University Heights in San Diego may be a small neighborhood, but where it falls short in size, it more than makes up for in heart. The streets of the neighborhood, which was once the proposed site of the area’s university, are lined with historic and newly renovated Craftsman style homes and towering trees.
Hidden beneath the rooftop and canopy are a collection of quirky shops, eclectic restaurants, chic boutiques and trendy bars and nightclubs. The combination makes University Heights one must-see neighborhood during your San Diego vacation.
University Heights is next door to Hillcrest, San Diego’s LBGTQ+ community, and is close to Downtown San Diego and the beaches of central San Diego.
Locals who live in the area’s many apartments, homes and condominiums are the typical patrons of the local diners, shops and coffee shops, meaning the district experiences a relatively low level of congestion. Don’t take this to mean, however, that University Heights is for locals only; community members are quick to welcome in visitors and newbies who express creativity.
Trolley Barn Park is a must-visit landmark in University Heights. The city park is on the site of an old streetcar barn, and while trolleys no longer pass through the area, the park has plenty to see and do for all ages.
University Heights only has one hotel within its limits, the historic Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows. This iconic hotel exudes southern charm and a Victorian-era essence, making guests feel as if they’ve stepped into a grand hotel in New Orleans instead of a resort in San Diego.
University City is easy to get to, if you’re coming from the San Diego International Airport, take the I-5 South to the CA-163 North, toward Escondido. Take exit 2B to Washington Street, then turn left onto Park Blvd. Park Blvd is considered to be the heart of the neighborhood, so once you’ve found it, you’ve found University Heights.