Best place to retire: Marina District
Pros: In the heart of the action; amenities and water views
Real estate: High-rise luxury condos start at $600,000 for a two-bedroom. Two-bedrooms rent for about $2,200.The weather and the beach have long made San Diego a retirement haven. But in the past five years, the drab nine-to-five commercial zone that was downtown has evolved into an urban playground thanks to a new waterfront baseball stadium (Petco Park), the Museum of Contemporary Art's downtown debut, a revitalized theater scene and dozens of high-end restaurants.
At the center of it all is the Marina District. Once little more than a group of warehouses and parking lots to accommodate the convention center and the U.S. Navy, the Marina is now downtown's best-maintained district.
The city's main train and trolley stations are located nearby, so street noise and tourists - especially in summer - are a part of life. But Mike Fowler, 69, a semiretired defense consultant who lives in The Grande, twin 39-story towers on the water, says it's a small price to pay. "The little noise and expense in the Marina [is worth] all the activity of downtown."
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