San Diego is a southern California city known as a great place to live and also visit. The city is home to 1.43 million people, making it the eighth-largest in the U.S. by population. It’s the second-largest city in California based on land area. 

The city has a wonderful year-round climate, beautiful beaches, and a lot of attractions. 

While life in San Diego holds immense appeal, some people look to the suburbs rather than living in one of the central neighborhoods. San Diego is an expensive city, and if you move to the suburbs, you might pay a little less. In San Diego itself, the cost of living is 44% higher than the rest of the country, and housing is 136% higher than the national average. 

So what are the best suburbs to consider?


The city of Lakeside is in the Spring Valley area, and it’s home to great recreational opportunities and public parks. The community is largely walkable, and it’s one of only four cities in San Diego County recognized as a Great Streets City. 

Many of the charming homes in Lakeside were built in the 1920s, and a lot of them are single-family detached. 

The area is home to one of the top school districts in the country, and along with being just a 10-minute commute from downtown San Diego, it’s also a relatively easy commute to Los Angeles. 


Encinitas is oceanfront, and it gives you all the things that people love about living in Southern California in general. There are a lot of arts and cultural activities like the Encinitas Arts Festival, plus you can fish, boat and swim. 

There’s a wide variety of housing options, including modern condos and beautiful Mediterranean-style properties. 

Encinitas has wonderful restaurants, and major employers in the area include Qualcomm, UC San Diego, Google, and Intuit. 


Coronado is popular because it provides resort-like living year-round. There are waterfront properties, beaches, and a laid-back, coastal lifestyle. 

Coronado’s average household income is around $142,000 a year, and while there’s a lot to love, it doesn’t come cheap. Coronado has some of the highest living costs in San Diego, and the median home value is well over a million dollars. 

The public schools are top-rated, and some of the favorite neighborhoods for residents in Coronado include The Village, The Cays, and The Shores. 

The community is home to the historic Hotel del Coronado, which was founded in 1888 and is one of the most famous San Diego icons, as well as a picturesque representation of Victorian architecture. 

Solana Beach

Solana Beach is an as small community with fewer than 15,000 residents. 

If you have kids, the education is high-quality, with the town being ranked as #4 in Places with the Best Public Schools in San Diego County, according to 

The community is along the shores of the Pacific Ocean, so there’s a big emphasis on outdoor activities. Popular beaches include Tide Beach Park, Cardiff State Beach, and Fletcher Cove. 

The Cedros Design District is a hub of art and culture, and there’s a strong sense of community in Solana Beach. 


Carlsbad is a tourist destination but also a wonderful San Diego suburb to call home. Carlsbad has something for people who love the beach, food, and golf. 

The cost of living is around 92% higher than the national average though. 

Some of the most popular Carlsbad neighborhoods include Bressi Ranch, La Costa, and Loma Alta. 


Oceanside has a suburban feel, but there’s been a lot of development in the past ten years, leading to numerous high-rise buildings in the downtown area. 

There is a strong restaurant and food scene, as well as a growing arts scene in Oceanside. 

If you’re a commuter, Oceanside offers easy access to the rest of San Diego because Highway 76 cuts through it and connects to the I-5 at the easternmost part of the city. You can get to downtown San Diego from there in around 35 minutes. 

Chula Vista

Finally, Chula Vista is only a few miles away from the Mexican border, and its name means beautiful view. The ocean views and sunsets are stunning here, and there are a lot of residential and suburban neighborhoods in Chula Vista. 

Chula Vista also happens to be one of the suburbs closest to downtown San Diego. You can reach it in around 20 minutes if traffic isn’t terrible. 

Chula Vista’s attractions and city life are primarily found in the eastern part of town, including the Living Coast Discovery Center.