South Park

South Park is wonderful for a couples’ getaway! Stay near the world-famous San Diego Zoo, located in neighboring Balboa Park. Check out local hiking and biking trails, picturesque parks, or dive into the vibrant local nightlife. Delectable cafés and exceptional shopping boutiques are never more than a few blocks away!
South Park
Overview
Explore & Save
Things to Do
Popular Activities
Getting Around
Best Hotels
Featured Hotel
Know Before You Go
Stay Nearby
Similar Neighborhoods

Highlights

South Park
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San Diego Zoo
Tips
Overview
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Explore the San Diego Zoo & Local Nightlife

Walking next to the Station Tavern in South ParkRestaurants Along the Street in South Park

San Diego has its fair share of neighborhoods that range in style, from upscale to traditional to modern to quirky. Though every neighborhood has its perks, one that commonly gets overlooked is South Park, an eclectic and diverse neighborhood that borders Balboa Park to the southeast.

For a long time, South Park was known for its collection of Craftsman and Spanish Colonial style homes, most of which were built between 1905 and 1930. Until recently, it was a quiet residential district that appealed to San Diego residents but not so much to tourists. That began to change, however, when its business district began to flourish.

Today, South Park is a mecca of progressive art galleries, indie shops and boutique restaurants and coffee shops.

South Park business owners are particularly invested in the health and wellbeing of the environment, as many use strictly seasonal organics and sustainable seafood and meats. The cuisine served up in the area ranges from light and healthy to downright sinful.

Food isn’t the only locally sourced item in South Park. Craft brews and local wines are often served up alongside innovative salads, juicy burgers and delectable desserts. Art galleries boast pieces from local artists, and boutiques feature clothing items from local designers.

If you’re looking for a truly San Diego shopping experience, you’ll find it in South Park. For trinkets, treasures and fashions you can’t find in a shopping mall, head down to Fern Street, where you’ll find fun shops such as Graffiti Beach Boutique, Vinyl Junkies Record Shack and Make Good.

If you’re lucky (or if you plan it right), you’ll be in town for the quarterly Walkabout, a one-day event during which local shops and restaurants stay open late and offer special discounts, tasters and refreshments and live music flows through the streets. Though the South Park Walkabout does draw in new business for shop owners, the ultimate goal is to highlight the area’s diversity and pride in its local arts, culture and crafts.

South Park is right next door to North Park, which complements the southern neighborhood quite well. While South Park offers more of a laid back, indie vibe, North Park is lively and well known for its bar-hopping intersection and its claim of being “the best beer neighborhood in the nation.” There, you’ll find dozens of great shops, restaurants, live entertainment, art galleries and live theater.

South Park
Why you'll love South Park
South Park borders Balboa Park and the Zoo. Go biking, hiking, or partake in the vibrant local nightlife. Cafés and shopping are within walking distance.

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
Biking
Biking
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo
Skateboarding
Skateboarding

Things to Do

Whether your plan is to stay within the borders of South Park during your short, weekend getaway or to explore South Park and the surrounding areas on your extended holiday, you’re not likely to struggle to find things to do.

South Park, like every other San Diego neighborhood, offers plenty of opportunities to get outdoors, go shopping, eat well and let your inner spirit animal take charge. Below are just a few places to add to your itinerary while in town:

Hamilton’s Tavern

Hamilton’s Tavern is consistently rated as the “best beer bar” on the West Coast. This is likely due to the fact that it doesn’t just serve up craft brews — it celebrates them. Once a month, the tavern hosts a cask event, events that locals, craft beer enthusiasts and mariachis are loath to miss.

Juniper Canyon

Though you’ll be hard-pressed to find them without knowing where to look, San Diego does hide pockets of untouched wilderness within its borders. One such pocket is Juniper Canyon, a preserved piece of nature full of indigenous vegetation, hilly vistas and footpaths. If you take a twilight walk, you’re bound to spot a native animal or two coming out to play.

Local Tips
Hidden Gem
South Park is a hidden gem of San Diego. This charming funky neighborhood is the perfect place to come grab a bite to eat and explore the neighborhood's unique boutique shops.

Balboa Park

While Juniper Canyon is a small slice of nature within the city’s boundaries, Balboa Park is a massive 1,200 acres of natural vegetation zones, open spaces, tended gardens, greenbelts and walking paths. Nestled among all that include several theaters, 17 museums and the San Diego Zoo.

