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Welcome to

Hillcrest

The center of San Diego's LGBT 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 LGBT 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 LGBT Pride's annual mile-long parade held each July. A block away, down Harvey Milk Street, is where the San Diego LGBT 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.

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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 LGBT 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 LGBT Pride Parade & Music 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 LGBT Pride attracts nearly 300,000 locals and visitors to its annual three-day Pride celebration in July.

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Get Out and Party

A happening spot for San Diego's LGBT 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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Nightmare on Normal Street

Oct 28, 2017

Guaranteed to be a Fang-tastic evening filled with ghouls, goblins and spine chilling scares. You won't want to miss this year Nightmare on Normal St.

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Bikes, Brews & Brats

Nov 4, 2017

It's time to saddle up for the 5th Annual Bikes, Brews & Brats ride with Green Flash Brewing Co. The Regal Beagle and Cal Coast Bicycles to celebrate San Diego Beer Week and raise money for the San Diego Mountain Biking Association!

This year's ride will be better than ever with two separate departing times for different level groups. Beginner and intermediate level riders are welcome on this urban mountain bike ride which includes pavement as well as single track mountain biking through Florida Canyon and Balboa Park. Riders will experience a few climbs as well as some descents.

 

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Summer Movies in the Park

May 20 - ongoing

Looking for a Fun, Free and Fabulous Family Activity throughout San Diego?

Summer Movies in the Park is a perfect chance to relax and enjoy a safe and special night under the stars. Come early and get a good seat!

All movies start at dusk (approx. 15 minutes after sunset). Movies are subject to change.

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The Zoo Story

Oct 28 - Nov 12, 2017

A park bench at the charming Pioneer Park in Mission Hills is the “Central Park” setting for San Diego Actors Theatre’s (SDAT) upcoming site-specific production of The Zoo Story by four time Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright, Edward Albee. Weekend performances run from October 28th through November 12th (Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m. matinees).

 

The Zoo Story is Produced and Directed by SDAT Founder/Artistic Director Patricia Elmore Costa, starring Byron LaDue as Jerry and Fred Harlow as Peter.

 

Written in 1958, The Zoo Story achieved instant acclaim for the “recognizable humanity of its characters” (Green, 2004) and for its themes of daily despair beneath the surface of middle-class life.  The play explores themes of isolation, loneliness, miscommunication and dehumanization in a commercial world.

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San Diego LGBT Pride Parade & Music Festival

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Get Out and Party

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San Diego Farmers Markets

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What's On

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Nightmare on Normal Street

Oct 28, 2017
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Bikes, Brews & Brats

Nov 4, 2017
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Summer Movies in the Park

May 20 - ongoing
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The Zoo Story

Oct 28 - Nov 12, 2017
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Valid: Aug 21 - ongoing

Enjoy the best of Mexico when you visit San Diego. Five Star Tours is offering 20% off our Mexico Tours any time.

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Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
Valid: Aug 22 - ongoing

Buy One, Get One Free off all our Sightseeing Tours. 

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Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
Valid: Feb 1 - ongoing

Our special offer is for our very special seniors that visit our city of San Diego. Enhoy 10% off any of our exciting tours in San Diego.  We offer a wide selection of activities from daily...

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