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Welcome to

Hillcrest

The center of San Diego's LGBTQ+ community

Everyone is welcome

Located only a few miles north of San Diego's bustling downtown, the vibrant uptown neighborhood of Hillcrest stands as San Diego's LGBTQ+ central hub, offering a array of bars, restaurants, coffee houses, boutiques and unique shops. 

Lauded for its welcoming vibe and pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalk patios, the area's east end is marked by a towering rainbow Pride flag just off Hillcrest's main thoroughfare of University Avenue, at the corner of Normal Street. The landmark serves as the starting point for San Diego LGBTQ+ Pride's annual mile-long parade held each July. A block away, down Harvey Milk Street, is where the San Diego LGBTQ+ Community Center resides.

Spanning a dozen blocks west from the Pride flag along University Avenue is a colorful mix of ethnically diverse restaurants, nightclubs and acclaimed wine bars. You’ll also discover home decor shops, distinctive boutiques, the Uptown District shopping plaza and the country's only openly gay brewery, Hillcrest Brewing Company. This lively stretch also hosts one of the largest farmers markets in San Diego from 9AM – 2PM on Sunday.  A great place to shop for local produce, arts and crafts, the market also offers a wide range of gourmet stalls with hot and cold cuisine. 

University Avenue leads into the neighborhood's "village" area designated by the historic, neon "Hillcrest" sign. On intersecting Fifth Avenue, you’ll find a concentration of new and established restaurants, as well as a few dessert-centric eateries. Thrown into the mix are vintage clothing shops, book outlets and the multiplex Landmark Cinemas for taking in independent and foreign films.

Just south of Hillcrest sits Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in North America and a hub for recreation, arts and culture, and community gatherings. The park is home to 16 museums and performing arts venues, ornate Spanish-Renaissance architecture, 1,200 acres of beautiful gardens and the world-famous San Diego Zoo

View the LGBTQ+ Travel Guide for more on planning a trip to San Diego. 

 

Find a place to stay

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

Getting to Hillcrest

Just a stones throw from Balboa Park and downtown San Diego, Hillcrest is accessible from three primary directions. From downtown, head up Fifth Avenue, along Balboa Park's western edge and through Bankers Hill. Once you've reached Robinson Avenue, you'll be in the heart of Hillcrest. As the neighborhood is popular with the San Diego LGBTQ+ community, look for businesses flying a rainbow flag and you'll know you've arrived! From the east, exit University Avenue from Interstate 805 and head west. A few short blocks places you squarely in the center of the main shopping and dining area. For those traveling from the airport or Interstate 5, exit on Washington Street, and head east "up the hill" and exit on University Avenue. You'll pass through Mission Hills (worth the stop too!) before entering Hillcrest. 

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San Diego LGBTQ+ Pride Parade & Festival

With world-famous Balboa Park as its festival site and a mile-long parade route stretching through one of the most gay-friendly neighborhoods in the nation, San Diego LGBTQ+ Pride attracts nearly 200,000 locals and visitors to its annual three-day celebration in July.

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Nightlife and Day Drinks

A happening spot for San Diego's LGBTQ+ community with bar, nightclubs, restaurants and Pride.

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San Diego Farmers Markets

Find open-air shopping all around the county!

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THE SECRET LA JOLLA TOUR

Mar 7, 2019 - ongoing

This private tour showcases some of the outstanding yet hidden scenery of the La Jolla area, plus funky, quirky and mind-boggling art. You’ll also experience “San Diego’s newest tourist attraction” – a remarkable treasure that even locals don’t know about!

On this private tour, you’ll stroll through a vast outdoor public art collection specifically designed for the landscape and surroundings. Learn about the origin of the collection, how the artists are chosen, and the meanings of the selected pieces.

The La Jolla area is home to some of the most unique structures in the country, including a Brutalism-style gem with a tie-in to Dr. Suess and an architectural wonder which is one of the American Institute of Architecture’s “31 Buildings That Changed Modern Life.” 

But Shhhhh…. don’t tell anyone about these places….they’re secret!

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Father Daughter Day in Julian

Mar 23, 2019

Fathers treat your daughter like a mountain princess with a day-date to Julian for a Father-Daughter Day. The All-Inclusive price includes several attractions including lunch at one of your favorite Julian eateries, delicious fudge, a keepsake corsage, old-time photos and more, all designed to create an unforgettable experience for daddy’s little girl. End the day with a country-style father-daughter dance at Fort Cross Old Timey Adventures.

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PRIVATE SHUTTLED COASTAL GEMS TOUR

Mar 7, 2019 - ongoing

Breezy palm trees, captivating coastal vistas, postcard perfect cliffs, colorful beach umbrellas, hidden sea caves, picturesque ocean coves, crashing waves... Need we say more? This is the quintessential southern California beach and seascape tour you’ve always wanted to do. On this private tour, check out the affluent lifestyle of La Jolla with its Mediterranean architecture, unmatched coastline and delightful wildlife. Experience primo Southern California beach culture at a bustling three-mile boardwalk filled with skateboarders, runners, inline skaters, bikers, and sun worshippers as well as one of the top surfing spots on our 70 miles of picturesque coastline. Step back in time viewing Coronado’s charming beaches, elegant residences; and partake in other seaside surprises! 

Live the California Dream!

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Mother's Day Jazz Brunch at The Abbey on Fifth Ave

May 12, 2019

The Abbey is Hornblower's on-land venue; it offers a rare, refined uptown option for Mother's Day. Originally constructed as an Episcopal church, this elegant 1910 landmark is San Diego's only remaining Classic Revival structure. Enjoy an elaborate seasonal buffet, decadent desserts and live jazz entertainment.

Your Mother's Day Brunch Includes:

~Your Own Private Reserved Table
~Welcome Glass of Chilled Champagne
~Free-Flowing Champagne, Sparkling Cider, Soda, Juice, Coffee
~Full Brunch Buffet Featuring Seasonal Dishes
~Decadent Dessert Buffet
~Live Jazz Entertainment by Republic of Music

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What's Hot

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San Diego LGBTQ+ Pride Parade & Festival

Discover

Nightlife and Day Drinks

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San Diego Farmers Markets

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What's On

View More Events

THE SECRET LA JOLLA TOUR

Mar 7, 2019 - ongoing
Discover

Father Daughter Day in Julian

Mar 23, 2019
Discover

PRIVATE SHUTTLED COASTAL GEMS TOUR

Mar 7, 2019 - ongoing
Discover

Mother's Day Jazz Brunch at The Abbey on Fifth Ave

May 12, 2019
Discover

Hillcrest on Instagram

 

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Accommodation

Save on Arts & Culture with Hilton

Hilton Hotels & Resorts
Valid: Jan 31 - Mar 31, 2019

Come see why San Diego is earning a reputation as a vibrant, culturally rich and culture-loving destination. Book our Experience the City Package and save on admission to the city’s must-see...

Transportation

10% off for Cruise Ship Passengers!

Supershuttle - ExecuCar
Valid: Aug 24, 2018 - ongoing

Cruise ship passengers can enjoy 10% off of exclusive point-to-point transportation and $2 off each way for shared-ride services. Book a ride on one of our reliable shuttles or hit the town in style...

History & Heritage

15% off Best Day. Ever. for Cruise Ship Passengers

San Diego Urban Adventures
Valid: Aug 24, 2018 - ongoing

#LocalsKnow the best places to visit that get you out of the crowds and experience the Best. Day. Ever. before, during or after your cruise.  Join our local experts on tours of Balboa Park, Old...

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