The San Diego metropolitan area covers the entirety of San Diego County, and it's the second-most populated area in California. Located at the edge of Southern California, this region is filled with several large and mid-sized metropolises, and six of them have more than 100,000 people. San Diego is definitely the biggest city in San Diego County, but Chula Vista, Escondido, El Cajon and Vista are all vibrant cities that are equally lovely. Most known for its sandy beaches and year-round perfect weather, this is a place where you can spend much of your time basking in the sunshine.
Living In and Around the San Diego Area
San Diego Lives Up to It's Nickname as America's Finest City
Thinking about moving to San Diego? Here is all the information you need to help you decide which city and neighborhood in San Diego best fits your lifestyle.
Population 3.3 million
Average Sunny Days 267
Average Temperature January Low is 43 degrees - July High is 82 degrees
Living in the San Diego Metro Area
San Diego is one of America's hottest vacation destinations, so you have the advantage of living in a place where most people go to get away. Since the weather's so consistently nice, many of San Diego's residents maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. It's easy to stay healthy when you can spend your free time windsurfing, wakeboarding or jet skiing. When you're moving to a city that's within miles of the beach, you'll find it easy to hang out at the shore almost every day of the week. Besides, if you'd ever prefer a change of scenery, the desert, the mountains and LA are just a few hours' drive away.
San Diego Metro Culture and Demographics
Named after famous Franciscan, San Diego de Alcala de Henares, San Diego was part of Mexico less than 200 years ago. Nowadays, San Diego can be found in the southernmost part of California, but it's still within miles of the Mexican border. This city is heavily influenced by both American and Mexican culture, which is why you'll find the best tacos and burritos north of the border here. But if you're moving to San Diego, Mexican isn't the only type of cuisine that you'll have access to. You can also find amazing Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, Spanish, French, Filipino, Indian, Middle Eastern and Pacific Islander food, depending on which part of the city you're living in.
Jobs & Employment in the San Diego Metro Area
San Diego County has an unemployment rate of 5 percent, which is right on par with the U.S. average. However, if you're moving to San Diego, chances are that your income will be higher than it is in many other American cities. The region's projected growth rate is also 40 percent over the next 10 years, which is amazing if you're planning on living in a place where you can find long-term employment. San Diego's top employers include Sharp Healthcare, the University of California-San Diego, the United States Navy, San Diego's public school districts and various offices of the local government.
Professional Sports Teams and Universities in the San Diego Metro Area
If you're moving to San Diego to attend college, you'll have plenty of choices. San Diego boasts more than two dozen institutions of higher education. Some of the most prominent include San Diego State University, the University of San Diego, National University and the Gemological Institute of America. San Diego also boasts several professional sports teams, which is especially great if you're into catching home games. You can check out the San Diego Padres whenever they're playing baseball at Petco Park, or watch the San Diego Gulls play ice hockey at Valley View Casino Center. Regardless of which sport you're into, San Diego has something for you.
Things to See and Do in the San Diego Metro Area
When you're living in San Diego, you'll probably want to scope out the best beaches as soon as you can. If you're moving to this lovely locale, you'll have access to the sandiest coastlines in the country. Head to South Mission Beach if you're on the hunt for a beach in a conveniently central location. Visit Mission Beach Park for the best views and to see the most impressive sunsets in the entire city. Or, stop by Dog Beach if you're bringing any furry friends. However, there's more to San Diego than its amazing shores. You can also explore Balboa Park, see exotic animals at the San Diego Zoo or learn about the city's nautical history at the USS Midway Museum.
Top Cities in San Diego
San Diego County boasts more than two dozen cities, and each one has its own advantages. If you dream of living by the coast, then you'll want to be in Chula Vista or San Diego proper. But if you'd prefer to live further inland, be sure to check out El Cajon, Escondido or Vista.
About Chula Vista
Chula Vista is a scenic resort city that's less than 10 miles away from San Diego proper. It's also the second largest city in San Diego County. If you move here, you'll be treated to picture perfect views no matter what part of the city you're in. Chula Vista is flanked by both the coastal mountain foothills and the San Diego Bay, making this the perfect place to live if you'd prefer a mid-sized city that feels like its own vacation destination.
