What it’s like to live in … San Diego

By on March 8, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

By Hoa Tran, guest blogger, regional college recruiter in San Diego, CA.

San Diego is renowned for its ideal climate, world-class attractions and beautiful beaches. As a local who has lived here all my life, I’ve often entertained the idea of living somewhere completely different. These thoughts quickly subside as the images of snow storms, downpours of rain and wind-blown hair fill up my head. After all, the weather is the source of all bad hair days. Why would anyone ever want to leave this place?

Although we are California’s second-largest city, San Diegans have a laid-back vibe that can be felt from the Laguna Mountains to Pacific Beach. Being the home of four distinguished colleges also contributes to this vibe. San Diego State University, California State University San Marcos, University of San Diego, and University of California San Diego all call this place home. From surfer-town Mission Beach to hipster-ville North Park, San Diego’s neighborhoods are as diverse as the people who live here.

And along with that diversity comes … amazing food. Whether you’re craving Peking duck, coq au vin, jamón ibérico, or kumamoto oysters, every palette can be satisfied in this foodie town. One of my favorite local spots is Quality Social in downtown. I’ve been hooked on their pork-belly BLT sandwich since my first bite. One of the newest food trends in San Diego is the restaurant on wheels, otherwise known as the food truck. Although the food truck frenzy cannot rival those in Portland, Austin or San Francisco, it’ll be a short time before it does. You can find gourmet items like grass-fed burgers at MIHO’s and Korean BBQ tacos at Tabe BBQ. Both often frequent my North Park neighborhood.

San Diegans enjoy gorgeous weather year-round with an average temperature of 70.5. With so many days of sunshine, locals here live an active lifestyle. Watersports such as surfing, kayaking, and diving can be done year-round at many of the beaches. Avid cyclists can enjoy a ride in any part of the county but the most beautiful is out east where picturesque mountains are the backdrop.

No matter what activities you enjoy doing or what you like to eat, there’s something for everyone here … unless you enjoy cold weather, of course!

28 responses to “What it’s like to live in … San Diego

  1. Randi says:

    awesome, after 12 snow storms this season here, I am convinced, when can I transfer?

  2. Joey Isidro says:

    Very well said, Hoa. I’ve lived here since ’94 and I can’t imagine living anywhere else (except maybe Maui).

  3. Kaye Warfield says:

    I dont know about all that.  I used to live in San Diego and was there for well over 20 years.  Yes, the weather is beautiful and there is a price for all that beauty, it is called the Sunshine Tax.  I transeferred to Tennessee about 4 years ago and despite the beauty of having 4 seasons here, the people are wonderful.  Everybody is not in such a hurry, we actually stop and take the time to say “howdy” to our neighbors.  And if you need anything, someone is there to say, “well lets git ur dun”.  Dont get me wrong, I loved living in San Diego and I left a lot of good friends in Region 4, but it isnt so bad to try something new.

  4. angela says:

    my best friend lives in san diego and loves it there. i am also in tn at the gfr i am orginally from here myself i live right across the line in georgia. my hubby is from l.a. county. i just want to visit for about 2 weeks. but i know i would love to move there after i visit. my best friend says it is the best for different types of food and the fashion is outrageous. i would love to just visit and try the fashions food and entertainment. maybe one day….

  5. jaimie says:

    so blessed to live in San Diego….the drive to and from work everyday is just breath-taking….from the mountians to the ocean…it never gets old.  The vibe here is so laid back…everyone is so nice and happy which i am sure has a lot to do with the weather….sunshine everyday.

  6. Gina says:

    would love to experience visiting all regions…but…there’s no place like Georgia.

  7. maria says:

    i’ve lived in sunny san diego, ca for 11 years and have moved to stafford, va almost 2 years ago. i must say that california cannot be compared anywhere else accross county! i love the weather, scenery, food, and people! i’ve left family and friends behind and missed them so much!

    why did i move all the way to east coast? i got married! other than that, my husband is a math teacher. and, math teachers are more in demand in the east coast compared in the west coast. california is on the rise of unemployment. I have friends and family members still don’t have a job!

    so far, i have not fully adjusted to the weather in va! snow, rain, overcast, and all! hopefully, next year i will :D

  8. Darrell says:

    Hoa, you forget the taco shops.  Hands down the best Mexican food anywhere.  We are also a short drive away from daytrips to LA, and for those of us willing to brave crossing the border Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada.  San Francisco and Las Vegas offer a drastic change in scenery and lifestyle with only a short hour flight.  I could go on and on about all the things that we can see and do because theres so much here or within our reach. I can’t imagine any other city that could offer everything that we have at our fingertips.  Other places may have better food, culture, nightlife, weather, etc….but none can put it all together like San Diego!  If only we could get some decent public transportation to offset these gas prices!  :)

  9. Leez says:

    Where’s the “Like” button on Randy’s comment?

  10. Chris says:

    IDK Hoa, after reading your blog I still seem to have one thing on my mind…..Georgia!! Nothing says welcome home like country food and the good ole’ south !

