North Park

North Park borders Balboa Park. Choose a day of touring the world-famous San Diego Zoo and its neighboring assortment of museums. Or be a part of the exciting nightlife, and walk to the nearby breweries, delectable cafés, and unique shopping boutiques! Bring the whole family to enjoy a fun-filled retreat!
North Park
Overview
Explore & Save
Things to Do
Popular Activities
Places to Eat
Best Breweries
Featured Hotel
Know Before You Go
Stay Nearby
Similar Neighborhoods

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North Park
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Balboa Park
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Overview
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The Zoo, Museums & the Vibrant Nightlife of North Park

Awesome Bookstore, Verbatim Books in North ParkNighttime at the Observatory North Park

If you’re looking for the next hot spot in San Diego, North Park is the place to be. This diverse district is one of the area’s rapidly rising artistic and cultural centers. Whether you like a hipster vibe or diverse experiences and attractions, there is something for everyone.

Situated east of Hillcrest and northeast of Balboa Park, this eclectic neighborhood stretches from Interstate 8, at the south end of Mission Valley, almost to Route 94, the Martin Luther King Jr Freeway. Interstate 805 and I-15 run along its eastern border. In addition to the freeways, University Ave and El Cajon Blvd are the primary east-west surface streets, making it easy to get around.

Not only is North Park convenient to the Greater San Diego area, but this laid-back neighborhood has an abundance of casual dining options, coffee shops, activities and shopping. Its proximity makes it an ideal destination for a weekend, day trip or as home base for a longer stay.

If you want to stay nearby, The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows is the area’s iconic boutique hotel. Quaint B&Bs and popular chain hotels in and around the district make staying and playing in North Park easy.

North Park
Why you'll love North Park
Walk to parks, cafés, shops and the attractions in Balboa Park such as the San Diego Zoo and various museums. Visit a local brewery and enjoy the nightlife.

Explore SeaWorld and SAVE

SeaWorld San Diego
Visit SeaWorld San Diego
Check out SeaWorld San Diego for exciting rides, marine animal interactions and shows! Admission is included as part of the All-Inclusive Go Pass. Save even more when you bundle with other top attractions like the Birch Aquarium at Scripps!
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Local Tips
Where can you purchase a Go San Diego pass?

It's best to purchase your Go San Diego pass in advance to maximize your savings!

Combine Go Visit San Diego's exclusive 5% discount with the Go San Diego pass' already great deals and save big! No code needed - simply follow our link above to purchase your pass and begin savin

Things to Do

Balboa Park
Balboa Park
Museums
Museums
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo
Skateboarding
Skateboarding

Attractions & Things to Do

The intersection of University Avenue and 30th St is at the heart of North Park. For those who drive here, there is metered street parking, but also several parking lots and structures within walking distance to many of the popular locations.

Observatory North Park

This historic North Park Theatre at University Ave and 29th St first opened in 1929. Home to symphonies, musicals films, concerts and theatrical productions, the restored theater has been transformed into a modern nightlife destination. A 40-ft stage and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems are designed especially for the needs of the new open-floor setup.

West Coast Tavern is adjacent to the venue, serving handcrafted cocktails, craft beer and a unique selection of dinner, happy hour and late-night menu options. Stop by before heading to a concert or enjoy their amazing brunch specials, served Saturday and Sunday.

North Park Thursday Farmers Market

Located between 29th St and Ray St, the North Park Farmers Market on North Park Way is open every Thursday, rain or shine. It features locally grown organic produce, great food, flowers and handmade arts and crafts from more than 45 vendors. Live music, seasonal events and raffle prizes make this a popular location for adults and kids alike.

Balboa Park

Balboa Park is located at the southwest edge of North Park and just east of Downtown San Diego. This parcel of land, formerly known as City Park, was set aside by civic leaders in 1868. At the time it was a scrub-filled, largely desolate mesa, overlooking what is now Downtown San Diego.

