Despite its size, San Diego maintains a relaxed atmosphere, offering the urban diversity of larger cities, access to quieter suburban living, and the option to maintain a rural lifestyle in close proximity to employment centers. There are more than 100 neighborhoods in the county, offering many different unique cultures.
La Jolla, the area of San Diego in which Sanford-Burnham's campus is located, is 12 miles north of downtown San Diego. La Jolla is home to Torrey Pines Mesa, a world-renowned center for life sciences. La Jolla spans across miles of curving coastlines and encompasses Torrey Pines State Park
. The Park, which partially surrounds Sanford-Burnham, is home to the nation's rarest pine tree—the Torrey Pine—which grows only in this area. La Jolla also houses the Cove and Seal Rock and Children's Pool Beach, which neighbor one another and offer a variety of activities from kayaking to snorkeling and seal-watching.
Hillcrest is known for its diversity and offers many locally owned businesses, including galleries, cafes, bars, clubs and record and thrift stores. In comparison to many other neighborhoods, Hillcrest is densely populated, though its streets are still lined with trees and parks. Every year, Hillcrest hosts CityFest, a street fair to celebrate community spirit with music, arts and crafts, a lantern parade and a rededication of the neighborhood's sign.
For the best Italian food and a vibrant art scene, head just northwest of San Diego to Little Italy, a fishing town where small businesses, galleries and the Embarcadero attract tourists and locals alike. Come evening, India Street offers both romantic dinners for two and wine by the cask for everyone in your extended family to enjoy. Little Italy's annual ArtWalk, which happens every April, brings out artists of all sorts.