North San Diego is the northern region of San Diego, consisting mostly of hilly terrain and suburbs. For the purposes of this travel guide, "North San Diego" contains just about everything north of Mission Valley and east of I-5.
North San Diego contains the communities of:
- Carmel Mountain (Ranch), a northeastern neighborhood, with Poway to the east, Rancho Bernardo to the north, and Sabre Springs to the south.
- Clairemont, a large suburban area east of Pacific Beach, west of Kearny Mesa, and south of SR-52.
- Kearny Mesa, on a wide, flat mid-city plain, this neighborhood just south of Miramar is one center of San Diego's Asian population.
- Miramar, home to the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.
- Mira Mesa, an inland suburb just north of Miramar.
- Poway, a separate municipality from San Diego, is a large suburb off of I-15. Also north of Scripps Ranch.
- Rancho Bernardo, a master-planned community in the northern part of the region, near Escondido.
- Rancho Penasquitos, a large suburban community west of Poway.
- Rancho Santa Fe, a bedroom community in the hills north of SR-56.
- San Pasqual Valley, the northernmost neighborhood of San Diego, home to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
- Sabre Springs, an upscale, northeastern neighborhood, with Poway to the east, I-15 to the west, and Scripps Ranch to the south.
- Scripps Ranch, a northeastern neighborhood, east of I-15 and south of Poway.
- Sorrento Valley is closer to the coast, near the I-5/I-805 intersection.
By carInterstate 5 and Interstate 15 are the main north-south interstates through the area, with I-5 marking the western boundary of the area and I-15 running through the central and eastern parts of the area. Additionally, SR-163 and I-805 connect the area to the south, with SR-163 continuing through Mission Valley to Downtown and I-805 heading through Mission Valley and the Mid-City area down to I-5 near the US-Mexico border. SR-52 is a main east-west highway, running from near La Jolla past Clairemont and Kearny Mesa out to Santee. Further north, SR-56 runs between I-5 near Del Mar and I-15 near Poway.
By busThe Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) runs buses throughout San Diego, but bus service in these parts is often infrequent. The North County Transit District (NCTD) operates bus routes through northern San Diego County and a couple of those routes serve parts of North San Diego, including Flex Routes 371 and 372 which connect the San Pasqual Valley and the Safari Park to the transit center in Escondido, where you can transfer to the Sprinter rail service to Oceanside or express bus service to Downtown San Diego, although Flex service is infrequent.
By trainSorrento Valley is a stop on the Coaster, a regional rail line that runs along the coast between Downtown San Diego and Oceanside, as well as limited Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service (3 trains northbound, 3 trains southbound daily). From there, a number of shuttle routes connect the station to the immediate area.
Montgomery-Gibbs Executive AirportGeneral aviation
phone: +1 760-747-8702address: 15500 San Pasqual Valley RdSister park to the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, the Safari Park is a massive (1,800 acres) zoo with large, naturalistic free-range enclosures containing animals from all over the world. Highlights include the huge Africa area, the California Condor exhibit, and a tram ride which takes you past some of the large free-range areas (extra admission required).
phone: +1 760-737-2201address: 15808 San Pasqual Valley RdOn December 6, 1846, one of the bloodiest battles of the Mexican-American war took place here. The visitor center on-site has displays on the history of the site.
phone: +1 858-484-7504address: Visitor Center, 12020 Black Mountain RdA large park stretching several miles between the I-5/I-805 intersection and I-15, just south and roughly parallel to SR-56. There is much beautiful scenery which can be explored via the system of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. The park also contains a few historical landmarks, including the Rancho de los Penasquitos, one of the oldest surviving homes in the region, dating back to 1823. Tours of the house are available every Saturday at 11AM.
phone: +1 619-525-8213address: 5544 Regents RdIt's in the San Clemente Canyon along SR-52 from I-5 to I-805. This large park contains some very scenic trails.
