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Top 10 Reasons People Move to San Diego

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relocate-best-placesA 2014 survey released by the American Planning Association reinforces something that those of us in the San Diego tourism business in particular and most San Diegans in general have always known…San Diego is the most desirable place to live in America. Sometimes locals get caught up in the day-to-day grind and forget to appreciate how wonderful San Diego is as a place to live. Almost every day I’m reminded not to take it for granted because I get to hear it from my tour guests how they all want to move to San Diego. The cost of living deters most but some of them actually have moved after joining me for a tour.

San Diego came out #1 in the survey overall, #1 among the Boomer generation, and #3 among the Millennial generation behind New York and Los Angeles.

Based on my experience living in San Diego since relocating here in 1998 and based on what I hear from guests on my San Diego tours, here are my Top 10 Reasons to Relocate to San Diego. Add your thoughts below!

10. We get so little rain in San Diego that we don’t have to be pestered by flies, mosquitoes and gnats. Some guests notice there are homes that don’t have screens over their windows and then realize they haven’t been bothered by mosquitoes and flies while visiting America’s Finest City.

9. Despite the lack of rain, we are home to more varieties of trees and plants than any other place in the United States. I love being able to show guests beautiful flower blooms in February.

8. It’s easy to travel back home to visit with friends and family. Our small San Diego airport is less than a mile from downtown, rarely has delays, and offers direct flights as far away as London and Tokyo.

7. San Diego offers all of the cultural amenities of a big city (8th most populous in the U.S.) but it still feels like you live in a small town. The City of San Diego is spread out over a large area and is made up of over 50 communities with volunteer town councils, planning groups, and park and recreation councils so it’s easy to get involved in making your community a great place to live.

view of San Diego skyline across harbor from Coronado6. As a tourist attraction, it’s easy to enjoy an inexpensive ‘stay-cation’ right here in San Diego. The San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, LEGOLAND California, the museums at Balboa Park all have annual passes that usually equal the cost of one or two visits so you can spend as little as two hours or until the kids get ornery and then had back to your favorite theme park the following weekend. Living in San Diego is the closest thing to a perpetual vacation.

5. No matter what your skills are, you can find a job in San Diego. If you need an entry-level job to work your way up, we have a large tourism industry that offers that and if you’re a rocket scientist or Nobel prize winner, you’ll probably find more of them working here than in any other city in the world. For the past few years, former President Bill Clinton has spent so much of his time to persuade other cities to do what San Diego has done to attract these bright minds that he jokes he should be on the city payroll.

4. The local landscape stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the local mountains and desert creates one of the most beautiful natural environments surrounding any city in the world. Downtown San Diego and Mission Bay may be flat but guests who join me on the Coastal San Diego Tour that takes us up to a hilltop overlooking the entire San Diego region and beyond quickly realize the rest of San Diego is made up of canyons, mountains, and seaside cliffs.

3. San Diego is rated near the top of all cities for best park systems that are accessible within a 10 minute walk of one’s home. Better yet, San Diego County is home to massive State and National Parks, 4,600 acre aquatic park, 53 miles of city beaches, 6,000 acre underwater park, and wildlife corridors that extend from our ocean to the mountains and desert that contribute to the thousands of miles of hiking trails in San Diego County.

coastal view atop mount soledad2. One of the most common unsolicited comments I get from my tour guests is how friendly everyone is in San Diego and how helpful they are. It’s one of the unexpected benefits I noticed when I relocated to San Diego making it easy to find new friends and falling head over heals for my new hometown.

1. The number one reason to relocate to San Diego is also the main reason that makes the other 9 reasons for relocating to San Diego possible…..the WEATHER! Average highs in the summer are mid to upper 70s and the average highs during the winter are mid to upper 60s. To top it off, San Diego only averages 10 inches of rain a year. Great weather puts people in a good mood. People with good moods are friendly to one another. Good weather means no weather delays at the airport, plenty of outdoor fun at the local attractions and parks, lack of mosquitoes and on and on!

Bonus Tidbit: More than half of San Diegans relocated here from outside the State of California.

If you want to learn interesting tidbits about San Diego, follow this blog or one of the Social Media links I’ve posted in the sidebar.

CrossFit San Diego

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CrossFit round 5 thrusters and burpees
I recently learned about ‘CrossFit’ training from some friends I’ve made at my local gym. They receive their workout regimen the night before from CrossFit and carry it out the following day at the gym. Just last week I learned there is a worldwide CrossFit competition where the winners receive $275,000 from Reebok!

It turns out a team from San Diego (Invictus in Point Loma) is currently ranked #1 in the world after the 4th week of competition. Competitors from around the world meet at their local gyms to perform a routine announced the previous night by CrossFit and they are ranked by how quickly they carry out their routine. Apparently, Invictus is home to 3 of the world’s top 10 individuals but even if you were to remove their scores, Invictus would still rank 3rd in the world.