  11. SHANNON says:


  12. Josephine says:


    I visited San Diego last August and fell in love! I am so convinced to live there, I planned a trip to find a place. :)

  13. Chris says:

    I have lived in Georgia all my life. I’ve never traveled further west than Dallas, Texas. But I have traveled numerous states on the eastern coast. From my experience I have found something interesting in every state I’ve been to. Whether it just be many trees, mountains, oceans, wildlife – there’s a lot of “pretty” that gets taken for granted. Hopefully someday I’ll get to travel to San Diego. Sounds like a wonderful city! But for now, I’m content in the Peach State.

  14. Joseph says:

    I appreciate everyones responses and takes on San Diego.  I’ve lived in GA all 27 years of my life.  I love GA but I’m beginning to notice its no longer for me however my love is for the scenary, color and life of FL.  I imagine San Diego to be very similar.  Plus, I’m a pretty big Chargers fan so visiting is definitely on my list of places to see and go.  Who knows, maybe even move out that way.

  15. Gonzo says:

    There is NO place like San Diego…America’s finest city….GO CHARGERS!

  16. Suzanne says:

    I visited San Diego about 25 years ago and fell in LOVE! I always wanted to move there. I currently live in Virginia Beach. The weather is quite nice here (after having lived in Chicago, Detroit, Florida, DC, St. Louis, etc) but what I love about VB is the diversity of fishing. I am a surf & pier fisherwoman. How’s the fishing there? Maybe I will put in for a transfer! Thanks for the blog, Hoa.

  17. Margaret says:

    If it didn’t mean taking yet another BAR exam, I’d transfer to SD!  I am so over winter…………imagine being able to go to the Wild Animal Park and Del Mar Race Track……the SD Zoo……..and best of all, Mary’s Tack & Feed in Del Mar, up to Julian for pie and coffee.   sigh…………. 

  18. Aisha says:

    I had my first child in San Diego. Spent 2 years there while in the USMC. Loved it! I’m originally from NY and have lived in FL, NC, MS and Japan. I currently reside in GA (Macon) and am soooooo ready to go back to California. I miss the diversity and the healthy lifestyle vibe San Diego has. Yeah it’s cheaper in GA, but as they say “you get what you pay for!” and I’m about ready to give up my house and huge yard to move back to Cali and live in a one bedroom with a balcony just for the great location!

  19. Nece says:

    I use to live in San Diego and I loved it. The food is awesome. And there is always something going on. The scenery itself is great! I try to go visit every summer, but I haven’t been in 3 years. And guess what? I’ m going in June and I’m soooo super excited!

  20. Josephine says:

    So, I recently came back from San Diego and didn’t want to leave again!  I found a couple places in Scripps that I would love to settle in. I volunteered for the MS Walk in Point Loma and that was the most beautiful stroll I’ve ever taken. The people, the food, the scenery are all wonderful! It was bittersweet to come home, because as soon as I returned to Virginia Beach it was raining.  On my phone, it showed that San Diego was 65 and sunny. Bummer.. 

  21. Jim says:

    Funny how it always seems, there’s no place like home. For those of you who want to go home, try clicking your red shoes, the rest of us know the grass always looks greener on the other side until you get there.

  22. Gloria says:

    I love Texas!..I used to live in San Diego..too overcrowded…people are not as friendly as in Texas and in the South..  If you like the changes of the seasons, San Diego is not the place to be…

  23. Boad says:

    I first visited SD in the late 60’s and have wanted to move to that incredible city ever since. After all these years, including moves to so. Cal and Napa from Indiana, San Diego calls. Unfortunately, retirement has it’s own economic dynamics so if you are young and have that never ending desire to move to SD, do it.

  24. Patti says:

    Another great thing about San Diego is that we have some amazing craft breweries. The number of great breweries has dramatically grown in the last five years. Amazing I love the San Diego style IPAs. 

  25. Amy says:

    I lived in San Diego off and on for 18 years while serving in the Navy ~ always getting stationed back in SDiego.  I wound up getting stationed in Norfolk, VA and purchased a home in Virginia Beach in ’04.  It’s okay here but doesn’t even come close to SDiego.  The other place that comes close is southern Spain or Hawaii.

  26. Adrian says:

    Born and raised a Nor-Cal girl, I moved all over the U.S. & also Italy. Recently Found myself back in Cali, living in San Diego. Now, for years I said I wanted to move here, and now I have. I am honsetly not sure why now? The people so far have been rude and in the biggest rush! I go out of my way to be nice to co-workers, with out being a kiss-ass, and it’s like twisting someone arm for a pleasant reply. ; ( We’ve only been here since Jan., hopefully it will get better with time.

  27. Tim L says:

    Don’t listen to Adrian. I am too a transplanted Northern Californian and think the people I have met in San Diego are great. Everyone has their own personal experiences with the people they meet so everyone’s experiences are sure to be different. The weather is unmatched except for June Gloom; that being said the temp is still quite pleasant even underneath the grey skies. If you like the best weather, housing that is expensive but not as expensive as San Francisco and Northern California, a great safe and walkable downtown, access to beaches and the coast, and a great laid back vibe – where else would you end but San Diego?

  28. Colt says:

    It is NOT laid back. Everyone tailgates and is in a huge rush. Hate this place.