Jan 22, 2020 - Heather Dewis
It's California's best-kept secret: it's possible to live here with a great tech job, without the soaring living costs of other tech hubs. San Diego's tech, life sciences, and entrepreneurial scenes are coming into their own, offering competitive tech salaries in a city with better cost of living (and frankly, much better weather).
We're biased, but it's pretty easy to agree that San Diego sunsets are the best in the world. Science even says so (kind of). Bring a blanket and settle down anywhere along the coast, from Coronado to the cliffs at Torrey Pines, for a colorful show. Maybe you'll even catch the famed green flash.
Companies everywhere like to boast a work hard/play hard culture. Viasat's Gary Lovely says it best: "[Before San Diego,] I didn't realize that work-life balance was something that existed. Coming from the Bay Area, everyone always preached about it, but no one actually lived it." In San Diego, teams actually live it. At Viasat, he blows off steam at the company's basketball and beach volleyball courts...even in January. And from in-office slides to catered lunches, golf breaks in January to lunch breaks at Petco Park, employees across the region do life-changing work while taking care of themselves.
Imagine commuting in Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, or New York. Now let your heart rate return to normal by thinking about a 20-minute(ish) commute through San Diego. Wide roads, a great freeway system, and a new trolley line means that you can live somewhere both affordable and close to work.
There's something for everyone in San Diego, dogs included. Dogs are welcome at many outdoor malls across the region, and thanks to the great weather, you can find pups chilling outside with their owners at nearly every restaurant with patio seating. Plus, off-leash dog beaches in Del Mar and Ocean Beach mean your best friend can enjoy the surf while you make new friends.
To truly experience San Diego, start thinking of it as a region instead of a city. With 28 different neighborhoods (and even more underrated gems between them), a weekend here might mean picking apples in Julian, catching waves in Ocean Beach, and enjoying the nightlife downtown. San Diego means you can have an adventure or settle down, without settling for predictability.
Whatever you want out of life, San Diego is the best place to find like-minded friends. Super into tech? There's a group for that. Can't get enough of corgis? Join San Diego's Corgi Meetup. Just take it from San Diego: Life. Changing. ambassador Di Le, who loves the startup and race-car driving communities she found here.
San Diego is home to 96,000 small businesses, or 98% of all regional firms. For book lovers, shops like Verbatim Books and Mysterious Galaxy are must-visits, and coffee fans will find the perfect cup in downtown La Jolla.
If Los Angeles is the city of dreamers, San Diego is the city of doers. With a supportive startup community, affordable resources, and a reputation for innovation excellence, San Diegans are in the perfect place to build companies and communities. Plus, we've got the rankings to prove it. The city is consistently lauded for its innovation and startups, and in 2018, Inc. Magazine ranked San Diego one of the five best cities for entrepreneurs.
They're everywhere in San Diego: the people and companies making the world a better place. From Viasat's efforts to connect people in rural areas to internet, to Lytx's tech saving lives around the world, to Pfizer's cancer research, any job you find here is bound to be both challenging and meaningful.