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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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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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Disney’s The Lion King

Aug 12 - Aug 30, 2020

Giraffes strut. Birds swoop.  Gazelles leap.  The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before.  And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist. This is Disney’s THE LION KING, making its triumphant return to the Civic Theatre!

More than 100 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular – one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage. 

There is simply nothing else like THE LION KING.

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My Fair Lady

Jul 7 - Jul 12, 2020

From Lincoln Center Theater that brought you The King & I and South Pacific, comes “a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), Lerner & Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY.  Director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (New York Times). 

Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live,” MY FAIR LADY tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.”  But who is really being transformed?

Rating: For ages 8+

Click on Read More for full event schedule.

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Sprit of Stonewall Rally

Jul 17, 2020

Pride celebrations everywhere trace their heritage to the evening of June 28, 1969 when patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City said “No more!” to police harassment. That protest has grown to annual events held in major cities throughout the world.

In San Diego, our first rally was held in 1975. San Diego Pride’s Spirit of Stonewall Rally is a time to recognize and honor leaders who are working hard to preserve our gains and meet the many challenges still facing our community.

Come join us as cheering crowds and energetic speakers kick off San Diego Pride Weekend!

 

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San Diego Pride Parade

Jul 18, 2020

The annual San Diego Pride Parade is the largest single-day civic event in the region, and is among the largest Prides in the United States, attracting over 250,000 cheering supporters of the LGBTQ community!

Come show your Pride on Saturday, July 18, 2020 at 10:00 am. The parade begins at the Hillcrest Pride Flag at University Ave. and Normal St., proceeds west on University Ave., turns south on 6th Ave., turns left onto Balboa Dr. and ends at Laurel St. - where you'll find the entrance to the Pride Festival!

For more information visit www.sdpride.org/parade

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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

Disney’s The Lion King

Aug 12 - Aug 30, 2020
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My Fair Lady

Jul 7 - Jul 12, 2020
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Sprit of Stonewall Rally

Jul 17, 2020
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San Diego Pride Parade

Jul 18, 2020
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