Suburban vibe among cool canyons

On hot days, cool ocean breezes blow up through the canyons. When it's foggy along the coast, it is often sunny here. Clairemont encompasses approximately 13 square miles situated atop mesas with several canyon systems. The Pacific Ocean is only three miles from the intersection of Clairemont Drive and Balboa Avenue. It is a straight shot to Pacific Beach going west on Balboa which turns into Garnet and finally ends at the foot of Crystal Pier. Clairemont feels connected to the coast and has an easy-going California suburban vibe.

Many Clairemont homes are situated among rolling hills, taking advantage of canyon views.

From Clairemont, you have a choice of freeways (I-5, I-805, 52, 15 and 163) to take you north, south, east or west. Everything that San Diego has to offer is only minutes away by car.

“What originally attracted me to the Clairemont area was the close proximity all the major attractions like Balboa Park, the San Diego Bay, Sea World and the best beaches in Southern California,” said Kevin Casillo. “I have enjoyed calling Clairemont home for more than 20 years. Here, neighbors actually help each other in time of need, help seniors put out the trash and carpool to school without worry or concern. I have enjoyed the same wonderful neighbors for years. We have a strong sense of community, family and just caring for each other,” he said.


“Most of the homes here were built in the 1950s and 1960s,” said Casillo who currently serves on the board of Bay Mesa Real Estate Association. He has seen the rollercoaster ride, the dips and the climbs in local home prices. “When I first bought here the average price was $140,000. Today the most of the single-family homes are priced in the $300,000 to $450,000 range,” he said. He noted that the current inventory for quality homes is extremely low. “Homes in the best condition are selling within just a few short days, while those that have deferred maintenance sit much longer and sell at a greatly reduced price,” he said.

In May 2015 the median price of a single-family home was $558,000 according to DataQuick. The median price for a condominium was $308,000. Many homes have been upgraded or remodeled. At the high end, a four-bedroom 2,924 square foot home is currently priced at $980,000. At the low end, there are condominiums starting in the high-$100,000s and single-family homes starting in the mid-$300,000s.
Several significant commercial centers are located at major intersections. The Clairemont Towne Center offers a diverse selection of stores and restaurants, as well as a movie theater.

Clairemont has an easy-going suburban California vibe. All of life’s conveniences are here. There are a number of parks and recreation areas for outdoor activities. Rose Canyon, Tecolote Canyon and San Clemente Canyon offer miles of open area and trails to explore. Or you could hop on one of the surrounding freeways to quickly get to all of the wonderful things San Diego has to offer.

LEFT: Mesa College Library. RIGHT: Clairemont Surf Shop on Balboa Ave.

Neighborhoods are situated among rolling hills, taking advantage of canyon views. Real estate offerings consist of single-family detached homes, condominiums and townhouses. Prices can exceed $900,000 for larger properties with canyon or Mission Bay views.


Twenty-one year old Daniel Blase was born and raised in Clairemont and works at Clairemont Surf Shop. "This is a great place to live if you surf," said Blase who has been surfing for 15 years. "You have four freeways that give you quick access to surf spots like Blacks, The Cliffs, Swamiis, P.B. and La Jolla."

Clairemont Surf Shop opened here in 1977 and caters mostly to neighborhood surfers. Owner Steve O'Connel agrees that this is a great place to live for surfers. "Our motto has always been to treat every customer, from beginner to veteran, with the same respect," said O'Connel. He suggested that prices for housing and rent are more affordable here than the coastal areas which allows for more discretionary money and time for chasing waves. He mentioned a number of notable surfers who have lived or gone to school here - Tony Staples, Bolton Colburn, Donna Frye, David Eggers and Joel Tudor.

View toward the ocean from the office tower at the corner of Balboa and Genesee.

People started living in Clairemont in 1951. Local architects, Harold Abrams, Benson Eschenbach and Richard George Wheeler, designed 20 floor plans for the first development of 500 homes. These first houses ranged in price from $13,000 to $20,000. After the WWII years of housing shortages, these homes sold quickly. Many of these homes now have updated more open floor plans and 2nd story additions as owners have remodeled the older designs. Within a few years, several thousand houses had been constructed.

"Clairemont has the best climate in the world," said David Robertson a retired Navy pilot. Robertson and his wife Betty have lived in the area for over fifty years. They raised their three sons here and have been actively involved in Boy Scouts. "The weather here makes it easy to plan camping trips to the mountains or desert. This is a rare place where you can drive to your season of choice," Robertson said.

One of the best things about living in Clairemont is its proximity to all that San Diego has to offer. The Gaslamp, Mission Valley, beaches, desert, mountains and even Mexico are among the many choices that residents have close by. Just hop on one of the freeways and pick a pick a direction. Or just kick back at home and enjoy the weather and great views of the hills and canyons.

Copyright TownBlip.com 2015

Clairemont Mesa San Diego neighborhood map

South Clairemont
Recreation Center
3605 Clairemont Dr.

Rose Canyon Park

Tecolote Canyon Park



Madison High School
4833 Doliva Dr.

Clairemont High School
4150 Ute Dr.


Creative Performing Media Arts (CPMA)

5050 Conrad Ave.

Marston Middle School

3799 Clairemont Dr.

Innovation Middle School

5095 Arvinels Ave.

Garspar de Portola Middle Schoo l
1010 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.


Alcott Elementary

460 Hidalgo Ave.

Cadman Elementary
4370 Kamloop Ave.

Field Elementary
4375 Bannock Ave.

Hawthorne Elementary
4750 Lehrer Dr.
Sequoia Elementary
4690 Limerick Ave.

Maria Monessori Elementary
4344 Pocahontas Ave.

Mount Everest Academy
4350 Mt. Everest Blvd.

John Muir K-12 Magnet
4431 Mt. Herbert Ave.

Reformation Lutheran
private K-8
4670 Mt. Abernathy Ave.



Blarney Stone Pub
5617 Balboa Ave.

Nazca Grill
4310 Genesee Ave.

Peter D's
5149 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.


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