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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 an 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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What's On|

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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Mean Girls

Jun 9 - Jun 14, 2020

Direct from Broadway, MEAN GIRLS is the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team, including book writer TINA FEY (“30 Rock), composer JEFF RICHMOND (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist NELL BENJAMIN (Legally Blonde) and director CASEY NICHOLAW (The Book of Mormon).

Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming but ruthless Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.

Rating: For ages 10+

Click on Read More for full event schedule.

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Easter Jazz Brunch at The Abbey on Fifth Avenue

Apr 12, 2020

The Abbey is Hornblower's on-land venue; it offers a rare, refined uptown option for Easter. 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, Easter Bunny appearance and live jazz entertainment by Republic of Music.

Your Easter 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
~Easter Bunny Meet & Greet
~Live Jazz Entertainment by Republic of Music

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RENT

May 8 - May 10, 2020

In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. And now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

 

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Adams Avenue Unplugged

Apr 25, 2020

Adams Avenue Unplugged, a free musical walkabout, takes place April 25, 2020 along a two-mile stretch of Adams Avenue, from University Heights on the West through Normal Heights, and into parts of Kensington to the East. The event will feature live musical performances staged inside restaurants, bars, coffee houses and galleries lining the neighborhood. Being able to pair the Avenue’s unique dining and drinking establishments, each with their own special ambiances and selections, with free musical performances, makes Adams Avenue the place to be on the last weekend of April. The AABA hopes to treat musical aficionados and foodies to the rich neighborhood culture.

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What's Hot

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San Diego LGBTQ+ Pride Parade & Festival

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Nightlife and Day Drinks

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San Diego Farmers Markets

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What's On

View More Events

Mean Girls

Jun 9 - Jun 14, 2020
Discover

Easter Jazz Brunch at The Abbey on Fifth Avenue

Apr 12, 2020
Discover

RENT

May 8 - May 10, 2020
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Adams Avenue Unplugged

Apr 25, 2020
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Hillcrest on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Group & Charter Transportation

10% off for Senior Citizens

Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
Valid: Feb 7 - ongoing

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

Tours & Sightseeing

Family Friendly- Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Aug 12, 2019 - ongoing

Enjoy an Amazing Race type adventure with your family and Save 20% when you use Promo Code SDFUN. Only $39.20 for a Team of 2-5 people. Have fun and do something unique!

Venues

Drink of the Day

Rockin' Baja Coastal Cantina - Gaslamp
Valid: May 29, 2019 - ongoing

Every Day we offer a delectable exotic cocktail for only $8.99. Changes Seasonally. Always Delicious

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