17 Of The Best Neighborhoods In San Diego (For Families)
Culture and sophistication are hallmarks of New York City. Nightlife and glamour define Las Vegas. Beautiful beaches and agreeable weather are Miami's attraction. There are dozens of cities that hold undeniable allure, but if you really want it all, there is nowhere on earth like San Diego.
Celebrating the California lifestyle engaging all of the senses, San Diego's rich array of natural resources, posh properties, and vibrant economic sectors combine to create the ideal location for discriminating residents. Our curated collection of art enclaves, live music scene ranging from classic symphony to techno rave, glorious beaches, pristine wildlife preserves, professional sports teams, and thriving business sectors all contribute to a city that performs brilliantly. Deciding to move to San Diego is an easy choice. Selecting an area of San Diego to call home is an even simpler choice with an established expert from Aumann Bender & Associates assisting the search.
Our extensive knowledge of niche neighborhoods with just the right mix of posh amenities and exquisite architecture complement the distinctive lifestyles of our most demanding clients. With intuitive expertise and flawless follow through, our team consistently identifies properties perfectly aligned with individual preference. Aumann Bender & Associates knows what nurtures families, rewards active lifestyles, and satisfies cultural pursuits, and we stand ready to serve as ambassadors to San Diego's luxurious lifestyle.
Where to Live as a Family: The Best Master Planned Communities
Del Sur Offers Intimate, Estate-Style Living
Part of the Black Mountain Ranch development in North County, Del Sur is the ultimate master planned community. Just east of Rancho Santa Fe with Black Mountain Open Space Park to the east, these single-family homes and attached homes are priced at an average of $339 per square foot. Housing sizes range from 1518 to 7000 square feet, wrapped in attractive exterior and architectural styles. Within the Poway Unified School District, schools here have earned the highest ratings achievable, with low student to teacher ratios, high performance, and 29 sports activities. Dotting the Del Sur community map are 11 solar heated pools, 14 parks, and 18 miles of shared trails and open spaces, with the Del Sur Town Center shops, restaurants, and professional services nearby. Private casitas, wine rooms, chef's kitchens, private clubs for some neighborhoods, pet suites, sleeping porches, and California rooms are all a part of this desirable development, with outdoor amenities like clubhouses, BBQs, and recreation facilities that strengthen community engagement, turning neighbors into friends. There are numerous community events throughout the year such as wine tastings, poker night, Memorial Day Block Party, Fall Festival, ice skating, and Del Sur Lights. New construction activity in Del Sur includes the brand new contemporary ninety six residence Sur 33 opening March 2017. Sur 33 will have six unique three level floor plans ranging from 2,021 to 2,438 square feet. Del Sur has San Diego's newest 55+ community Auberge with gated resort like living set amidst three neighborhoods of single level living. Stratford and Avondale by Standard Pacific, and Kingston and The Estates by CAL Atlantic are still selling new construction. Del Sur resale homes & townhomes sell quickly with an average 34 days on market. The average Del Sur house is three bedroom three bathroom with 2500 square feet. The Del Sur Real Estate market averages $866,000 sales price. Search here for Del Sur homes for sale.
San Elijo Hills is the Peak of Perfection for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Eight miles from the Pacific Ocean cresting the highest point in North County, the rolling hills of San Elijo invite residents to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, embellished with parks, trails, shops, dining, and a charming Town Square. Views of the ocean and highly rated schools in the San Marcos Unified School District endorse San Elijo Hills as a highly desired location for active families. San Elijo Hills has a strong sense of community where parents & kids gather each morning to walk along the planned trails to San Elijo Elementary School and San Elijo Middle School. Double Peak School located at the north end of the community just opened fall 2016 serving grades K-8. The end of 2014 completed an exhaustive reconstruction of San Marcos High School creating one of the nicest high school campuses in all of San Diego. There are numerous San Elijo community events throughout the year such as BunnyPalooza, Annual Tree Lighting Celebration, Oktoberfest, Double Peak Challenge, Block Party in the Town Square, Movie In the Park and more. The San Elijo Hills market is healthy with an average 30 days on market. The average San Elijo Hills house is three bedroom three bathroom with 2600 square feet. San Elijo Hills Real Estate runs an average of $299 price per square foot with an average $755,000 sales price. Search here for San Elijo Hills homes for sale.
Pacific Highlands Ranch Offers Family Living Embracing a Charming Village Square
In the Carmel Valley, just south of Fairbanks Ranch and east of Del Mar, Pacific Highlands Ranch is surrounded by 1300 acres of preserved natural habitat, multi-use trails for hiking, biking, energy efficient homes, a recreation center, shopping centers, and highly ranked schools. The Village Square business area is a growing, highly walkable district with a mixed use lifestyle center, grocers, clothing, boutiques, health and wellness studios, dining, and gathering spaces on a pedestrian friendly Main Street with a transit center. Homes range from 2200 to just over 5000 square feet and are priced at an average of just under $400 per square foot. The average Pacific Highlands Ranch sales price is $1,000,000. Highly rated schools include Del Mar Union Elementary, Carmel Valley Middle, and Torrey Pines High School, making Pacific Highlands Ranch an ideal family community. Search here for Pacific Highlands Ranch and Carmel Valley homes for sale.
Santaluz Indulges the Club Life and Golf Course Living
Tucked in next to Rancho Santa Fe just east of Del Mar, this golf-centric community is also family friendly. 24 hour guard gated for security, there is sense of place defining a small town feel. Gentle rolling hills surprise with panoramic views across the red tile roofs and Black Mountains, especially from the 300-acre Rees Jones golf course. Nature awaits just outdoors, playing beautifully with man's hand as the homes, roadways, paths, and recreation features complete the pristine environment. Over 25 miles of trails explore the 3800 acres of the Santaluz grounds. From the distinctive custom homes looking toward the foothills, the ocean, or the golf course, gracefully spreading up to 20,000 square feet across circular acreage, to the 2,100 square foot Casitas, the options explore a wide range of preferences and lifestyles priced at an average of $476 per square foot. Excellent schools and proximity to downtown San Diego encourage those who appreciate privacy, privilege, and nature. Search here for Santaluz homes for sale.
Meadows Del Mar Boasts Tom Fazio Golf and an Exquisite Resort Environment
The joy of arriving home to Meadows Del Mar is the luxury resort feel of the community. Just 134 homesites, artfully arranged around the Tom Fazio designed The Grand Del Mar Golf Club and the famed Fairmont Grand Del Mar resort, share that sense of place. Offering views of the fairway, the rolling foothills, and the Pacific coast, Meadows Del Mar residents find solace in nearby Del Mar Mesa and Los Peñaquintos Canyon Preserve. Hiking, cycling, equestrian trails, and beautiful natural features like a freshwater marsh and volcanic rock waterfall are all in close proximity. The average price per square foot is approximately $471, with a median sales price of $2,650,000. Beautiful custom homes in Tuscan, Spanish, Mediterranean, and Italian styles offer luxury and security, and the highly acclaimed Carmel Valley Schools make this an appropriate choice for families.
