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San Diego is so packed with great beaches, top eateries, landmarks, clubs and entertainment venues that choosing a neighborhood to visit can feel impossible. The trick is to consider which areas have the most attractions that appeal to you, and then focus your search in that region. Are you a foodie? Love carnivals? Want to learn to surf during your vacation? The following is a list of some fantastic neighborhoods to consider when renting a San Diego beach house for your vacation.

  1. Mission Beach

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    Mission Beach is a unique stretch of land between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay. Popular with young couples and 20-something-age tourists, the atmosphere here is vibrant and energetic. If you’re looking for nightlife, bars and a club scene, renting a house or hotel room in Mission Beach might be perfect for you. By day you can surf, swim, scuba dive, sport fish or visit Belmont Park for a spin on the roller coaster.

  2. Ocean Beach

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    The community of Ocean Beach is very relaxed, with a chill hippy vibe to it. This just might be the best place in all of San Diego to eat, thanks to a huge variety of top-quality restaurants, bakeries and cafés. If you’re in the mood for Italian, American grill, Mediterranean, Mexican, seafood or Chinese, you’re in luck. For a nice lunch, check out some of the art galleries-cum-cafés along Newport Avenue.

  3. Pacific Beach

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    This beach community is home to the city’s tiki and dive bars. Enjoy the sun, sand and waves. Then, head towards town for amazing cupcakes, cocktails, seafood and Mexican food. This part of San Diego is both beautiful and affordable, with plenty of private vacation home rentals and resort hotels to choose from.

  4. Downtown and Gaslamp Quarter

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    For people whose vacations don’t hinge on there being a beach just a few steps or blocks away, San Diego’s Downtown and Gaslamp Quarter offer more theaters, music venues, comedy clubs and hot dining options than any other part of the city. Visitors who are looking for as much California culture as possible enjoy staying in this neighborhood.

  5. La Jolla

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    The Village of La Jolla has the atmosphere of a smaller city, but still offers easy access to downtown. This area makes a great option for families. The waters around La Jolla Children’s Pool are calm, so kids can splash around and snorkel. If you want to see a variety of local fish and other coastal wildlife, check out La Jolla Cove and La Jolla tide pools.

  6. Imperial Beach

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    Imperial Beach is a popular spot for surfers, so this is an excellent place to base yourself if you want to hit the waves. You’ll find a wide variety of surf shops and lessons around Boca Rio if you want to learn. Plus, since the neighborhood is right next to the Mexican border, this is a wonderful place to grab some delicious Mexican food.

  7. Torrey Pines

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    If you’d prefer to get away from the busy atmosphere of the city center at the end of the day, look for a vacation rental in Torrey Pines. This area has hiking trails in Torrey Pines State Reserve, which you shouldn’t miss during your San Diego trip. You can also easily head south to the beaches around La Jolla or take the highway into the city for more sightseeing opportunities.

  8. Encinitas

    Homes and businesses in soft pastel colors line streets that are filled with bohemian shops and restaurants. Access to both Moonlight State Beach and Swami’s State Beach make Encinitas a favorite vacation spot for visitors who love catching a few waves or checking out the surfers while experiencing some of the laid-back atmosphere that makes this area of California an ideal vacation spot. Encinitas offers guests private villas with ocean views, cute single-story cottages and condos designed to make the most of the incredible California sunsets.