Located north of Downtown, San Diego, the Uptown area consists of the neighborhoods of Mission Hills, Hillcrest, Bankers Hill, and University Heights. Here you’ll find beautifully preserved and restored homes with a variety of architecture styles such as Crafstman, Mid-Century Modern and Spanish Colonial Bungalows. Holding true to its name, “Uptown”, the further up the hill from Downtown San Diego, the greater the views are, from Coronado to Downtown cityscape views to the gorgeous San Diego Bay.
Mission Hills is located on hills just south of the San Diego River valley and north of downtown San Diego, overlooking Old Town and San Diego Bay. The area is primarily residential, with some small shops and restaurants.Modern homes were built along canyon rims as infill during the 1950s and 1960s by modern masters such as Lloyd Ruocco, Homer Delawie, John Lloyd Wright and Sim Bruce Richards, among others.
Public schools in Mission Hills are part of the San Diego Unified School District. Since there is no public high school in the neighborhood, students are given the choice of attending Point Loma High School or San Diego High School. Several private and religious schools are located in Mission Hills.
Hillcrest is bound by Mission Hills to the northwest, Bankers Hill and Balboa Park to the south, University Heights to the north, and North Park to the east. A large ridge overlooking San Diego Bay borders the neighborhood to the west.
Hillcrest is an older neighborhood which has gone through gentrification. Many streets are lined with trees. There are Craftsman homes and Mid-Century modern apartment buildings. Known for its “tolerance and acceptance,” its gender diversity, and numerous locally-owned businesses, including restaurants, cafés, bars, clubs, trendy thrift-stores, and other independent specialty stores. Hillcrest has a high population density compared to many other neighborhoods in San Diego.
Bankers Hill, sometimes known as Park West, is a long established uptown San Diego neighborhood near Balboa Park. It is bordered to the north by Hillcrest, to the south by Downtown, to the east by Balboa Park, and the west by Little Italy and the neighborhood known as Midtown.
The area is primarily residential south of Laurel Street and west of 5th Avenue. Many new construction projects are ongoing as of 2009, creating condominiums along 6th Avenue facing the park. Locations further west allow an elevated, panoramic view of Downtown, San Diego Bay, the airport, Coronado, Harbor Island and Mount Soledad. Many homes date from the late 19th century, including some which have been restored as offices or bed-and-breakfast inns. Architects Irving Gill, William Hebbard, Richard Requa, and Frank Mead designed homes in this area. The area acquired the name “Bankers Hill” because of its reputation as a home for the affluent.
University Heights is centered around Park Boulevard and Adams Avenue. The area is filled with a number of restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and artist’s studios primarily on Park Boulevard and Adams Avenue. Live entertainment can be found most nights. Adjacent to Hillcrest and Normal Heights, additional restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and night clubs are within easy reach.
The neighborhood sits in a central San Diego location with a broad spectrum of housing options, from cottages, apartments and condominiums, to million-dollar homes. Downtown, Balboa Park, San Diego Airport, Mission Valley, San Diego State University, are only a few minutes away.
Hillcrest “CityFest” is an annual street festival which features food, live entertainment, a beer garden and street vendors. Other regular events include weekly farmers market, a Book Fair, Mardi Gras, and the Pride Festival.