Fairbanks Ranch Gated Estates Embrace a Private Lake, Country Club, and Equestrian Center
Named for acclaimed actor Douglas Fairbanks, the film screen actor, screenwriter, and producer who once owned the expansive estate, Fairbanks Ranch continues to attract high profile residents with its elegant custom homes located in Rancho Santa Fe. A private lake, tennis courts, putting green, park, and volleyball and basketball courts, in addition to an equestrian center and 75 acres of lush, park-like grounds add to the appeal of its attractive residences. 24 hour guard gated security and privacy appeal to the sophisticated family. Fairbanks Ranch students are privileged to attend schools in the Solana Beach School District. Residents also have Montessori and private education options at Horizon Prep Christian, Digueno Country School, and The Nativity School, with plentiful choices in proximity to the community. The average sales price for Fairbanks Ranch real estate in 2016 was $2,500,000. Search here for Fairbanks Ranch homes for sale.
Best Affordable Neighborhoods In San Diego For Families
Best Affordable Places to Live In San Diego
Two more affordable communities with ultra high walk scores are the North Park and South Park neighborhoods of San Diego with reasonable commutes to downtown San Diego and Mission Valley. The most affordable beach areas are Oceanside, Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and Imperial Beach. Even more affordable areas include Clairemont, Mira Mesa, and UTC/University City.
Where to Live as a Retiree
Whether perched cliffside, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, tucked into the canyon's stunning views, or enjoying the lush surroundings of Lomas Santa Fe Country Club's Golf Course, Solana Beach provides the relaxed pace coastal California is known for. Cardiff to the north, Del Mar to the south, the area is established and well developed. Centered within a two-mile radius, often within walkable distance, the surf culture from Pillbox to Seaside, the calming waves of Fletcher Cove, the tide pools at Tide Park Beach, and the shopping and dining options of the Cedros Design district offer recreation options. An active community with an abundance of paths, parks, and bike lanes, outdoor pursuits stand at the ready. In 2016, homes in Solana Beach sold for an average of $647 per square foot, with an average size just under 1,875 square feet, offering luxurious coastal living perfect for active retirees, particularly when entertaining children and grandchildren, or simply indulging themselves with the leisurely, laid back elegance of Solana Beach. Search here for Solana Beach homes for sale, condos, & real estate.
Just north of La Jolla, the community of Del Mar is one of southern California's most beloved locations, whether for a weekend or a lifetime. This luxury coastal enclave draws a mix of crowds for its amenities, from the terrific surfing opportunities and Torrey Pines State Beach, to the racetrack at Del Mar Fairgrounds, and the small town feel that pervades the city. Indulgent for its luxury of seclusion, yet in proximity to all of the shopping, dining, and event focused buzz of Los Angeles, Del Mar is appealing to those who prefer to dabble in urban pursuits while enjoying daily walks on the beach, coffee with friends, and a welcoming neighborhood vibe. Del Mar homes are priced around $812 per square foot, posting a $1,944,000 average price in 2016, maintaining an upscale residential population with gorgeous properties graced with an abundance of luxurious amenities. Search here for Del Mar homes for sale, condos, & real estate.
Perfect weather, a beautiful coastline, and a delicious blend of high culture with beach casual, La Jolla is a dream come true for active retirees with a penchant for upscale dining, shopping, theatre, and friends. Just 12 miles from downtown San Diego and the airport, this irresistible option also boasts some of the most stunning oceanfront homes imaginable. In addition, it borders Torrey Pines State Reserve, and the iconic golf course by the same name, along with respectable links at the La Jolla Country Club. Home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Salk Institute, Birch Aquarium, and 16 distinctive neighborhoods, one is most decidedly perfect for every lifestyle. La Jolla Shores offers beach access and wonderful walkability. Real estate in Lower Hermosa, and the WindanSea Beach, Beach-Barber Tract area embrace the beach lifestyle. An average price per square foot of $576, and an average size of 1,585 square feet put the median price in the neighborhood of $892,000, with priceless views and invaluable amenities just part of the package. There are a large amount of condos and townhomes in the La Jolla 92037 real estate market which have an adverse impact on reflecting average prices. Search here for La Jolla homes for sale and La Jolla condo listings.
The rocky reefs and tidepools of Point Loma's coastline make it one of the most interesting beach walks in the world, with panoramic views punctuating the end of each day with a remarkable sunset. No soft, sandy beaches here for the casual sea bather, Point Loma brings a long list of additional activities to the table. From Point Loma Lighthouse, to Humphreys Concerts by the Bay, and an enticing list of surf breaks for the experienced surf fan, Point Loma beckons with its well-groomed cultural side, balanced with exciting wild features. Sport fishing and scuba diving are some of the best in California, as is the eclectic shopping and historic architectural detail. Gracious homes with gorgeous views along the ocean, and others rimming the stunning inland nature preserve and natural geography, earned an average price in 2016 of $519 per square foot. The average home size is approximately 1,750 square feet, with an average sales price of $950,000. Search here for Point Loma real estate for sale.
Tucked in between Pacific Beach to the north, and the San Diego River to the south, Mission Bay is home to lots of waterfront properties with varying types of views along 27 miles of shoreline, with 19 miles of sand beach. Calmer, warmer waters within the bay are perfect for swimming and water sports. An average price per square foot falls at about $727, with an average sale price of $882,000 and an average size of 1216 square feet.
An ideal location, just across the bridge from downtown San Diego, Coronado is an idyllic community blessed with soft white sand beaches of the Silver Strand, and gentler water that proves perfect for sailing, surfing, and simply enjoying the gorgeous surroundings. Home to the National Historic Landmark Hotel Del Coronado Hotel, and the U.S. Naval Air Station North Island, this tied island, connected to the mainland by the tombolo of sand, is a walkable, bikeable, beachfront community with exceptional shopping and cultural activities along Orange Avenue. The average home price per square foot hovers around $937, with a median sale price of $1,835,000 and an average size of 2,000 square feet. Most homes have an engaging view of the water, in addition to proximity to the Coronado Golf Club, the Sea N Air Golf Club, and of course, often Dr. Beach's top pick as the number one beach in the nation, Silver Strand State Beach. Search here for Coronado homes for sale, Coronado Cays real estate, & Coroando Shores condos for sale.
Where to Buy a Vacation Home/Second Residence
Choosing to spend leisure time in Solana Beach, buyers find a second residence or vacation home delivers rich rewards in terms of gorgeous views, proximity to shopping, dining, and cultural events, and best of all, dozens of ways to enjoy Southern California's incredible weather. Just 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, Solana Beach is also the local train stop for the Coaster and Amtrak trains connecting to Los Angeles in just two hours. it is also tucked up next to Del Mar to the south and Cardiff to the north. Whether you prefer beachy bungalow, hillside contemporary, or majestic Spanish Mediterranean architecture, the mix of options is stunning but inventory can be low, so if you find something you like be prepared to lock it in quickly. Search here for Solana Beach ocean view homes for sale.
Horse racing fans know that the summer racing season is exciting and busy, bringing a bevy of tourists to the area, but this idyllic enclave is really more of a family town, boasting beach and outdoor activities in a small town environment. Perched cliffside, many of homes looking out onto the Pacific Ocean have exceptional views and access to the beach. The slower pace is a welcome change, and the consistently blissful weather a reliable perk, making Del Mar an excellent choice for a second or third home. Oceanfront properties run anywhere from million-dollar condominium units to $50-million-dollar oceanfront estates, with inland prices reflecting a range of options between $1 and $10 million, from simple condominium units to historic hilltop enclaves. Search here for the Del Mar Beach Colony homes for sale.
