Living in the College Area
Unsurprisingly, College Area apartments keep busy with San Diego State University students. Area shops cater to those on a scholarship budget and restaurants here focus on the casual crowd. On the whole, that makes the College Area a fun and friendly part of town. In addition to current enrollees and alumni, you’ll find your neighbors here to be those who appreciate an active atmosphere. San Diego State University is one of the country’s premiere urban research schools and the SDSU Aztecs know how to whip up the crowd. When you check out the college area, don’t forget to wear black and red!
This part of San Diego first saw development in the 1930s when the precursor to SDSU, the State Teachers College, moved to the area. That’s why it’s called the “College Area” and not the “University Area.” While patches of the College Area—split into College East and College West—can be a little gritty, the neighborhood is aiming high. Redevelopment efforts begun in the 1990s continue with much success today.
College Area Lifestyle and Entertainment
El Cajon Boulevard is the College Area’s main drag. Along here you’ll find budget-conscious eateries and shops. Try the Daily Grind for breakfast, Woodstock Pizza for dinner, and stop by Trujillos Taco Shop for your late night snack. There are bars, clubs, cafés, and coffee shops—just take your pick.
If you’re feeling active, the Aztec Recreation Center has a state of the art gym, a pool, and various fitness classes on offer. Viejas Arena hosts events and has discounted student ticket prices. Montezuma Park is just one of the neighborhood’s green spaces.
College Area Info and the Rental Market
Your rental options in the College Area include apartments, condos, and single-family homes. A two-bedroom in College West averages $1,094 a month. In College East it’s pricier, up to $1,303.
The Metropolitan Transit System runs the Green Line of the San Diego Trolley to Alvarado and SDSU Transit Center stations. A handful of buses serve this area as well. Interstate 8 runs along the neighborhood’s northern border.
College Area Resources
There’s a United States Post Office on El Cajon Boulevard next to the Rite Aid. The College-Rolando Branch of the San Diego Public Library is on Montezuma Road. You can find a medical complex up beside I-8, east of SDSU. The College Area falls within San Diego City Council District 7.
College Area Zip Codes
Zip codes serving College Area are 92115, 92120, and 92182.