Which neighborhood in Pacific Beach is best for you?

This question will go in tandem with some other questions, like your budget and how much space you need. If you’ve decided you want to live in Pacific Beach and want to know which neighborhood to choose, you will need to do some research or have a real estate agent that knows the area.

If schools in Pacific Beach are important for you, you will want to know which school is assigned to each neighborhood.

Budget will affect which neighborhood in Pacific Beach is best for you

Finding a detached house for under $1,000,000 in Pacific Beach is tough. Occasionally you can find one if you are OK with either:

  • a small piece of land.
  • a house that needs work.
  • living a bit further away from the water.
  • living on a busy street.

Most expensive neighborhood in Pacific Beach

North PB Pacific Beach Highlighted Map

The highest priced homes in Pacific Beach are oceanfront or bayfront, ranging well over $1,000,000.

The highest priced sale for a house in Pacific Beach was in April of 2021 when 3675 Ocean Front Walk sold for $11,455,000. The house was originally listed in September of 2011 for $13,478,000, which qualifies the house for the most expensive list price in PB history, but the price later dropped to $11,999,000 in October of 2018 before selling in 2021.

The second highest sale was in July of 2020 when 3701 Ocean Front Walk sold for $9,900,000. The third highest sale was 4908 Crystal Drive, which sold for $8,450,000 in December of 2017. Crystal Drive is located near Law Street beach, in North PB, and is considered to be an oceanfront property.

All 15 of the highest priced sales in Pacific Beach are waterfront properties ranging from Mission Beach, to Crown Point, to North PB.

Assuming we are not talking about waterfront property, North Pacific Beach is considered to be the luxury neighborhood of Pacific Beach. Many of these homes sit on the foot of Mt Soledad which gives them views of the ocean and bay. North Pacific Beach borders La Jolla which gives part of North PB access to La Jolla schools.

Along with the views and upscale neighbor, the majority of North Pacific Beach consists of single family houses. The high house to condo ratio gives the area a more spacious and quiet feel compared to other neighborhoods of PB.

Cheapest neighborhood in Pacific Beach

Map of East Pacific Beach

East Pacific Beach is the most affordable neighborhood of Pacific Beach. While the homes lose proximity to the water, they do gain privacy and sometimes views.

There are very few condos in East Pacific Beach and much of the area is located on Mount Soledad.

The walkability and bike-ability are greatly affected by this, but the area is close to the freeway.

The hilly terrain and lack of condos in the northern part of East Pacific Beach does provide some privacy and space. A large population of military housing occupies East PB, west of Mt. Soledad road.

Homes east of Mt. Soledad road are more affordable because they are separated from the majority of PB. This neighborhood has great views and is very close to our northern neighbor, La Jolla.

South East Pacific Beach is closer to commercial properties and will have great access to the new Trolley Station near Balboa Ave and Morena Blvd, once it’s complete.

Best neighborhoods for space in Pacific Beach

If you’re interested in space or privacy, then you will want to consider North Pacific Beach and East Pacific Beach. These neighborhoods are settled on the foot of Mount Soledad, so some parts will not have the walkability, or even bike-ability of the other areas of Pacific Beach.

If you want to easily walk or bike to the water, you will want to compare that desire to your desire for privacy.

Homes near Kate Sessions park tend to have larger pieces of land. Along with the large lot sizes, this neighborhood has less traffic, so it feels less crowded.

Best beach neighborhood in Pacific Beach

Mission Beach Pacific Beach Map Highlighted

Mission Beach has amazing proximity to the water but is extremely dense with a large amount (around 44%) of vacation rentals.

This means there are a lot of people living near you who may not have a 9-5 job, or really any normal adult priorities. However, if you like to surf, play volleyball, or just enjoy the dense, walkable lifestyle, Mission Beach could be perfect for you.

Mission Beach also has access to the longest boardwalk in San Diego and an amazing man-made strip of beach. The homes are tightly packed together with mixed zoning including some commercial spaces for stores and restaurants on Mission Blvd.

Central Mission Beach includes Belmont park which is a popular adult and child playground located right on the beach. If you like the water and want to be outside in the sun, Mission Beach could be the right neighborhood for you.

Mission Beach also has amazing access to the bay, including the Santa Clara recreation center and Mission Bay Yacht Club. Pacific Beach is one of the best neighborhoods to live in for access to the water. Although storing a boat is tricky if you live in Mission Beach because of the density, there is great access to boat lifts and ramps via the yacht club and recreation center.

Other neighborhoods in Pacific Beach

Crown Point Pacific Beach Highlighted Map

Crown Point has a shift in layout, with street blocks that run North to South instead of the traditional West to East. This layout gives the homes in this area better access to the bay that surrounds the peninsula of Crown Point. Crown Point has a mixture of houses that gives some parts a very cute “small town” feel. However, other parts of Crown Point have large condo complexes that create issues for street parking on some streets.

Central Pacific Beach has Grand Avenue and Garnet as the main thoroughfares.  If you live within a block of either, you will have amazing walkability. High pedestrian, bicycle and scooter activity can be a good or bad thing. If you go a few more blocks south of Grand, or north of Garnet you start to get more space and privacy.

It’s best to check out the areas yourself or speak with a knowledgable real estate agent. Contact us for a free consultation.

View homes for sale in Pacific Beach