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San Diego Neighborhood Profile: Mission Hills

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Mission Hills San Diego

Mission Hills Nursery

Introducing Mission Hills:

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, which is still an active business (since 1910).

What makes it so special?:

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

What defines Mission Hills?:

First and foremost, the homes. Mission Hills is what your ideal neighborhood would be, and should be, before modern developers turned suburbia into faceless, cookie-cutter, subdivisions.

Things to do:

Like any good neighborhood should have, 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 to the east. The business hub of Mission Hills is along Goldfinch Street between Fort Stockton and W. Washington. Restaurants, shops, pubs and services give residents everything they need.

Best bets for eats:

Well, it used to be Phil's BBQ on Goldfinch, serving up the best barbecue in town (even though adjoining businesses complained of the smoke). But the Mission Hills location is temporarily closed as Phil's establishes its Sports Arena location. The Gathering recently re-opened after a fire closed it down. And don't forget Bronx Pizza and Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe.

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 long for supermarkets before they became, well, super, then hit the local Vons and Albertsons - this is what the grocery store looked like before the became mini-malls. And 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 just north of downtown San Diego, 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.

Mission Hills is served by bus routes: 3,908,16.

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