The Most Expensive Square Feet in the Nation: 20 Metros Where Rented Space Really Costs You

In a previous article, Apartment Guide looked at internal data to determine apartment rent costs per square foot nationwide. We learned the median rent for an entry-level apartment — $769 in April of this year — and how much space that amount would rent in metropolitan areas (metros) around the country.

Below is an expanded list to include the twenty most expensive metros for renting by square foot based on internal apartment listings data on Apartment Guide in May 2014.

Note that you can adjust the slider in either direction to display metros according to their relative expense by square foot.

Keep an eye on what your renting dollar can buy in some of the most desired places to live in the country!
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A Growing Trend: Green Businesses in San Diego

Did you know that green buildings typically reduce 24 to 50 percent of their energy use, 40 percent of their water use, and reduce solid waste production by 70 percent compared to conventional buildings?

The 2011 Green Business Challenge – the first program of its kind on the West Coast – was created to help tenants in the Port of San Diego reduce their environmental impact in the areas of energy, water, waste, air, sustainable business practices and sustainable development. Participating businesses ranged from large industrial and maritime tenants to hotels, restaurants and small businesses.

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Best Vegetarian Restaurants in California

vegetarian restaurants in california

These vegetarian restaurants in California are so good, you’ll never miss the meat.

California’s healthy, eco-friendly mentality is so prevalent that it spreads to practically every aspect of the lives of its residents, so it’s no surprise that some of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country can be found in this sunny state.

If you want your plate to be filled with healthy, meat-free options, check out these vegetarian restaurants in California.

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Where to Find Nice, Cheap Furniture in San Diego

If you’re in the market for nice, cheap furniture in San Diego, there are a number of stores that have what you need.

Whether you are moving to San Diego from across the country, are preparing to move into a new apartment or just want to change up the décor in your current place, it’s possible to furnish your home with great décor pieces without breaking your budget. As the eighth-largest city in the United States and the second-largest city in California, San Diego, nicknamed “America’s Finest City,” is full of great stores and boutiques where you can get your furniture fix for pennies. Read on to find our list of the best places to find nice, cheap furniture in San Diego.

Real Deal Furniture & Mattress

The name says it all. What sets Real Deal Furniture & Mattress apart from other discount furniture retailers in the San Diego area is its knowledgeable staff and commitment to quality customer service. The furniture selection can’t be beat, and if you’re not sure where to start, simply ask any sales professional. Unlike a lot of larger discount furniture stores, you won’t get pushy suggestions, but you will be offered informed opinions tailored to your preferences and needs.

Where: 8841 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92123

Chester’s Furniture

Tucked away in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, Chester’s Furniture has been beloved by all for over 90 years for its low prices, great furniture, unhurried atmosphere and friendly proprietor, Chester himself. Although this lovable store owner is retired with his son, Dave, running the operation, Chester still spends his time in this one-of-a-kind, family-run furniture emporium, assisting customers with their purchases. In addition to quality furniture, you’ll also find whimsical, original art and quirky décor knickknacks.

Where: 2911 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92104

Mor Furniture for Less

With nine locations in Southern California to choose from, Mor Furniture for Less is one of the largest furniture and mattress retailers on the West Coast. Voted Best Furniture Store by the Union Tribune in 2010 and 2011 as well as Best Mattress Store in 2010, Mor Furniture offers same-day delivery, a top notch selection and great customer service. But it’s the perks that really set this shopping experience apart from any others. The store is set up with free popcorn, music videos, drinks, video games and movies to improve the shopping experience.

Where: 6965 Consolidated Way, San Diego, CA 92121

Stuff Furniture & Consignment Shop

If you’re looking for an upscale consignment shop where you can find new and gently used furniture as well as unique pieces, Stuff Furniture & Consignment Shop is the place for you. This award winning retail gallery opened its doors in 2010, and since then has made it a goal to offer the most unusual items and fantastic finds to its customers. In addition to indoor furniture in styles like modern, country French and antique, the store also has a great selection of patio and garden furniture.

Where: 3514 Adams Ave., San Diego, CA 92116

Pat’s Corner

While Pat’s Corner might have some of the best deals in town, it is definitely not for the faint of heart. The store is a little disorganized and some of the pieces are a bit dusty, but if you get a thrill out of digging through several seemingly worthless pieces before finding that perfect one, Pat’s is the place. This quirky thrift store is particularly favored among the DIY set, which uses it as a jumping off point for many an Etsy project involving refinishing, refurbishing or revamping.

Where: 3409 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104

Photo credit: iStockphoto/rudisill

Learn to Petwork: Find Pet Groups in San Diego

Off-leash dog parks are great places to let your pooch run free while you get to know some fellow dog lovers.

Off-leash dog parks are great places to let your pooch run free while you get to know some fellow dog lovers.

If you’re a pet lover who has recently moved to San Diego, it can be tough finding like-minded folks that share your passion for pets. So check out our handy guide for San Diego pet lovers.

For all you San Diego dog lovers, check out, where several dog groups have already formed.

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Make a Splash at One of These Southern California Water Parks

southern california water parks

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, located in Valencia, is one of southern California’s best water parks.

