About Living In La Mesa
La Mesa is one of the most desired smaller cities in the San Diego area. Residents are treated to spectacular views of its natural beauty in addition to excellent weather year-round. Located northeast of downtown San Diego, transportation to and from La Mesa is easy thanks to the proximity of Interstate 8. In addition to gorgeous homes, La Mesa boasts great outdoor recreation, top schools, and fun local events. It is easy to see why the city’s motto is “Jewel of the Hills.” La Mesa Boulevard boasts various boutiques, wine bars, restaurants and antique stores to buy the latest trends and houseware items.
Real estate in La Mesa is diverse, offering a variety of styles to suit the needs of its nearly 55,000 residents. Single-family homes make up most of the residences in the city, although condos and townhome are also available. Many homes have a modern design, and some have stylistic influences from the Southwest, like adobe walls and stucco roofs. Some popular luxury amenities include large lots. Custom design and and old world flair. Homes meet everyone’s needs and budgets. Two of La Mesa’s excellent neighborhoods are Mount Helix and Downtown La Mesa, which both offer a great location near some of the city’s recreational amenities.
La Mesa has many events to entertain its residents throughout the year. Every Friday, downtown farmers markets sell the freshest local fruits and vegetables. Fun events include Oktoberfest, Flag Day Parade, and a Back to the 50s Car Show. To get everyone in the holiday spirit, Christmas in the Village is a highly anticipated event.
La Mesa boasts several shopping opportunities, only a short trip away for Del Cerro residents. Grossmont Center has upscale fashion and jewelry boutiques, plus a Macy’s. To get a pampering treatment, the center has spas and a nail salon. Reading Cinema’s screens let you catch the latest blockbusters. When you need a pick-me-up after shopping, Grossmont Center has several restaurants to choose from, including chains like Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Mexican fare can be found at Casa de Pico, which serves award-winning dishes in a fun atmosphere.
In addition to special events, the city has lots of outdoor recreation, shopping, and dining. There are lots of trails for walking and hiking to stay active. The city’s pool is a great place to cool off and relax on a hot day. Several parks have picnic areas in addition to green space to enjoy the California weather. Sun Valley Fairways has 18 holes to practice your swing amid the beautiful palm trees surrounding the golf course. In addition to traditional golfing, Sun Valley boasts disc golf, a fun twist on the traditional game.
La Mesa Village is the center of the city, and boasts many unique shops, antique stores, and restaurants. Clothing resale stores are popular here for men and women, in addition to shops with items like guitars, books, and more. Cuisines range from Mexican fare to sushi, plus specialty coffee shops. Tiramisu Trattoria serves some of the best Italian food in the area and the best service in all of San Diego. Sometimes they sing for you…so much fun.
Residents of La Mesa are served by two school districts. For most of the elementary and middle schools, La Mesa-Spring Valley School District meets students’ needs. The Grossmont Union High School District operates Helix High School. There are also several private and charter schools. For higher education, just west of the city is San Diego State University.
Did you know that La Mesa has several sets of public stairways in the Windsor Hills and Mount Nebo areas? These stairways were installed many years ago to facilitate foot traffic through the adjacent neighborhoods. La Mesa is one of the few areas in San Diego County that had the foresight to install such a system. Because the stairs are very close to homes they are often obscured by tight plantings on either side of the entrances. Many people use the secret stairs of La Mesa to get in a great workout. Their steepness provides a great challenge for some and an enjoyable experience for others.
There are 245 steps at Windsor Drive and Canterbury Drive, there is a respite due to a couple of intersections before you reach the top of Summit Drive. Upon reaching Summit Drive, you’re on one of La Mesa’s highest knolls. To continue your trek follow Summit Drive about 100 yards to a second stairway descending east. There you’ll go down 184 steps to Beverly Drive. A third set of steps are on Fairview Avenue near Alta Lane comprised of 44 ascending steps, cross Pasadena Avenue, and continue via the remaining 16 steps and a paved pathway to Vista Drive. It’s only 60 steps total!
No matter where you begin your trek you can always circle back to your starting point via surface streets such as Fairview Avenue, Beverly Drive, Vista Drive, or Pasadena Avenue. Check out the map, red lines are provided so that you may to see La Mesa’s secret stairs.