A retreat for 1920s Hollywood stars, this relaxed beach community collected artists, musicians, actors, and actresses for a brief respite from the buzz of Hollywood in its golden age. Breathing salt air, swimming and surfing in the magnificent Pacific Ocean, and enjoying creative company continue to reinforce its status as an artistic sanctuary amid luxurious properties with beautiful grounds. With the arrival of the Salk Institute, doctors and researchers began to call La Jolla home, joined by an intellectual community affiliated with the University of California at San Diego. Today, this combination of a stunning natural landscape, a rich menu of cultural diversions, vibrant nightlife, and a small town feel keep property values and ROI quite high in the 92037 zip code. Search here for homes for sale in the La Jolla Shores neighborhood, houses in Bird Rock La Jolla, and La Jolla Village real estate.
On one side of Mission Bay, the restless Atlantic beckons. On the other, a calm water playground with marinas, waterfront homes, shopping, dining, and lots of entertainment options fills days with adventure and nights with fun. The area seems to be on a perpetual spring break, filling each hour with glorious activities along Mission Bay's 27 miles of shoreline. Housing prices on the west side of the bay often top $1,000 per square foot, where properties on the east side can be much lower, at half that or less. Proximity to San Diego's city center, Sea World, and Mission Bay Park make this location convenient for entertaining guests with a wide range of options. Priced just over $1,050 per square foot in the Mission Beach area, the ambiance, convenience, and quality prove well worth the price. Search here for Mission Beach homes for sale and Mission Beach duplex, triplex, and fourplex income property.
Convenient to San Diego International Airport, Point Loma Nazarene University, Fort Rosecrans, and U.S. Naval training center, with lovely neighborhoods of well-appointed homes, Point Loma offers the laid back California lifestyle with good value. Dramatic views of Coronado and downtown San Diego make harbor side homes along Armada Terrace truly stunning. Hilltop homes in central Point Loma locations offer beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean to the west and the harbor to the east. Close to great shopping, dining, cultural activities, and important services, the commute to anywhere is short, although the view from the most elegant properties is certain to make time spent at home quite pleasant. Search here for bayfront and waterfront Point Loma homes.
If California weather could be made even more perfect, Coronado would be the place to find it. With a similar feel to Key West's most charming neighborhoods, this peninsula often mistaken for an island, offers an eclectic collection of stylish homes, upscale shops, exquisite dining, and extraordinary cultural events establishing its status as a vacation destination. Owning a second or third home in Coronado delivers an abundance of relaxing, inspiring, enjoyable days amid the understated luxury of an historic city. With a little patience, paired with a connected, talented real estate professional, the perfect Coronado home will soon be a part of your real estate portfolio. Search here for Coronado Island beachfront and waterfront real estate.
Cardiff by the Sea
Few places in California are blessed with the natural gifts found in Cardiff. Two excellent reefs provide a natural surf break for fine days spent surfing. Large sea kelp beds harbor an abundance of sea life, for an exciting day spent diving or snorkeling. The 2.6 miles of walkable beach also presents tide pools teeming with sea creatures making exploration a thoughtful and interesting pastime. It is a divine location for anyone that enjoys spending time in or on the water, with a bevy of land activities as well. Biking, hiking, jogging, hang gliding, tennis, and even fishing are just outside the door. Golf enthusiasts will find the courses at nearby Lomas Santa Fe Executive Golf Course, along with dozens of additional options, more than just a good walk. For those and a list of other reasons, a second or third home in Cardiff will reward buyers with value and luxury, tucked in between Encinitas to the north, Solana Beach to the south, and San Diego just 25 miles away. Find the Walking District and the Composer District real estate in Cardiff.
Spreading gracefully inland from its 7-mile coastline, the city of Carlsbad is a brilliant choice for a second or third home, gracing residents with a leisurely lifestyle embracing luxurious amenities like the La Costa Gold Medal Golf Resort and Spa, glorious flower fields, an aquarium, hiking trails, surfing, and access to a host of water sports and activities. The most desirable Carlsbad neighborhoods are Aviara, La Costa, and Bressi Ranch. While the Carlsbad area price per square foot hovers just above $400, there are many ultra-luxurious hilltop mansions and beach cottages that command high prices for their stunning views and ideal locations. Just 35 miles from downtown San Diego, this low key city, centered around the Village, the Barrio, and Old Carlsbad, offers a welcome change of pace for the vacationer and discerning second homeowner alike. Search here for Carlsbad houses for sale, La Costa real estate, Aviara real estate, and Carlsbad beach homes.
Surf culture lives here, along with classical ballet, delightful botanic gardens, and historic bastions of the early city of Encinitas. Old Encinitas, along highway 101, and its charming welcome arch, greet visitors and residents on approach to the tree-lined streets, galleries, restaurants, and unique shopping. Old Encinitas is divided from New Encinitas by a low, coastal ridge, and rimmed by the Batiquitos and San Elijo Lagoons. The surf break at The Swamis, the infamous Surfing Madonna statue, and Hanson's Surf Shop, the oldest and largest in the San Diego area, continue to support surfing enthusiasts while inspiring a thriving vibrant beach economy in an historic setting. Divine oceanfront beach homes in some areas, and newer construction, command a price in excess of $1,100 per square foot, while inland properties in New Encinitas, parts of the Old Village, and Old Leucadia, can be won for just over $500 per square foot. Find Encinitas beach homes for sale, Encinitas oceanfronts, Encinitas ocean view homes, and Encinitas real estate.
The top school districts in the San Diego area are home to a number of great education options within each district. The top districts, San Dieguito Union, Poway Unified, and Coronado Unified, are some of California's best, ranked in the top 20 in the state.
The Top School Districts Overall
The best of the best, San Diego's stellar educational options can be found in the San Dieguito Union High School District, the Poway Unified School District, and the Coronado Unified School District. San Dieguito, focused solely on middle and high school education, accepts students from elementary feeder districts in Cardiff, Carmel, Del Mar, Fairbanks Ranch, Rancho Santa Fe, and Solana Beach, among other areas. Poway, with a collection of Blue Ribbon Schools, nationally recognized teachers for excellence in their fields, and a focus on college and career readiness, is a model for academic achievement serving Torrey Highlands, Del Sur, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Pensaquitos, and other communities. Coronado, a smaller district with two elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and the Palm Academy, an individual, competency-based curriculum recognizing a variety of learning styles.
Public Elementary Schools
The top ten elementary schools in the San Diego area are all part of the Poway Unified School District. The top three, Adobe Bluffs, Del Sur, and Park Village, serve a number of desirable family oriented communities, making them attractive choices for buyers with younger children. The third largest school district in San Diego, there are 25 elementary schools, one K-8 school, six middle schools, one continuation high school, and five comprehensive high schools. Regularly posting in the high 70th to high 80th percent of students meeting or exceeding test scores in both science and mathematics in most elementary schools, children completing their grade school education in the Poway District are well prepared for continued academic success.
Public Middle Schools
While all of the San Diego area offers a well-rounded middle school education, the schools earning top marks include Carmel Valley Middle School in the San Dieguito Union High School District, R. Roger Row Middle School in the Rancho Santa Fe School District, and Earl Warren Middle School serving both Solana Beach and San Dieguito Union High School Districts.
