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San Diego Neighborhood Profile: Kensington

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Kensington San Diego

Kensington sign

Introducing Kensington::

This upscale enclave on the southeast rim of Mission Valley is picturesque, with attractive (and pricey) Spanish-styled homes for upwardly mobile yuppies. It's a peaceful pocket amid the hubbub of the inner city. There's a tiny business district along the single main artery Adams Ave.

Kensington's History::

Known for its distinct California Spanish-style single family homes, Kensington was developed by real estate developers in 1926. The subdivision consists of 115 acres overlooking Mission Valley. The Davis Baker Company of Pasadena developed much of the original homes. Famous local architect Richard Requa, who was associated with Davis Baker, brought his distinctive California architectural theme, which had Mediterranean influences.

What Makes It So Special::

The original homes and the quiet, winding streets. The Spanish tiled cottage style homes and their immaculate lawns are the epitome of what neighborhoods should be.

What Defines Kensington?::

Kensington is one of the three mid-city urban neighborhoods that whose main thoroughfare is Adams Ave. It is at the eastern end of the strip that begins with University Heights at the western end, with Normal Heights in-between. Of the older urban neighborhoods in San Diego, it is one of the most desirable to live. Like its fellow 'hoods, it is distinguished by the classic neon "Kensington" sign that spans Adams Ave.

Things to Do::

Like the other appealing neighborhoods in town, Kensington is a great, compact walking neighborhoods. Just stroll through the winding roads north of Adams and admire the homes that exude character. Take in the 3-block business district along Adams of local businesses and eateries.

Best Bets for Eats::

Well, you gotta go to Ponce's for Mexican food. It's been around forever (actually since 1969) at the corner of Terrace Dr. and Adams, serving up no-frills Mexican food at good prices. Local favorite the Kensington Grill offers a hip and stylish setting in this upscale eatery. the cafe Just Fabulous Kensington offers up great desserts and lunch and dinner.

Best Bets for Drinks and Entertainment::

The Ken Club is the place for drinks in Kensington. This venerable, old school neighborhood haunt is one of San Diego's favorite dive bars. By day, it's a dark and mellow place to chill. At night, it livens up the quiet 'hood with live bands and DJs spinning music. And, of course, there's the art house Ken Cinema, one of the last single screen movie venues in the county. It's a classic place to see classic and foreign flicks.

Shopping?::

Really not much except for your neighborhood storefront essentials: banks, dry cleaners, coffee house, liquor store, real estate office, travel agency. And the classic Kensington Video store, where you can find everything you can't at Blockbuster.

How to get to Kensington::

From I-8, take SR-15 south and take the Adams Avenue exit. Go east on Adams - Kensington begins just after the SR-15 overpass. Oh, and you can't miss the big Kensington sign.

The neighborhood's eastern boundary is generally considered Van Dyke Avenue. Meade Avenue is considered the south boundary, where there is more of a mixture of bungalow homes and apartment complexes. The core Kensington, though, is acknowledged as from Adams Avenue north.

Pubic transportation serving Kensington is bus route 11.

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