Colina Del Sol – San Diego, CA

A quaint residential neighborhood in the center of San Diego, Colina Del Sol is located just seven miles northeast of downtown San Diego. Residents of Colina Del Sol are within 10 miles of Balboa Park, Mission Beach, Sea World, the San Diego International Airport, and a variety of shopping options. Of course, you will also find the esteemed San Diego State University on the east side of the city. With its fantastic location and variety of shops, restaurants, and things to do, Colina Del Sol provides a terrific neighborhood for your San Diego apartment.

Schools in Colina Del Sol

School data provided by GreatSchools

Restaurants & Nightlife

Almost every neighborhood in the area has something unique to offer. Residents can choose from over 170 restaurants, grocery stores and cafes around town offering Asian, Mexican, African, Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern and American cuisines. Gallegos Mexican Restaurant on the southeast end of town has arguably the best Mexican food in the area; be sure to try the California burrito and some carne asada fries. When seeking a quick bite of some Southern home cooking, consider the tremendously popular Crispy Fried Chicken. Located on the north side of town and specializing in fried chicken, hush puppies, and coleslaw, this local favorite brings the South to the West. The crunchy fried shrimp and fluffy cornbread must be mentioned, along with the flavorful jumbo wings; these beauties come in an array of flavors ranging from BBQ to spicy and wet to dry. The south side of the University facilitates the Tower Bar, a unique dive bar deceptively housed within a landmark building. Built in 1932, this little piece of history features live shows and a killer jukebox; every week there are new experiences and new live acts.

History & Culture

Established in the early 1900s, Colina Del Sol was an important commercial center until the 1960s, when Fashion Valley, Mission Valley and the College Grove Shopping Center areas grew in size. Most of the merchants and customers from University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard migrated to the booming towns. While there are no museums in the direct vicinity of Colina Del Sol, Balboa Park is only six miles away and features 17 museums including: the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Air and Space Museum and the San Diego Museum of Man. Balboa Park also has a fantastic art scene and many seasonal events including the Ethnic Food Fair, where the public can taste food from every country around the world.


The most common ways to get around the neighborhood are by car, bus, walking, bike riding and through Uber. Unfortunately, taxi cabs are not as available as they are in more densely populated urban areas, but the good news is that they are just one phone call away. The only current public transportation option is the bus system, which runs along the north and south sides of Colina Del Sol. This neighborhood has always been a safe place to take a walk or go for a bike ride on a sunny afternoon. Fortunately for residents, most public parking is free in the city, except in the areas governed by the University's regulations. Accessing highways remains fairly simple as the neighborhood rests south of Interstate 8, east of Interstate 15 and Interstate 805, and a couple miles north of highway 94.


The cost of living in Colina Del Sol is significantly below San Diego's average; rental rates are only around $836 per month, making this one of the most affordable neighborhoods around. For a pint of beer in the area, you can expect to pay around $5.50 due to the wide variety of happy hours. Gas prices are pretty decent for the county, standing at only 3 percent higher than the national average.


Three major shopping areas lie within driving distance of Colina Del Sol. Westfield Mission Valley sits only 10 minutes away and features Nordstrom Rack, a number of high-value chain stores and a sizable movie theatre. Fashion Valley Mall, only five minutes from Westfield, provides more high-end chain and department stores, a movie theater and casual dining options. Southwest from the neighborhood sits Westfield Horton Plaza, with plenty of luxury mall stores and a few discount chains. Sporadic boutiques scatter around Colina Del Sol, but you can head to Pacific Beach, the Gaslamp or Seaport Village for a high-volume environment. For a local specialty store just north of Interstate 8, stop by Karma Boutique, a small, tranquil shop that features specialty gifts, including jewelry, candles, vases, picture frames and house wares. This shop also carries one-of-a-kind paintings, photography and jewelry by local and regional artists. The area hosts plenty of independent grocers within walking distance, but for larger quantities, residents depend on either World Foods Supermarket, just south of El Cajon Boulevard, or Smart & Final and Vons, located slightly northeast of the neighborhood. You can also visit the farmers market every Wednesday less than a mile away on College Avenue.


Residents can enjoy Colina Del Sol Park and Recreation Center, a kid-friendly and exercise-centric park on the southeast side of the neighborhood. Along with many family-friendly seasonal events, this establishment has a multitude of features including a fantastic playground, a safe tot lot, plenty of picnic tables, outdoor sports courts, a multipurpose athletic field, tennis courts, a full-size gymnasium, a game room, a craft and ceramic room and a swimming pool across the street. And if all of those amenities weren't enough, it provides a free Teen Center that is open during the week with a Homework Club, movie night, computer lab, seasonal sports, Youth Talk, internships, snack bar and video games. When your dogs need some exercise, head on over to Balboa Park where you will have your choice of three different off-leash areas: Grape Street Dog Park, Morley Field Dog Park, and Nate's Point Dog Park. The Park also houses many smaller, landscaped parks, some of which are kid-friendly with playgrounds, big trees and picnic tables.
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