Though summertime is almost over, the weather in Southern California is still warm and calls for plenty of outdoor activities. Luckily, Southern California offers up plenty of things to do, whether you’re with your friends or family, including bike trails, fishing trips, snorkeling and beach trips, as well as water parks.

Get out of your apartment and celebrate the end of summer with your friends and family at one of these Southern California water parks.

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Best Model Railroads in the Country


Model train set

Photo Credit: iStockphoto/onfilm

Long after trains were introduced and helped propel the United States into the Industrial Age, model train sets appeared on the scene and appealed to children as toys. According to, the Marklin company produced the first circular (“clockwork”) train sets in the 1890s, which typically were placed under Christmas trees, and soon realized that adults might want to build more elaborate model railways based on real trains and historical locations. From there, Marklin and like-minded companies’ marketing efforts shifted to an older crowd, and people adopted building model railroads as a full-fledged hobby.

In honor of National Model Railroad Month in November, visit some of the biggest and most elaborate model trains in the country. You’ll be astounded at the attention to detail and lifelike appearance of some of the trains, people, landscaping and architecture. The best and coolest are listed below.

What: With a track spanning more than eight miles, Northlandz in New Jersey is the longest model railroad on the list. And it’s not just lengthy, it’s tall, too – the tallest mountain is 30 feet (or 6,000 scale feet) high. More than 100 trains run over 40-foot steel bridges set over tall canyons and rivers, through caves and unique villages and along steep ravines. Bring your binoculars to see all the details on this jaw-dropping model railroad.
Where: 495 U.S. 202, Flemington, NJ 08822

Sierra Pacific Lines
What: Operated by the Pasadena Model Railroad Club, the Sierra Pacific Lines cover about 5,000 square feet, have more than 30,000 feet of hand-laid steel rail and allow for operation of multiple 60-car-long trains, according to the Pasadena Model Railroad Club site. From end to end, it takes a train one hour to complete the whole route, which features Diablo Canyon and the Diablo Canyon Bridge, 1800s California coal country and Alhambra, with deserts, mountains and industrial parks.
Where: Pasadena Model Railroad Club, 5458 Alhambra Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90032

Chattanooga Choo Choo Model Railroad Museum
What: Begun in 1973 as a joint venture between the Chattanooga Area Model Railroad Club and the Chattanooga Choo Choo, the Model Railroad Museum is a 1:87 scale replica of the city of Chattanooga and the Cumberland Mountain country. Worth nearly $1 million, the model railroad is 174 feet long and 33 feet wide, featuring more than 3,000 feet of track, 320 structures, 150 switches, 120 locomotives, 1,000 freight cars and 80 passenger cars, according to the Model Railroad Museum site. This exhibit is one of the largest in the world open to the public.
Where: Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St., Chattanooga, TN 37402

Carnegie Science Center’s Miniature Railroad & Village
What: As one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, there’s already a ton to do and see at the Carnegie Science Center. One of the highlights is the Miniature Railroad & Village, which offers a walking tour of a scaled-down version of western Pennsylvania. Created in 1920 as a local resident’s holiday display, this model railroad features hundreds of animated scenes that showcase regional life from the 1880s to the 1930s. In addition to a mini-replica of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, the model features Forbes Field, Punxsutawney Phil at Gobbler’s Knob, Luna Park, Sharon Steel Mill and Monongahela Incline, plus more than 250,000 trees, 105 animations, 60 trucks, 14 aircraft, 85 cars and 23,000 fans in Forbes Field.
Where: 1 Allegheny Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Clemenceau Heritage Museum
What: Offered to the public for free, Clemenceau Heritage Museum’s Model Train Room shows the nine railroads in the Verde Valley at the peak of their use, when everyone mined, smelted or worked on a cattle ranch. Built to scale from old photographs of the landscape, buildings and railroads, the model train shows Jerome, Jerome Junction (now Chino Valley), Clarkdale, Hopewell Junction, Clemenceau, Old Town Cottonwood and the surrounding ranches, according to
Where: 1 N. Willard, Cottonwood, AZ 86326

The Great Train Story
What: With more than 30 trains running along 1,400 feet of track, the Great Train Story tells the history of the railroad journey between Chicago and Seattle and passes through the Midwest, Plains States, Rockies, Cascades, Seattle Harbor and Lake Michigan and over the Chicago River and Calumet River. according to the Museum of Science and Industry site. Plus, this model railroad is interactive – help build a mountain tunnel, raise or lower a drawbridge and load lumber on a train car.
Where: Museum of Science + Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637

San Diego Model Railroad Museum
What: Lots of different model railroads claim to be the biggest, or one of the biggest, in the world, but there’s no denying the size of the San Diego Model Railroad Museum. At 27,000 square feet, it is at least one of the world’s largest indoor model rail road exhibits. The museum features five different layouts: a 2,700 square foot O scale layout showing the route from San Diego to Sacramento; a 1,200 square foot N scale layout based on a railway that was surveyed but never built; a 4,500 square foot HO scale layout based on the prototype San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway; the two-level HO scale layouts showing the route from Bakersfield to Mojave in the 1950; and the three-rail O gauge layout Toy Train Gallery.
Where: Balboa Park, 1649 El Prado Suite 4, San Diego, CA 92101