phone: +1 619-668-3281address: Visitor Center, One Father Junipero Serra TrailThis massive park along the San Diego River between San Diego and Santee is a hidden jewel among the city's park system. Consisting mostly of rugged, hilly scrubland, Mission Trails offers an excellent diversion from the hustle and bustle of the city. Numerous trails criss cross through the park, and there's an excellent visitor center with exhibits on the flora, fauna, and the human history in the area. You can also see the Old Mission Dam, which once provided water to the original mission community of San Diego just to the west in Mission Valley. Cowles Mountain, the tallest point in the city (1,591 feet above sea level), offers a lovely view of the surrounding area clear out to the ocean and is popular with runners and hikers, with several challenging trails ranging from three to five miles (round trip) featuring steep climbs, wooden steps, and rock crossings. Mission Gorge is one of the most popular rock climbing spots in the area, with over 150 routes from 5.0 to 5.12 grades, and suitable for the novice and the experienced climber. In the summers the gorge can be extremely hot in the direct sun, but the crag stays cool and shaded in the until around noon or 1PM. The rest of the year you can climb all day. Also within the park is Lake Murray Reservoir, which is open to boating and fishing.
phone: +1 858-530-1826address: 11048 Ice Skate Pl
phone: +1 858-581-9944address: Visitor Center, 5180 Tecolote RdTecolote Canyon is a narrow coastal valley in the neighborhood of Clairemont which offers miles of trails open to hiking and biking. The visitor center at the mouth of the canyon offers exhibits on the flora and fauna found in the park.
phone: +1 858-586-7572address: 9580 Distribution AveThe largest full service indoor climbing gym in the San Diego area.
phone: +1 858-565-7799address: 7330 Clairemont Mesa BlvdA mostly California chain of Asian supermarkets. Here you can come face to face with your dinner - live! The entire back wall of this full-size supermarket is the fish department - and many of them are still swimming. This is such a special and unique market that a local cooking school offers group tours.
phone: +1 858-587-2739address: 9675 Scranton RdHidden behind the trees in the San Diego Tech Center, Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens feels more like a high-end sushi place than a brewery/restaurant complete with a koi pond. Lots of outdoor seating. Gets very crowded during the week for lunch & dinner. They serve their own beers on tap and have an extensive menu.
Chorus Karaoke Bar and Cafephone: +1 858-576-0700address: 4428 Convoy St. Ste. 290Korean food and a great place for karaoke.
phone: +1 858-278-8961address: 7604 Linda Vista RdA local favorite, with incredibly good, cheap, and authentic banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches).
phone: +1 858-487-3388address: 11666 Avena PlGood Cantonese (Chinese) dim sum with a good view of Webb Park.
phone: +1 858-278-1222address: 3860 Convoy St.Large pizza with cheese & 1-topping (special) $9.99. $1 internet delivery special.
A surprise find is Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa, home to dozens of excellent Asian restaurants that cater primarily to the lunch crowd from the surrounding commercial areas. Having a job in the Kearny Mesa area can be a joy just for the ability to eat oneself from one end of Convoy to the other, and not hit the same spot twice in a month.
phone: +1 858-622-0085address: 6550 Mira Mesa BlvdOne of San Diego's many microbreweries that has a tasting room that lets you sample their beers. Food isn't sold here, but there are usually food trucks.
O'Brien'sphone: +1 858-715-1745address: 4646 Convoy StThis place has a great low-key friendly atmosphere. There is outdoor seating and a wonderful selection of Belgian local microbrews, with an extra emphasis on hoppy brews. They have a surprisingly good bar food as well.
phone: +1 858-450-9557address: 9550 Waples St
phone: +1 858-558-9600address: 9650 Scranton RdNew state-of-the-art hotel with fresh, healthy food options and Starbucks coffee. Complimentary WiFi.
phone: +1 858 672-9100address: 14455 Penasquitos Dr
phone: +1 858-277-8888address: 8110 Aero Dr
phone: +1 858-292-1482address: 5434 Kearny Mesa Rd
phone: +1 8586391-1222address: 14068 Stowe Drive, PowayFree hot breakfast and internet.
phone: +1 858-720-9500address: 3939 Ocean Bluff Ave
phone: +1 858-676-1660address: 17240 Bernardo Center Dr.
phone: +1 858-523-0500address: 11025 Vista Sorrento ParkwayDon't be fooled by the name. This hotel is not in Del Mar, but in the neighborhood of Sorrento Valley. The location is more convenient to points south of the I-5/I-805 merge.
address: 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa FeLuxury resort, featuring a spa, tennis and golf, with 49 suites.
Most people in this area of San Diego use the area code 858, with some using 760 and 619. The area code must be dialed with the phone number in all areas.
AT&T and Verizon are the two main providers, but some use Sprint and Cricket.
Many Wi-Fi hotspots are available in coffeeshops.