Choose the Right San Diego Neighborhood for You

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Choose the Right San Diego Neighborhood for You

Jordan Gaither · Oct 28, 2009

As a future west-coaster, it’s important you choose the right San Diego neighborhood for you. Some of these areas are more business park than suburban while others are eclectic, and still others are good, quiet family neighborhoods. This article will detail 5 of San Diego’s best-known neighborhoods.

Hillcrest

Just north of downtown San Diego lays the vibrant and colorful neighborhood of Hillcrest.

If you’re searching for a place with lots of entertainment and nightlife, then this is the place for you. The main thoroughfare, University Avenue, will bring you into contact with blocks and blocks of bars, restaurants, movie theaters, night clubs and more

Famous for being an inclusive community, Hillcrest is home to people of every race, creed, color and orientation, making it a textbook American melting pot.

Mission Hills

If you’re moderately to very well-off, Mission Hills might be the perfect place for you. Each home is a unique experience, designed by some of the most famous architects of our time, and quietly nestled on sweeping lawns.

Also situated just north of downtown San Diego, Mission Hills doesn’t have much for itself in the way of entertainment venues (other than a karaoke bar or two), but is so close to Hillcrest that a quick walk will put you in range of all of Hillcrest’s decidedly ample shopping and entertainment.

Kensington

On the outskirts of southeast Mission Valley you’ll find Kensington, an upscale, quiet neighborhood perfect for upper-middle-class young couples and small families. Its main artery, Adams Avenue, includes a small business park. There aren’t many bars and no serious gambling institutions; just a small neighborhood with beautiful Spanish-style homes and a single-screen movie theater (one of the last in the country!).

Normal Heights

For a less stuffy San Diego experience, Normal Heights is definitely the place to live. Classifiable as rowdy, dense, exciting and diverse, Normal Heights (known as Abnormal Heights to some of its inhabitants) is a great place for middle-class singles and couples looking for their first apartment or even home in an interesting neighborhood.

There is a selection of restaurants including Italian and Mexican, as well as local music venues, movie theaters, antique stores and used book stores.

Ocean Beach

Those looking for a truly unique West Coast experience would very likely feel at home in Ocean Beach, a neighborhood that hasn’t yet relinquished the 60’s and 70’s, and doesn’t appear to have any plans to do so. Its funky style and retro way of doing things has given rise to one of the most diverse, outrageous Californian habitats in the state.

As far as entertainment goes, you’ll find almost anything you can imagine along Ocean Beach’s boardwalks and in its business parks.

The best way to choose the San Diego neighborhood for you is to take stock of what you’re looking for in a place to live, consult a map of the area, and determine where your perfect place to live might be.

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Jordan Gaither: I’m a Communications major by trade, an artist by choice, a welder by day and a dancer by night (Okay, I made that last part up). Having lived in a succession of cramped, oddly-shaped apartments, I have a wealth of personal experience in apartment living, as well as arranging and decorating to maximize effect and livable space.

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