Public High Schools
High school education simply shines in San Diego, with great options all around, but topping the list are Canyon Crest Academy and Torrey Pines High School in the San Dieguito Union High School District, and Westview High School and Del Norte High School in the Poway Unified School District. Canyon Crest, located in the North County area, is an outstanding student community school of choice, allowing any student in the district to apply. If applications exceed available seats, a lottery determines acceptance. Leading the pack in academic performance, Canyon Crest boasts exceptional student accomplishments in math, science, music, theatre, and athletics. Torrey Pines High School has won recognition three times as a National Blue Ribbon School, in addition to being named a California Distinguished School. A larger school serving the coastal areas of North County, the school earns 1200+ mean SAT scores, and 27.5 on the ACT, while supporting an excellent athletics program that has received notoriety as the top Cal-Hi Sports State School of the year for the second year in a row. La Costa Canyon High School is also quite competitive in athletics, with a rigorous academic curriculum. The school has exceptional facilities embracing a wide range of learning styles, including the GATE gifted and talented student program, ELD English as a Second Language, AP advanced placement courses, and Special Education courses. Westview High School offers a broad range of curriculum and an extensive sports menu on a large, modern campus. Also receiving national acclaim, Del Norte High School sits on a 62-acre state-of-the-art campus, on the way to becoming a destination campus. La Jolla High School sends 95 percent of its diverse student body on to college with a well-rounded education earning top national status from U.S. News and World Reports and the first public school chapter of the Cum Laude Society west of the Mississippi. An athletic powerhouse with a long list of titles to their credit, Poway High School also offers students an abundance of honors and AP coursework. The offerings also include a broad range of academic, extra-curricular and co-curricular programs, many of which take students outside the classroom, with an emphasis on technology, design, and agriculture.
Since 1912, the Francis Parker School has provided independent, nondenominational, coeducational learning for San Diego students from preschool through high school. Elementary, middle, and high schools are spread across two separate campus layouts, and a 10-1 student to faculty ratio ensures each child receives individualized attention. La Jolla Country Day School takes students from their earliest academic activities at age 3 through their high school experience, with graduates fully prepared for college and careers. Emphasizing six pillars of character, education embraces scholarship, artistic expression, and athletic performance. Horizon Prep offers students a Christ-centered education from preschool through high school. The classically styled curriculum ensures students are well versed in literature, language, science, mathematics, philosophy, history, and the arts. The Bishop's School is also an independent, coeducational school for San Diego area students in grades 6-12. Affiliated with the Episcopal Church, the school welcomes a broad range of students from diverse backgrounds. The Grauer School, located in Encinitas, takes an expeditionary, hands-on approach to learning for students in grades 6-12. Community service, small class size, and even one-on-one classes reinforce important school principles of resourcefulness, compassionate, and prepared for higher education using the world as their campus. At The Rhoades School, K-8 students learn through an inquiry-based, constructivist style, encouraged by teachers to think critically through experience and the SAMR, a substitution, augmentation, modification, redefinition model in continuum with technology. While science and mathematics are essential core curriculum, theatre, studio, and performance arts are all deeply supported through facilities and coursework. For students of preschool age through 8th grade, The Children's School provides a unique, progressive, hands-on learning experience, teaching children not what to learn, but rather, how to learn, dovetailing academic growth with social confidence.
Students have a dozen options for higher education at San Diego area colleges and universities, with an additional eight community colleges to choose from. In addition to enriching the fabric of the communities surrounding the universities, the students bring cultural, economic, and social benefits that keep the area vibrant and contemporary. A few of the top options are presented below. Two public universities in the area have earned national rankings on US News and World Reports, with the University of California at San Diego ranked at number 44 in national universities, and San Diego State University ranked at number 146. UCSD is well regarded with six undergraduate colleges, including the acclaimed School of Medicine and Jacobs School of Engineering, all with the fabulous backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. San Diego State, founded in 1897, has a long history of preparing students for impressive careers from athletics and film to business and aerospace. The University of San Diego, a smaller, private, Catholic institution, is committed to educating its students from intellectual, physical, spiritual, social, emotional, and cultural perspectives. Recognized as a Changemaker campus, an honor bestowed on just 36 universities nationwide, recognizing their commitment to molding leaders that are responsible, ethical, and working toward a common good. Their law school is one of the top ten in California, and approaching status as one of the top 50 in the nation. Additional California state universities include California State University at San Marcos, and the regional campus of Azusa Pacific University. Point Loma Nazarene University is a small Christian university focused on modeling character and encouraging service in the name of faith. With grace as its foundation, and excellence demanded of professors and staff, Point Loma students have a 90+ per cent acceptance rate to medical, dental, optometry, pharmacy, or veterinary schools.
Offering diverse programs of study, including computers, electronics, health, wellness, and instruction in the construction trades, as well as Associate's Degrees, certificates, and accreditation, San Diego's collection of community colleges and technical schools are valuable resources. Programs are available through Grossmont College, MiraCosta College, Palomar Community College, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, San Diego Miramar College, and Southwestern College, all in the greater San Diego area.
Health and Hospitals
The University of California at San Diego Medical School continues to shine in the national spotlight, with their hospitals ranking in the top 50 in the US in 12 specialties by US News and World Reports. In addition, there are many excellent physicians in all specialties located in the San Diego metropolitan area, with Scripps La Jolla and Scripps Mercy, Sharp Memorial Hospital, and Sharp Grossmont all delivering excellent reviews. While every individual is different and each situation unique, research indicates that these suggestions have delivered a high level of satisfaction to a great many patients over a number of years.
