North Park/South Park
In the late 1800s, a merchant bought a piece of land with the intention of turning it into a humble lemon grove. Little did he expect however, that from this development, roads would soon follow, and then businesses, and then people, until a community was soon set up in the area which we now know as North Park. This community grew even more over the decades, which also prompted the creation of a second community, now called South Park.
Known to be the first suburbs of downtown San Diego, both of these areas are predominantly neighborhoods of single-family homes, duplexes, bungalow courts as well as some small apartment buildings. These areas also have high rates of pedestrian activity relative to other regions of San Diego county, so it is fairly common for its residents to just walk or bike from place to place as they go about their daily activities. It is also a very dog-friendly area, with its own parks, and running with your dog down its tree-lined streets can be rather enjoyable.
North Park is one of San Diego’s most up-and-coming communities. Although many regions of San Diego claim to be the heart of the city, geographically North Park claims the true center: east of Hillcrest and immediately north of Balboa Park. Stemming from its matchless diversity, the community is rapidly emerging as one of San Diego’s newest cultural and artistic cores. As the area has matured, winning proprietors have drifted in to open a superlative variety of establishments, from award-winning restaurants to unique nightlife attractions. The community has also distinguished itself by hosting Ray at Night, a monthly festival where the myriad art galleries on North Park’s Ray Street congregate to showcase the work of local artists.
In contrast, the historic neighborhood of South Park has been an important part of San Diego since it was built in the 1870's. Here you will find a sizable collection of original craftsman homes created by famous San Diego architects such as Irving Gill and William S. Hebbard. South Park is recognized as a haven for independent shops, small businesses, galleries and restaurants featuring innovative menus, all complemented by the region's award-winning craft beer. For trend-setters, local art, unique fashions and one-of-a-kind treasures that can't be found at any mall make shopping a treat in South Park.
Despite the seemingly idyllic suburban setting, however, both North Park and South Park have become bustling centers for business and art, with its eclectic and diverse array of art galleries, independent coffee shops, artisanal stores, trendy boutiques, and quirky restaurants. Recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of America’s best hipster neighborhoods, it also has its share of diners, microbreweries, and theaters. Each area also holds its own Farmers’ Market event on a weekly basis which feature independent vendors with their wares which consist of locally grown produce and flowers, ethnic foods, books, and arts and crafts, all of which are more often than not accompanied by live music.