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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. 

 

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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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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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Macy's Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2019

Macy’s Museum Month ended February 28, 2018, but don’t fret, the program will return next February.

During the promotion, San Diegans and tourists are invited to enjoy half-off admission at more than 40 San Diego Museum Council (SDMC) member museums the entire month.

Whether you are an art aficionado, history buff, or nature lover, the SDMC has a variety of member organizations that are bound to capture your interest. And with these special savings that are only offered once a year, it’s a great time to visit both old favorites and new attractions you have never even heard of. See below for the full roster of participating organizations.

Check back soon for details.

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San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2019

San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, January 20th through Sunday, January 27th 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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Christmas Day Brunch at The Abbey

Dec 25, 2018

The Abbey is Hornblower's on-land venue; it offers a rare, refined uptown option for the holidays. Enjoy a full brunch buffet with all the holiday trimmings.

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Full Day Coastal Experience

Aug 14, 2018 - ongoing

Ride with us on our unique B.Y.O.B full day coastal adventure. Start the day off at our pick up location, Liberty Public Market. We recommend guests to show up early so they can roam around the market before we venture up north to Encinitas and begin our tour down the famous highway 1. Our stops include some of San Diego's best beaches, beach bars, and local eats. We want you to see and feel the amazing laid back lifestyle we live for here in San Diego. Here's whats included... Local tour guide. Bottled water and small snacks. Beach games on board to encourage some active fun at our beach stops. Cooler with ice to keep your beverages nice a cold. Music and TV on board for entertainment. USB charging ports in every seat so no need to worry about your phones dying from all the pictures you'll want to take!

 

 

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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

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Macy's Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2019
Discover

San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2019
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Christmas Day Brunch at The Abbey

Dec 25, 2018
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Full Day Coastal Experience

Aug 14, 2018 - ongoing
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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: Aug 10 - 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...

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...

Tours & Sightseeing

Save 20% on an Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Nov 26, 2018 - ongoing

Turn San Diego's Old Town or Balboa Park into a giant game board with this fun Scavenger Hunt Adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart...

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