Where can you be found on football Sunday? You may feel like you’re the only fan around to your team back home in this new city, but you’d be surprised as to what you’ll find in PB.
The bars that line Garnet Ave. cater to many more teams than just their recent ex home team of the Chargers.
Drive down and you’ll see flags of teams from all over the country letting those fans know, “hey, it’s cool to fist pump and yell when this team gets the sack or hail mary touchdown in our bar.”
Here’s the handful that I’ve discovered to help you navigate to your favorite team or avoid your rival
Dirty Birds Bar & Grill
The Local PB
710 Beach Club
Backyard Kitchen & Tap
Kansas City Chiefs
Bayside Landing (Crown Point)
Guava Beach Bar & Grill (Mission Beach)
New York Giants
Pacific Beach Shore Club
New England Patriots
Millers Field Sports Bar
Spice and Soul (Bay Ho)
Bubs at the Beach
Pacific beach proves again it’s a melting pot of transplants from just about all over. Find your Sunday squad and kick back with a brewski, just another reason to love this place.
Comment below if I missed your favorite bar and what team they belong to! I’d love to keep this as updated as possible. Go Pats.
Have you been dreaming of moving to San Diego? Yeah, I remember the feeling.
Maybe you’ve been here once on a family on vacation, or maybe you’ve never been here at all and are still in love with what you know about it so far. In fact, Mitch agreed to moving here before he had ever been and I have friends who moved here without ever being here, the spontaneity is real and I love it.
However, most of us need an understanding of what it’s like to really live here before we uproot everything we know and commit to San Diego.
To truly get the local experience, I highly recommend staying in an AirBnb, hotels are freakin’ lame anyway.
I’ve searched the pages of AirBnB high and low to find you my favorite rentals under $150 in five of the best neighborhoods here.
SOULFUL STUDIO IN PB
Pastel colored cottages with a bright colored doors = YAS.
This North PB beach hut is so freaking cute I can’t stand it. The interior has just enough space, you’ll want to be out and about all of the time exploring this amazing city.
Tiny house living is kind of a way of life in San Diego if you want to live by the beach and don’t have a million dollars (raising hand emoji).
Huge bonus: beach chairs, beach towels and beach umbrella are included with the rental for you to enjoy. See listing here.
TREE HOUSE DOWNTOWN
“Tree house” and “downtown” are definitely not two words you hear often in the same sentence.
This place looks absolutely unreal, you are perched in your own hideaway right above downtown’s Little Italy district and a short walk from everything else.
Need I say more- YOU’RE IN A TREEHOUSE.
I’m truly considering renting this place out for a night with my kid-at-heart boyfriend who would go nuts over this place.
When staying in this location, be sure to check out the Saturday farmer’s market and the FRED App (free rides everywhere downtown!). See listing here.
LA JOLLA OCEAN VIEW
This place is an absolute steal!!
People pay thousands to stay in San Diego’s wealthiest neighborhood, and this tucked away home is a gem.
On the front porch you have a great view of the ocean and those picture perfect sunsets. If this place doesn’t make you fall in love with San Diego, idk what will.
*The price of this place fluctuates a lot based on dates, and it seems like last minute bookings are the way to go. Hey, you’re young and spontaneous, right?
See listing here.
CASITA IN NORTH PARK
Spanish style casitas are my absolute favorite.
We have close to none of these style houses on the east coast, and it truly makes you feel like you’re immersed in San Diego’s architectural history.
Don’t sweat the location, just because you aren’t by the beach doesn’t mean you’re not in one of the coolest neighborhoods in San Diego.
I find myself over in North Park often, mostly to eat at the hundreds of restaurants and cafes they offer.
The outdoor space at this place looks heavenly AND there's a rainfall showerhead? Relaxation- check. See listing here.
HEART OF OCEAN BEACH
Back to the colorful tiny houses, this colorful cottage is the epitome of the culture in OB.
Searching through pages of AirBnB, I recognized this place right away because I’ve walked by it a few times- let’s just say, you can’t miss it.
Ocean Beach is extremely walkable so you won’t find yourself needing a car to get around this neighborhood for your visit.
