20 things to know before moving to San Diego

Visitors to America’s Finest City think about making their time here more permanent and who can blame them? With 70-degree weather year-round and a friendly, laid-back vibe, who wouldn’t want to call this place home? While it’s not all sunny skies…it still mostly is. Here are a few other things you need to know before making the move to San Diego.

1.Call It THE 805.

You may have seen “The Californians,” the SNL skit that pokes fun at SoCal freeway lingo and at first, it might sound weird adding “the” to every major highway, but from most neighborhoods, you simply will have to take “the 805 to the 8 to the 5’” to get to the beach.

2. Burritos Are a Food Group.

Burritos are a staple of the San Diego diet. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and yes, you can even get one stuffed with fries. Don’t forget to add on the fresh avocado and you have one of the local’s favorite dietary staples.

3. Good Thing We Like To Get Outside.

In order to work off all those burritos and enjoy the oh-so perfect temps, San Diegans like to exercise outdoors. Hiking, biking, surfing, you name it. If it makes us work up a sweat, it’s more fun for us to do it in nature.

 Jogging by the beach is one way to burn off those burritos when in San Diego.

Jogging by the beach is one way to burn off those burritos when in San Diego.

4. More than a Beach.

One might think of San Diego as only a beach town. While beaches do surround the city limits, the interior is made up of diverse neighborhoods that give the city character. Each area has its own vibe and culture making it easy for anyone to fit in and feel right at home.

5. Top Chefs Love SD.

Various contestants from the popular food competition, such as Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais, have opened around the city offering locals and tourists alike casual eateries, fine dining, and the occasional celeb sighting.

6. We Make Reading Fun.

If you’re strolling around any given neighborhood, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon a free lending library. Tucked away in yards, near bridges and other places unexpected, pick up a free book left by a another literary lover and feel free to drop one off in return.

7. Beer Is Proof God Wants Us to Be Happy.

And, we are some happy campers. San Diego has emerged as the premiere spot to get a craft brew. 30th Street in North Park, in particular, houses several tasting rooms and breweries within walking distance of each other giving a good excuse for an afternoon bar crawl. Not a beer lover? Talk to the bartenders, who are passionate about their craft. Together you’re sure to find a sip you like.

 Just some delectable vittles from Top Chef Richard Blais' Juniper & Ivy restaurant.

Just some delectable vittles from Top Chef Richard Blais’ Juniper & Ivy restaurant.

8. What the Heck Is Marine Layer?

It means we’re fancy when referring to fog.

9. Take a Hike.

Trails surround the city with different levels of hiking difficulty. For those who want a challenge, head to Potato Chip Rock and snap a photo atop the “name says it all” stone. First, you’ll have to trek about 4 miles straight up, but the views are worth it. Just getting started? Lace up your shoes and head to Torrey Pines. With breathtaking views of the ocean just below and a path leading right to its sands, it hardly feels like a workout.

10. When It Comes to Brunch We Mean Business.

On Sundays, we brunch. We’re not talking your standard bacon and eggs, although there’s that too, but you can choose from pancake flights, crab cake Bennys, maple bacon doughnuts and of course, bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys.

11. It’s Easy to Root for the Home Team.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em San Diego sports fans sure have fun. Take in a baseball game at Petco Park in the heart of downtown where the Padres play. If football is more your speed, cheer on the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium, but have some patience come game day as traffic gets backed up.

 For an outdoor challenge, San Diegans ascend Potato Chip Rock and pose for obligatory photos.

For an outdoor challenge, San Diegans ascend Potato Chip Rock and pose for obligatory photos.

12. Free Museum Days.

Balboa Park is full of museums, a rose garden, Japanese Friendship Garden, and an organ pavilion. The free trolley gives you a mini-tour of the area. Every Tuesday, the park offers free entrance to rotating museums for those who can prove they live here.

13. Parking Is a Pain.

Leave your SUV behind because the parking spaces here are small and scarce. On top of that, no one manages to park within the lines, so to avoid door dings, park further away.

14. The Weather Will Make You Wimpy.

You’ll start seeing people wearing scarves and hoodies in 60-degree weather and if the temps dip into the 50s, well now, that’s just downright chilly!

15. Not a Local? You’re Not Alone.

It’s rare to find a San Diego native. Most everyone else is a transplant.

16. Don’t Fear the Choppers Flying Overhead.

San Diego is a military-friendly city. Between the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, it’s not out of the ordinary to see multiple helicopters out for an afternoon ride while you’re sitting in traffic.

 Locals get free museum access at Balboa Park every Tuesday.

Locals get free museum access at Balboa Park every Tuesday.

17. Flip Flops Are the Go-To Shoe.

The name of the fashion game here is definitely casual. Flip flops aren’t just for the beach. In fact, some people have a separate pair just for the sand and a “nicer” pair for everyday wear.

18. Vegas, Baby!

A flight from San Diego to Vegas is less than an hour if you want a quick place to get away. It’s also about a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, and Palm Springs for weekend getaways that don’t require you to take any PTO.

19. We Ain’t Afraid of No Ghosts.

Several spots in San Diego are well-known for their lively spirits including the Whaley House in Old Town and Hotel Del in Coronado. Sign up for a ghostly tour or explore for yourself among the historical haunts. If you take time to ask, the staff will usually share any sightings they’ve experienced.

20. Enjoys Long Walks on the Beach.

Not just a cliche dating bio anymore.

Photo of Potato Chip Rock via Flickr user g.bjorn.

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