When throwing around the idea of moving, we did a lot of research on where might be best for our family. Being a Marine Corps family for so long, we never had a choice in where we wanted to raise a family. Once that part of our life was over, we knew we wanted to plant roots somewhere… but the question was, where?
Since we were in Georgia at the time, we thought about staying nearby and moving to South Carolina, North Carolina or Tennessee. We loved the Smoky Mountains but, while the cost of living was affordable, finding a job for my husband proved difficult. We’d also still be far away from family as we had been for five years.
I kept feeling an urge to move back home. The problem was, I was raised in one of the most expensive places to live in the country. Still, as scary as that was, something just felt right about it. I lost my mother much too young, and lost my grandmother while we were living in Georgia. Living far from home made me realize how important it is to be near family, especially when raising young children.
WHY WE DECIDED ON SAN DIEGO:
After a long discussion, we set our sights on San Diego. Here’s why:
- Family – this was our top motivating factor in deciding to move back. We’d have family like grandparents and aunts close by, a village of people to spend time with our children and love them–not just once or twice a year, but year-round.
- Outdoor activities for families – there is so much to do for families in San Diego and all of Southern California. You can spend a day at the beach, snowboarding, or horseback riding–or all three in the same week!
- Job opportunity – while the cost of living in San Diego is high, the job opportunities are much better than the other cities we considered. For my desire to expand my business and connect with other bloggers, San Diego and Southern California both offer a huge community.
EXPLORING OUR NEW CITY:
If you are thinking of calling San Diego home or just planning a visit, here are a few of our family-friendly favorite places you should put on your must-see list:
- Legoland California (Carlsbad, CA) – Legoland is literally just miles from our new home and if you are a San Diego resident with young kids, buying a yearly pass is a must! You can head into the park in the morning, let the kids get out some energy, then head home by lunchtime. Or, make a quick afternoon visit after school. The yearly passes are some of the cheapest I have seen for an amusement park and the park is one of the easiest I’ve had to navigate through.
- The Flower Fields (Carlsbad, CA) – Not far from Legoland, the Carlsbad Flower Fields are open from March through May. For a low entry fee, you can stroll through rows of vibrant ranunculus. Toward the end of April you can also hop on over to the strawberry field down the road and pick your own strawberries!
- Corvette Diner (Liberty Station – San Diego, CA) – Take a step back in time to the days of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe at this 50s-themed diner with an actual Corvette inside! Everything about this restaurant is authentically 50s and is such a fun environment for kids, especially for birthdays and events.
- Seaport Village (San Diego, CA) – One of our favorite places to frequent on the weekends is Seaport Village. We love strolling along the San Diego waterfront, browsing the quaint shops, and finishing off the day with an ice cream cone from Ben & Jerry’s while watching the sunset.
- Balboa Park (San Diego, CA) – Talk about a sight to see! Balboa Park has been a part of San Diego since 1933. The park is full of museums, walking trails, gardens, activities and events year round. Not to mention it is within walking distance to the San Diego Zoo and has some of the most amazing Spanish architecture in all of San Diego.
Narrowing it down to just five favorites was hard, there’s just so much that San Diego has to offer! Don’t believe me? Just Google “San Diego for families.”
If San Diego may not be your city of choice, I encourage you to get out and explore your own hometown city whether it is new to you or you have lived there your entire life. Sometimes all it takes is getting in the car and driving with no destination to fall in love with your city all over again. Love where you live. – Jennifer