Downtown San Diego
Morning, noon and night, downtown has been San Diego's cultural, social and
economic center for more than 100 years.
Past, present and future are melded together in the eclectic Gaslamp Quarter
where a multicultural mix of people, food and customs exist in San Diego's premier
dining and entertainment district. The Gaslamp Quarter, the heart of downtown
has a colorful history reaching back to the early 1800's when east coast immigrant
settlers originally set foot. Home to many restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping.
With its lively entertainment you can find a mixture from Jazz to blues, rock
to pumping dance music. Check out the shopping, restaurants, and nightlife.
With its Mexican restaurants, state and county parks, historical museums, and
import shops, San Diego's Old Town is a trip back in time.
With its once stately old mansions, quaint bungalows and apartment buildings,
Golden Hill is enjoying rejuvenation. On the southeast end of Balboa Park, Golden
Hill (and adjacent South Park) has some fine views of downtown and pockets of
really cool neighborhoods, like Burlingame. Check out Turf Supper Club, The
Big Kitchen, M-Theory Records, and South Park Grill.
Just east of Normal Heights and Southeast of Mission Valley finds this upscale
enclave with its lovely Spanish-tiled homes and the best art house cinema (and
one of the few single-screen ones at that) in town, the Ken Cinema. It's a peaceful
pocket amidst the hubbub of the inner city.
San Diego's Hillcrest is reminiscent of San Francisco's Castro and New York's
Village with its diverse crowds, and lively, colorful and hip streets. This
gay-friendly 'hood just north of Balboa Park has a mix of apartments and bungalows
mixed with a pedestrian-friendly business district. Landmark Cinemas and the
restaurants are worth checking out.
East of North Park is San Diego's true melting pot, City Heights, where the
newly emigrated find their home. Drive down stretches of University Ave. and
watch the storefront signs change from Spanish to Vietnamese to Ethiopian. Like
any other melting pot, it can be rough sometimes but the American Dream nonetheless.
You won't need a travel book or a translation guide to be a tourist in this
little sliver of Italy. Enjoy the Italian flavors without the plane-fare.
This charming and affluent neighborhood boasts large, gorgeous homes on perfect
yards, a shopping district, wonderful nursery, and some great views.
Lovingly called "Abnormal" Heights; Normal Heights is one of San Diego's
signature neighborhoods. Book ended on the west by University Heights and Kensington
on the east, Normal Heights completes the Adams Avenue 'hood trio along the
main drag. Crowded, diverse apartment dwellings on the south side of Adams,
quiet single-family homes on the north side. Check out the Ould Sod pub, Antique
Row, and Lestat's Coffee.
Another of the "signature" neighborhoods, North Park is a fascinating
hodgepodge of businesses, apartments, and wonderful Craftsman homes. Ever-evolving
and ethnically diverse, North Park boasts affordable restaurants, hip bars and
a growing assortment of boutiques, bookstores, salons and art galleries. Check
out "downtown" North Park (30th and University), Red Fox Lounge, and
the Chicken Pie Shop.
O.B is more like a town within the city, the land that time forgot-- when beach
communities weren't commercialized and gentrified and when the word "hippy"
still had meaning. It has a neighborhood feel, albeit one stuck in the '60s
and '70s. Ocean Beach has resisted gentrification, and for that it should be
commended. It wouldn't be O.B. if it didn't have its funky charm, laid-back
attitude, colorful people and natural beauty. Check out the O.B. Pier, Dog Beach,
Pacific Beach has its own self-contained retail area for residents. On one hand,
it's the place where all SDSU students aspire to live. On the other hand, if
you're lucky enough to own a single family home here, you're doing all right.
Check out Garnet Ave. night life, and P.B. Pier.
Located between Hillcrest and North Park; University Heights is similar in ways
to both with its mix of Craftsman bungalows and apartments. It is not however
as lively as Hillcrest; not as worn as North Park. It has a small retail area
at the north end of Park Blvd, where it turns into Adams Ave. Check out Adams
Avenue Grill, Twiggs Coffee House, Parkhouse Eatery, and Trolley Park.
Actually, a city in of itself, Coronado is on an isthmus across the San Diego
Bay and reachable by the Coronado Bay Bridge. A small village, Coronado is rich
in history, character and color and home to the venerable Hotel Del Coronado;
A nice escape from San Diego.
La Jolla literally lives up to its "jewel" name with one of the most
affluent communities in San Diego County. This prim and proper community has
a downtown retail district comprised of fashionable boutiques, restaurants,
galleries and shops alongside sparkling blue coves in this seaside gem.
The North County community of Carlsbad is home to beautiful sandy beaches, Legoland
California theme park and the Flower Fields, unforgettable stretches of the
palette of the imagination.
Chula Vista offers a wide array of attractions, activities, shopping, dining
and entertainment to entertain visitors and residents year round. Chula Vista
is home to the ARCO Olympic Training Center, Coors Amphitheatre, the Chula Vista
Nature Center, Knott's Soak City USA, four golf courses, numerous parks and
open spaces, and a beautiful harbor. Chula Vista also provides a variety of
cultural and educational facilities such as the Chula Vista Heritage Museum,
Onstage Playhouse, and the San Diego Junior Theatre.
San Diego's Del Mar, corresponds to its name with a racetrack by the sea, restaurants
and miles of beachfront.
In Encinitas you'll find plenty of surfers, breathtaking vistas and spiritual
awareness just to name a few of its many charms.
With its cowboy-town past and small-town vibe, El Cajon lies just 20 miles from
downtown San Diego but feels like a uniquely distinct world on its own.
The City of Escondido is a vibrant and diverse community only 30 minutes from
San Diego. The City is home to San Diego's Wild Animal Park, Escondido Center
for the Arts, conveniently located in a charming downtown area, adjacent to
historic Grape Day Park.
A city of 59,000, La Mesa is known for its quaint village center in the old
part of the city. Lined with antique shops and eateries, the village offers
a Midwestern hometown feel. La Mesa's historical houses, early 1900s architecture
and thriving antique emporiums lure you back in time.