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Hillcrest Neighborhood Guide

Hillcrest has been San Diego’s LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender) center since the 1970s, and proudly flies a rainbow flag at the corner of University Avenue and Normal Street. It’s the place to go in San Diego for unique boutique shopping, not to mention colorful bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

Every July Hillcrest hosts the San Diego Pride Parade, which is a three-day celebration. There’s a block party on Friday night, the parade is held on Saturday, and the rest of the weekend is spent celebrating in nearby Balboa park. 

The neighborhood is highly walkable and quite safe, with a crime rate 38% lower than the San Diego average. The main commercial center is at University and Fifth, accessible through SR163 at the University Avenue exit. It was developed as a suburb during the 1910s, and still has some Craftsman homes from that period – now lovingly restored.

Hillcrest is more densely populated than the rest of San Diego, and since 1988 building heights have been capped at 65 feet. However in November of 2016, the City Council adopted a plan to build 20-story high rises in the Uptown Gateway District, which they hope will bring affordable new housing to the area.

Properties for Sale in Hillcrest

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Things to Do in Hillcrest

Hillcrest Farmers Market


3960 Normal St
San Diego, CA 92103

J.A. Cooley Museum

Specialty Museums

4233 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92103

Lockdown Escape Rooms

Room Escape Games

1037 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

Top Restaurants in Hillcrest

3827 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 501-2885

2601 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 239-8361

1417 A University Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 230-5540

Hillcrest Demographics


Population: 13,805
Median household income: $74,934
Median contract rent: $1,313
Median resident age: 39.7
Percentage of family households: 18.4%

Average estimated property values in 2015

Detached houses: $ 806,105
Townhouses or other attached units: $ 521,242
3-to-4-unit structures: $ 487,268
5-or-more-unit structures: $ 406,991

Population Breakdown:

  • Male: 53.9%
  • Female: 46.1%
  • African American: 2.6%
  • American Indian: 0.2%
  • Asian: 5.1%
  • Caucasian: 85.7%
  • Mixed race: 3.8%
  • Native Hawaiian: 0.2%
  • Other race: 2.5%

Schools in Hillcrest

Aseltine School

Grades 1-12

4027 Normal Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Birney Elementary School

Grades K-5

4345 Campus Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103

Urban Discovery Academy Charter School

Grades K-8

840 14th Street
San Diego, CA 92103