Today this expansive 1,200-acre park is the country’s largest urban cultural park. It is home to museums, gardens, performing arts venues and cultural institutions. You can reach it from Route 163 or by heading south from University Ave on Texas St, Florida St, Park Blvd or Richmond St.

Local Tips
Visit the Marston House Museum
Located in Balboa Park the Marston House Museum was built in 1905 and it stands as one of the best examples of the Arts and Crafts movement. Don't miss the gardens encompassing 5 acres with manicured gardens, canyon gardens and rolling lawns.

Museums at Balboa Park

Diverse museums provide a unique insight into a variety of industries, from the history of automobiles, trains and flight to scientific discoveries and photographic arts. Each location has its own design and offers interactive exhibits, permanent displays and traveling exhibitions.

Gardens inside Balboa Park

A wide variety of plants and trees thrive in the area, thanks to San Diego’s mild climate. You can view the California Native Plant Garden and stroll the paths through the Old Cactus garden, developed for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition.

The Botanical Building with the Lily Pond and Lagoon is a “must-see” San Diego destination. The historic building was built for the 1915-16 Expo and is one of the largest lath structures in the world. It features tropical plants and palms, with collections of orchids, ferns and cycads.

The Japanese Friendship Garden, Zoro Garden and Marston House Garden are some of the most popular displays. With more than a dozen different gardens, each with a unique design and setting, there are plenty of opportunities to explore or simply slow down and relax.

Morley Field Sports Complex

Get out and enjoy the weather at the Morley Field Sports Complex in Balboa Park. It encompasses a pool, two dozen tennis courts, bicycle track, disc golf course, bocce courts and a fitness course. The tiny tots play area and the senior center provides activities and room to play for every member of the family.

Balboa Park Golf Course

The golf course, located at the south end of Balboa Park and is near the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy and the San Diego Convention Center. It contains a challenging 72 par course, driving range, putting greens and 9-hole executive course. Range balls and golf club rentals are available on-site.

San Diego Zoo

Founded in 1916, the San Diego Zoo houses more than 650 endangered and rare species and subspecies. The non-profit wildlife sanctuary is also home to an extensive botanical collection that includes more than 700,000 exotic plans.

Are you looking for a discount to the San Diego Zoo? The Go San Diego Card is a great option, this card will not only get you into the San Diego Zoo but into over 50 other attractions and activities in San Diego and save you money at the same time.

Places to Eat in North Park

The San Diego food scene thrives in North Park. Whether you’re an up-all-nighter or early riser, there are plenty of palate-pleasing options from traditional diners to upscale restaurants.

Breakfast lovers rejoice! From casual cafes with pastries and fruit to a profusion of brunch options, there’s no shortage of dining options early in the day. Farm to table fresh, organically grown produce and artisan cocktails get the weekend going in style.

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

If a cold brew or Espresso gets your day off on the right foot, Dark Horse Coffee Roasters has four San Diego locations, including the 30th St and North Park Way shop. They feature responsible, directly sourced coffee from smallholder farmers around the world.

Sipz Vegetarian Kitchen

Inventive vegan, vegetarian and raw dishes abound in North Park. Although many restaurants offer meat-free and plant-friendly menu items, the Sipz Vegetarian Kitchen has a menu full of these tasty choices. Their vegetarian and vegan menus feature popular dishes and their own creations.

Waypoint Public

Casual gourmet eateries flourish in North Park. Try fish tacos, traditional Mexican fare, barbeque or Thai fusion that brings together Asian favorites with SoCal flare. Waypoint Public is the favorite neighborhood hangout. It’s a family-friendly, chef-driven restaurant that delivers high-quality and superior service in a no-frills, relaxed atmosphere.

The Red Fox Steakhouse and Piano Bar

If you’re planning a special occasion or are ready for a romantic dinner, you can dine al fresco under the stars, nibble from small plates and tapas and discover new sushi favorites in a slick modern atmosphere. The Red Fox Steakhouse and Piano Bar is a North Park icon. This family-run business, opened in the 1950s features a surf and turf menu and British pub-inspired décor

Chicken Pie Shop

For the ultimate in comfort food, you can’t beat Chicken Pie Shop. It has been serving chicken dinners, soul food and fresh-made desserts at an affordable price since 1938.

