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Best Neighborhoods in San Diego for Families [2022] | Safe Family Neighborhoods {List, Map, Data}

Are you considering moving to San Diego? If you’re relocating with kids or planning to start a family, you’ll find San Diego is home to many excellent neighborhoods ideal for young, affluent, and/or working families. From master-planned communities that feel like the San Diego suburbs to coastal neighborhoods minutes from the beach, here are the seven best San Diego neighborhoods for families you’ll want to add to your list.

Rancho Bernardo – Self-Contained San Diego Neighborhood Packed with Family-Friendly Amenities

  • Population: 41,000
  • Average home price: $681,000 ($436/square foot)
  • Average rent: $2,268

Located in northern San Diego, the master-planned community of Rancho Bernardo is one of the top-rated San Diego neighborhoods for families thanks to its amenities and safety.

Rancho Bernardo is more than a neighborhood; it’s a master-planned community with an identity all its own. RD is a place where you can live, work, and play with shopping, healthcare, dining, recreation, and jobs within its boundaries. Best known for its canyon views, golf courses, and private parks, residents enjoy laid-back living with low crime.


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Families love Rancho Bernardo for its top-rated schools like Rancho Bernardo High School. Covering 6,500 acres, there are many small neighborhoods to explore, each with its own amenities, neighborhood parks, and club houses. The Knolls neighborhood is one of the best places to live in San Diego with kids thanks to its large yards, quiet streets, and parks you can walk to.

FIND OUT MORE: Read more about living in Rancho Bernardo to find out more about what makes this one of San Diego’s best neighborhoods for families.

Scripps Ranch – One of the Safest Family Neighborhoods in San Diego

  • Population: 36,000
  • Average home price: $637,000 ($447/square foot)
  • Average rent: $2,333

Looking for a safe place to raise a family? Scripps Ranch is one of San Diego’s safest neighborhoods and popular with families and couples. The large community suffered a devastating fire in 2003 but, thanks to its close-knit community, rebuilt quickly and planted eucalyptus trees that the community is now known for.


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The crime rate in Scripps Ranch is 74% lower than the national average with just 650 total crimes per 100k. Safety isn’t all you’ll enjoy. This family-friendly San Diego neighborhood is close to Lake Miramar with fishing and boating. Kids also love Lake View Park with a playground and green space in the neighborhood. There are major employers within the community like Lockheed Martin but working families also enjoy a short 20-minute commute to downtown SD.

Check out Scripps Ranch, San Diego homes for sale here to start your search for your dream home.

LEARN MORE: Check out our complete guide to living in Scripps Ranch, San Diego to see if this community seems right for your family. You can also check out other top picks for safe San Diego neighborhoods.

Carmel Valley – Affluent San Diego Neighborhood with Top-Rated Schools

  • Population: 55,000
  • Average home price: $1.25 million ($562/square foot)
  • Average rent: $2,866

Located near La Jolla and Del Mar, Carmel Valley is one of San Diego’s most affluent neighborhoods and popular with families and professionals working downtown. You’ll enjoy easy access to the beach and downtown San Diego plus entertainment and shopping at your fingertips.

One of the most expensive neighborhoods in San Diego, Carmel Valley offers an excellent quality of life and top-notch schools. Carmel Valley is home to Torrey Pines, Canyon Crest Academy, and other prestigious schools that are highly sought after.

You’ll find lots of smaller neighborhoods to explore in Carmel Valley like Carmel Country Highlands, close to the beaches and SeaWorld, and Pacific Highlands Ranch near Canyon Crest Academy.

FIND OUT MORE: Is living in Carmel Valley, San Diego right for your family? Find out with our comprehensive guide! Check out Carmel Valley homes for sale to get started on your home search.

Del Mar Heights – Upscale Family Friendly San Diego Neighborhood Near the Beach

  • Population: 8,500
  • Average home price: $600,000 ($559/square foot)
  • Average rent: $3,669

Looking for upscale living near the coast? Del Mar Heights is located next to Solana Beach, Torrey Pines, and Carmel Valley with a hilly terrain. You’ll enjoy the best of both worlds: canyon hikes and summer afternoons on the beach. If a walkable layout and living minutes from the beach isn’t enough, Del Mar Heights also boasts a very low crime rate and excellent schools.

Affluent families appreciate the ideal location of Del Mar Heights and its great schools within the Del Mar Union School District that was recently ranked #11 out of more than 1,000 school districts in the state. It also boasts tons of outdoor recreation aside from the beach. There are small community parks plus the Torrey-Pines State Reserve and Crest Canyon Open Space Park for hiking.

Considering life on the San Diego coast? Check out Del Mar Heights, San Diego homes for sale to get started. Note that the average home price is misleading: it’s down 61% year-over-year due to a small number of homes sold in the community. You can really expect to pay $1 to $4 million for a Del Mar Heights home.

Loma Portal – Family-Friendly Neighborhood Overlooking San Diego Bay

  • Population: 6,000
  • Average home price: $485,000 ($491/square foot)
  • Average rent: $2,063

This small neighborhood is located in Point Loma, a hilly seaside community that overlooks the San Diego Bay. Loma Portal is famous in San Diego for its elaborate neighborhood Christmas decorations and luminarias. It’s all ideally located near tons of amenities and the airport.


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As one of Point Loma’s oldest neighborhoods, you’ll find tons of historic Spanish-style homes with clay tile roofs built in the early 20th century. Families appreciate the neighborhood’s central Plumosa Park, the close-knit community, and the low crime rate.

There is one drawback to the area: very loud jet noises that most residents simply get used to and ignore. The upside is it makes the neighborhood more affordable than other areas of Point Loma.

Rancho Peñasquitos – Beautiful San Diego Neighborhood for Active Families

  • Population: 42,500
  • Average home price: $910,000 ($516/square foot)
  • Average rent: $2,298

If you love the outdoors, your family will adore Rancho Peñasquitos, a suburban neighborhood in northeast San Diego. PQ is bordered by Torrey Highlands, Rancho Bernardo, and the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve with beautiful views and lots of open space.

With its excellent schools, top-rated parks, and plenty of community events, you’ll feel like you’re in the suburbs despite being close to downtown. The preserve is a popular hiking destination with a waterfall, canyon views, a marsh, and trails. Families also appreciate the PQ Skate Park and the Canyonside Recreation Center with a playground and game courts.


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La Jolla – San Diego’s Jewel by the Sea Is Great for Families

  • Population: 40,000
  • Average home price: $1.64 million ($725/square foot)
  • Average rent: $2,357

Home to the University of California San Diego, the seaside community of La Jolla is famous for its sandstone canyons and rugged coastline. La Jolla is a top destination for family-friendly attractions. Families love spending the day at the shore exploring tide pools at Shell Beach or the stunning views from La Jolla Cove. The neighborhood is also home to the walkable La Jolla Village on the waterfront. At the Birch Aquarium, kids can enjoy close-up views of sharks and jellyfish while overlooking the Pacific Ocean.


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The excellent schools also make La Jolla one of the best San Diego neighborhoods for families. The community is home to La Jolla Country Day School, the San Diego French American School, and the Bishop’s School, a private college preparatory school and the only independent Episcopal school in the city.

LEARN MORE: Find out what living in La Jolla is like with our COMPLETE guide to this exciting seaside community.

Map of Best San Diego Neighborhoods for Families

Ready to experience all the family-friendly amenities San Diego has to offer? Once you’ve settled on the right neighborhood for your family, give Republic Moving & Storage a call at 619-000-0000 for a free moving estimate!


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