|First of all, if you're looking to relocate to San Diego permanently and buy and home and the whole nine yards, be forewarned that it's expensive. If you want to own and home and live easy, it might not be the best option. But I would say if you're just looking to get away from where you currently live for a few years, come on out. Owning out here is insanely expensive, but that said, renting is affordable, you can find a studio or one bedroom near the beach for around $1000 give or take. That's for an average or maybe small place. For two bedrooms you're looking at maybe $1300 on the low end, and it goes up from there. My advice, don't mess around, go straight to the beach. If you're in SD, you may as well soak up the beach culture (the closest thing you'll get to any real culture in SD). |
One of the main beach communities is Ocean Beach, or OB as it's called, which is the community they say time forgot. It's hippyish, bohemian, laid back, people smile and say hi to each other, extremely liberal, mom and pop businesses, farmers market every week, etc. The bars are all pretty chill and dive-ish. (Note: there are a lot of homeless people in the beach areas, in OB especially, also lots of young dropout kids. They are all harmless but it takes a little getting used to)
Other popular beach areas are Mission Beach and Pacific Beach (PB). PB is a young college crowd, lots of bars, kind of a meat market, but great none the less (I lived there for 4 years). Mission is a little dumpier, it attracts sort of a ghetto crowd, but tons of young people live there also. If you want the beach but without the riff raff, you can go north to La Jolla or Del Mar or even in North County Encinitas, but you'll be much further from downtown and probably more expensive, you'll also have to use the freeway more and deal with traffic.
In general all of San Diego can be kind of pretentious, people out here can be materialistic, but it is much friendlier than the East Coast, but people are not as real. You get a lot of small talk, people being friendly, but then forgetting who you are next time you see them. I know a lot of people have a hard time making good solid long term friends out here. Also, the population is very transitional, people come and go quite often.
What you hear about the weather is true, however the worst weather is probably the beaches ironically, because of the fog and what we call the marine layer. The clouds come in off the water, so in May and June especially there are a lot of gray days, but no rain. But other than that, yes, it is mostly sunny every day. No need for "rain plans" like back east.
The beaches are very relaxed, they will be the opposite of the rat race of back east, but once you leave the beaches it gets a little more normal as far as that goes, people always with some place to be. People here love their shopping and their malls, traffic in those areas gets to be a pain, parking sucks most places, there are just more people than there should be. Also, public transportation here is not good. I take it, but I work downtown and it works for me. But it's not a practical or convenient solution for getting around the city otherwise unless you have a lot of extra time. Things here are not vertical like east coast cities, it's all about sprawl here.