Moving to San Diego | City Guides | Long Distance USA Movers

Moving to San Diego – Everything You Need to Know

You have been dreaming about living in the Golden State, and now you’ve finally chosen where to live in California – San Diego. Now we come to the question of what you have to know when moving to San Diego. Before going to any new place, you should explore what it has to offer, what part of it might be the best for you and your family, what’s the cost of living, and so on. Here you can find out everything you should keep in mind before going to America’s Finest City.

Check out how great the Finest City is and enjoy the perks of living in California. overlay
Have you decided where to live in California? Take a look at what San Diego has to offer.

Relocating to a new place is quite exciting as it brings so many chances for new activities, meeting new people, exploring the surroundings, etc. After deciding where to live in California, we assume that you’d also want to get answers to some questions like: What do I need to know about moving to San Diego? Is this a good place to stay? Where to settle down in the area? There’s no room for panic – everything you should be aware of before the actual relocation is gathered here just for you.

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Is San Diego a Good Place to Live in?

Located in southern California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, this is the second-largest and most populated place in the state. In case you are considering moving long-distance here, there are some things you should know about it before you pack an apartment and hire a reputable long-distance moving company. With around 3.3 million residents in its metropolitan area and thousands that have plans on moving cross country right here every year, this clearly is a popular spot on the West Coast. So clearly, there has to be something good about it. Whether you’re moving for a job or moving for love, we are sure you’ll be just fine in the country’s finest place.

Interesting Facts and Things to Know Before Moving to San Diego

To help you get to know your future place of residence a bit better, we gathered some interesting facts and information every newcomer should keep in mind:

  • 128 years old, Del Hotel is the largest wooden structure in the country
  • The world’s oldest sailing ship that is still active, The Star of India, can be spotted here
  • The community of Fallbrook is the avocado capital of the world
  • This is a great place for catching waves and surfing year-round
  • This is one of two places where the rare Torrey pine tree grows
  • This county has the highest number of small farms in the US
  • More than 130,000 visitors come to Comic-Con every July
  • Here you’ll find the highest number of dog-friendly restaurants per capita in the country, so if you’re moving with your dog, you picked the right place.
Get to know your future place of residence before you settle down. overlay
There are many more interesting facts and places to discover, but we will leave that up to you.

Newcomer’s Guide to Cross Country Moving to San Diego California

One of the main problems when moving cross country is how to overcome the fear of moving, which can occur, especially if you’re moving from a small town to a big city. When going to this amazing place, there won’t be much room left for fear or anxiety about relocating to another state. Every newcomer to this city has so much to do and enjoy there because it offers something for everyone. This will be an exciting period in your life. Some of the most popular things to do in San Diego include going to the park, beaches, visiting excellent museums and historical sites, as well as trying out various outdoor activities. There’s always something new to try and learn there.

The Guide You Need for Choosing the Right Neighborhood

One of the most important steps when changing your place of residence, besides hiring reliable moving services, is to choose the most suitable neighborhood. You are about to start from scratch there, so it’s essential that you feel comfortable and that you have everything needed within the chosen area, from good schools for your children to all kinds of amenities. There are quite a few beautiful neighborhoods, some of which include the following:

  • Little Italy – a perfect place if you want to move to the downtown area. This is the main venue of a few cultural festivals, such as the Sicilian Festival, Taste of Little Italy, Little Italy Festa, and a spring ArtWalk. It is known for its excellent Italian restaurants.
  • Carmel Valley – one of the top 5 neighborhoods suitable for families, but with plenty to offer to singles as well, from nightlife to outdoor activities.
  • La Jolla – this neighborhood is known for its excellent restaurants, breathtaking coastline, beautiful homes, and even quality schools for those relocating with children. Do remember that it can be somewhat expensive to relocate there.
  • Del Mar – another suitable neighborhood if you’re moving with kids, with good public schools and low crime rates, so it is rather safe as well. It could be described as some kind of mix of urban and suburban areas.
  • East Village – still developing, but already promising, the largest downtown neighborhood is still mostly known as the hipster area, but it’s also a good residential part, suitable for families, and with excellent educational opportunities.
  • Pacific Beach – Looking for a movie-like coastline and vibrant nightlife? This neighborhood is just right for you. Keep in mind that this is primarily a youthful neighborhood, so if you’re relocating with your family, it’s not that suitable.
  • South Park – a cozy residential neighborhood perfect for those looking for relaxation and peace and quiet. There are quite good restaurants, pedestrian areas, as well as playgrounds for children.
Do you want to stay close to the beaches or you're looking to save some money and move to the outskirts? overlay
Carefully pick the right neighborhood and take all pros and cons into consideration.

