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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.
- Chula Vista
- La Jolla
- La Mesa
- Rancho Santa Fe
- San Marcos
The city of Carlsbad is a scenic coastal community located 35 miles north of the city of San Diego. The picture-perfect town includes three lagoons, miles of hiking trails and nearly seven miles of coastline.
The golf industry is based in Carlsbad (Callaway, Taylor Made, Titleist), and it’s home to LegoLand, as well. The downtown village area is a great place to go for nightlife and dining.
Chula Vista means “beautiful view” in Spanish and, indeed, the city lives up to its name. Located just seven miles from downtown San Diego and seven miles from the Mexican border, the city is at the center of one of the richest economic and culturally diverse zones in the United States.
As the second largest city in San Diego County, Chula Vista has quickly become a special destination for tourists. One of the nation’s few year-round U.S. Olympic Training centers is located here. Visitors can shop at the region’s newest lifestyle center, take in an outdoor concert at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, or make a splash at Knott’s Soak City USA. And there’s more– top-notch golf courses, a scenic marina, the Chula Vista Nature Center, beautiful parks, and an endless variety of dining, shopping, business and leisure opportunities.
Old Chula Vista still has small time charm, and the Eastlake area has good schools and family friendly neighborhoods.
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.
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 neighbor 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 downtown area of Escondido has become more active in the past few years with the opening of restaurants, cafes, and galleries.
In Spanish, it means “the jewel”, and glitzy La Jolla is located 15 minutes from downtown San Diego. With 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 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 and one of California’s prettiest oceanside towns – home to several of the state’s best beaches and highest dollar real estate.
And, tree-lined streets, parks, good schools, walkable neighborhoods, easy access to retail and commercial areas, and a quaint downtown village make La Mesa a highly desirable community in which to live, work and do business.
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.
One of the last bastions of true rural living within commuting distance of San Diego, Ramona is kind of a cowboy/farmer town, with a quaint downtown district, homes on acre lots, and residents with livestock as pets. Development is creeping in, and as you enter town, you’ll notice the plethora of fast-food and retail chains lining the main highway. For those seeking a respite from urban life, Ramona can certainly provide the perfect retreat.
Rancho Santa Fe
Forbes magazine has reported Rancho Santa Fe as having the third most expensive zip code in the United States and most expensive in California. It’s comprised of six upscale communities, including Fairbanks Ranch and The Summit. Besides a downtown area comprised of 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 characters and celebrities and was chosen to host the equestrian events during the 1984 Summer Olympics.
For more information on Rancho Santa Fe, visit: http://www.discoversd.com/california/san-diego/ca/rancho-santa-fe.html
If Escondido is the big hulk of North County, then San Marcos (and by default neighboring Vista) is 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. Plus, it has a budding academic reputation because it’s the home to CSU San Marcos, as well as 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, as well.
For more information on Santee, visit: http://www.ci.santee.ca.us/