Physicians by Specialty
Suraj Arthur Achar, MD, UC San Diego Health (858) 657-8600 Francesca Delgado Adriano, MD, Kaiser Permanente (800) 290-5000 Katherine Helen Balazy, MD, Kaiser Permanente (800) 290-5000 Gilbert Ryan Dominguez, MD, 9850 Genesee Ave., Suite 810, La Jolla (858) 450-1212 Lance C. Fuchs, MD, Kaiser Permanente (800) 290-5000 James Thomas Hay, MD, North Coast Family Medical Group (760) 942-0118 Georgine Nanos Jorgensen, MD North Coast Family Medical Group (760) 942-0118 Michelle Lynn Look, MD, San Diego Sports Medicine & Family Health Center (619) 229-3909 Richard Edward Payne, MD, North Coast Family Medical Group (760) 942-0118 James Howard Schultz, Jr., MD, Neighborhood HealthCare (760) 520-8128
Michael Bouvet, MD, UC San Diego Health (858) 822-6191 Paul V. B. Hyde, MD, Surgical Associates of La Jolla (858) 452-5054 George Griffith Zorn, III, MD, Hillcrest Surgical Medical Group (619) 298-9931
Paul Yousif Abou, MD, Grossmont Hospital (619) 460-1441 Joseph S. Andrews, MD, Scripps La Jolla Clinic (858) 554-7809 Gregory Phillip Babikian, MD, Scripps Clinic Medical Group (858) 764-3100 Stephen M Capon, MD, Kaiser Permanente (800) 290-5000 Joel Charles Diamant, MD, Scripps La Jolla (858) 554-7809 Eduardo Ladislao Grunvald, MD, UC San Diego Health (858) 657-7237 Brian Joseph Lenzkes, MD, Internal Medicine Associates (619) 297-3737 Cynthia Shannon Lin, MD, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (858) 499-2263 Raymond Gerard Pigeon, MD, Internal Medicine Associates (619) 297-3737 Brent Eugene Rathbun, MD, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (858) 499-2708 Amelia Sani, MD UC San Diego Health (619) 471-9250 Jonathan Siegel, MD, Kaiser Permanente (800) 290-5000 Jonathan G. Yee, MD, Kaiser Permanente (800) 290-5000
Obstetrics and Gynecology:
Robert A Barmeyer, MD, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (858) 939-6591 Wendy Marilyn Buchi, MD, IGO Medical Group (858) 455-7520 Shahram Sean Daneshmand, MD, San Diego Perinatal Center (858) 966-6710 Keerti Gurushanthaiah, MD, IGO Medical Group (858) 455-7520 Colleen Patricia McNally, MD, Women's Health Care in San Diego (858) 292-7200 Charles William Nager, MD, UC San Diego Health (619) 543-6390
Kuljinder Singh Grewal, MD, Kuljinder Grewal, MD (619) 644-1400 Tommy Korn, MD, FACS, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (858) 939-5400 Mark David Smith, MD, San Diego Retina Associates (858) 609-7100 Nicholas Anton Zubyk, MD, 3405 Kenyon St., Ste 513, San Diego (619) 226-1877
Henry George Chambers, MD, Rady Children's Specialists of San Diego (858) 966-6789 Steven Robert Garfin, MD, UC San Diego Health (858) 657-8200 Peter Owen Newton, MD, Rady Children's Specialists of San Diego (858) 966-6789 Alexandra Kay Schwartz, MD, UC San Diego Health (619) 543-6312
Abraham Edwin Broudy, MD, Children's Primary Care Medical Group (619) 656-3040 Stuart A. Cohen, MD, MPH, Children's Primary Care Medical Group (619) 265-3400 Rita J Feghali, MD, Kaiser Permanente (800) 290-5000 Jamie Berman Friedman, MD, Children's Primary Care Medical Group (858) 924-1960 Shakha Vora Gillin, MD, Coast Pediatrics Del Mar (858) 794-7337 John Abraham Kafka, MD, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (858) 499-2701 Leonard Michael Kornreich, MD, Children's Primary Care Medical Group (619) 426-7910 Bretten Drake Pickering, MD, UC San Diego Health (858) 496-4800 O. Douglas Wilson, MD, UCSD Pediatric Associates (858) 496-4800
Scott Walter Barttelbort, MD, 9850 Genesee Ave, Ste 730, La Jolla (858) 623-9394 Gilbert Wesley Lee, MD, Changes Plastic Surgery (858) 720-1440 Salvatore John Pacella, MD, Scripps Clinic Medical Group (858) 554-9930 Anne Marie Wallace, MD, UC San Diego Health (858) 822-6193
David Emil Joseph Bazzo, MD, UC San Diego Health (619) 543-6770 Lee Patrick Ralph, MD, San Diego Sports Medicine and Family Health Center (619) 229-3909 Benjamin Ray Saben, MD, Sharp Rees-Sealy Medical Group (858) 499-2714 Sarah Lynn Schuler, MD, Kaiser Permanente (800) 290-5000 Kenneth Samuel Taylor, MD, UC San Diego Health (858) 657-8600
Dentists by Specialty
Soraya Bouzida, DDS, Torrey Hills Family Dentistry (858) 481-0080 Daniel T. Collado, DDS, Carmel Ranch Dental Care (858) 487-6453 Russell E. Haag, DDS, First Impressions Dental (858) 278-8434 Sarah J. Jebreil, DDS, Diamond Dental Studio Pear William Karlsgodt, DDS, (619) 464-3191 Janette Larsen, DDS, Xceptional Dental (619) 224-6767 Joseph Maldonado, DDS, (619) 280-7362 Irmina Bautista Martinez, DDS, Dental Care of Oceanside, (740) 439-2626 Randolph Preston Mills, DDS, El Cajon (619) 442-6100 Michael L. Myers, DDS, Encinitas (790) 942-1171 Robert A. Randolph, Randolph Dental Practice, Solana Beach (858)755-8001 David A. Sabourin, DDS, Ximed Medical Center, La Jolla (858) 401-7090 Kellen Mariko Tadano, DDS, Carlsbad (760) 720-2200 Lynne Dee Thomas, DDS, Poway (858)451-3110 Dale R. Trudeau, DDS, Del Mar Family Dentistry, Del Mar (858) 755-9775
Damon John Westwood, DDS, (858) 866-0696 Daniel T. Collado, DDS, Carmel Ranch Dental Care (858) 487-6453 Brian T. Quesnell, DDS, Mission Hills Endodontics (619) 295-3456 Erol S. Apaydin, DDS, Poway Endodontics 858-451-2050 Michael D. Brown, DDS, Tri City Micro Endodontics (760) 726-3973 Randy William Garland, DDS, Garland Endodontics (760)944-0048 Kevin S. Herold, DDS, Torrey Pines Micro Endodontics (858)626-8155 Jeffrey Michael Javelet, DDS, Javelet Endodontics (858) 454-0366
Will A. Andrews, DDS, Point Loma Orthodontics (619) 224-8286 Anton J. Bisbas, DDS, Anton J. Bisbas Orthodontics, Carmel Valley/Del Mar (858)755-5363 Daniel T. Collado, DDS, Carmel Ranch Dental Care (858) 487-6453 Nader Ehsani, DDS, Elite Orthodontics (858) 277-8080 Kirsten Marie Fenn, DDS, Fenn Orthodontics (619) 444-1181 Cynthia Lee Jackson, DDS, Alpine Orthodontics (619) 445-8883 Christopher Maulik, DDS, Scripps Poway Orthodontics (858) 527-0091
Andrew De Meyer, DDS, Mission Boulevard Dental Group, (858) 483-6851 David Eshom, DDS, (858) 732-3133 Kriston Gallipeau, DDS, Bankers Hill Dental (619)234-5377 Kiyan Mehdizadeh, DDS, Floss Implant, Cosmetic, & Restorative Dentistry Jacob Russell, DDS, (858) 459 4113 Dr. Ernest C. Wong, DDS, MS (858) 587, 2828 Dr. Arash Qadeer, DDS, Mesa Dental (858) 877-9540
University of California San Diego Health, San Diego, (858) 657-7000 Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, La Jolla, (858) 626-4123 Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego (858) 939-3400 Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego (619) 294-8111 Sharp Grossmont Hospital, La Mesa (619) 740-6000 Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego (619) 287-3270 Palomar Medical Center, Escondido (442) 281-5000 Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego (858) 576-1700
Dining, Shopping, and Entertainment
Spectacular regional cuisine, influenced by San Diego's proximity to Mexico, is the focus of some of the area's most popular dining establishments. The abundant options offer some true gems, like Bracero Cocina de Raiz, where James Beard nominee Chef Javier Plascensia proudly serves heritage cuisine. El Agave, located near Old Town San Diego, is a master's touch gastronomically speaking, embellished with a fine rare tequila collection. A quick Mexican food fix awaits at Carnitas' Snack Shack, offering selections like house made guacamole and chips to carnitas tacos or tortas, and a fistful of sandwiches. Located both in North Park as well as the newer spot downtown, both are busily serving up delicious, innovative Mexican fare. In step with hyper-seasonal cuisine, influenced by Alice Waters' style local farm to table dining, Market Restaurant + Bar has proven extremely popular with San Diegans. Exceptional produce, paired with fabulously fresh seafood and Executive Chef Carl Schroeder's vision make this a great choice for a wide variety of palates. For a notable meal under the Michelin stars, the impeccable setting for a grand culinary adventure at William Bradley's Addison in Del Mar never disappoints. Beautifully presented, masterfully prepared, and creative in every sense of the word, the Chef's Tasting Menu and the Four Course Menu both offer surprise, satisfaction, and luxury. If French cuisine inspires, dining at the fabulous Mister A's with Bertrand Hug and Chef Stephane Voitzwinker is a must. Divine views of Downtown San Diego across the bay, from this perfect perch on the 11th floor of the 5th Avenue Financial Center dovetail nicely with the intense flavors from the hand of a skilled master. No flip flops or beach attire here, host Bertrand requests complying with a more formal dress code, worth the effort to enjoy one of the toughest reservations in the city. California casual is the mode of the day at Georges at the Cove in La Jolla. Modern cuisine prepared with superior locally grown or harvested products when possible make up the season-driven menu options. Clever and surprising preparation and presentation mark the establishment with a fine dining exclamation point, offering craft cocktails served at Level2, and rooftop dining on the Ocean Terrace. Humility is the mission of owner and chef Ken Irvine at the acclaimed Bleu Bohème, an eclectic French-influenced eatery in the Kensington area of San Diego, on the southeastern edge of the Mission Valley. Whether seeking bohemian, left bank fare or an exquisitely prepared Coquilles St. Jacques, this is the place for relaxed, understated fine dining in a hip, urban neighborhood. Japanese cuisine is well-represented in San Diego, with over 2,000 5 star reviews on Yelp, Sushi Ota is located in an unassuming strip mall on Mission Bay Dr in Pacific Beach. Even on a typical weekday evening you will need reservations. Lastly, San Diego has a confession to make. It has a sweet tooth, and there is only one way to satisfy the craving: a trip to Extraordinary Desserts. The delightful morning pastries, cupcakes, tortes, cookies, ice creams and candy bars might be enough, but they have spoiled us rotten by indulging our savory side with incredible lunch and dinner menus. It is safe to say that the city is quite grateful for the indulgence.
