San Diego skyline with palm trees

Best San Diego Neighborhoods for Recent Grads

May 22, 2013 | Best Cities and Neighborhoods, Best Neighborhoods

Beautiful San Diego: Home to breathtaking beaches, scenic mountains, a diverse set of neighborhoods and tons of college grads. In fact, according to The Atlantic Cities, this next-door neighbor of Mexico is one of the top 20 places in the nation for college graduates to live. If you have accepted a job and are searching for a San Diego apartment–or just plan on picking up your life and moving to this jewel of the California coastline–take note: These are the best neighborhoods in San Diego for recent college grads:


Located just outside of the downtown district, this hip and trendy San Diego neighborhood is best known for being the epicenter of the city’s LGBT community. Hillcrest is packed with locally owned businesses, and boast a variety of thrift stores, restaurants and bars. For recent college grads, Hillcrest is the perfect place to rent a San Diego apartment because it’s one of the most young and vibrant areas of the city. Fans of independent film can even catch a movie at the Hillcrest Landmark Cinemas.

Mission Bay

As one of the most popular San Diego neighborhoods, Mission Bay is the ideal place for recent college graduates who love to surf, swim or sail. It’s situated just minutes from downtown–which makes for an easy commute to work–and is the location of the world-famous SeaWorld San Diego, for all those aquatic enthusiasts out there. The area also has plenty of nightlife near the beach–perfect for the young adult who needs to blow off some steam after a long week.

La Jolla

Known as San Diego’s “Jewel by the Sea,” La Jolla is one of the most popular beach destinations in California and offers spectacular views of the coastline. Because it is also surrounded by mountains, the area has a very Mediterranean feel and offers plenty of outdoor activities, such as hiking. If you’re looking for the best neighborhood in San Diego to find a room with a view, this is it.

North Park

One of the more culturally diverse San Diego neighborhoods, North Park was named one of the best “hipster” neighborhoods in the nation by Forbes. Located in the uptown area of San Diego near Hillcrest, North Park is considered one of the city’s up-and-coming neighborhoods and is best known for its Craftsman cottages and sprinkling of hip coffee shops, microbreweries and diners.

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