Picking the Right Neighborhood-1

Photo by Nathan Rupert
Little Italy by night by Nathan Rupert
Downtown, PB or SDSU Area?Here is a quick comparison.

Are you new in San Diego? Starting school or an internship? Lucky you, San Diego is a paradise for students. We have great weather year-round, great outdoors, great nightlife, and great people. If you pick the right neighborhood, you will have the time of your life! Here is a quick description of 3 top neighborhoods for students:  Downtown/Little Italy, Pacific Beach, College area.

Downtown San Diego is great if you want to be close to shopping, nightlife, movies, theaters and libraries and baseball games (Go Padres!).  Thursday through Sundays, 5th and 6th Avenue come to life. Streets are filled with people, live music, pedicabs, college students going to nightclubs. The best about Downtown is that you can walk to everything! So what's the catch? Well, proximity comes with a price! Downtown is one of the priciest neighborhoods in San Diego. With a student budget, you will probably have to look at shared bedrooms.
Pacific Beach is better if you prefer an outdoor and beach-town lifestyle. Pacific Beach (PB) feels like a typical SoCal town: Surfers walking to the beach, shirtless guys, girls in bikinis, locals riding beach cruisers and longboards. Perfect if you want to relax at the beach, grab some cheap tacos and beers on Taco Tuesdays, or just hang out on Garnet Avenue. PB is also known for its loud parties. Neighbors gather on front yards, turn the music on, drink beers (sometimes too much beer), laugh, have a good time...sometimes every day of the week! On week-ends the bars/clubs on Garnet Avenue attract tons of students from all-around town. Rent can be more affordable than Downtown, but don't expect housing to be as fancy and luxurious as Downtown. Generally, housing in PB is old, small, and outdated. More info about PB - here.

College Area/SDSU is perfect for the under 21 crowd and offers a lot of student housing options for every type of budget. The neighborhood is situated around San Diego State University (SDSU), one of the most popular universities in San Diego. There are lots of coffee shops and hookah bars in the area but fewer nightclubs. SDSU seems to be the #1 party school in San Diego, so expect a lot of house parties on week-ends. If you are into sports, check out the ARC (Aztec Recreation Center). It's among the best gyms in San Diego. They are basketball, football, soccer leagues forming year long as well as climbing and other specialty classes.

Looking for student housing in another neighborhood? Watch out for "Picking the Right Neighborhood - Part 2", an article about the UTC/UCSD, Mission Valley, and Ocean Beach neighborhoods.