San Diego’s Most Walkable Neighborhoods

San Diego is made up of different areas, some more walkable than others, and each as unique as the next. But if you’re looking to live in San Diego and want to be able to walk from your doorstep to the local farmers market, or maybe the cute cafe for your morning latte, then you’ll want to check out this list. We’re sharing the most walkable neighborhoods in San Diego!

San Diego’s most walkable neighborhoods

Now, something you need to know before you dive into the different neighborhoods is that while these areas are conveniently walkable, it doesn’t mean you won’t need a car. If you’re planning on living in San Diego, you will most likely need a car to get around. Our public transportation is getting better, but currently it doesn’t reach many places.

#1 Downtown San Diego

Walk Score: 97

We’re lumping together the entirety of San Diego’s downtown district; including the Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy and East Village. Why? Because our downtown area isn’t that large. So, saying downtown could mean a few different places. This area is home to mostly condominiums and apartments. Check out further details about these areas…

Downtown San Diego at dusk, Most walkable neighborhoods in San Diego (12)

Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego is the most well known area of downtown. It’s the historic center, is close to the convention center, and home to many eateries and cafes. The Gaslamp Quarter includes Fourth, Fifth and Sixth avenue from Harbor Drive to Broadway Avenue. This area of downtown is incredibly safe, clean and easy to walk around.

East Village

East Village is an up-and-coming neighborhood in downtown San Diego. It’s home to Petco Park (yes, there’s a Major League Baseball stadium in the heart of our downtown! It’s wonderfully convenient), and unique bars and restaurants, such as Quartyard. This area is great for young professionals who don’t want to use their cars and can walk to the downtown office. East Village has quite a bit of new construction in the neighborhood. Most of which is high-rise condos, offering even more amenities and luxuries than the Gaslamp Quarter.

Little Italy

Little Italy is named so after it’s history of being home to a vibrant italian fishing community, and more recently its plethora of italian eateries in the area. The neighborhood is very walkable and great on the weekends for outdoor dining and the local farmers market. If you’re not a fan of high-rise living but want to live in the action, then this area might be perfect for you. Most of the apartments are located in smaller buildings with a handful of unique units. This walkable neighborhood offers city living with a small town vibe, and great views of the San Diego harbor.

#2 Normal Heights

Walk Score: 88

The neighborhood of Normal Heights is tucked in between a section of the I-15 and 805 highways. But don’t worry, this area doesn’t have the sound of speeding cars lulling residents to sleep. In fact, it’s quite a unique area! There are many locally owned cafes, restaurants and even an Antique Row with plenty of antique boutiques. It’s its own small town within the bustling parts of San Diego.



#3 North Park

Walk Score: 84

North Park SD at night, Most walkable neighborhoods in San Diego (13)

North Park has gone through what we call a low-key renaissance over the past few years. What was once a lesser viable neighborhood in San Diego, has become a street art, local brewery, small town haven. The entire neighborhood is walkable, with a central downtown area via 30th Street and University Avenue. The streets of North Park are bursting with adorably comfortable and hip cafes, unique eateries and so many local breweries; basically your taste buds will thank you if you choose to live here.

The area used to be more affordable but since its popularity has been on the rise the cost of housing has increased. There are one-of-a-kind bungalow homes, modern townhouses and condominium complexes sprinkled throughout.

#4 South Park

Walk Score: 69

Just below North Park, lies the neighborhood of South Park. We absolutely love this walkable neighborhood of San Diego. The majority of South Park is residential with bungalows and small apartment complexes. What makes this area special is it’s quaint downtown area with locally owned cafes and shops, as well as some of our favorite restaurants, Kindred and Buona Forchetta.



#5 Hillcrest

Walk Score: 85

Hillcrest is a San Diego neighborhood tucked right above the infamous Balboa Park. It’s a central area of San Diego, with downtown only a five minute drive and easy access to the main SD freeways. Hillcrest may be best known as the San Diego home base for the LGBTQA community. In fact, the neighborhood hosts one of the most popular Pride festivals in California every summer!

Hillcrest is very walkable with the streets lined with delicious restaurants, cafes and one of the best farmers markets in all of San Diego.

Housing in Hillcrest is typically smaller apartment complexes, and quaint bungalow homes.



#6 Coronado

Walk Score: 51

Coronado is a small haven in San Diego. In fact, we compare it to a modern day Pleasantville, but with vibrant colors and way less poodle skirts. Coronado itself is called an island, but it’s technically a peninsula. You can access Coronado via the Coronado Bridge from downtown San Diego, or via Strand Way from Imperial Beach.

Coronado bridge at dusk, Most walkable neighborhoods in San Diego (14)

Coronado’s downtown embodies that adorable small town vibe with local eateries, including the infamous Moo Time Creamery. While we love its 1950’s wholesomeness, there is a lot more that Coronado offers; like impeccably maintained landscaping, epic views of San Diego and the famous Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado sign, Most walkable neighborhoods in San Diego (15)

#7 La Mesa

Walk Score: 59

La Mesa resides just east of central San Diego. It’s an up and coming area of San Diego, where many millennials are going to purchase their first homes. Why? Because going a little bit east saves you a ton of money. With the influx of millennials, came with it an influx of excellent restaurants and cafes.

The city prides itself on well kept walkways and parks, making this San Diego neighborhood a perfect place for those who want to live in a walkable neighborhood.




#8 Ocean Beach

Walk Score: 80

aerial photo of Ocean Beach San Diego, Most walkable neighborhoods in San Diego (16)

Where to begin with Ocean Beach… this seaside neighborhood of San Diego is so unique and fun! There are plenty of places to enjoy a great meal, along with boutique shopping, excellent coffee shops and it’s very own dog beach.

Ocean Beach is unique in that the community embodies a low key lifestyle, where they love to walk barefoot and they love to ‘befriend thy neighbor’. The entire neighborhood is very walkable and provides easy access to the beach.

Many of the homes in Ocean Beach are quaint bungalows and 4-6 unit apartment complexes.

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#9 Solana Beach

Walk Score: 70

Solana Beach aerial photo, Most walkable neighborhoods in San Diego (17)

The Solana Beach neighborhood is perfect for anyone who wants to live in Southern California, but in a place that feels like a small town. The downtown area of Solana Beach is what we’re considering the walkable part of the area, and is called the Cedros Avenue Design District. It’s home to cafes, great eateries, art galleries and a music venue!




#10 Oceanside

Walk Score: 36

Oceanside is another up and coming walkable neighborhood in San Diego. This area used to solely be home to military singles and families, but it’s beauty and serene lifestyle has recently had more families moving here. With more families came more locally owned restaurants and boutiques. The downtown area of Oceanside continues to develop and grow, and we anticipate that the value of the area will continue to rise over the next few years.




#11 Carlsbad Village

Walk Score: 89

Coastline of Carlsbad, Most walkable neighborhoods in San Diego (11)

We love Carlsbad Village! Carlsbad is a North County neighborhood of San Diego. The Carlsbad Village is its downtown area, and similarly to Coronado, it feels like a small town come to life with a surfing lifestyle. *Think Pleasantville but with more casual attire and plenty of dog-friendly establishments.* 



#12 Encinitas

Walk Score: 41

Encinitas is set up similarly to Solana Beach, with a one road downtown area that locals love to frequent. It’s home to great restaurants, coffee shops like Better Buzz and easy access to some great beaches such as Moonlight Beach. It’s a North County area of San Diego that will continue to grow and bring a great lifestyle to its residents.

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