San Diego is a great option for millennials. Education and career advancement opportunities abound; their zoo has pandas (!!!); crime rates are relatively low for a city of its size; and it has some of the best weather--and beaches to enjoy it on--that you can ask for.
San Diego is also full of people—more than 1,300,000 of them, making it the largest city on this list by nearly 700,000 people. As mentioned before, we wanted a variety of city sizes, because small towns just don’t cut it for some people. But of all the big cities, why San Diego?
Well, for starters, there’s a reason why it’s a popular cruise ship port. Besides having 70 miles of beaches, the year-round average temperature fluctuates between the 50s and the 70s, depending on the season, meaning the beaches can be enjoyed year-round. Of course, if you’re missing the snow, there are ski resorts a mere one to two hours away. Or, if you’re feeling bored with America in general, the border of Mexico is only 17 miles away, and you can even take the light rail to it.
So it’s a great city for things to do, but how about the more practical things? Well, it has plenty of large sources of employment, including San Diego State University, UC San Diego, the U.S. Navy (who has a base here), Sharp HealthCare, and telecommunication equipment-making Qualcomm. But better yet, only a little more than 8 percent of the population has a long commute to work—the second best out of all the cities on this list.
Moreover, diversity is high, including nearly 29 percent of the population identifying as Hispanic or Latino, nearly 16 percent identifying as Asian, and nearly 7 percent identifying as black, making San Diego a great place to celebrate the heritage of yourself and others.
But what about kids? Well, with a fairly high population of children under the age of five (6.3 percent, to be precise), others so far seem to think it’s a pretty great place. And in terms of education and fun, while San Diego’s school are average in terms of test results, several individual schools have been nationally ranked by the U.S. News and World Report as among the best in the state and country.
Plus, while there are 33 libraries spread throughout San Diego, but the New San Diego Library takes the cake. This library is nine stories, and includes a 9,100-square-foot children’s room and a three-story domed reading room. San Diego also has 192 parks for romping around; Mission Bay Aquatic Center, which teaches thousands of locals every year how to surf, sail, paddleboard, and more; SeaWorld San Diego; and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Of course, big cities aren’t for everyone--and some of us happen to enjoy four seasons. If you fall in this group, #7 may be more your speed.