Updated 5/26/2022

San Diego County is mostly urbanized in the western half and has many suburbs to the south, east, and north. It covers a very large area and has a lot to offer any business that resides here. To start, it sits along a stunning coastline and has near-perfect weather year-round. The region is known for its immediacy to Mexico and has a variety of highly desirable neighborhoods to choose from. The county has numerous attractions and draws more than 30 million visitors each year, contributing to its large tourism industry. In addition to tourism, the economy is primarily comprised of biotechnology, research and manufacturing, military, and wireless technology production. San Diego is easily accessible via its international airport, coastal train system, and Downtown Red Trolley line.

The key features for businesses in San Diego include:

  1. San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second largest in California.
  2. It has become the 7th best city for tech startups in the US and 6th fastest growing technology job market.
  3. The area`s numerous universities and Qualcomm generate smart talent and the arrival of Apple, Amazon, and Walmart Labs have expanded the talent pool.
  4. The presence of the University of California, San Diego and affiliated UCSD Medical Center, has made the area a major center for research in biotechnology. Much of the city`s venture capital funding goes to life sciences and biotech businesses.
  5. The city has a lower cost office space market compared to LA and San Francisco with the same great quality of life.
  6. San Diego`s deep water port contributes to it being a hub for international trade.

North County

What does North County have to offer?

Situated just 45 minutes from Downtown San Diego, this area is home to some of the most sought-after communities in the state including Encinitas, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Carlsbad, and Rancho Santa Fe. Residents of this area enjoy many outdoor activities and laid-back beach culture.  

What businesses are located here?

Key industries include healthcare, building & design, and biotechnology with its innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurial activity on the rise.

What are the transport links?

The area is located north of where the 805 and 5 freeways merge and are accessible via the Coaster train or Sprinter rail.

Downtown San Diego

What does this area have to offer?

Downtown San Diego is the central business district of the entire county and a major entertainment hub with a high concentration of restaurants, clubs, bars and shopping areas. Not to mention Petco Park, home of the MLB`s San Diego Padres, the San Diego Bay, the historic Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, and the San Diego Convention Center.

What type of businesses are in this area?

The area`s industry consists of biotech, life sciences, military and defense, tourism, international trade, and tourism.

What are the transit links?

Downtown is served by the San Diego Trolley and the Coaster commuter train linking downtown with northern San Diego County.

Balboa Park - Hillcrest

What is this area known for?

Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in North America and a major hub for culture, arts, and community gatherings. The park is known for its ornate Spanish – Renaissance architecture and is home to museums and performing arts venues, 1,200 acres of beautiful gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

Hillcrest, just to the northwest of Balboa Park, is a newly gentrified, dense urban community known for its welcoming vibe and stands as San Diego's LGBTQ+ central hub.

What are some of the main attractions?

Balboa Park is home to the historic Old Globe Theatre and the world-renowned San Diego Zoo.

The main landmark in Hillcrest is the enormous rainbow Pride flag off the main thoroughfare of University Avenue, offering an array of unique shops, diverse restaurants, bars, and coffee houses. This energetic stretch also hosts one of San Diego`s largest farmers' markets every Sunday.


Hillcrest is a very walkable neighborhood but, is served by State Route 163 at the exits of University Avenue, Washington Street and Robinson Avenue. Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Avenues connect Hillcrest to Downtown San Diego through Park West and Bankers Hill. There is a bus service connecting to Downtown, as well as to the Mission Valley trolley stops.

Old Town San Diego and Mission Valley

What are these areas known for?

This neighborhood is the birthplace of San Diego and is known for the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park which gives visitors a taste of San Diego’s culture. Here you can see over a hundred speciality stores, many restaurants, art galleries, and a variety of historic sites. Some other attractions are the Bazaar del Mundo, Old Town Market, the Whaley House, Fiesta de Reyes, and Presidio Park.

The mainly residential community of Mission Hills is an affluent neighborhood in San Diego that offers amazing views of the city and San Diego Bay. It is situated just west of Hillcrest, south of Mission Valley, and East of Old Town, just a quick walk to the many popular restaurants, shops, and museums. Some staples of the area are The Cinema Under the Stars at 4040 Goldfinch Street and Pioneer Park where many events are hosted, like the summertime Concerts in the Park.

What types of businesses are located here?

There are several major San Diego corporations that call the Mission Valley area home such as United Technologies, Kaiser, Eaton, United Health Group, Paychex, and Verizon.


If you are not driving to Old Town, you can easily take public transportation via bus, taxi, the Coaster commuter train and the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Trolley (511), which all stop at the Old Town Transit Center.

Accessibility to Mission Valley is easy with the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Green Line (511), which travels through the heart of Mission Valley making stops at Old Town, Morena/Linda Vista, Fashion Valley Transit Center, Hazard Center, Mission Valley Center, Rio Vista, Fenton Parkway and Qualcomm Stadium where the San Diego State Aztecs play.

Point Loma and Ocean Beach

What are these areas known for?

Point Loma is on the tip of the peninsula across the San Diego Bay and close to the San Diego International Airport. The southern tip of Point Loma is Federal Land and includes the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, the Naval Base, and Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. North of Point Loma lies the quintessential Southern California beach town of Ocean Beach known for its charming small-town appeal and amazing beach. 

What type of businesses are in this area?

The major military facilities, including Naval Base Point Loma, are the main economic driver in this town. Other contributors are local retail and marine recreation such as yachting and deep-sea fishing. The economy of Ocean Beach is dominated by the independent retail businesses that make up the well-known Newport Avenue.

Mission Bay Park, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach

What are the attractions in this area?

Mission Bay Park is a 4,600-acre aquatic playground of parks, beaches, marinas, hotels and 27 miles of beautiful coastline. It is home to Seaworld and Belmont Amusement Park. The area is also home to the highly sought-after seaside communities of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach which feature a 3-mile boardwalk, beachfront shops, bars and eateries.

What are the industries in this area?

The Mission Bay, Mission Beach, and Pacific Beach area of San Diego is primarily driven by its tourism and hospitality industries. The area has numerous visitors coming each year to enjoy the world-famous Seaworld and popular beaches.

La Jolla

What does this town offer?

La Jolla is part of the City of San Diego but, is its own separate community and is considered to be one of the most prestigious residential addresses in the world. Surrounded by ocean bluffs and beaches, this town`s popular attraction is the coastal Mediterranean-style Village of La Jolla, which offers an array of museums, shops, hotels, and eateries. 

What are some other attractions in La Jolla?

La Jolla has several scenic beaches including La Jolla Shores, La Jolla Cove and Children's Pool. You can also find the Birch Aquarium, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Scripps Park.

What type of businesses are in the area?

La Jolla is home to many educational institutions and a variety of businesses including software, finance, real estate, bioengineering, medical practice and scientific research. The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is located here, as are the Salk Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Scripps Research Institute, and the headquarters of the National University.

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