P.S. if you don’t take an Instagram in that lifeguard chair in the front did you even stay there?
See listing here.
So, what will it be? Spanish style in the hippie neighborhood of North Park or an urban oasis Downtown in the trees? No matter what your style is- get to San Diego and experience it for yourself.
Stayed in an awesome AirBnB that made you fall in love with the city? I want to hear your story in the comments below!
I had lists upon lists of things I knew I needed to buy before making my move. I just can’t help it, it’s the event planner in me.
A vacuum, a TV stand, a ton of stuff for the new apartment were all listed out in an excel spreadsheet. Although I did buy all those things pretty much immediately after moving in, there were a few items on my list that I had no idea I needed until I spent a few weeks here.
To this day they are my newest prized possessions essential to living in San Diego,
Living so close to Mission Bay, it didn’t take long to be convinced that I needed a set of wheels to coast around the bay's walkway.
Seeing the long-boarders skate on by brought me back to my days as an 11 year old where I’d try to keep up with my older brother as he practiced his ollies and kickflips.
I could never do any tricks but I knew I had enough balance and muscle memory to stay up on a skateboard. After some research, I learned to buy a board anywhere inland as opposed to by the beach (hi, upcharge.)
I decided to go with the oh-so trusty Amazon and order this longboard from Ten Toes that promised to be great for beginners. Ding.
Plus, the teal design was right up my alley. Perfect for a lil’ exercise or getting anywhere quicker, but mostly cruising around taking in the beauty of the bay and the boardwalks, I highly recommend giving it a shot.
There is SO much beauty to be captured in this city.
From the street art in Hillcrest and North Park to the skyscrapers of downtown and miles of coastline- you could never run out of things to take pictures of here.
I’ve always been into photography and had an older Canon DSLR that was great as a starter camera but I was craving something more advanced.
I wanted a camera I could really capture some impressive scenes with for the blog and just to document this exhilarating time in my life.
I finally caved and upgraded to a Fujifilm XT10 with a super fancy lens I couldn’t tell you the name of since it was gifted to me.
Bottom line- this thing is awesome. Pictures last forever, and I highly recommend investing in something that can capture a higher quality photo than the iPhone.
NEW WORKOUT CLOTHES
I knew moving here would mean more of an active lifestyle, but I totally underestimated how GOOD everyone looks doing it!
I’ve played sports all my life so my closet is overflowing with old volleyball, cheerleading and softball shirts which has always been my go to workout gear.
Looking around my barre, bootcamp and occasional yoga class I realized I have to step it up with the workout fashion to feel more confident in class.
I mean damn, I even bought Mitch lululemon shorts last week- the investment is REAL.
As much as I wish I could afford a monthly trip to Lululemon or Yoga Smoga, I signed up for Fabletics monthly subscription. Their intro deal of 2 yoga pants for $20 is irresistible and I’ve been really happy with the quality of the products so far.
Mitch and I often found ourselves in a pickle of walking vs. driving to restaurants in PB and the beach since they are about a mile from our house.
It’s pretty close to drive, the parking game is never fun. We’re always down for a nice walk if we have time and it’s nice out (which let’s be real it basically always is) but after a full belly or when we have places to be, we want to get home quicker than a walk.
This is when I decided we definitely needed bikes. Knowing they’re pretty expensive, we opted to use Facebook marketplace for a second hand bike.
People are always moving in and out of PB and need to get rid of things or just realize they don’t use them as much as they used to, so I knew we’d find a pair of winners sooner than later.
A few message exchanges later, we agreed on a price, met up, paid in cash and rode away into the sunset.
The purchasing never ends, yesterday we picked up a sweet new ikea set for our patio and strung edison bulb lights to create a relaxing ambiance outside- I can’t say I’m mad about it.
Trying to figure out how much $$ you’ll have for these fun purchases after your move? Check out The Real Costs of Moving!
