The sunny skies of gay San Diego attract millions of annual visitors to the city, who also come to enjoy the stunning coastline and lively nightlife. Many are familiar with the California city for its military bases and legendary surf scene. Of course, the locals of San Diego are fit, active, and full of adventure. With nearly 200 days over 70 degrees a year, it’s no wonder San Diegans spend a majority of their time outdoors.
San Diego's first gay pride parade took place in 1975, making it one of the longest-standing annual parades of its type on the west coast. San Diego Gay Pride takes place every summer in July, which is when the city comes to life with other celebrations and events: one of the most popular circuit parties even takes place at the famed San Diego Zoo. And, in October, thousands from across the country fly to the port city to board the Atlantis Mexico cruise which departs from the harbor and heads south to gay-friendly Puerto Vallarta.
The most popular gay San Diego neighborhood is Hillcrest, which is home to some of the city's oldest homes as well as trees that give the neighborhood an intimate feel. Mid-century modern apartment buildings feature bright colors and distinct lines, while Craftsman homes emit cozier charm. North Park, Mission Hills, Balboa Park and Bankers Hill are some of the borders of this friendly neighborhood.
As the country’s eighth largest city, San Diego does not disappoint with its nightlife. Evenings out at the handful of gay bars and clubs in Hillcrest carry on late into the evening, with options for after-hours, cruising, and sauna visits. The nearby Gaslamp District also offers a variety of gay-friendly venues for those looking for a more alternative scene. No matter where you go, you’ll find that San Diego can turn up the volume despite its sleepy surf town reputation.