[Updated June 2017]
I stayed in an Airbnb in the hip neighbourhood of Hillcrest for 5 days before moving to Ocean Beach. I was going to be in San Diego for 3 weeks, and was ideally looking for one place for that entire duration; no hassle of having to move, and more bargaining power in asking for a discount because of the longer stay. I only stayed 5 days at the Airbnb as the tenant himself was moving out, and found the Ocean Beach place on the San Diego Housing, Rooms, Apartments, Sublets or San Diego International Student Housing Facebook group. I did find a house right by Mission Beach at a too-good-to-be-true price on Craigslist, but backed off when they wanted a deposit before they let me see the place.
Hillcrest is a nice neighbourhood (and the gay district), just north of Balboa Park. However if you’re in San Diego for a limited time I highly recommend staying by the beach. I enjoyed laid back, hippie Ocean Beach, its pier, and main street, Newport Ave (where there’s a farmers market every Wednesday). There’s also Mission Beach, and Pacific Beach (home to lots of bars).
Get $40 off your first Airbnb stay here.
I found it quite hard to get around San Diego without a bicycle or car, and found myself taking Uber/Lyft anywhere from 2-4 times a day. Luckily they have carpooling options here!
Yoga and Catholic mass are the 2 things I consistently attend in every city, and The House of Yogi is by far one of my favourite yoga studios in terms of the practice, sequencing, and teachers.
In Ocean Beach, I worked from Newbreak Coffee & Cafe, Te Mana Cafe, and Point Loma Living Room nearby. There is also Dee’s Newbreak Coffee & Cafe, which I didn’t get to check out. I also worked from DeskHub in Little Italy, and took sunset walks by the harbour after work (it’s also walking distance downtown). VentureBeach, a coworking space in Pacific Beach also seems promising.
- Hodad’s in Ocean Beach. They have superb burgers, a vintage VW van in their restaurant, walls lined with license plates, and surfboards hanging from the ceiling.
- Taco Tuesdays at Moonshine Beach They have good tacos, but more importantly, line dancing! Staff lead the dances, and give lessons once or twice an hour. They line dance to country music as well as top 40s, and it’s a lot of fun.
- South Beach Bar & Grille is a local hotspot overlooking Ocean Beach, with excellent tacos, and daily deals on food and drinks.
- La Jolla: watch seals and sea lions frolic in their natural habitat, and surf on Saturdays with boards and wetsuits provided for free by Torrey Pines Church. Save your $5 and skip Sunny Jim Sea Cave.
- Catch the sunset from Sunset Cliffs
- Walk along secluded beaches, climb rocks and corals, and venture into little caves at Sunset Cliffs Park (only accessible during low tide)
- Walk along Pacific Beach, watch surfers do their thing. Bar hop.
- Meetups: I attended Coffee Shop Coworking, Drinking with Strangers, and San Diego Tech Coffee.