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Normal Heights Neighborhood Guide

Normal Heights – or ‘Abnormal Heights’, as it’s sometimes called – is one of the most affordable and diverse areas in San Diego. Its residents tend towards the artistic, counterculture side of life. You’ll see a lot of wall murals and niche shops as you walk down the streets, and Lestat’s Coffee House is the place to be seen for the young and cool. This community is self-contained, with all the necessities within walking distance. You don’t need to use your car to get around unless you want to. Adams Avenue is the main commercial street in the district.

This neighborhood got its name from the state teacher school, or ‘normal school’ (meaning it taught teaching norms or models), which used to be nearby. Normal Heights is in the central part of San Diego, just south of Mission Valley. It was established in 1906 and extensively rebuilt after a wildfire swept through the area in 1985.

If you lived here you’d have great access to the rest of the city. Normal Heights is surrounded by freeways. On the west side is I-805, on the east is I-15. To the north is I-8 and to the south is El Cajon Boulevard.

Properties for Sale in Normal Heights

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Things to Do in Normal Heights

Adams Avenue Book Store


3502 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

Back From Tomboctou Gallery & Import

Gift Shops

3564 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

Villainous Lair Comics & Gaming

Comic Books

3220 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

Top Restaurants in Normal Heights

3695 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 756-7742

3627 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 584-6244

3311 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 284-4320

Normal Heights Demographics


Population: 9,481
Median household income: $49,128
Median contract rent: $1,019
Median resident age: 35.2
Percentage of family households: 33.8%

Average estimated property values in 2015

Detached houses: $ 370,803
5-or-more-unit structures: $ 136,620

Population Breakdown:

  • Male: 47.8%
  • Female: 52.2%
  • African American: 10.6%
  • American Indian: 0.6%
  • Asian: 5.0%
  • Caucasian: 69.5%
  • Mixed race: 9.3%
  • Native Hawaiian: 0.1%
  • Other race: 4.9%

Schools in Normal Heights

Academy Of Our Lady Of Peace

Grades 9-12

4860 Oregon Street
San Diego, CA 92116

Garfield Elementary School

Grades K-5

4487 Oregon Street
San Diego, CA 92116

Leeway Sudbury School

Grades K-12

3660 Madison Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116