How to Get a Job When Moving to San Diego

In case you don’t have a job waiting for you, you’re probably looking for some tips on how to find a job after relocation. Being at the spot could help you mingle around and meet locals who could recommend you for a position or help you schedule a job interview. But if you’re looking for a job before moving interstate you should, for starters, research the market and take a look at some of the major industries such as tourism, hospitality, military, or manufacturing. Besides that, you should also focus on some of the top employers and start sending your CV to some of these employers:

  • US Navy
  • Sharp HealthCare
  • San Diego Unified School District
  • Scripps
  • Qualcomm
  • San Diego Community College District
  • Kaiser Permanente
Finding a job here is not so hard if you are qualified. overlay
If you don't have a job offer waiting for you, make sure to research the market before relocating.

How Much Money Do I Need to Move to San Diego?

When moving interstate, you should keep in mind that the most significant factor determining the final price would be the distance. Besides that, there is the amount of stuff you’re shipping and additional services such as packing services, but also renting storage, and collecting boxes and other packing supplies, etc. So interstate moving can be pricey. We recommend you to create a moving expenses checklist and to try to do a bit of decluttering or perhaps organize a garage sale in case you’re moving out on a budget.

How Much Should I Save Before Moving to San Diego?

The nickname “America’s Finest City” didn’t come just out of nowhere – we’re talking about a rather expensive place to live. This applies to most aspects of life and especially when it comes to housing costs. Whether you decide to buy or rent a place, start putting money aside right away.

In case you’re looking to buy a place, be ready to pay about $620,000, which is the estimated average home sales price. Before you make the final choice, it might be a good idea to check what you need to rent a house so that you’re sure what kind of place you’re looking for to start with. When it comes to food, it’s advisable to stay in and cook for yourself as often as possible to save a few bucks. People who do this spend about $300 a month on groceries. When you get tired of cooking, you can go to an inexpensive restaurant and have a meal for $15, or a three-course meal for about $50.

Location and sizeAverage monthly rent
One bedroom apt on a central location $2,130
One bedroom apt outside of the center$1,740
Three bedroom apt on a central location$3,600
Three bedroom apt outside of the center$2,880

What Salary Do You Need to Live in San Diego?

According to Numbeo, an average monthly net salary goes around $5,050, which is not bad at all. However, you can manage to have a comfortable living with even less than that if you know how to manage your finances and spend rationally. It is all very individual and depends on whether or not you’re moving alone, or you’ll share costs with a roommate, spouse, or family.

Take a Look at This Brief Video on Cost of Living

To cover various categories that probably interest many of you, we decided to play a brief video that sums it all. So grab your calculator and start taking notes on some of the most important expenses.

Different Categories of Transportation and Traffic

Here, most locals opt for their vehicles rather than public transport. So, if you already have a car, it might be a good idea to have it transported to the new place. If you don’t know how car shipping works, you can always learn how to prepare a car for car shipping and hire reliable San Diego Movers to handle the auto transport for you.

Park Your Car and Rely on Public Transportation

In case you’d rather go by bus or trolley, you can do that, as well. You can buy monthly regional bus passes for $72, while the monthly prices for the COASTER rail route vary from $140 to $182, depending on the chosen zone. Just like anywhere else, the traffic is somewhat congested during rush hours, but given that it rarely rains, at least you don’t have to worry about traffic jams caused by the rain. Normally, you can get to any part of the city within 20 minutes, thanks to a network of freeways, which is very similar to those in cities with the best public transportation.

If you don't ship your car, you can rely on public transportation to get anywhere on time. overlay
Public transportation is working just fine, so if you don't prefer driving, you can rely on it.

Things to Do in San Diego, From Tasting Craft Beer and Mexican Food to Museums and Kid-Friendly Activities

If you’re wondering what should I know before moving to San Diego, there are many exciting things you should explore besides the basics such as housing, prices, transportation, and so on. There is certainly something for everyone, so without further ado, let’s see what are things you can do once you unpack after moving.

The Ultimate Guide On the Best Places to Visit as a Newcomer

Here is a list of some iconic places that are a must for every newcomer looking to become a true San Diegan:

  • Balboa Park
  • Mission and Coronado Beach
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • Seaport Village
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Petco Park
  • Maritime Museum
  • Belmont Park
  • Museum of Art

Things to Do With Kids

Relocating with kids is always a challenge, but we are sure they won’t have a hard time getting used to this place. Here are only some attractions that you can visit with your children and help them fall in love with their new community:

  • Zoo and Safari Park
  • Whale watching cruise
  • The New Children’s Museum
  • Legoland California
  • Botanic Garden
  • Carlsbad Flower Fields
  • La Jolla Cove

Where to Taste the Flavors of San Diego After Moving Interstate

When it comes to foods, Mexican food is a huge thing here. Tacos, burritos, ceviche, enchiladas, you name it, they have everything. So whether you opt for a street cart or a restaurant, you can’t go wrong with Mexican foods around here. We recommend you to start your culinary journey from Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, Las Cuatro Milpas, or La Puerta, and then continue exploring all the Mexican flowers around.

