(Flickr photo: Roebot)

Trick-or-treating in the San Diego sunshine, what could be better? San Diego ranked 13th on Zillow’s national Trick-or-Treat Housing Index, and today we present you with the top 5 San Diego neighborhoods to trick or treat this Halloween.

Top 5 San Diego Neighborhoods to Trick-or-Treat in 2010

  1. Kensington
  2. Carmel Mountain
  3. Ocean Beach
  4. Pacific Beach
  5. La Jolla Village


There is a common belief that wealthy neighborhoods are the Holy Grail for harvesting the most Halloween candy. However, to provide a more holistic approach to trick-or-treating, the Zillow Trick-or-Treat Housing Index was calculated using four equally weighted data variables: Zillow Home Value Index, population density, Walk Score and local crime data from Relocation Essentials. Based on those variables, the Index represents cities that will provide the most candy, with the least walking and fewest safety risks.

About San Diego’s Best Trick-or-Treat Neighborhoods

Fifty-one weeks out of the year, the tiny haven of Kensington is a warm, small-town kind of community, chock full of dog-walking neighbors striking up 15-minute conversations about the nonexistent San Diego weather. But on Halloween all that changes. Carloads of locals arrive from other San Diego neighborhoods to see front yards transformed into full-scale haunted houses, full-scale inflatable bounce houses, dozens of friendly (leashed) dogs wearing costumes more intricate than their humans’, and boatloads full sweet, sour, sticky, creamy, crunchy bounty. It’s impossible to cover the entire neighborhood in the few official hours set aside for trick-or-treating, so locals suggest starting at the Starbuck’s on Adams and Marlborough and following the shrieks and laughter deeper into the ‘hood.

If you’re looking for some easy mall-style trick-or-treating, then Carmel Mountain is your ‘hood. Costumed children 12 and under are invited to trick-or-treat at participating stores at the Carmel Mountain Plaza. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy live music in the courtyard.  And, don’t forget to bring your canned food to support the San Diego Food Bank!  Beyond the mall, the rec center is hosting a carnival on Oct. 29.

Ocean Beach is quieter and more laid-back than its neighbor to the north, Pacific Beach. OB (as the locals call it) is a fiercely independent little hideaway full of hippies, surfers, students and families, all of whom seem to share an aversion to the commercialized excesses of San Diego’s other beach communities. Go with the mellow vibe, enjoy the sights and sounds and smells, and let the feeling of San Diego in the sixties and seventies spill out in your costume choices.

Pacific Beach always feels like a bit of costume party, with Garnet Avenue as the undisputed tattoo-and-piercing capital of the county. Grown-ups looking to celebrate the holiday with adult-themed bar parties and adult beverages will find plenty of places to lumber (or stagger) on Grand and Garnet. The residential streets that still house families who have lived through the party-fication of this carefree beach community still hand out plenty of traditional, low-key fun and fright.

La Jolla Village, which celebrates opulence and over-indulgence like no other spot south of Rodeo Drive, is a natural destination for ambitious young trick-or-treaters hoping to mix new-world drive with old-world holidays. Expect things to lean more toward the glam side of the costume spectrum. What else would you expect from a town with a name that means “The Jewel”? Ooh! Shiny!

(Above: Kensington home for sale, $949,000)

Next: See Best Places to Trick-or-Treat in Atlanta

> See homes for sale in San Diego, CA

> See home values in San Diego, CA

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