Featured Activity

Front of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
Located in downtown San Diego, the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum provides history of aircraft built in California. The museum includes over 60 exhibits with restored aircraft and tours of the carrier.
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The Best North Park Breweries

North Park is a haven for craft beer enthusiasts. In this neighborhood, most restaurants have local beer on tap, from the iconic steakhouse to the pizza place on the corner. There are more than a dozen breweries and tasting rooms within a 1.6-mile stretch, so put on your walking shoes and get ready to experience the local brew scene.

Fall Brewing Company

Begin your urban trek along the north end of the neighborhood. A few blocks north of El Cajon on 30th St, the spine of North Park, you’ll find Fall Brewing Company. They offer exclusive beers and have a tasting room on-site. They are kid-friendly, dog-friendly, have free wi-fi and have guest food most nights.

Eppig Brewing, Pariah Brewing Company & JuneShine

A block east of 30th on El Cajon is the Brewery Igniter. Created to give passionate brewers a chance to show off their expertise, the building in the heart of the North Park’s craft beer scene, houses three breweries. Eppig Brewing, Pariah Brewing Company and JuneShine, the first hard kombucha bar in San Diego.

Serpentine Cider & Bivouac Ciderworks

Kick your tasting tour up a notch and explore the nearby cideries. Crafted with care and natural ingredients, these beverages are nothing like the mass-market options at the corner store. Check out Serpentine Cider next to The Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Blvd and Bivouac Ciderworks at 30th and Lincoln Ave, a few blocks south.

Featured Hotel
The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Swimming pool at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Balboa Park
Balboa Park
Boutique
Boutique
Families
Families
3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
Leave your cares & worries behind when you step back in time with classic comforts at The Lafayette Hotel, located in sunny San Diego.
Prices Starting at $127
Check Availability

Know Before You Go & Tips

Cafes
Cafes
Museums
Museums
Parks
Parks
Shopping
Shopping
Walkable
Walkable

Best Time of Year to Visit North Park

San Diego has mild temperatures and sunny days most of the year. Spring weather can be a bit unpredictable, and clouds often cover the sky in June. As a result, if you’re looking for fewer crowds, March and April (excluding Spring Break) might be the best time for you to visit.

The quietest times are December, January and February, except for the holiday weeks. You may score discounts on hotel rooms during this time and rental cars may also be less expensive.

However, if you have specific activities in mind some months are better than others. SeaWorld San Diego and the San Diego Zoo attract visitors year-round, but the weather is at its best in May, before the summer crowds arrive. After Labor Day through to December is also less busy. Go during the week to enjoy the attractions without the weekend rush.

If you’re planning a surf holiday, the swells combine with the Santa Ana winds for the best conditions late fall through the winter. The peak beach vacation season is July through September. The water is at its warmest, and the sunny days are long.

Plan your perfect day in North Park or play it by ear and be moved by your mood. No matter what your preference, there is plenty to see and do.

North Park
is Famous For:
Breweries
Breweries
Nightlife
Nightlife
Sidewalk Cafés
Sidewalk Cafés
Walkable
Walkable
Known For:
Balboa Park
Balboa Park
Parks
Parks
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo
Walkable
Walkable
This Month's Forecast
66℉ / 82℉
Sunny in September
Oct
61℉ / 81℉
Sunny in October
Nov
53℉ / 75℉
Sunny in November
Dec
48℉ / 69℉
Sunny in December

Stay Nearby

Hilton San Diego Mission Valley
Family Friendly
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Hilton San Diego Mission Valley
from $128 / night
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SpringHill Suites San Diego Mission Valley
Near Balboa Park
2 Star Rating2 Star Rating
SpringHill Suites San Diego Mission Valley
from $154 / night
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Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Homewood Suites by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley
from $167 / night
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The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Boutique Hotel
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
from $127 / night
View Hotel
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