It's no secret there's an undeniable cultural difference between Southern California and New England- the weather, the friendliness, the laid back lifestyle, beaches galore. But, there are a few things I've picked up on that are not as obvious or talked about that need some exposing:
LOCAL COFFEE & DONUTS
It’s a running joke that in New England you can give directions from any point A to point B using only Dunkin Donuts references, “take a right at the dunkin until you come to a light, once you pass the next dunkin take a left and you’re on the highway.” It’s so hilariously true. There are less than five Dunkin Donuts in San Diego and I’m honestly not mad about it (I may have just been officially disowned by east coast). You won’t have any issues finding a Starbucks when you need one anywhere around here, but San Diegan’s love their local coffee shops instead of heading to the convenience of the bigger chains. Nobody seems to mind spending a few extra minutes in line and neither do I. (Shoutoutz Crown Point Coffee for being my go-to.)
In any given neighborhood you can find a pair of creative minds hosting a photoshoot, drones flying on the beach, promo videos being shot at local businesses, or creative professionals sitting at cafes getting their editing and writing done (heyyy). After launching Sets in the West, I’ve had a few friends reach out to tell me they’ve been wanting to start something like this, and one has already had a podcast on his mind for months now. Being surrounded by people like this makes me happier than you can imagine - not everyone is wired like this or appreciates how cute our coffee shops are or the amazing graphic design on the hip new restaurant menus - but damn, lots of San Diegans do. You can absolutely find these folks on the east coast - but as you walk through NYC or New England it’s definitely not the same.
I’m not sure what the hell is up with this, San Diego, but I miss stopping in for a cheap, fresh, sandwich from a deli on any given east coast street corner in CT or NY. Sure, I love Rubicon Deli and their Dapper Dipper endlessly, but any true east coaster knows they are more of a regional chain sandwich shop. I have yet to find anything that compares to the "build your own" subs or BEC’s on hard rolls we all grew up on.
PAY TO PARK FOR SAND & WAVES
During a recent trip home we were discussing the ridiculousness of paying to park at the beaches in CT or RI. Once Fairfield Beach tried to charge $50 for beach parking during July 4th Weekend - dude, you’re hardly considered the Atlantic *eye roll*. Misquamicut and Watch Hill in RI were always $15-$20 for the day, and the giant parking lots are really your only option to access the beach. I was asked “Do you have to pay to park at the beaches in California?” And thinking about all my trips up the coast and even into the SF area, the answer is no. You could argue by pointing out the convenient garages right by the beach you can choose to pay for, but unlike beaches in CT and RI, you have the option to street park. Even better, as you follow Route 1 north, you’ll consistently see big dirt lots of free parking for any beach goers. Because in California, the beach is just the edge of the land. #micdrop
NO PIZZA PARTY
This part makes me want to cry on the inside. Hell, it makes me want to cry on the outside. Here is the honest truth - Pizza in San Diego in general is terrrribleeeeee. Yes, I am a pizza snob, but the pizza here isn’t even scoring above a 5 on my pizza scale (that I completely just made up now.) Disclaimer - I have yet to explore Little Italy on my pizza hunt - but in general, grabbing a quick slice or a small pie pretttyyy much anywhere in Pacific Beach is just something you should pass on. **UPDATE - I just checked out Isola in La Jolla last night and it was amazing - I teared up on my first bite of pure joy. Clearly, my connection to pizza is insanely dramatic. I still stand on my consensus as a thumbs down in general for pizza in SD compared to New Haven. Frank Pepe, I miss you, man. Also shouts to Red Wagon Pizza doing New Haven style pizza RIGHT on this coast.
THE TERRIBLE DRIVERS
I swear nobody was taught what a blinker is in this city. This is no stereotype - San Diego was recently rated #5 for worst drivers in the COUNTRY. Yes, out of the 75 largest metropolitan areas, we ranked in the top 5. Buckle up, SD.
Despite the lack of BEC's and swerving my way out of car crashes, I still love it endlessly. Comment below the differences from your city, I'd love to hear them!
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Nothing is comfortable about moving across the country, and the moment you realize your independent youthful optimism will be challenged by the nay-saying haters, the better prepared you'll be.
Congrats! You've made the decision to move. Well, maybe not yet, but if you've made is this far on the blog, you're definitely thinking about it. No matter the stance, you're welcome here. So listen up, cause you're about to get the DL on how much it ACTUALLY costs to make the move across the country. Smash those piggy banks people, you're gonna need it.