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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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San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 19 - Oct 23, 2022

The 21st Annual San Diego International Film Festival is really 'Putting the Fest Back in Festival!' This year includes the return of the Opening Night Film Premiere & Reception, the Night of the Stars Tribute, Culinary Cinema, plus more in-person parties, panels and networking events.

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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 25 - Oct 2, 2022

San Diego Restaurant Week, hosted by the California Restaurant Association, returns with over 100 restaurants across 30+ neighborhoods for eight days of dining.

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Adams Avenue Street Fair

Sep 24 - Sep 25, 2022

Adams Avenue Street Fair is SoCal's largest free two-day music festival held each year during the last weekend in September in the community of Normal Heights.

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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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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

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San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 19 - Oct 23, 2022
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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 25 - Oct 2, 2022
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Adams Avenue Street Fair

Sep 24 - Sep 25, 2022
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Hillcrest Farmers Market

Apr 4, 2022 - ongoing
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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%    

Team Building

MRDRinSD - 10% Discount from Murder n' Mayhem

Murder n Mayhem
Valid: Jun 24, 2022 - ongoing

Use discount code: MRDRINSD for 10% off tickets for all Tours & Experiences with Murder n' Mayhem. Redeem online at murdernmayhem.com or via phone 619-781-8013 with Discount...

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