Located only a few miles north of San Diego's bustling downtown core, the vibrant uptown neighborhood of Hillcrest stands as San Diego's LGBT central hub, offering visitors a plethora of bars, restaurants, coffee houses, boutiques and unique thrift stores. Lauded for its pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalk patios, the area's east end is marked by a towering rainbow Pride flag just off Hillcrest's main thoroughfare of University Avenue, at the corner of Normal Street. The landmark happens to serve as the starting point for San Diego LGBT Pride's annual mile-long Pride Parade held in July. A block away, down Harvey Milk Street, is where the San Diego LGBT Community Center resides.
Spanning a dozen blocks west from the Pride flag along University Avenue is a colorful mix of ethnically diverse restaurants, nightclubs and acclaimed wine bars. The stretch is also home to furniture stores, distinctive boutiques and the Uptown District shopping plaza. The avenue leads into the neighborhood's "village" area designated by the historic, neon "Hillcrest" sign. On intersecting Fifth Avenue, visitors will discover a concentration of new and established restaurants as well as a few dessert-centric eateries. Also in the mix are vintage clothing shops, book outlets and the multiplex Landmark Cinemas for taking in independent and foreign films.