Living as a Digital Nomad in San Diego

Zack Garhart
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Our Guide to Living as a Digital Nomad in San Diego

For remote workers and freelancers, San Diego is an excellent place to stay either short or long-term. There are incredible beaches, lively bars and plenty of culture to experience in your off-time.

If you’re tied to a schedule, the workday might entail being behind your computer for most of the day. This means you still have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the wonderful sunrises and sets, as well as the vibrant nightlife. With enough time to step away for a quick lunch, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy San Diego to its fullest as a digital nomad.

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Where to Live in San Diego

San Diego offers an array of housing options. From the sandy beaches to the strip on University Avenue, there are plenty of different vibes and feels to San Diego. If you’re looking to be in the thick of things, we recommend heading up to North Park. This neighborhood is located just north of Balboa Park and provides plenty of options when it comes to dining, shopping, and nightlife. From hip and happening bars to quaint and locally-run boutiques, North Park has a bit of everything. North Park is one of our favorite places for digital nomads to set up shop for a while because of how affordable it is compared to other parts of San Diego.

If the beach is more of your vibe, check out Ocean Beach. This little slice of paradise is home to plenty of art, culture, and good food. The Farmer’s Markets make Ocean Beach one of San Diego’s more happening places on a Wednesday and are always a good time. Rent can vary in Ocean Beach, but there are useful websites like Craigslist, Kangaroom, and Hotpads when it comes to finding temporary living spots.

One more thing to consider: stay at one of our hostels in San Diego. We have locations in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Little Italy. Whether you’re looking for a private room or a bed in one of our mixed dorms, there are affordable options for staying in San Diego. Students also receive discounts on long-term stays! Inquire with our staff for more information on different packages and rates for your stay.

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Getting Around San Diego

On your off time, you’ll want to explore many of the parks and beaches in San Diego. There are plenty of museums, galleries, and concert halls to check out, as well. With a range of activities to do during the evening, San Diego offers digital nomads plenty of opportunities to experience the city like a local. Now, the question is: how do I get around San Diego?

One of the best qualities of San Diego is its walkability. We recommend getting a room at one of our hostels in Mission Beach and then walking on down to Pacific Beach for a more lively experience. Pacific Beach is where people go to party and relax, so it’s certainly worth prioritizing during your time off from work. San Diego has busses that run from downtown to both Pacific and Mission Beach, as well as Ocean Beach. Accessing different parts of the city is also possible by trolley. The trolley will take you all the way down to Mexico if you’re looking to experience another country while staying in San Diego.

If you’re staying in San Diego for an extensive amount of time, consider renting a car so you can get to places like Kerney Mesa, Torrey Pines, and La Jolla. These neighborhoods all offer something a little different but are definitely worth checking out during your off-time.

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Cafes & Co-Working Spaces in San Diego

If you prefer to do your work at a cafe or coffee shop, San Diego has plenty of great spots where you can spend your day working while you enjoy good food and tasty beverages. Some of our favorite coffee shops include James Coffee and Bird Rock Roasters. As for cafes with good food and a nice ambiance, we recommend Holy Matcha in North Park, The Template in Ocean Beach, and The Living Room Cafe in La Jolla.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to network with professionals in your field and other digital nomads, look no further than places like WeWork and Gather Cowork. Located in the fun and happening Hillcrest neighborhood, Gather Cowork is a hub for digital nomads who prefer to do their work in a common space with plenty of amenities and perks. From the nitro cold brew on tap to the whiteboards, Gather Cowork has plenty of enticing offerings for those seeking a community feel for their day’s work. Information on memberships for both Gather Cowork and WeWork can be found on their websites.

Unwinding After Work

Whether you have the flexibility to find time during the work day to kick off for a few hours or are restricted to a firm schedule, San Diego offers plenty of places and ways to unwind during the day. If dive bars are your thing, we’ve got you covered there. Otherwise, San Diego has plenty of nice eateries, taprooms, and bars to choose from. For pool players, we recommend checking out Sunshine Company Saloon in Ocean Beach, or True North Tavern in North Park. Both spots are great for catching a sports game while you get in a few games of pool. Both also have extensive tap lists and various spirits to help you unwind.

No matter what time of day you’re looking to grab a bite, San Diego’s diverse food scene has a little something for everyone. Donuts are a great way to start the day, or finish it! We love the selection at Donut Bar, which has been featured by national outlets and is considered to be San Diego’s best place to grab a donut. Grabbing a box means you can snack on these flaky delights before sitting down at the computer or indulging in a late-night snack when that sweet tooth kicks in.

One of our favorite gems in San Diego is Kerney Mesa, where you’ll find a handful of Korean BBQ joints. Many of them are all-you-can-eat, giving you a perfect finish to a long day of work. Some of our recommendations include Olleh Convoy Korean BBQ and Kogi Korean BBQ. With so many options to choose from, we suggest spending a few days trying out the different Korean BBQ spots in Kerney Mesa. You won’t be disappointed!

Want a full look at San Diego and more recommendations for your visit? Watch this video!

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