DISCOVER 

SAN DIEGO

Find out which San Diego neighborhood is right for you

A vibrant cultural and social scene, Downtown also houses the National League Padres, the Midway aircraft carrier museum ship, the eight ship San Diego Maritime museum, and the ever-growing Convention Center. Tourists coming for meetings find it easy to walk to fun venues and excellent shopping and dining, and a trolley runs from the South Bay through Downtown up to the Qualcomm Stadium and out to East County.

Hillcrest is the definition of diversity. It offers an eclectic blend of youth and older people who share the streets and energy of one of the trendiest of San Diego’s neighborhoods. Its residents are a marvelously integrated combination of affluent professionals, entrepreneurs, gays, medical students, young artists and increasingly, retiring active adults seeking pedestrian convenience and mainstream living.

On the hill above Downtown perches the historic community of Mission Hills – San Diego’s best garden tour and historic home tours, architecturally distinctive homes, and a great sense of neighborhood. Mission Hills is just good weather-strolling distance from world class cuisine, theater, points of interest in Balboa Park and the trendy Hillcrest venues, and a few minutes drive or healthy bike ride to the beach or Downtown.

Possibly the most cited area of San Diego, La Jolla emerged from the 1950’s, where its bump into the ocean topography had welcomed summer homes and cottages on its beaches for decades, as a community destined to put “posh” beyond the city center homes and take advantage of its geographic assets. Homes range from the original California ranches that bloomed with the mid-century developments to internationally recognized grand homes and statement condominiums. 

North Park is a neighborhood in San Diego situated at the north and east sides of Balboa Park. Developed in the early 1900’s as a “Blue Collar” development with a street car running from the Downtown, Stevens and Hartley, the first area real estate firm, North Park has now become one of the definitive neighborhoods of “hip”, although the young people moving in bring their energy and intention to a very welcoming long time older generation. History, trees and craftsmanship are cherished and visible throughout.

Trendy is as trendy does, and South Park has it! This historic neighborhood between North Park and Golden Hills, on the east side of Balboa Park, is alive with new cafes, taverns and just drop in coffee and casual spots. The South Park retail and restaurant community hosts quarterly Walk- abouts on Saturday evenings in March, July, October and December. Shops are open late, live music and refreshments are provided, and a free trolley carries attendees from Beech Street to Grape Street to Juniper Street.

To the natives it looks like Pacific Beach is the vacation tourist capital of San Diego. Traffic in and out is deadly in the summer, its Mission Beach/fancy section has constant celebrity traffic and action, while the mid-section boardwalk has skateboarders and mini-kinis all over with the fabulous Crystal Pier cottages over the water never vacant! The streets that run east-west are all named after precious stones like Agate, Diamond, Garnet, etc.

Sunset Cliffs fishing and early sea travel, The Point is now one of the most popular beach communities in San Diego. Ocean Beach, separate from the town of Point Loma by both zip code and geography is still part of the Point Loma Peninsula, and has retained a lot of its 1960’s hippie mood. Lunching in your bikini and sandals is not surprising to the natives, and Dog Beach where off-leash canines are welcomed, also attracts guitars and surfboards.

San Diego where its boundaries and those of North Park may be engaged, University Heights nevertheless takes its own path. A strong community group, business district that includes some landmark
Parkhouse Eatery, Bourbon Street, Twiggs Coffee Shop and performance venue, quality boutiques and restaurants. The ostrich became its symbol in recognition of its early history including the successful site of the farm that provided feathers to many great hats in the early 1900’s.

© 2018 by Steve Carlson