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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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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 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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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 24 - Oct 1, 2017

The 13th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, September 24th through Sunday, October 1st with a FEAST for the senses at over 180 participating restaurants. Dine deliciously at restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County. This foodie-favorited week is the perfect time to take a culinary tour throughout the diverse and thriving food culture of San Diego.

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12th Annual UH Arts Open & Taste of University Heights

Nov 12, 2017

Stroll through the quaint neighborhood sampling delicacies from University Heights' diverse restaurants and enjoy a free self-guided tour of the arts.

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Dusty Rabbit Signature Cocktail Contest

Jun 6 - ongoing

150 years ago, the area that is now the Gaslamp Quarter was jokingly nicknamed “Rabbitville” after its chief inhabitants. The "Dusty Rabbit" is a signature cocktail contest wherein merchants will honor the pioneering spirit of legendary founder, Alonzo Horton, who transformed Rabbitville into the thriving dining and entertainment district it is today!

We're challenging mixologists, bars, and restaurants from around the Gaslamp Quarter to create a cocktail named the Dusty Rabbit. Each location’s recipe is open to interpretation and may include any kind of spirit or alcohol uniquely reflective of the establishment.

For a list of locations serving the Dusty Rabbit, please visit: http://www.gaslamp.org/150/dustyrabbit/

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Chauffeured Distillery Tour

Oct 20, 2016 - ongoing

Taste San Diego's sensational spirits, crafted from grain to glass.Taste locally made whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, brandy; lunch; pint of beer, behind-the-scenes guided tours. Pick up & drop off included in Chauffeured Distillery Tour.

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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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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 24 - Oct 1, 2017
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12th Annual UH Arts Open & Taste of University Heights

Nov 12, 2017
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Dusty Rabbit Signature Cocktail Contest

Jun 6 - ongoing
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Chauffeured Distillery Tour

Oct 20, 2016 - ongoing
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