arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Southeast San Diego

An Unexpected Cultural Journey

Where Diversity Inspires

There's a lot of culture and diversity packed into the neighborhoods of southeastern San Diego. The area is home to many ethnic communities, including Latinos, African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders.

Located between the 94 and the 805 freeways, Chollas View is an urban neighborhood named for the cholla cactus that once covered the landscape. Market Street is the main thoroughfare and where you'll find the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Market Creek Plaza, home to a rich array of concerts and events at an outdoor amphitheater. While at Market Creek Plaza, make sure to check out the Sempra Children's Art Wall which runs along the back side of the amphitheater. A copper-inlaid tree spans the wall, decorated with hand-painted, tile leaves created by more a thousand children living in the area.

Festive Cultural Fairs

Also look for the annual Diamond Street Fair, which draws thousands to the area and includes food stands, vendors and multiple stages for performances. Another can't-miss festival is the annual FilAmFest. Held every October, this celebration of Filipino American arts and culture features two stages of live entertainment and a culinary pavilion with Filipino specialties.

Places for Performing Arts

For theater buffs, the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park maintains a technical center on Market Street. The 32,000 square foot building serves as a scene shop for building props for Old Globe productions. Further down on Market Street, the Malcolm X Library and Performing Arts Center is another performance hub in the neighborhood. Members of the San Diego Symphony have performed there, as well as other local musicians, many of whom cater to children and families. The family fun continues on the first Tuesday of every month when kids are invited to come read to animals, including guinea pigs, cats, dogs and rabbits! And, of course, author talks and book signings also take place at the library.

Final Home for Famous San Diegans

Southeast of Chollas View is the Mount Hope Cemetery. Stroll through its rolling hills and you'll see the graves of many famous San Diegans, like the Horton family, Marston family and Kate Sessions. Bibliophiles will be thrilled to know they can visit the grave of legendary short story writer Raymond Chandler at Mount Hope.

Cultures Collide in Encanto

To the east of Chollas View, you'll find Encanto, which means "enchantment" in Spanish. Encanto actually comprises two distinct neighborhoods: north and south Encanto. South Encanto is home to the Wat Lao Buddharam, a Lao Buddhist temple serving the Laotian community in San Diego. The temple hosts festivals and New Years' celebrations where guests can experience traditional Laotian dance, music and dress. Regular concerts at the temple are also open to the public. At many of the events, visitors have the opportunity to try typical Laotian cuisine, like green papaya salads and pork sausages.

Excellent ethnic food is easy to come by in southeastern San Diego, as are delicacies from the American south. The Imperial Fish Market is a go-to spot for southern style fried fish. Their motto, "You Buy, We Fry," encourages customers to pick out their own fish for the fryer. The menu also features jumbo shrimp, catfish, fried okra and hush puppies.

All in all, there are boundless options for the intrepid urban explorer in the neighborhoods of southeastern San Diego.

Southeast San Diego - A Cultural Journey

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert



$3 Off Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Valid: Mar 8 - ongoing

As the public outreach center for the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Birch Aquarium brings guests into the exciting world of cutting-edge research. Explore interactive exhibits and come...


75-minute Naval History Bay Tour Only $15***

Maritime Museum of San Diego
Valid: Jan 21 - ongoing

Join us at the Maritime Museum of San Diego for a high-speed 75-minute narrated Naval History Tour! The US Naval Vietnam-era PCF 816 Swift Boat Listed In National Register Of Historic Places is...

History & Heritage

Save 10% off any San Diego Walks Tour

San Diego Walks
Valid: Feb 22 - ongoing

We offer tours of Balboa Park, Old Town, Liberty Station and Coronado. Use code BEST10 at time of booking to save 10%    

Related Articles and Features

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up





Follow Us


English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish