

Residents of “The Village by the Sea” enjoy the city’s walkability, beautiful sandy beaches, and plenty of things to see and do for the whole family. Carlsbad Village is full of antique stores, unique galleries, local cafes, and restaurants. Carlsbad’s real estate ranges from mid-century cottages to lavish mansions in Old Carlsbad.

Median home price: $1.3M

Solana Beach

With a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere, it’s easy to see the allure of Solana Beach. Solana Beach, located between Del Mar and Encinitas, is full of small-town charm and a family-friendly atmosphere. Located approximately 30-minutes from downtown San Diego, Solana Beach is also one of the prettiest coastal cities known to be a paradise for surfers and nature lovers.

Check out Solana Beach if you’re looking for ultra-luxurious real estate, a one-of-a-kind design district, gated estates with breathtaking ocean views, unique beach homes, or upscale condo communities.

Median home price: $2.0M


If you are looking for a vibrant coastal town with some of the best surfing around, Encinitas may be just for you. This bustling town has been named one of the best surf towns in the world by National Geographic, and the surfing vibes spill over into the laid-back atmosphere. With more than six miles of rugged coastline, Encinitas boasts a number of beaches that are hidden gems and favorites of the locals.

Encinitas real estate offers several golf course communities, and even homes tucked away in a rural setting in Olivenhain. If you’re looking for more of a suburban feel, New Encinitas offers plenty of newer homes on larger lots. Encinitas is undoubtedly one of the best places to live in San Diego area.

Median home price: $1.7M

La Jolla

La Jolla offers the quintessential California experience, with luxurious living combined with a breathtaking natural oceanfront setting. Located close to downtown San Diego, La Jolla translated means “the jewel” — and the name certainly fits for this beautiful city. With an impressive seven miles of coastline nestled against steep hillsides and canyons, there is no shortage of views in La Jolla.

Real estate in La Jolla is exclusive and luxurious, attracting wealthy home buyers worldwide. You can find everything from ultra-modern homes to traditional old-world-style Spanish mansions in terms of architectural styles. As you get closer to the coast, prices rise, with many homes offering spectacular views.

Median home price: $2.2M


Cardiff-by-the-Sea is technically a community located within Encinitas, but we feel it deserves a callout here with its own ZIP code and unique vibe. Referred to by locals as “Cardiff,” the town features expansive, sandy beaches and steep cliffs. With a small population of approximately 10,000, Cardiff-by-the-Sea boasts a strong sense of community with residents who enjoy coming together for local festivals, such as the Dog Days of Summer or Taste of Cardiff. It makes for one of the best places to live in San Diego.

Cardiff’s real estate is diverse, with residences ranging from modest single-family homes to luxurious estates with spectacular ocean views. If a low-maintenance condo is more your style, you’ll also find that here.

Median home price: $1.9M

The Bottom Line

Most California home buyers also have an old home to sell. But the traditional real estate model is built to benefit lenders and real estate agents — not homeowners. Reali unlocks a smarter, less stressful path to your next home — no double mortgage required. Use our cash to buy now and sell later… it’s easier than you think.

If you’re dreaming of owning a home in San Diego, we’ve got you covered. Explore our homes for sale, call us at (858) 880-0195, or email to get started with Reali today.

* Median home prices as of December 2021.

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About The Author
Portia Green, REALTOR®

Portia Green is a highly experienced full-time REALTOR® specializing in the representation of Sellers, heralded by her clients as data-driven and an effective negotiator. Producing $25M total in residential sales volume, Portia's goal is to help her clients achieve the best results when selling their homes and to make their experience an enjoyable one. She has successfully sold real estate since 2008 and has gained an in-depth knowledge of local real estate markets & seasonal trends. Portia has achieved a 100% customer satisfaction rating and wants to share her expertise & personal service with you in the sale of your home. When listing your home with Portia Green and Compass, you'll receive the hands-on service you need and desire. Portia will help you manage the entire process of selling your home from pricing, preparing and staging the house, to marketing, negotiating offers, inspections, all the way to closing. She will recommend skilled vendors for any job needed, personally host Open Houses, and ensure that all showings are accompanied. At Compass, Portia offers a wise no-nonsense way to sell your home for the best price and the least hassle. With a keen eye for staging & preparing listings to maximize Buyer appeal, all of Portia Green's listings are professionally photographed using HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography to provide the highest quality photos in the industry. Professionally printed marketing materials are prepared for all Open Houses. We also capture a 3D scan of your home that creates an interactive walkthrough online along with a custom-designed floor plan and targeted digital marketing campaigns on Google & the most popular social media channels. Compass participates in the Multiple Listing Service, which is the local real estate database of homes listed for sale that all REALTORS® use in helping their Buyers find houses. Your home will appear on every real estate website, in its best light, making a stunning camera-ready debut. Portia Green's home valuation expertise and extensive experience in comparative market analysis will help price your home accurately. She has refined her skills to help you pinpoint which features of your home will result in more showings and better results. Her mantra is for you to be ready to sell your home and feel good about that first. Portia knows that home inspectors always find a problem; that drones take some of the best photos in town; and that her eyebrows will grow to the floor in the time it takes her to read everything that's happening with your HOA, but that doesn't mean she won't do it anyway. Eyebrows be damned. You'll always need a place to unplug, connect, dream, grow, or just be yourself. That makes what Portia does even more meaningful. She’s ready to go the extra mile to help you find just the place. Whether you're selling your very first home, offloading an investment property, or want a vacation getaway with passive income, she is attentive to the details of every home sale. Portia helps busy people navigate this crazy real estate market like a pro, so don't be shy. Every great relationship starts with free advice and a friendly chat. Ask as many questions as you need to. Selling houses is her jam!