San Diego is the second-largest city in all of California, and this makes it a diverse settlement with very different and interesting districts. There are places that are hip, places that are party-centric, and places that have more culture. San Diego has it all, but here are the best neighborhoods for tourists and locals to hang out in and explore.
Little Italy is now the cultural hub of Downtown San Diego and is famous for its excellent restaurants and authentic Mediterranean shops. Formerly a fishing village, it is now an area with a proud heritage, which can be seen in full at the bustling Mercato Market, that’s open every Saturday from 8am to 2pm. The area also hosts several Italian-themed festivals, which celebrate the unique personality and identity of the Italian people who live here. San Diego’s Little Italy is a bustling and welcoming neighborhood that is unlike any other in the entire city.
The Old Town is an area of San Diego that is steeped in history and interest and is said to be the birthplace of California as it was the state’s first official settlement built back in 1769 by Spanish settlers. The area is littered with awesome museums, historic buildings, and exhibits, with the historic park being a particular highlight of the neighborhood.
The area also contains a fantastic collection of preserved Victorian houses, as well as the apparently haunted Whaley House, which is a good destination for thrill-seekers and believers of the paranormal. Of course, the Old Town also has its modern charms, such as some delicious restaurants and the Barra Barra Saloon, home of the best $6 margarita in the entire town.
Hillcrest is a very significant location in San Diego as it is the most LGBTQ-friendly district in the entire city, and has been the site of the annual Pride parade since the 1970s. It’s a very accepting district with lots of cool events going on. There are brilliant food venues here too, including awesome bakeries, delicious restaurants, and the vibrant and colorful, Urban Mo’s, which can be described as a gay burger joint. The area is also the home of San Diego Zoo, where you can get up close and personal with some of the world’s most mesmerizing creatures.
Pacific beach is tucked away between La Jolla and Mission Beach and is a youthful and active oceanside neighborhood. It’s a stunning location within the city as it boasts spectacular coastlines as well as a buzzing nightlife scene, which is emphasized along the rambunctious Garnet Avenue. Here, you can get your groove on and party with a wide variety of locals who range from many of the city’s demographics that make it such a great and diverse place. The neighborhood is also home to the Crystal Pier Hotel, which takes the form of several charming bungalows that date back all the way to the 1930s. This hotel can be found on the pier and boasts amazing seaside views.