Chula Vista, CA Homes for sale
About El Cajon
El Cajon is a inland city located less than 20 miles away from Downtown San Diego. Otherwise known as the "Big Box," El Cajon get its name from being set in a valley that's completely surrounded by picturesque mountains. If you're moving to San Diego County, but you prefer the mountains to the beach, then El Cajon could be perfect for you. El Cajon is a vibrant city with easy access to many amenities, and it even boasts its own walkable downtown area.
El Cajon, CA Homes for sale
Escondido is a mid-sized city surrounded by rocky hills and set within a shallow valley. It's located approximately 30 miles north of San Diego and is also one of the oldest cities in the entire county. While Escondido isn't situated next to a coast, there are three lakes close by, making it easy to go boating or fishing. Both Dixon Lake and Lake Wohlford are consistently stocked with trout and other fish. And Lake Hodges is a picturesque reservoir with its own dam.
Escondido, CA Homes for sale
About San Diego
Other than Los Angeles, San Diego is the largest city in all of SoCal, and San Diego really does have it all. With its sandy beaches, scenic skyline, world-class attractions and wonderful cultural amenities, San Diego has certainly earned the nickname, "America's Finest City." It's also a great place to find a job. Also known as Silicon Beach, San Diego is quickly cementing its status as California's second-biggest center for the tech industry, even though the name originally referred to a specific part of Sorrento Valley.
Located several miles inland from Oceanside and Carlsbad, Vista is a city that's especially great for families. Vista often receives top marks for affordability, health, safety and recreational opportunities. It's also a great place to find a job since Watkins Manufacturing Company, Zodiac Pool Care and Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors all have hundreds of local employees. You'll even find two theaters, Moonlight Amphitheatre and Avo Playhouse, so you're still conveniently close to amazing cultural amenities.
Vista, CA Homes for sale
Best Neighborhoods in San DiegoSan Diego is a warm and sunny metropolis with a wide variety of different neighborhoods and districts, including Northern San Diego, Eastern San Diego, Central San Diego, Western San Diego and University City. Some parts of this SoCal city are more urban or close to the beach, and some are more suburban or further inland. No matter what you're into, San Diego has a neighborhood for you.
About Northern San Diego
Northern San Diego is a wonderful area of the city that's filled with a wide variety of diverse neighborhoods, including Sorrento Valley, Carmel Valley and Pacific Beach. Sorrento Valley is conveniently close to San Diego International Airport and Interstate 5, which is especially great if you're a consistent jet-setter. Carmel Valley is a popular suburb with amazing schools and close proximity to the beach. And Pacific Beach is an affluent neighborhood that's filled with bars and restaurants, and it's especially known for having a happening nightlife scene.
About Eastern San Diego
Eastern San Diego is one of the city's more suburban areas. And while Eastern San Diego may lack beachfront properties, it's filled with several amazing communities. Kearny Mesa is one of Eastern San Diego's more commercial neighborhoods, and nearby Convoy Street is also where you'll find the city's best Asian cuisine. Birdland is mostly made up of single-family homes, making this neighborhood perfect if you like having room to roam.
About Central San Diego
Central San Diego is the most happening locale in the entire city, and living here will put you in the center of the action. This is where you'll find Downtown San Diego, which is filled with its own rich and varied neighborhoods. Little Italy has a pedestrian promenade that's filled with shops, restaurants and bars. Columbia is a commercial neighborhood, but it's also home to plenty of high-rise condominiums. And Gaslamp Quarter is one of San Diego's most historic areas. Plus, it's where the city's residents celebrate Mardi Gras.
About University City
University City is one of San Diego's most in-demand neighborhoods, and for good reason. After all, it's located right next to the coast in the northwestern section of the city, and this is also where you'll find the University of California-San Diego's main campus. The northern portion of University City is made up of apartment complexes and condominiums, making this the place to live if you're a student. If you'd prefer a more peaceful neighborhood, you'll love living in one of the single-family houses in southern part of University City.
About Western San Diego
Living in Western San Diego is especially amazing if you're fond of being by the shore. After all, this part of the city has numerous seaside communities. Check out Point Loma if you want to live between both the Pacific Ocean and the San Diego Bay. This is a highly populated area with several neighborhoods, including La Playa and Liberty Station. La Playa is a bay-front residential neighborhood and Liberty Station is a commercial district that's brimming with shops and restaurants. Plus, these are only two of Point Loma's lively locales.
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