Nestled uptown from San Diego's bustling downtown district is the trendy and hip neighborhood of Hillcrest. A hub of locally owned businesses, visitors will find a diverse and eclectic collection of boutiques, thrift stores, diners, restaurants and bars. Hillcrest offers an authentic, local San Diego vibe, where locals and travelers alike mingle to enjoy the colorful community offerings.
The most popular dining and shopping hot spots in Hillcrest are concentrated in "The Village" area that runs along Washington and University Avenues, between Fourth and Fifth Avenue. But there are plenty of hidden gems scattered throughout the neighborhood.
Also home to San Diego's LGBT community, Hillcrest hosts a variety of events and festivals each year, including the festive Gay Pride Parade in the summer. Enthusiastic supporters of the arts, Hillcrest's LGBT community has helped launch a number of excellent restaurants, cafes, art galleries, bookshops, boutiques and furniture stores. The Hillcrest Landmark Cinemas offers independent and foreign films, both classic and obscure. Welcoming to both LGBT visitors and all others are the collection of predominantly LGBT bars, coffee houses and book stores.
Surrounding Hillcrest in the broader Uptown San Diego area are the up-n-coming neighborhoods of South Park, North Park, Mission Hills, University Heights, Normal Heights and Kensington. Each one of these communities are home to unique and authentic San Diego eateries, offering everything from farm-to-table menu options paired with local craft beer, to quaint French restaurants, legendary Mexican outposts and burger stations.
One-of-a-kind boutiques line the streets of 30th Street and Adams Avenue. You'll find plenty of shopping options, from special interest stores such as bicycle shops (THE locally preferred mode of transportation), to art galleries, record stores and locally owned salons.
Nearby Hillcrest is the historic Balboa Park. Built in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition and expanded in 1935 for the California Pacific International Exhibition, Balboa Park the largest urban park in North America, and home to 85 museums and cultural institutions. Walk along the main promenade to see water fountains, gorgeous Victorian architecture, stunning and colorful gardens, playgrounds for the kids, and plenty of open grass area. Balboa Park is also home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Exploring everything that the Park has to offer may take a few days, so give yourself plenty of time to explore.
Browse the articles and listings below to discover how Hillcrest, Uptown and Balboa Park offer the perfect combination of culture, food and fun from the morning well into the evening.
Hillcrest and the surrounding Uptown neighborhoods of North Park and South Park are mostly residential, but you can fine some unique and intimate bed and breakfast style lodging, along with a few hotels. No matter where you stay in these communities, you’ll be located in residential neighborhoods, providing you with an authentic San Diego local experience. Many of the overnight accommodations in these areas are just steps away from favorite dining, entertainment and shopping options frequented by the local community.
Browse the articles and listings below is find the perfect place to stay for your next vacation in Hillcrest, North Park or South Park.
The colorful and diverse neighborhood of Hillcrest and the adjacent North Park and South Park, offer a range of unique and eclectic dining experiences. From Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Italian and American cuisine, you’ll savor flavors from around the world at any of the international eateries. Restaurants here vary in mood as much as national origin, with casual diners serving up delicious comfort foods, to elegant fine dining restaurants complete with five star service and unique craft cocktails.
Below is a list of restaurants and watering holes founding in the area:
Hillcrest and the adjacent Uptown neighborhoods of North Park and South Park offer diverse, unique and quintessential San Diego experiences. From a plethora of dining options and beer and wine tastings, to live music and shopping at one-of-a-kind boutiques and galleries, Hillcrest and Uptown are the perfect place to experience for a day, or an entire week, in San Diego. This area also offers easy access to neighboring Balboa Park and a quick ride to Downtown San Diego and San Diego’s Big Bay.
Below are just a few of the things you can do in Hillcrest and Uptown San Diego:
The neighborhood of Hillcrests and the adjacent uptown communities of North Park and South Park, host a variety of fun and festive events throughout the year. In the summer, the streets of Hillcrest fill up in celebration for the Pride Festival and Parade and the CityFest Street Fair. From restaurant walks to movie’s on the roof, Hillcrest and Uptown are the place to be to experience unique and innovative events.
From the North:
Take 163 South to University Avenue, which places you in the heart of Hillcrest. If you are heading to Balboa Park, continue south on 163 to Park Boulevard. Exit and left onto Park and follow signs.
From the South:
Head north on the 5 freeway to the B Street/Pershing exit and exit onto Pershing. Turn left Florida Drive, left on Zoo Place, and right onto Park Boulevard. Balboa Park will be on your left. To explore Hillcrest, continue on Park and turn left onto University.
From the North:
Off the I-5 southbound, take the 10th Avenue Exit. Turn left on "A" Street and left again on Park Boulevard. Follow the signs to Balboa Park. Off the Highway 163 southbound, take the Park Boulevard. exit. Turn left on Park Boulevard. Follow the signs to Balboa Park.
From the South:
Off the I-5 northbound, take the B Street/Pershing exit to Pershing Street. Take Pershing and then left on Florida Drive. Turn left on Zoo Place to Park Boulevard. Left on Park Boulevard.