Q&A: What are the best areas in San Diego as far as schools and family friendliness?

Question by brownee617: What are the best areas in San Diego as far as schools and family friendliness?
We’re moving to San Diego from Nashville next summer and I want to get a head start on finding a good area with great schools and a family friendly environment. We’re middle class in TN, so i’m not sure what that equates to in California (poor? LOL), but our main goal is to have a great school system….

Best answer:

Answer by sd_beach_bum
This is probably a more subjective question, as different people have different ideas about what is good and family-friendly. Generally speaking, the best schools and safe and ‘family-friendly’ neighborhoods will be found in the north end of the city — Rancho Peñasquitos, Scripps Ranch, Tierrsanta, Carmel Valley and Del Mar Heights. Not coincidentally, these are also some of the most expensive neighborhoods, in terms of real estate values — but you get what you pay for.

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3 Comments → “Q&A: What are the best areas in San Diego as far as schools and family friendliness?”


  1. lann

    Mar 01, 2013

    I like La Mesa, it’s got great schools and the housing market isn’t extremely expensive like some neighborhoods. Good luck!


  2. Anne G

    Mar 01, 2013

    You should look at Poway, which is going to be the most affordable area among the best school districts. It’s more conservative than Del Mar/Carmel Valley or Solana Beach, which are the other top school districts. Carlsbad comes next.


  3. elizabeth k

    Mar 01, 2013

    I relocated from Michigan and asked the same question on Yahoo Answer.

    I live in Rancho Penasquitos so I have a bias. I had the same desire for good schools. I have a much much smaller house but I didn’t want to spend my life’s saving on a great house with sub-par schools.

    Check out GreatSchools.net See how your school ranks now (or the schools in the area you live in) and compare it to other schools.

    Lesson 1- San Diego is very big place. When people talk about Scripps or Rancho Penasquitos they are talking about areas of the city itself that kinda have their own identity.

    Lesson 2- There are a lot of rich people out here. So when someone tells you “these are the best schools” check the housing prices in the area. I would sign up with Zip Reality or another site. Check out each area then type in the zip to see if you can afford to live there. A person with 2 Million to spend has a different idea of a good school then a person with 500,000.

    People have been steering you to some great middle class areas that are know for great schools.

    My husband works in La Jolla when I first looked at La Jolla prices I cried. Literally cried. Then my Mom said “you don’t live in La Jolla honey” oh.

    Lesson 3 -With gas at $ 4.65 find out if you can where people in your household are going to work and of course see if you can live nearby.

    I personally checked out the Poway Unified School district. I looked in surrounded areas. To us it came down to price, schools, and what our idea of a house is. Is a condo a house? Do we need grass?

    Also our home in one income but we had my husband ask around at work where people lived. Sometimes it was areas where we would have to be a two income family. Sometimes people who relocated told him where they were and what they didn’t like about it. a huge help.

    Like I knew I was alright with living farther from the ocean and my husband having a shorter commute.

    Lesson 4- People in CA rent. I found that really strange. In Michigan those people who rent are the ones who can’t afford houses. (for the most part) Here I think people rent for lots of reasons including the housing market. So you may want to check that out. I think a rental agent cost a couple hundred dollars. But you can do it on your own too. Rental homes in awesome areas not at all what I pictured.

    We bought and our house price dropped a lot. But I couldn’t find a rental to save my life when we looked. They say now is a great time to buy but I heard that too. How long do you plan on being here?

    Lesson 5- You are going to love it here. I miss my family but it really is a very open friendly city. It was a bit of a culture shock. CA is a little different. But it is a very cool laid back family friendly place.

    Good Luck


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