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Gay San Diego
“The birthplace of California,” Gay San Diego is the first location European explorers landed when visiting the West Coast for the first time. They subsequently built the first of Alta California’s missions here, along with a presidio to protect the growing region from attack; both of which can still be visited today, along with Old Town. This Spanish influence can still be seen today, although the influence from Mexico being only several miles away probably outweighs the former contemporarily. You’re not likely to find better, authentic Mexican food anywhere else in America and many citizens speak Spanish as well as English.
Check out Kylie Condon's travel journal exploring the lesbian culture in San Diego! Lez Explore: San Diego
Gay San Diego boasts some of the most spectacular weather in the country. There’s always some event going on in the city, whether it’s a high-heel race through Hillcrest or Comic-Con downtown; and why wouldn’t you participate when it’s beautiful outside nearly every day!
VIDEO: Get The Inside Scoop On Gay San Diego From One of Our Gay Travel Guru's Below!
“America’s Finest City” is always bustling with energy and that’s likely because there is SO MUCH TO DO. From all the museums, exhibits, hiking, and activities in Balboa Park; to entertainment arenas like Sea World, Lego land, the San Diego Zoo, and the Safari Park, you’re sure to have something exciting to see! San Diego County also boasts incredible diversity in its natural landscapes. The city proper is within an hour’s drive to mountains, deserts, beaches, and forests and sits atop gorgeous mesas that slope into brush-filled canyons.
California’s second largest city by population is also home to thriving science and defense industries. There are large firms in technology, aviation, biotechnology, military, and education, and that translates to over 40% of the population holding at least a bachelor’s degree. Being home to the world’s largest naval fleet means there are sailors everywhere. Marine base Camp Pendleton is only about an hour’s drive away too, so there is a large and celebrated military presence in the city.
If you’re gay and happen to be in Gay San Diego, you’re going to want to head to Hillcrest. The gayborhood is north and west of Balboa Park and home to some of San Diego’s best food options. Here you’ll find dozens of bars and clubs along the main strip of University Avenue including perennial favorites like Urban Mo’s and Rich’s. Pride events also occur in the area, with the parade route running from University, down 6th Avenue and ending in the park. One of the largest nude beaches in the nation is also located in San Diego. Black’s Beach stretches for several miles under beautiful cliffs west of Torrey Pines State Park and is the perfect place to spend the lazy Sunday after Pride suntanning.
Gay San Diego
Being the second largest city in California means Gay San Diego is no stranger to diversity, and gays here are welcomed with open arms. They tend to concentrate in the gayborhood of Hillcrest where there are prominent bars and restaurants that gays frequently attend. There’s also a newly-installed, large Rainbow flag flying proudly a short walk away from the recently re-named Harvey Milk Street. There are several gay bars outside of Hillcrest even, with The Hole in Point Loma, and Bourbon Street Pub and Grill being notable. The neighborhoods around Hillcrest also serve as bastions of the gay community. Mission Hills, University Heights, and North Park all have significant gay populations. North Park is where you’re likely to find a handful of leather bars and specialty shops, as it’s a bit more rough around the edges than Hillcrest; and Mission Hills is definitely more residential. University Heights is very gay-friendly but much quieter than Hillcrest.
There’s also a prominent gay beach in Gay San Diego, or at least the gays have claimed the nude beach as their own. Black’s Beach, just west of UCSD and accessible from paths near the Torrey Pines Gliderport, is several miles of uninterrupted coastline beneath gorgeous cliffs and blanketed in sunshine. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
If you love food as much as we do, you will love all the gay-friendly restaurants San Diego has to offer.
Café 21 is a full-service eatery, with Azerbaiijan roots, where you’ll encounter a unique approach to a gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner.They provide neighbors with an exotic and flavorful experience with signature home made bread sandwiches, fresh organic salads, hearty breakfasts, and wide selection of organic coffees, teas, and much more.
Babycakes will have you asking for dessert first and for good reason. They’re best known for their cocktails and cupcakes - a fun combination to leisurely break your Sunday afternoon.
Costa Brava is a Spanish restaurant located in Pacific Beach, a gorgeous area known for its beach culture! This restaurant is very unique in San Diego, it is one of the few restaurants that import “hamon iberico” from Spain.
San Diego has some of the best gay bars and clubs around. For a night of dancing and fun drinks for all, look no further than San Diego's nightlife!
Urban Mo’s is part restaurant, part bar, and part nightclub. Located in the heart of Hillcrest, on 308 University Avenue , this perfect concoction of food, drink, and dance will have you asking for seconds (maybe thirds?).
Gossip Grill is the best lesbian bar in town! People are friendly and the bartenders are always awesome, plus the location is fantastic because you can even stumble to first gay owned and operated brewery in the U.S. right nearby!
True North is a really cool straight gay friendly sports bar, located in the heart of North Park. They have 2/3 pool tables, great bar sitting area with tv’s all over and the best part is that staff members are really nice! This bar is also walking distance to restaurants, coffee shops, North Park Theater, and many other entertainment places.