If you ever feel thirsty, know that you’re in the craft beer capital of America, so you can’t go wrong if you visit some of the many breweries. There are more than 155 licensed craft breweries, which is more than in any other county. If you’re on a hunt for the tastiest craft beer, we recommend visiting Escondido, Battlemage, Resident Brewing, or Pure Project.

Enjoy the Weather

The place is widely known as one of the cities with the most pleasant climate in the entire country. So, if you wish to enjoy sunny days all year long and nice weather is important to you, you’ve made the right choice. The average temperature there ranges from 57°F during winter to 72°F in the summer. What makes it even better is that there are around 70 miles of coastline, which means you can choose where to spend these beautiful days doing things that you enjoy most. Whether you just wish to get away from your job and relax or try surfing, head to the seaside and have the time of your life.

Take some time to explore some of the most famous attractions. overlay
Whether you're relocating with kids or alone, a visit to SeaWorld is a must.

Stages of Living in San Diego

Once you get to this amazing place, it will take you some time to finally feel completely at home there. Most people go through certain phases before they can call themselves locals. As time goes by, naturally, you’ll feel more and more comfortable. But to get to that phase, here are some inevitable stages to go through.

Moving to San Diego

San Diego is the Best Place in the World

When you first get there, there is no doubt you’ll find it the greatest possible place in the world, and your mantra will probably be – ”Heaven… I’m in heaven…” This is the first natural reaction when you’re surrounded by such amazing nature combined with so many opportunities on every corner.

You Don’t Want to Leave the Pacific Beach Ever

What do you think about a place where you can spend beautiful sunny days at an even more breathtaking coastline and then paint the town red in a variety of bars and clubs? For those of you looking for such an area, Pacific Beach is just the perfect place. During this phase, you will surely make some new friends, and your mantra will probably be “California knows how to party.”

You’re a Kook

After so much partying, what follows is a break from nightlife. You’ll probably repeat to yourself “I will adjust, I will adjust, I will adjust…“ And you know what? You will! The so-called I’m a Kook phase is just one step closer to your becoming a real local.

Transforming to a Local

Here comes the beginning of your final transformation into a local. Your mantra at that time? “Dude, I’m down.” Your favorite activity will be music festivals and further exploring the area. It will probably feel as if you’re not quite there yet, but at this point, you’re rather close to your goal of becoming one of them.

The Calm Before the Storm

You finally feel like you belong to the locals. The city has become even more lovable than at the very beginning. You feel so comfortable that you can’t even imagine going anywhere ever. This is your dream come true, everything you’ve been looking for. Everything seems so calm, but in fact, quite the opposite is just about to hit, which is why your mantra at this point would be “Zonies go home.”

The "I Have to Move" Phase

Here it comes – something that everyone has experienced after a couple of years – the desire to go. It will probably come as a shock after all the stuff leading up to it, but get ready to feel like you can’t wait to go anywhere else. The truth is, this is just a phase, something you have to go through and survive on the way to the final phase. Truth be told, it is natural to get sick of any surroundings, so it can happen with this place, too. But it won’t last for too long.

Becoming a Local

Finally, you’re there. Your motto is – “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health… ” That’s it – you realize that you were right thinking there is no other place to be rather than here. You’re officially a San Diegan now. Naturally, this place has some flaws, but they’re negligible compared to so many positive sides.

Tips for a Smooth Long Distance Relocation

Relocations can be stressful and expensive, but there’s no reason to get anxious or depressive since we are all usually relocating for the better. So keep your goals in mind all the time and don’t let that moving stress kick in. Here are some tips for smooth long-distance moving:

  • Start planning everything on time
  • Find reputable long distance movers
  • Consider taking extra services such as packing, insurance, and car shipping
  • Find cheap moving supplies if you’re packing on your own
  • Learn a few packing tricks or throw a packing party
  • Rent storage in case your new apartment is not ready yet
  • Unpacking is a process, so do it strategically
Is this your dream destination? Then call your cross country movers and book a date. overlay
If you're sure you've found your place on the map, then there's no reason to hesitate, embark on your cross country moving journey today.

Time to Become a True San Diegan

You already feel closer to this amazing place, and you can’t wait to get there. There is no doubt you’ll enjoy your new life there from the very first day. Pack your summer clothes and recharge your batteries at one of many beaches as often as you want – just one of the many perks of living here. Choose one of the amazing neighborhoods to be your new place of residence and start exploring it to find excellent places to eat and exciting activities and things to try out. Become a true San Diegan and be proud of it.

Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

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