San Diego is a large, unique, beautiful city with many neighborhoods and towns that all are very different from one another. If you are thinking about buying a home in San Diego or moving to a different area in the city, consider these 5 up-and-coming neighborhoods.

South Park

Located just east of San Diego’s downtown city center is South Park, a small community with lots of fun local bars, breweries, restaurants and shopping that make it one of the best areas in town to live or start a local business. The community is so pro-local business that they blocked a Target from moving in over the past few years.  Crafts, local art, unique fashions and one-of-a-kind treasures, make shopping a wonderful experience in South Park.

Year-round festive events highlight the neighborhoods’ diversity and their pride in local arts, crafts and culture. This includes the Old House Fair focusing on its architectural treasures, and the Walkabout, a quarterly event where the local businesses and galleries invite patrons in after hours.

South Park is also one of the major urban historic areas of San Diego, with many single dwellings of the Spanish Gothic and Craftsman variety. The tree lined streets and walkable business district make for a very pleasant community in San Diego.

The median home value in South Park is $755,300. South Park home values have gone up 7.7% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.0% within the next year.

North Park

Located north of the community of South Park, North Park may have undergone the most radical changes over the past decade. Coffee shops, restaurants and remodeled craftsman homes dominate this neighborhood now. Interest in the architecture of this neighborhood, particularly its Craftsman houses and California bungalows, has been growing in recent years, thanks to the efforts of the North Park Historical Society.

Its location near the park allows North Park residents to access the tennis courts, a golf course, a bike track, and fields for outdoor recreation. There’s also North Park Community Park, Trolley Barn Park, and Montclair Park to spend some leisurely hours outdoors.

For those seeking artistic adventures; local businesses, art galleries and boutiques stay open late for art shows and live entertainment on the second Saturday of each month during Ray At Night. Music lovers can catch live music at The Observatory. Once a venue for opera and dramatic theater, its acoustics make it a strong place to catch a touring music group.

The neighborhood also boasts one of the best farmer’s markets in the country every Thursday.

However, North Park may best be known for the booming craft beer industry. There are now at least six breweries operating out of North Park, including Rip Current, Modern Times, and Fall Brewing Company.

The median home value in North Park is $614,300. North Park home values have gone up 6.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 2.5% within the next year.

Normal Heights

Located in mid-city at the cross section of the 805 and Interstate 8 is Normal Heights, which is arguably the most diverse neighborhood in all of San Diego. This translates into an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants in the community. The name Normal Heights is deceiving as to the true character of this up-and-coming neighborhood.

The focus of Normal Heights in on Adams Avenue, where a collection of used book stores, record stores, vintage stores, restaurants, and antique shops make it the place to be. Also, numerous festivals are also held throughout the year, bringing the community together on a regular basis. This includes Adams Ave Unplugged, the largest free music festival in California

Dining options are anything but cookie cutter in Normal Heights. Seats are always full at the Blind Lady Ale House, which offers thin-crust pizzas made of locally sourced organic ingredients and a beer list of dozens of local craft brews. Satisfy your sweet tooth with creamy homemade ice creams in flavors like Mexican chocolate and blueberry cheesecake at Mariposa Ice Cream Shop, or with exotic flavors like lavender lemonade and nectarine basil at Viva Pops.


Located just a few minutes from downtown San Diego, there’s no reason to ever get bored in the Hillcrest neighborhood. This extremely walkable neighborhood offers plenty for residents to do, be it day or night.  Its restaurant scene offers a variety of brunch options, casual dining experiences, and exotic bistros to tempt the foodie out of you.

When you’re not eating, there are plenty of vintage shops and boutiques, used bookstores, and novelty shops. Highlights include Flashbacks and Luigi Vera for the hippest in retro clothes. After all of that action, cool down at one of the area’s craft breweries before heading out for a night of dancing or live music.

Diverse nightlife venues range from Martinis Above Fourth, with an upscale cabaret experience and live musical entertainment, to Urban MO’s, popular for its Saturday night line dancing. In July, San Diego LGBT Pride attracts more than 150,000 attendees each year with festivities that include a parade through Hillcrest and two-day festival in neighboring Balboa Park.

The median home value in Hillcrest is $549,100. Hillcrest home values have gone up 5.7% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 5.3% within the next year.

East Village

The revitalization of this warehouse district in downtown San Diego was ignited in 2004 with the opening of Petco Park, the San Diego Padres’ baseball stadium. The state-of-the-art stadium features stunning architecture and landscaping, as well as enticing dining options.

East Village is a perfect mix of luxury hotels, fashionable restaurants and cafes, rooftop bars, boutique shops and live music venues scattered throughout the neighborhood. According to The San Diego Tribune, it receives top marks for walkability, transportation, diversity, food, and nightlife options.

After dark, hip East Village offers a range of nightlife diversions. East Village Tavern & Bowl features 12 bowling lanes, pool tables and a fun and upbeat atmosphere for socializing, while the El Dorado Cocktail Lounge mixes up craft cocktails for patrons to sip while watching local bands or dancing as DJs spin tunes. However, to get into Noble Experiment, the neighborhood’s hidden speakeasy, you’ll need to plan ahead and talk to someone in the know to get a seat.

This isn’t the neighborhood for those looking for a vintage vibe necessarily, but the market in East Village has been heating up over the last couple years. The median home value in East Village is $523,000. East Village home values have gone up 3.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 6.3% within the next year.


These are just a few of the great areas in San Diego to consider. It is clear the city continues to evolve but at the same time manages to hang on to its unique character. If you are consider moving to or from the area, please consider one of our hybrid agents at Lionsgate Real Estate Group.


Share our post on social media: