The 10 Best Oceanside Suburbs To Live In For 2024

The best Oceanside suburbs are Del Mar and Solana Beach for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

While big cities like Oceanside offer culture, cuisine, and charisma, they also deliver terrible traffic, towering expenses, and a taxing quality of life.

With that in mind, we wanted to uncover the best suburbs around Oceanside. These burbs have all of the benefits of being near Oceanside without actually having to be in the city.

Of course, not all suburbs of Oceanside are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. Using Saturday Night Science, we delve into the factors that matter most, from commutes and housing costs to community vibes, to help you uncover the perfect suburban spots in the Greater Oceanside area.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

What’s the best suburb of Oceanside? Del Mar ranks as the best suburb of Oceanside for 2024 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of Del Mar, you’re probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We’ll tell you what makes each of these 10 Oceanside ‘burbs better than the rest–but first, a bit about our methodology.

Feel free to check out some more reading about California:

The 10 Best Oceanside Suburbs To Live For 2024

Del Mar, CA

Source: Wikipedia User No machine-readable author provided. Intersofia assumed (based on copyright claims). | GFDL
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Population: 3,956
Median Income: $185,335
Unemployment Rate: 2.0%
Poverty Rate: 1.7%
More on Del Mar: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Del Mar is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Oceanside area. We’ll tell you the good about “Awesome Del Mar.”

Everyone here is rich; families average $185,335 a year, which is the highest in the Oceanside region. And only 1.98% are out of work. Homes average more than $3,618,018 each.

Solana Beach, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Db9023 | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 12,946
Median Income: $137,647
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 4.8%
More on Solana Beach: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Solana Beach is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Oceanside for 2024.

It ranks 3rd for incomes in the area and only 4.66% of residents lack insurance, good for 6th best.

Dana Point, CA

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 33,025
Median Income: $119,632
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 6.2%
More on Dana Point: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Here in Dana Point, it’s really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you’ll see in the Oceanside metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Dana Point.

San Clemente, CA

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Population: 64,232
Median Income: $134,730
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Poverty Rate: 5.6%
More on San Clemente: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

San Clemente ranks as the 4th best suburb of Oceanside for 2024.

You won’t find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in San Clemente and the schools are some of the best around.

Encinitas, CA

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Population: 61,942
Median Income: $142,506
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Poverty Rate: 7.1%
More on Encinitas: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Coming in as the fifth best is Encinitas.

Encinitas gets kudos for having the 3rd most expensive homes in the Oceanside area, where houses sell for an average of $1,808,679. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Carlsbad, CA

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Population: 114,745
Median Income: $134,139
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Poverty Rate: 6.9%
More on Carlsbad: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Carlsbad is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here’s why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 5.99%.

According to online reports, Carlsbad is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Oceanside area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Poway, CA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 48,737
Median Income: $135,605
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Poverty Rate: 5.9%
More on Poway: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Poway.

Poway schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it’s only 23.2 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

San Juan Capistrano, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Billy Hathorn | CC BY-SA 3.0
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Population: 35,099
Median Income: $123,474
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Rate: 9.1%
More on San Juan Capistrano: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

San Juan Capistrano is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 8.62% of people lack insurance, good for 12th in the area.

San Marcos, CA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 94,360
Median Income: $99,413
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Rate: 9.7%
More on San Marcos: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Is ‘Everything Better In San Marcos?’


It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it’s really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Temecula, CA

Source: Public domain
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Population: 110,114
Median Income: $111,881
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Poverty Rate: 7.8%
More on Temecula: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

And rounding out the top ten for 2024 is Temecula.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It’s far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

Methodology: How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Oceanside for 2024

Figuring out the best suburbs around Oceanside was simple. We used Saturday Night Science to find things people like about living in the suburbs and then locate the suburbs with those things.

We analyzed the newest American Community Survey data for 2018-2022 to research each suburb. We decided upon the following criteria:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college-educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Oceanside.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 3,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 16 suburbs to evaluate around Oceanside.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 16 in each category, where 1 was the “best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality-of-life index.

Finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index, the “Best Suburb near Oceanside.” We’re lookin’ at you, Del Mar.

This result may differ from our state-wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a more extensive selection of suburbs.

We updated the data for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking the best Oceanside suburbs. Skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Summary: Welcome to the Best Oceanside ‘Burbs of 2024

We said it once, and we’ll say it again–life in the big city isn’t for everyone. At least not all the time.

The best suburbs of Oceanside are .

So if you’re craving the amenities of a larger city like Oceanside but don’t want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might be for you.

For more California reading, check out:

Table: Best Oceanside Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Average Home Price
1 Del Mar, CA 3,956 $185,335 $3,618,018
2 Solana Beach, CA 12,946 $137,647 $2,030,109
3 Dana Point, CA 33,025 $119,632 $1,541,691
4 San Clemente, CA 64,232 $134,730 $1,564,490
5 Encinitas, CA 61,942 $142,506 $1,808,679
6 Carlsbad, CA 114,745 $134,139 $1,449,918
7 Poway, CA 48,737 $135,605 $1,140,886
8 San Juan Capistrano, CA 35,099 $123,474 $1,177,462
9 San Marcos, CA 94,360 $99,413 $920,693
10 Temecula, CA 110,114 $111,881 $727,416
11 Murrieta, CA 111,899 $106,925 $661,427
12 San Diego, CA 1,383,987 $98,657 $955,846
13 Escondido, CA 151,114 $77,554 $810,764
14 Vista, CA 98,392 $88,715 $828,494
15 Lakeland, CA 114,404 $58,290 $292,407
16 Wildomar, CA 36,822 $89,912 $617,209
About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.