Safest Neighborhoods to live in San Diego

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Top 7 Safest Neighborhoods to live in San Diego with the Best quality of life – 2023

Home to a population of approximately 1.4 million people, San Diego is known for its top-rated schools, low property crime, hiking trails and beautiful beaches. With its mild year-round climate and over 100 neighborhoods, San Diego has something for everyone.

Are you looking for a list of the best neighborhoods in San Diego where you can feel comfortable and secure? MovingWaldo has got you covered! Here are the lists of the Top 7 Safest Neighborhoods in San Diego with the Best Quality of Life as of 2023.


Our safety ranking methodology is based on a careful analysis of the following criteria: the violent crime rate, the property crime rate, and the total crime rate (the sum of both property and violent crime rates). Crime statistics come from the City of San Diego’s Annual Crime Reports by neighborhood. Based on the report, it is the total crime per 1000 people and the reporting period from January 2022 through December 2022.

The “Best quality of life” aspect is measured based on feedback from real people who have moved to this area in our database or real people from trusted online forums. More specifically, we look for positive feedback on job opportunities, quality of education, quality of healthcare, feeling of safety, public transportation, the environment (cleanliness), as well as the availability of recreational facilities and parks.

Featured in this article

1. Rancho Encantada

Very safe

Rancho Encantada, San Diego
  • Crime rate: 6.22 crimes per 1,000 people 

Rancho Encantada is our top pick for the safest neighborhood in San Diego; it is widely recognized for its private and tranquil environment. Locals praise the area’s country-town vibe while still being centrally located to all of San Diego County. 

The neighborhood is close to parks, including Stonebridge Park and Sycamore Canyon Park, which provide plenty of outdoor activities. 

For safety, it has a total of 6.22 crimes per 1,000 people. 

SD Crime Report (2022)

Rancho Encantada, San Diego, CA

2. Alta Vista

Southern California vibe

Alta Vista, San Diego
  • Crime rate: 7.47 crimes per 1,000 people

Alta Vista is a small neighborhood between Paradise Hills and Valencia Park. The area is known for its vast green spaces and scenic views, ideal for residents who are nature lovers. 

Alta Vista is a short distance from downtown San Diego with a 22-minute drive and 50 minutes via transit, making it easily accessible for all residents’ needs.

For safety, it has a total of 7.47 crimes per 1,000 people, making it a safe neighborhood. 

SD Crime Report (2022)

Alta Vista, San Diego, CA

3. Clairemont Mesa West

Various scenic hiking trails

Clairemont Mesa West, San Diego
  • Crime rate: 11.32 crimes per 1,000 people

Clairemont Mesa West is a central neighborhood close to San Diego and a 19-minute drive to the San Diego International Airport. The neighborhood offers its residents easy access to the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, although many locals prefer to use their bike to get around.

Clairemont Mesa West is also known for its hiking trails like Rose Creek Trail, Tecolote Canyon Natural Park and La Jolla Trail. The area has many restaurants with Asian cuisine, along with bars and cafés. 

For safety, it has a total of 11.32 crimes per 1,000 people, adding a sense of security to the residents.

 SD Crime Report (2022)

Clairemont Mesa West, San Diego, CA

4. Black Mountain Ranch

Near 2,352 acres of hills, ridges and canyons

Black Mountain Ranch, San Diego
  • Crime rate: 12.91 crimes per 1,000 people

Located to the North of San Diego, Black Mountain Ranch offers its residents amenities for a relaxing weekend after a long week of work, like The Santaluz Golf Club and The Crosby Club at Rancho Santa Fe.

The neighborhood is surrounded by 2,352 acres of hills, ridges and canyons, perfect for anyone who enjoys being in the company of nature. 

Overall, Black Mountain Ranch’s attractive setting makes it an ideal residential area for individuals and families seeking a premium living experience in San Diego.

For safety, it has a total of 12.91 crimes per 1,000 people, making it a safe place to live. 

SD Crime Report (2022)

Black Mountain Ranch, San Diego, CA

5. Miramar Ranch North

Proximity to parks and elementary schools

Miramar Ranch North, San Diego
  • Crime rate: 13.32 crimes per 1,000 people

Miramar Ranch North is a perfect family-friendly neighborhood surrounding nearby highly rated public schools. Whether you are looking for a private middle school like Fusion Academy or a daycare for a toddler, Miramar Ranch North offers a variety of options. 

The location provides easy access to major highway 15, and within the neighborhood, you’ll find a serene suburban atmosphere including parks and playgrounds like Miramar Overlook Park. 

For safety, it has a total of 13.32 crimes per 1,000 people.

SD Crime Report (2022)

Miramar Ranch North, San Diego, CA

6. Bay Terraces

Community center for all age groups

Safest Neighborhoods in San Diego; Bay Terraces
  • Crime rate: 15.73 crimes per 1,000 people

Bay Terraces is an urban neighborhood with a 37-minute drive to Downtown San Diego. The area has benefits for all age groups including the Bay Terraces Community & Senior Center where locals can enjoy activities like line dancing, dessert classes, yoga, senior crafts and bingo! 

The neighborhood is close to parks, including Bay Terraces Park and athletic fields like the Pen Athletic Field, which provide plenty of outdoor activities. 

For safety, it has a total of 15.73 crimes per 1,000 people, making it a safe place to live.

SD Crime Report (2022)

Bay Terraces, San Diego, CA

7. Carmel Valley

Close to major universities in San Diego

Safest Neighborhoods in San Diego; Carmel Valley
  • Crime rate: 16.75 crimes per 1,000 people

Carmel Valley is located to the North of San Diego, California, and minutes away from the beach of the Pacific Ocean. The area is close to San Diego’s major universities like the University of California, San Diego which is a 16-minute drive and the University of San Diego which is a 24-minute drive! Not to mention, it’s proximity and accessibility to Downtown San Diego.

Carmel Valley is known for its natural beauty and is an ideal location if you  enjoy very warm weather during the summer. 

In terms of safety, it has a reported crime rate of 16.75 crimes per 1,000 people, making the neighborhood feel secure.

SD Crime Report (2022)

Carmel Valley, San Diego, CA


San Diego is a great choice for anyone looking to prioritize safety, one of the most crucial aspects when moving and searching for a neighborhood. While other factors can be negotiated, safety and property protection cannot be ignored. Our selection of the top 7 safest neighborhoods in San Diego with the best quality of life in 2023 might help you in your final decision. 

Choosing a suitable neighborhood takes careful consideration, so review this list carefully before making any decisions. 

Are you planning to move soon? Learn about the best San Diego movers!

The expert


Mathieu Paquette

The author of this article also acts as MovingWaldo’s booking agent. Matt, is an accomplished relocation specialist with over 6 years of experience in the industry. Matt has earned a CAM certification (Canadian Association Of Movers), Tariff Certification (Atlas Van Lines), and has an extensive business background. Before handing off everything you own, do your due diligence… or let Matt do it for you.

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