San Diego Zoo

Though part of Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo deserves its own mention. Spend the day getting up close with over 3,000 animals from over 650 different species and subspecies.

If you are looking to save a bit of money consider purchasing a Go San Diego Card. This discount will get you into many of San Diego’s attractions for a fraction of the cost. Some of the attractions include the San Diego Zoo, the USS Midway Aircraft Museum, SeaWorld San Diego, most of the museums in Balboa Park and even gear rentals like surfboards, paddle boards and more. You can save even more if you purchase the Go San Diego Card through our website.

Balboa Park Golf Course

This sprawling collection of courses is part of Balboa Park but borders South Park. The course is hilly, challenging and offers stellar views of the city below. If you’re worried about needing to be a member, don’t, as it offers competitive rates to just about every patron.

Switzer Canyon

Serving as the boundary between South and North Park is Switzer Canyon, another hidden oasis of natural vegetation within the city. The canyon is laced with walking trails and affords visitors some peace and quiet, despite being so close to other urban neighborhoods.

Popular Activities

San Diego Harbor Cruise
San Diego Harbor Cruise
$28 per person
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The World Famous San Diego Zoo
The World Famous San Diego Zoo
Discounts Available
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Explore San Diego Bay
Explore San Diego Bay
$42 per person
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Getting Around South Park

South Park is a very walkable area. If you plan on staying in and around the neighborhood, you won’t need anything more than a good pair of walking shoes. However, if your feet grow tired, know that you always have other means of transportation as well:

Bikes

South Park is bike-friendly. Rent a bike for the duration of your vacation to cruise in and out of the area and to sightsee. Bear in mind that South Park has some large hills. While going down may be fun, heading back could prove to be an unwanted (or, at least, unplanned) workout.

Public Transportation

If the idea of lugging your shopping haul uphill via bike doesn’t sound appealing to you, call a ride share service, hail a taxi or hop on a city bus. Each is readily available and makes it easier than ever to explore the farther reaches of the city.

Car Rentals

San Diego International Airport partners with several rental car companies from which you can rent a vehicle for reasonable rates. If your vacation plans include exploring North County San Diego, renting a car may be more efficient and cost-effective than taking an Uber or city transportation.

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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Lodging

You will find no shortage of hotels, inns and rental options in San Diego. Though South Park itself does not have any hotels, North Park is home to the historic and beautifully renovated The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows.

The Lafayette Hotel was built in 1946 and boasts a grand colonial style. Though it has undergone renovations in recent years, the owners approached said renovations with a “YESTERDAY TODAY” concept. Guests today enjoy classic 40s and 50s era culture and the hotel’s rich heritage while still having access to modern conveniences and technology.

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
Parks
Parks
Shopping
Shopping
Walkable
Walkable

Know Before You Go

Preparation is key to an exceptional San Diego vacation. Below are a few things worth noting before you head to America’s Finest City:

Pack Light

With one of the “Top 10 Climates in America,” you can count on the weather in San Diego to be pretty much perfect while you’re in town. Regardless of the season in which you travel, pack light and with the intent to layer. A light sweater or cardigan should get you through the “coldest” day of your vacation.

Bring the Children

With beaches, museums and family-friendly attractions galore, San Diego is definitely one vacation destination in which the whole family is welcome.

Flex Your Taste Buds

A trip to San Diego is no time to be picky about what you eat. San Diego has some of the most culturally diverse restaurants in the nation, making dining out part of the overall San Diego experience. Be open minded about what you eat — your taste buds will thank you.

Expect to Hit the Beach and Get a History Lesson

With over 70 miles of shoreline, you would be remiss to visit San Diego without scheduling a beach day or two. However, leave time to really indulge yourself in the area’s heritage and history, of which there is an abundance of both.

South Park
is Famous For:
Breweries
Breweries
Nightlife
Nightlife
Sidewalk Cafés
Sidewalk Cafés
Walkable
Walkable
Known For:
Balboa Park
Balboa Park
Bike Riding
Bike Riding
Hiking
Hiking
Parks
Parks
This Month's Forecast
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Sunny in July
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Sunny in August
Sep
66℉ / 82℉
Sunny in September

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