San Diego Neighborhoods
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Popular Neighborhoods in San Diego
The Gaslamp Quarter
The Gaslamp Quarter, lovingly referred to as "The Gaslamp," was once San Diego's red light district. Today, it has been revitalized as one of the most exciting and bustling parts of the city, with streets that are lined with bars, restaurants, upscale shopping, and multiple thriving nightclubs. In addition to all of the entertainment, the very walkable Gaslamp affords is another perk: the buildings in the area are Victorian and historic, so it makes for good sightseeing.
Point Loma is actually the first point on the West Coast where European settlers set foot. However, it offers more than just rich history. The neighborhood offers some of the best views in San Diego since it overlooks both San Diego Bay and the skyscrapers of Downtown. People visit Point Loma to check out the scenery but stay for the restaurants, breweries, and shops offering up local goods. The area also popular for art, with close to 50 museums, galleries, dance studios, and more. Point Loma is also close to Sunset Cliffs National Park -- a beloved local destination for stunning sunset views.
Beach aficionados love to come to La Jolla. The coastline in this area is dramatic: it features soft sand that people can lounge on and surf from, but it's also lined by Mt. Soledad -- a steep slope that has jagged and rocky cliffs, which makes for a stunning backdrop. The neighborhood surrounding the beaches in La Jolla are upscale, with fancy restaurants and shopping options. People also come here to enjoy golf, since it has some of the world's best courses (with some of the world's best views), or to visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Just north of San Diego's downtown is Hillcrest, a vibrant, artsy neighborhood that's the centerpiece of the city's thriving LGBT population. In addition to tons of fun gay bars and regular parties, the area is extremely ethnically diverse, which means there are tons of delicious, authentic, one-of-a-kind restaurants. The shopping here is comprised of local mom-and-pop businesses, as well as a great variety of arts and crafts shops, vintage boutiques, and used bookstores.
Food and drink aficionados take heed: the best eating and drinking scene in San Diego might just be in Little Italy. Once home to a flourishing tuna fishing industry led by Italian immigrants, today, Little Italy has tons of restaurants and bars with sidewalk and patio seating so that diners can enjoy the beautiful California sunshine while they eat. Of course, no Little Italy neighborhood would be complete without its fair share of pasta, so visitors can also expect to find a significant selection of Italian restaurants and delis in the area. Just minutes away from Little Italy in downtown is one of San Diego's most popular tourist attractions: the USS Midway Museum, home to the historic aircraft carrier.
If you book a suite in San Diego and you want it to be close to somewhere where you can run, surf, swim, tan and generally enjoy the perfect San Diego weather, you might just want to choose Pacific Beach. The centerpiece of the area is the beach itself, which is one of the most popular in the city. What draws people to Pacific Beach is its long manicured boardwalk -- and its selection of bars and cafes. Think casual here: more flip-flops and college sports bars than many other San Diego neighborhoods.
Looking for somewhere "hip" and "up-and-coming" in this very polished city? Look no further than North Park. A hipster neighborhood at heart, North Park's streets are lined with Craftsman cottages, farmers markets, coffee shops, and theaters. This area is in the process being gentrified, but it retains some of its authentic, historic, gritty feel.
Mission Hills is one of the most community-centric areas of San Diego. It's a quiet area, where neighbors know each other, and lawns tend to be impeccably groomed. Most of the homes in Mission Hills are impressive, and they were built in the early 1900s. Visitors come to this area of San Diego to take in the historic architecture and also to get a real taste of what actual San Diego living is like.
Located on the Bay across from downtown San Diego, Coronado feels like its own vacation destination unto itself. Located on an island, the area is surrounded by stunning beaches, and it has its fair share of impressive resort hotels and amenities. Visitors to Coronado can play golf at the Coronado Municipal Golf Course, which offers beautiful waterfront views. The island is tiny -- and totally walkable or explorable by bike. In addition to a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and shops, visitors that come to Coronado can be wowed by the waterfront mansions and perfectly tended gardens. Coronado is reachable by ferry.
Old Town San Diego is often called the birthplace of California, since it was California's first settlement -- built in 1769, with just a fort and a mission. Many of the historic buildings of the area remain standing, and visitors can wander through them and marvel at the history. Old Town has several famous sites that attract tourists, including Presidio Park, which has its own cultural museum; Bazaar del Mundo, which sells crafts, clothing, jewelry, and more; and Old Town San Diego Historic State Park, which is located in the center of Old Town and features educational programming and tours. The area has several hotels within it, so if you want to book a hotel suite in San Diego somewhere that feels historic and culturally-significant, this is definitely the place.