Bostonia occupies an area that was originally part of the historic Rancho Santa Monica land grant, a major land grant made in the 1700s to the Roman Catholic Church to establish the missions. Each was a day's walk from another, all the way up the coast of California -- an attempt to peacefully settle the region under Spanish rule.
One of the good things about the Spaniards was that they brought horses back to the New World. One of the not-so-good things was that they enslaved the natives who were originally living on the land. Nicknamed "el cajon" or the "big box" because of the nature of the valley in which it nestled, the land grant was sited on maps, as simply "cajon." Bostonia is an unincorporated neighborhood in the northeastern corner of El Cajon, inland from San Diego, CA. It's made up of most of unincorporated El Cajon north of Broadway and east of State Rout 67 and a small area west of State Route 67.
Moving to Bostonia
The median rental rates in Bostonia are somewhat less than the California average but substantially greater than the national average. Rental properties are spacious with mostly2 bedroom apartments for rent. You can occasionally find serviced apartments for rent.
If you want to live here, start your search now. It may take a while because places to rent are in demand. Six weeks or longer out from your proposed move-in date isn't too early to find an apartment to call home. You'll probably have better luck at securing something if you start searching towards the end of the Spring semester or during the summer before the fall semester. There are several colleges in the area and there's a lot of student and family migration at that time. Also a lot of partying...
You'll need your credit score, a letter verifying employment and salary and a copy of your last paycheck stub to secure a townhouse for rent in Bostonia, a cashier's check or bank check for rent and a security deposit. Bringing your pet? Bring more money for a deposit.
Bostonia has a 75 livability score, high for California and the country. Favorite areas are to the west of the center of Bostonia in La Mesa, which will have a higher rent rate, or south of the
Kumeeyaay Highway towards northern El Cajon, where rents, although not bargain basement, will be less. Be aware that mail sent to all parts of Bostonia is addressed to El Cajon. So you will basically be living in El Cajon, no matter where you are in Bostonia.
Living in Bostonia
Revel in History
Bostonia is in San Diego's back yard. The area dates back to Spanish and then Mexican colonial times and has some fantastic regional museums highlighting the history of the relationship between Mexico and early California. Old Town San Diego is not far away and has a number of reconstructed historic buildings, now being used as shops, restaurants, and hotels. You can find a variety of Mexican crafts, old-time horehound candy, and terrific restaurants - this is a place you'll come back to over and over again (and you'll likely bring your friends, too)!
The Heritage of the Americas Museum is in El Cajon, and features a wide variety of historical to anthropological exhibits all found in the region. Also, San Diego's nearby harbor is home to 19th century sailing tallships as well as Naval submarines, yacht races, and even a battleship or two. Oh yeah - and there's always the San Diego Zoo and Sea World, too.
Shopping and Dining
Most restaurants and services in Bostonia spread out along Magnolia Avenue. You'll find the basics you'll need like grocery (there are 20 within a mile of the downtown area) and hardware stores but you'll probably want to head to the fun shopping in San Diego to do your shop-til-you-drop days.
A Handful of Wildflowers in La Mesa is one of those unique shops that satisfy your inner magpie. Colorful and one-of-a-kind gifts and classes in glass fusing make it an unequivocal success for a girls' day out. And the owner supports the local artists -- a bonus for anyone who has aspired to become a patron of the arts.
Kip's Caf is a neighborhood standard. It's technically in Winter Gardens, just to the north east of Bostonia, but only by a few minutes drive. This Asian restaurant offers all kinds of ways to make your dining pleasant. Eat in, take out, or delivery. Sweet and sour chicken, cream cheese wontons, egg rolls, and more all are served in generous portions. Kip's cafe serves up good food and is a little more authentic than Panda Express.
Rana's Mexico City Cuisine puts most taco shops to shame. The dcor is quirky and fun and the steaks are cooked to perfection. The delicious food is spicy, flavorful, and prepared with care. Despite the name, Rana's does not serve only Mexico City cuisine but has dishes from all over the region. And if they tell you a dish is hot -- believe them!
The Great Outdoors
Bostonia and San Diego environs was made for being out of doors. Beaches are clean and close by. Roller skating the sidewalks is still doable. Beautiful Balboa Park is perfect for picnicking, bike riding or wandering the Museums and art galleries housed there.
Bostonia is just off of Interstate 8 so you can easily get to all the surrounding areas. At 29 minutes, Bostonia commuters have an equal trip to most Californians and about 11% longer than the National average. Most people drive their own cars or carpool with colleagues. The closest Amtrak Stations is about 13.3 miles from Bostonia's center. San Diego International Airport connects you to the rest of the world.