I checked out what I’ll call their 5th and final regular season competition on Friday night. They had to perform 7 sets of thrusters and burpees for a total of 84 reps. Men had to use 95 lb and women 65 lb weights. It blew me away to see what these people can do. And, you can’t just judge a book by its cover because some of the smaller people totally outperformed the ones with huge muscles.

To help you get better grasp of how the competition works, here’s a glimpse of the competition I attended where there are heats of competitors racing against the clock.

The next event will be a regional final at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on May 25, 2014. I’m told tickets sell out quickly. If you want to learn more, visit the Crossfit Games website.

One of the top women’s performers on Friday night is a lady who runs Haunted San Diego Tours. (She’s the one in the foreground of the video.) You’ll see her in the photo below that Victor and I took as we plan some joint advertising of our tours.

Buses for City, Coast, and Ghost Tours

Five San Diego Resorts Make List of Top Resorts in the Continental U.S.

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There is no better place to go on a staycation during this economic downturn than San Diego.  Cut out the airfare and use the savings to spend a nice weekend in one of five San Diego resorts named in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

Leading the local award winners is The Grand Del Mar, which ranked #4 out of all resorts in the continental United States. The golf and spa resort is referred to as the modern Hearst Castle. Last year, it was also named one of the hottest new hotels in the U.S. and earned a Five Diamond rating for its restaurant, Addison, which was a first for San Diego.

Local award winners also include the Four Season Resort Aviara in Carlsbad and The Lodge at Torrey Pines, each of which holds a Five Diamond rating for Hotels.  The Four Seasons Aviara was also recognized last year for being one of North America’s best golf resorts and offering one of the nation’s top spas.

The final two San Diego resorts making the list are the Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe and L’Auberge Del Mar Resort & Spa.

So, if you were thinking about a getaway weekend with a loved one, save the $300+ per flight cost and use it to pay for two nights at one of the best resorts in the country. You’ll even find that a couple of the resorts are offering 50% off or a free third night stay. Even though they are located right here in our own backyard, their plush surroundings in a resort setting will make you feel like you are a world away.

County of San Diego Leads Nation in Achievement Awards

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Apparently we are getting our money’s worth when it comes to county government. For the fourth year in a row, San Diego County has earned more achievement awards from the National Association of Counties than any other county in the nation.

We won 39 achievement awards in 2008, 16 more than second place Los Angeles. The awards range from Performance Based Contracting for Probation Services to the use of a Road Pavement Management System.

Learn more about what makes our county and its government a unique model by watching this 12-minute video on San Diego County.

San Diego is the Most Desired City for Workers Nationwide

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San Diego is known for being a top vacation destination. New research to be published by the Human Capital Institute will show that America’s Finest City is also the most desired city for workers to land a job. The survey polled both workers and entrepreneurs nationwide.

On the bright side for those of us already living in San Diego, we can take pleasure in having achieved something that most others dream about – making a living in the most desired city in America. On the other hand, this helps prove that that we do pay a ‘sun tax’ in lower wages because there is an endless supply of workers willing to take jobs in our warm playground. As for me, I’ll accept the ‘sun tax’ anytime, especially now considering I can still wear shorts outside as we head into the winter months while our brethren in other parts of the country put on gloves and boots as they prepare to scrape ice off their windshields.

Technically, the study will show New York City is #1. But, when you dig into the numbers as the Union Tribune did in today’s paper regarding this story, you will learn that San Diego received the most 1st and 2nd place votes among survey participants. The Human Capital Institute added up the #1, #2, and #3 survey responses to determine the best cities. New York had a lot more #3 votes to catch up and surpass San Diego. In addition, enough survey respondents listed New York City as the least desirable city for a job making it #1 in that category as well. San Diego was nowhere to be found on that end of the list. So, in my book, San Diego is the most desirable city.

You can read more about the survey and view San Diego’s profile at Business Week’s web site. You might also want to read a blog series I wrote earlier this year on how San Diego became such a powerhouse in the biotech industry. It’s another story where San Diego’s desirability as a place to live and the vision of early San Diegans created a strong environment for attracting companies and jobs.

PETA Names Qualcomm #1 Vegan Friendly NFL Stadium

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Healthy San Diegans can rejoice in having the most vegetarian food options when attending a NFL football game. Cited for serving “bean burritos, veggie sushi rolls, vegetable wraps, veggie hot dogs, and Gardenburgers”, PETA has named the San Diego Chargers’ Qualcomm Stadium the #1 Vegetarian Friendly Stadium in the Country.

It’s probably no surprise that the #1 and #2 spots on PETA’s Top 5 List are in California, the other being Oakland’s Coliseum. However, you may be surprised that #3 is Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial, #4 is Minnesota’s Metrodome, and #5 is Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. Geez, where’s San Francisco’s Candlestick Park?

If you are a vegetarian, be sure to follow the PETA Files blog and if you are a Chargers fan you can follow them through their e-newsletter or on Twitter.