San Diego Neighborhood Profile: Mission Hills

What to see and do in Mission Hills

Mission Hills: A Residential San Diego Neighborhood Close to the Beach and Downtown
••• Mission Hills bike rider. Hero Image/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Located just west of Hillcrest and overlooking Mission Valley and Presidio Park, Mission Hills is one of San Diego's oldest and most desirable neighborhoods. The area was developed in the early 1900s and is one of the most architecturally impressive neighborhoods - most of the area restored to pristine conditions.

Mission Hills History

Mission Hills was subdivided in 1908, and over the years, some of San Diego's premier architects designed homes in the neighborhood, including Richard Requa, William E.

Hebbard, William Templeton Johnson, Emmor Brooke Weaver, Nathan Rigdon and Joel E. Brown. More modern homes were built along the canyon rims by well-known architects Lloyd Ruocco, Homer Delawie, John Lloyd Wright and Sim Bruce Richards. The local horticulturalist Kate Sessions helped to influence development in Mission Hills and founded the Mission Hills Nursery in 1910, which is still an active business.

What Makes it so Special?

Just a stroll through the neighborhoods north of West Washington Street may result in you wanting to live in Mission Hills. Old stately homes, quaint craftsman bungalows and large mansions -- all immaculately manicured on quiet streets, help to give Mission Hills its appeal.

What Defines Mission Hills?

First and foremost, the homes. Mission Hills is a far cry from new cookie-cutter subdivisions and the older, but well-appointed homes each have its own unique characteristics and charm.

Things to Do

Mission Hills has its own business district that you can stroll to. Most of the local businesses are located along West Washington Street from Hillcrest and on to the east. The business hub of Mission Hills is along Goldfinch Street between Fort Stockton and West Washington. Restaurants, shops, pubs and services give residents just about everything they might need.

Best Bets for Eats

Check out Brooklyn Girl for delicious and inventive farm to table cuisine, and Lefty's for some excellent Chicago-style pizza. 

Best Bets for Drinks and Entertainment

Most of the action is in neighboring Hillcrest, but for drinks and karaoke, the Lamplighter is the place to be.

Shopping

Again, a quick stroll to Hillcrest is where you'll find most shopping. If you need a supermarket, the local Vons and Albertsons are still small enough to not be overwhelming and feel more like a local grocer. Then there's the Mission Hills Nursery on Fort Stockton Drive, one of the city's oldest and finest nurseries.

How to Get to Mission Hills

Mission Hills is located just north of downtown San Diego and is easily accessed from State Route 163, which cuts through the area. From I-8, take SR 163 south and take the West Washington Street exit. Drive through Hillcrest and within a few blocks you will be in Mission Hills.

The primary east-west thoroughfares are Washington Street and University Avenue. Fort Stockton Drive, off of Goldfinch Street takes you through the main residential area of the neighborhood.

If you take Fort Stockton all the way west, then take a left on Arista, you pass some of the mansion-like homes as the road descends into Presidio Park.