Enjoy Our Diversity

APA Great Places in America Award

APA Great Places in America Award

Sitting at the crossroads of San Diego is Hillcrest. Everyone eventually passes through our neighborhood, and many of them end up calling it home — either with a mailing address or merely their own “sense of place.” In January of 2007 the residents formed the Hillcrest Town Council “to provide a voice & enhance the quality of life for Hillcrest renters & homeowners while supporting actions that benefit our neighborhood.” Look over to the right sidebar for some suggestions to build a better community.

Hillcrest is an accepting urban village with a small town feel. We’re proud to be eclectic, and we love our history. In 2007 the community celebrated our first 100 years with a variety of fun events throughout the year. In October of that year Hillcrest was designated as one of the top ten great neighborhoods in America by the APA (on the first year they made the picks).

HQ5A true success story in terms of revitalization, Hillcrest has blossomed into one of the hippest, most happening communities in the nation. Nestled north of the world’s most famous Zoo and Balboa Park, it’s known for its wide array of award-winning restaurants, trendy stores, fabulous salons and spas, medical offices, two major hospitals and the largest concentration of gay and lesbian-owned businesses in the city. Those who live here enjoy a wide choice of older homes mixed with newer, upscale apartments and condominiums in one of the nation’s premier walkable neighborhoods.

And we like to party…2011 street fairs kicked off as Hillcrest Mardi Gras revelers celebrated Fat Tuesday with perfect weather. Our neighborhood festivals continued on Sunday, July 10th with the Hop in the ’Hood in the 3700 block of Seventh Avenue. The annual block parties celebrate each new edition of HillQuest, the Urban Guide, showcases great bands, friends, games and fun including cake for one and all at noon. On the following weekend (July 15, 16 & 17th) the 37th anniversary of San Diego’s LGBT Pride kicked off with a rally at the festival site in Balboa Park Friday night. Hillcrest proudly hosts many LGBT events including the city’s largest parade along University and Sixth on Saturday. A two-day festival follows back in our idyllic park. Here’s a link to a 2004 Pride slideshow.

CityFest’s roots began in 1984 when the community filled the street under the Hillcrest sign to celebrate its restoration. The annual street fair is held the second Sunday in August. Great bands and the best people-watching in town! In past years, the Hillcrest History Guild hosted Toast to Hillcrest as revelers enjoyed a summer evening strolling the neighborhood sampling from dozens of unique restaurants, pubs, wine bars and cafes featuring wine, nibbles and spirits. The final “toast” was held in 2011.

All throughout 2007 we celebrated Hillcrest’s Centennial. In 1907 William Wesley Whitson subdivided 40 acres north of University between Second and Sixth. His sister-in-law Laura Anderson helped him with the name “Hillcrest” for his company, and the name resonated throughout the area previously known as University Heights. (Hillcrest timeline)

Whether you’re here for one of our many events, a night of partying, shopping for home furnishings, healthcare or a quiet romantic dinner at an assortment of restaurants — please enjoy yourself. The community of Hillcrest has something for everyone, and we’re proud of our diversity. For a view of the past check out the Hillcrest History Guild. Live in Hillcrest? Come to monthly meetings of the Hillcrest Town Council. Own a business? Come to the Hillcrest Business Association meetings. Want to help to perserve it? Join Save Hillcrest.

Remembering Jess Jessop, the founder of the SD Gay Center…
On a summer day in 1974, a group of two hundred prideful homosexuals marched through downtown publicly proclaiming to all that they were gays and lesbians. (A few wore paper sacks over their heads fearing job loss.)
Here’s an excerpt from Jess’s speech which preceding that historic march:

“We will no longer be society’s doormat, for we will not lie down. We will not be oppressed, for we will not allow it. We are proud of our gay mystique…It is time to come together in an open demonstration of the ecstasy of being gay. Ours is a movement of love. Love cannot be hidden. It must be shared in the sunlight if it is to blossom.”