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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.

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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 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 Hot|
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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Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2022

The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park and Coronado Ferry Landing. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 17 minutes.

Come down to the bay and enjoy the biggest fireworks show in San Diego!

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Hillcrest Farmers Market

Apr 4, 2022 - ongoing

The Hillcrest Farmers Market is filled with over 175 vendors offering a wide variety of locally grow produce, gifts, arts and crafts, flowers, clothing, and more! Over 10,000 people a week visit our market. Many of our local farmers grow their produce organically or with no pesticides. The market also hosts a large variety of prepared and hot food items with an emphasis on international cuisine. We also host weekly entertainment performed by a variety of local musicians.

The market opened on April 13, 1997 with only 27 vendors and has continued to grow with the community. We are proud to and maintain our reputation as “The Best” Farmers Market in San Diego County!

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Taste of Adams Avenue

Jun 26, 2022

The 21st annual Taste of Adams Avenue will take place Sunday, June 26th, 2022 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, along Adams Avenue from University Heights through Normal Heights to Kensington. This gastronomic trek will feature 39 restaurants, coffee houses, pubs, wine bars, breweries and unique eateries in one of San Diego’s hottest and historic neighborhoods.

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Pretty Woman: The Musical

Jul 26 - Jul 31, 2022

One of Hollywood’s most beloved stories of all time, Pretty Woman: The Musical is brought to life by a powerhouse creative team representing the best of music, Hollywood, and Broadway. Featuring direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance (“Summer of ’69”, “Heaven”), and a book by the movie’s legendary director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton, Pretty Woman: The Musical will lift your spirits and light up your heart. “If you love the movie, you’ll love the musical!” (BuzzFeed News). 

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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

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2022
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Hillcrest Farmers Market

Apr 4, 2022 - ongoing
Discover

Taste of Adams Avenue

Jun 26, 2022
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Pretty Woman: The Musical

Jul 26 - Jul 31, 2022
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Hillcrest on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Tours & Sightseeing

Family Friendly- Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Jan 4 - 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! Covid Friendly outdoor...

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%    

Activity

Del Mar Village Dollars

Del Mar Village Association
Valid: Mar 7, 2022 - ongoing

Purchase a digital Del Mar Village Dollars eGift card for yourself or a friend. Enjoy and spend your Del Mar Village Dollars while supporting participating Del Mar Village restaurants and retailers....

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