Part 2: Neighborhood Personalities, Something for Everyone
By Christina Dube
San Diego’s evolving tourism
Tourism is an economic driving force for San Diego County and has been for decades. San Diego consistently ranks high as a top U.S. vacation destination so it’s no surprise that both hotels and short-term residential units have been very successful here.
For outside investors, understanding the personality of San Diego’s many and diverse neighborhoods, is an important part of marketing to a desired demographic. Let’s explore some of San Diego’s old favorite spots as well as some great alternatives.
Play Hard – Party Hard
Mission & Pacific Beach are well-known for daytime fun in the sun with plenty of party offered at night. Surfing, sailing, biking, skateboarding and proximity to amusement parks are what draws the crowds. While most people head Downtown for a club experience, there is still plenty of nightlife here with laid-back bars and restaurants.
Upscale Beach Experience
For those who would rather valet park than bike, La Jolla and Del Mar are the obvious choice. High-end restaurants, stunning beach views, race-tracks and art events are what attract domestic and international travelers to these areas.
For upscale resort experiences, a short drive inland brings us to The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Valencia or the renowned Rancho Bernardo Inn. These luxurious locations offer world-class golf & spa – a great alternative for the exclusive experience with a “wine country vibe”.
Food & Culture
Hillcrest & North Park, while decidedly more residential, are where you find San Diego’s best restaurants, bars, shops, bakeries and the most LGBTQ-friendly neighborhoods of San Diego. Quaint Craftsman style homes, walking distance to Balboa Park’s endless events, gardens and museums are all reasons to love visiting these areas.
South Park has gained recognition in the past few years with new businesses and small local breweries and a crop of young families moving in, earning a reputation for an authentic local feel in the Park neighborhoods.
Big City Fun
Young couples, singles and globe-trotting baby boomers alike relish the nightlife and walkability of Downtown. San Diego’s famed waterfront district attractions include Petco Park, theaters, concert venues and the Convention Center. Events like Comic-Con and the newly relocated Kaboo, bring the energy that downtown is famous for.
Little Italy – quiet streets, outstanding cafes and water views lure both residents and part-time visitors to one of San Diego’s favorite tucked-away downtown neighborhoods. While most families with children flock to other areas in San Diego, these locations are much more popular with both older and younger working professionals.
With so much rapid revitalization and rebranding, San Diego’s tourist draw is solid. Understanding the personalities and ever-changing ordinances of San Diego’s Cities is vital for any potential investor. According to data analytics site AirDNA, San Diego County has over 11,000 short-term rentals on various platforms. The site is a great resource for investors wanting data on occupancy rates, frequency, and profitability factors but it doesn’t include the revolving details such as permitting, fees, and potential legal changes that largely affect investments. It is best to consult local area real estate professionals when considering where and how to manage San Diego real estate assets.