Whole Foods Market, one of the earliest national healthy food grocers, has three locations in San Diego, reaching from downtown on University Avenue, to La Jolla and Del Mar. The stores are known for their organic produce, unique product offerings, and exceptional deli and prepared food counters, all aimed at a healthy lifestyle. Starting from a few convenience stores in the 1950s, Trader Joe's has grown to a large national chain boasting high demand for its unique collection of products and pricing placing an emphasis on value. San Diegans love the fact that Trader Joe's is accessible throughout the area, with eight stores between Oceanside and La Jolla to the north, and six stores in central San Diego areas, with one located to the south in Chula Vista. Wherever you go, there they are, with a long list of favorite products, great value wines, and nice prices. Sprouts Farmers Market now has stores from Pacific Beach to Black Mountain Ranch, eight in all, serving the San Diego area. Produce bins, bulk foods, meat, seafood, and deli counters, dairy cases, bakeries, beer, wine, and health and body care all benefit from Sprouts' review before becoming available in stores, with strong loyalties building for their own branded products. Embracing the trend toward locally grown foods and products, the Liberty Public Market puts San Diego's artisans on display seven days a week in a rustic, industrial, modern setting. Foods, beer, wine, desserts, pastries, pastas, arts and crafts, test kitchens and pop-up diners all join in the effort, creating a vibrant mix of cultures, flavors, and experiences in this exciting new concept. In Oceanside, and also in Vista Village just east of Tri-City, Frazier Farms Natural Grocery is a small, family owned chain of two stores delivering certified natural grown beef, beautiful produce, and scrumptious sandwiches from the deli, all at a fairly valued price for their high quality. Providing superb sips and luxurious cheese pairings, Venissimo offers both in abundance from five locations stretching from central San Diego to Mission Hills and Del Mar. Italian food products, from meat and poultry to produce, grocery, wine, and deli items, are in full supply from the Olive Tree Marketplace in Ocean Beach.
Live Music and Theater
The San Diego Symphony Orchestra, established in 1910, carries more than a century of history as one of the finest organizations on the west coast. A top tier orchestra performing 140 concerts each year, music ranges from Theatre Film Series, Family Concert Series, Classical, and Chamber Music. The new Bayside Summer Nights Concerts have scheduled a series of great music events, including a Star Spangled Pops, New Orleans Jazz, a Tchaikovsky Spectacular, Ravel's Bolero, and special guests ranging from stars like Boz Scaggs and Sergio Mendez to Angelique Kidjo, Herb Alpert, and Wynonna Judd. If celebration of the human voice is a priority, the San Diego Opera brings classic scores to life, with performances like Cinderella, La Traviata, and Falstaff on the main stage at San Diego Civic Theatre, and additional Shiley dētour Series special performances at the Balboa Theatre. Both theatres offer a variety of events, from the San Diego Ballet, Broadway plays, iconic films, and concert performances. Describing themselves as "A permanent safe harbor for the unsafe and surprising," the La Jolla Playhouse is a not-for-profit, professional theatre in residence. From its location on the campus of the University of San Diego, the playhouse has more than 75 world premieres, 44 commissions, and more than 300 honors, including 35 Tony Awards for 26 productions that eventually moved to Broadway, all to its credit.
If it's a DJ or a little dancing that appeals, Fluxx, Omnia, and Onyx all offer light, bright, and vibrant evening plans. For something chic and boutique, the Oxford Social Club at Pendry San Diego brings 5th Avenue swank through the doors, inviting guests to sip carefully crafted cocktails in an upscale, affluent club space. Celebrity parties and impromptu pop-up performances attracting some of the industry's famous players enhance the experience with a dance floor that's as carefree as the California lifestyle. Clubs within hotels, restaurants, and tucked into unique spaces in San Diego are nothing short of fabulous, with great options in Float at the Hard Rock Hotel, Club M at the Fairmont Grand, and Noble Experiment in The Neighborhood speakeasy restaurant. Combination clubs that do triple duty, like The Tipsy Crow, with a main level prohibition-era bar, the Underground, featuring the Gaslamp Comedy Shows and live music, and the Nest lounge, prove versatile and engaging.
Annual event calendars for San Diegans simply must note three wonderful dates. First, live thoroughbred horse racing at beautiful Del Mar Race Track runs from July through September. Whale watching in San Diego supports a year-round calendar. The Farmers Insurance Open Golf Tournament brings the PGA to town around the end of January. All three are events worth attending, whether coming from across the street or across the country. Just so you know, The Farmers Insurance Open Golf Tournament, an annual date on the PGA Tour, is hosted in January or February each year at the Torrey Pines Golf Course, set atop cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Two 18-hole courses compose one of the most picturesque golf clubs in the country, at this accessible public facility. Additional events worth considering include Restaurant Week every January, Museum Month in February, the Crew Classic Regatta in April, the Rock and Roll Marathon and the County Fair in June, The Big Bay Boom in July, San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival in November, and December Nights holiday celebration performances, all of which continue to fill up the calendar with high quality events.
Museums and Galleries
Museums run a delightful gamut in San Diego, with the expected Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, and Children's Discovery Museum, all more than worthy of a day trip, but the list becomes quite eclectic and very interesting upon further investigation. Favorites of both visitors and residents alike include the USS Midway Museum at Navy Pier, The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, the Roynon Museum of Earth Science and Paleontology, the Air & Space Museum, and the Maritime Museum, to name a few. The San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park is home to an extensive permanent collection of fine art, sculpture, and photography, in addition to a continually evolving special exhibition calendar. Programs include tours, lectures, music, films, and art-centered parties, events, and workshops, welcoming San Diegans to join in the celebration. The San Diego Museum of Natural History, nicknamed NAT and also located in Balboa Park, is a resource for anything related to the natural environment, including whale watching, camps, hikes, and lectures. Deeply focused exhibits with information about water, fossils, skulls, and a range of California habitats are supported by educational programs revealing the secrets of some of the area's most interesting flora and fauna. The USS Midway Museum pays homage to the distinguished U.S. Naval Aircraft Carrier that worked to protect our country for 47 years, from the end of WWII through the liberation of Kuwait in 1991. Located in downtown San Diego at Navy Pier, the museum is probably most recognized by the iconic, oversized statue of a sailor embracing a nurse in celebration of the end of WWII.
Spas and Recreation
The Morgan Run Golf Club & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe is laid out with a 27-hole championship golf course, a 320-yard driving range, short game practice facilities, 11 lighted hard surface tennis courts, a lap lane pool with splash pad for kids, and a hot tub for adults. The club also offers Pilates Reformer, group fitness, personal trainers, and nutrition counseling. Dine with a big view of the golf course at 28 West, or grab a snack and a cold beverage in the Littler Lounge. With a full menu of golf, tennis, social, and family activities, Fairbanks Ranch Country Club invites members and their guests to enjoy the stylish recreational facilities in addition to its excellent food and wine program. Some homeowners may find membership to the club included in fees paid to the HOA. The Ted Robinson, Sr. course design embraces three, nine-hole courses based on three themes: Lake, Valley, and Ocean. A hole-by-hole play guide on the website is a great way to prepare for play at this challenging course with five tee areas. A Johnny Miller and Robert Muir Graves design, San Diego's Maderas Golf Club has earned top honors in San Diego from Zagat Survey for seven years in a row for its challenge and beauty. The Grille, a handsome sandwich and beverage bar, offers refreshment after a day of play. One of the few courses to have adopted the new golf board, ride the course like never before with this novel way to "surf the earth" while navigating the holes. Voted a top short course by Golf Range Magazine, the William Bell designed Lomas Santa Fe Executive Golf Course in Solana Beach does more than golf on a stylish note. Tennis, swimming, and fitness all factor into the beautiful clubhouse social scene, paving the way for a complete day-into-night lifestyle in an elegant setting with friends and family. Santaluz Club's Rees Jones designed golf course is only matched by the exquisite lighted tennis courts surrounded by lush, elevated viewing terraces. Exhilarating sports days are then eased by a trip to the clubhouse and spa for rejuvenating massage treatments and an exceptional repast. Richly appointed locker rooms and a well-stocked pro shop deliver everything required for an enjoyable day on the course or on the courts. Equestrian Centers San Diego is perfect horse country, but finding just the right fit for your own personal horses to board, or to learn the fine art of riding, can be a challenge. Just south of Fairbanks Ranch, Rancho El Camino Equestrian center has six arenas, two barns, and two round pens, offering boarding, training, and lessons with experienced professional trainers for both adults and children. Mark Conley of the Concord Equestrian Center in Del Mar puts concerns to rest with 39 years of experience and natural method of training, hunt seat equitation and classical English riding techniques. Emily Lasher Dressage in Poway is an exceptional training facility that inspires trust and willingness to enjoy trail riding, eventing, jumping, reining, and skijoring for riders of all ages. For those with a competitive spirit, San Diego Polo maintains outdoor natural turf fields, exercise track, polo training school, and an outdoor lighted area. On 80 acres tucked into Rancho Santa Fe just to the east of Del Mar, the facilities offer stables for 200 horses, arena polo in addition to the grass playing fields, and an exciting season of matches and events.
One of the top five clubs in the nation, and recognized by the Club Leadership Forum as one of the finest of its kind in the world, the San Diego Yacht Club has been in operation since 1886, with its members earning major world and national championships. From the Lipton Cup to the America's Cup, and the Olympics to Junior Regatta champions, this club boasts an accomplished membership and is duly outfitted with a library, heated outdoor pool, tennis courts, fitness center, and pro shop. At Coronado Cays Yacht Club, just off Silver Strand Boulevard, the location is ideal, as homeowners can keep boats at private docks at personal homes throughout the community. A social as well as a sailing club, the restaurant is a preferred meeting place for many members who live nearby.
Day and Destination Spas
The beach house spa at L'Auberge Del Mar is one of the top 25 spas in the U.S. according to Condé Nast Traveler. A peek at the gorgeous view of the ocean from the spa location is part of the reason, the remainder attributable to the luxurious treatment rooms, ocean-inspired products and rituals, and replenishing mani-pedi services that polish to perfection. Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, located in Rancho Santa Fe, is a luxurious respite of massages, facials, and body treatments, with options to take yoga, spin, or Pilates classes with top-tier instructors. Surrounded by lavish gardens and olive groves, the spa calls upon herbs, flowers, oils, and minerals to refresh the body and clear the mind. On site activities include cycling, a variety of court sports, croquet, bocce, and tennis, with all of San Diego's beaches, golf courses, and events nearby. The Spa at Omni La Costa has been rejuvenating guests since 1965 in its 43,000-square-foot sanctuary. Outdoor Roman waterfalls, reflexology walk, tropical gardens graced with bowers of Birds of Paradise, a Chopra Center, and Spa Café add to the ambiance. The Spa at Fairmont Grand Del Mar has the distinction of five stars in addition to wet and dry saunas, adults only relaxation pool, fitness center and classes, indoor whirlpools, and a full menu of beauty services from Haim Salon in addition to signature spa treatments. The spa features 11 treatment rooms and a posh couples room, with thick, thirsty terry robes, separate men's and women's lounges, a Co-ed lounge, and spa boutique stocking private label botanicals and aromatherapy wellness products. For a seaside spa experience, the Spa at the Del in Hotel del Coronado provides treatments inspired by the rhythm of the ocean waves below. Choose from Mom & Me special occasion pampering and Vitamin Sea Facials to Gentleman's Sports Pedicure or The Works head to toe treatment.
Hotels, Resorts, and Inns
Knowing the best hotels in San Diego will be important to ensuring a pleasant stay with every visit, before becoming a homeowner for your own benefit, as well as after as a recommendation for guests. With a range of luxurious choices, Aumann Bender & Associates is pleased to present the most elegant, luxurious, well located accommodations for your consideration. Warm and welcoming, the charming, old-world Mediterranean estate at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar is surrounded by the lush grounds of the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. Echoing the palatial retreats of sunny Spain and the Côte d'Azur, the Addison Mizner/Palm Beach styled architecture houses 249 luxurious rooms and boasts an extensive list of amenities, including a championship golf course and award-winning spa. World class amenities and eight swimming pools grace the grounds at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. Two championship golf courses, 17 hard and clay tennis courts, state-of-the-art athletic club, an award winning spa rated #1 for wellness, and the world headquarters of The Chopra Center serve the resort's 600 posh rooms, suites, and villas. A luxury destination hotel property with impressive credentials, L'Auberge Del Mar describes itself as "relaxing by day, stylish by night." Four unique on-property dining options offer a repast for every mood. Rooms with a variety of gorgeous views invite guests to sleep with the windows open. Close to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Racetrack, the polo fields, the botanic gardens, Encinitas tide pools, the zoo, the aquarium, Legoland, and Balboa Park, itineraries fill quickly with engaging activities. For an exceptional stay in a superior modern hotel that faithfully represents a long history, the Grande Colonial Hotel La Jolla offers the sophisticated guest an outstanding choice. Consistently acknowledged with the AAA Four Diamond Award, the Grand Colonial's pleasing views of the Pacific, La Jolla Village, and the verdant garden courtyard are embellished with Serta iComfort Eurotop mattresses, complimentary access to high-speed internet, HD TV with HBO, and Digital News Services. Plush robes and Gilchrist & Soames for bath and body complete the experience.
Nature and Wildlife
Everyone has their favorite beaches for different reasons. Understanding that there are many things to do at the beach, the Aumann Bender & Associates guide to the best for each category is a good introduction to the the optimum land-meets-sea destination. Surf beaches are many, but so are surfers. For up to the minute conditions, check the surf reports to choose the right spot. Cardiff Reef is good for intermediate to advanced surfers, and attracts lots of longboards and stand up paddleboards. An easy reef break with year round surf, 15th Street just off of Seagrove Park is good for beginners to intermediates. Scripps Pier in La Jolla, with breaks on both sides, offers intermediate to advanced surfers the opportunity to test the waters. Ocean Beach has been accused of having a retro vibe, but it remains popular, especially at the Avalanche break. A good beach for families, Moonlight State Beach in Encinitas earned its name way back at the turn of the 20th century when beachgoers would head there for midnight picnics. Today, access is restricted to daylight hours, but lots of fun happens between dawn and sunset. A great family beach, Moonlight has designated surfing and swimming areas, with volleyball and tennis courts at the ready. The beach also holds summer concerts. Coronado Beach, rated highly on the national list by Dr. Beach, is also a family friendly choice with lots of restaurants nearby. Snorkel and scuba through a beautiful aquamarine bay filled with colorful Garibaldi fish and other marine creatures at La Jolla Cove. The beach may be small, but it is stunningly beautiful, bookended by sandstone cliffs. With visibility often at 30 feet deep, and reliably small surf, the area is protected and watched over by lifeguards making it safe and serene. Children's Pool is a similar beach partially wrapped by a seawall, making it a favorite of divers and snorkelers. By far the best beach for a crowd is Mission Beach, located at the center of the Golden Strand. The mile-long beach is next to Belmont Park, and has permanent lifeguard station patrols. Pacific Beach also gathers large crowds, and is also patrolled by lifeguards, collecting similar crowds, making for great people-watching. The best beach for dogs is located at the north end of Ocean Beach, inviting pets to roam the sand 24 hours a day. Standard laws apply with regard to clean up, but dogs can run free and enjoy the surf along with other four-legged visitors and their owners. For a backyard, 'locals only' type experience, La Jolla's Marine Street Beach offers a quiet respite. White sand, beautiful mansions, and low key crowds can be accessed via the Vista de Playa cul-de-sac at the south end of the beach at Marine Street and Sea Lane.
The San Diego Botanical Gardens not only shows off the local flora, but also that of dozens of other warm weather locations around the world. Offering classes, events, art exhibits, bird watching, tours, and travel opportunities, the community is educated and inspired by this peaceful sanctuary in the city. Located in Balboa Park, the Japanese Friendship Garden is 12 acres of koi ponds, cherry trees, large azaleas, camellias, and water features framing the Inamori Pavilion, a state of the art building constructed in the Japanese Sukiya style. An immersive experience that delivers visitors to a simpler time, the garden introduces the simplicity, serenity, and beautiful aesthetics of ancient Japanese culture.
The nation's largest urban cultural park, home to 15 museums, performing arts venues, the San Diego Zoo, and a clutch of gorgeous gardens, Balboa Park is planted with 1,200 acres of beautiful plants and flowers. Convenient to downtown San Diego, the park also has a visitor center stocked with helpful maps, audio tours, transportation information, and dining ideas. Set on 7,220 acres of hills, valleys, and open spaces, Mission Trails Regional Park is just eight minutes north of downtown San Diego. One of the largest urban parks in the US, visitors enjoy boating on Lake Murray, hiking on 60 miles of trails, and camping at Kumeyaay Lake. The largest aquatic park of its type in the country, Mission Bay Park has 27 miles of shoreline attached to 4,200 acres of land and water park area. Boat docks, launches, sail and motor boat rental, biking and walking paths, basketball courts, and children's playgrounds are available.
Some may think that San Diego, graced with near perfect temperatures all year, might not experience a change of season. While our seasons are not quite as dramatic visually as those in cold weather locations, there are subtle differences that change with the calendar. While our temperatures are always pleasant, May and June bring less variation from low to high, sometimes overlaying inland areas with a misty fog. Not to worry, however, as there are 146 sunny days on average, with less than 12 inches of rainfall annually, usually arriving in the cooler part of the year from December through March. Occurring about ten or so days a year, between September and February, hot dry winds called the Santa Ana occur inland and in mountain passes and canyons. Gusting as high as 100 mph, they can reduce humidity to a single digit. Aside from the weather map, San Diego has a few additional seasons that are important to know about. For some of our trophy game fish it is always fishing season, but for others, there are definite 'no catch' dates. A watchful eye on the fishing season calendar can help avoid any issues. There is also racing season, with reference to Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's annual schedule, usually from mid-July through the beginning of September. Then, there's the delightful San Diego Polo season, running from April 1 through October 1, with a number of matches, club chukkers, and social events that benefit various charitable organizations. Fortunately, the enviable California lifestyle prevalent throughout San Diego spans all seasons, ensuring a pleasant place to live, work, and play, 365 days each year. Aumann Bender & Associates welcomes you to this blissful existence and looks forward to assisting your search for the perfect home. Welcome to the rich, diverse, extraordinary world that is San Diego.
Deciding To Move To San Diego
If you are considering relocating to San Diego, one of the first things you will need to do is find a home. Choosing the right real estate agent can make a world of difference in this process. The right real estate agent can be especially helpful if you are new to the area. If you don’t know of any real estate agents in the San Diego area, here are a few tips to help you when selecting your real estate agent:
Look up the agent’s licensing. California has boards that license and oversee real estate agents. Check to see if the agent you are considering working with is licensed, and also whether or not there have been any complaints filed against him or her. California is one of the few states that houses and stores this information in an online database, which home buyers can freely search.
Pay close attention to awards and accolades. Awards and recognition given by an agent’s peers are a good indicator of someone you want to work with. This endorsement can go a long way when it comes to putting your mind at ease when choosing an agent to work with.
Find out how long the agent has been in business, and research their sales history. This is not the time that you want an agent to be learning, and if they haven’t been in business for five years or more, that means that they’re still learning – and at your expense. You want to look for an agent who is well established, and is actively working in the area and price range you are searching in.
Need More Information as a buyer in San Diego?
If you’re having thoughts of buying or selling in San Diego, please do not hesitate to contact Aumann Bender & Associates with any questions or to begin your househunting process. We look forward to hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to help you find the home that best suits the needs of you and your family.
Joy Bender is the co-founder/owner of Aumann Bender & Associates, La Jolla real estate agents with Pacific Sotheby's International Realty. She has a passion for digital marketing and helping clients discover San Diego's lifestyle. Joy Bender specializes in La Jolla Condos, San Diego beach homes, San Diego oceanfront real estate, and San Diego ocean view houses in La Jolla, Coronado, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, and beyond.