Normal Heights is a vibrant residential area that serves as a cultural hub for the region. It's 10 minutes northeast of city centre San Diego. It is famed locally for its wealth of craft beer bars, gastropubs, and diverse restaurants with ethnic cuisine along Adams Avenue and the surrounding blocks. People enjoy the local parks that feature events like outdoor film screenings and free live concerts.

From Adams Avenue to the Ward Canyon Area and Balboa Karp, there's tonnes to see and do in this vibrant area. It's a foodie's delight and a fun place to take in a local free music festival or catch a film screening. Families looking for a base of operations for their San Diego holiday often find it here, in a area that's welcoming to kids and offers plenty to entertain everyone in your group.

Normal Heights - one of the highlights of 10 Most Popular Neighbourhoods in San Diego (Read all about San Diego here)

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Highlights of Normal Heights

Normal Heights is, first and foremost, a foodie's paradise. People come here to check out gastropubs, microbreweries, and ethnic restaurants with Asian, Ethiopian, Mexican, and other cuisine varieties across the area. Some of the more popular mainstay restaurants here are the Rabbit Hole and the Blind Lady Ale House. Before or after dinner, visitors love to engage in shopping antique stores, gift shops, and boutique businesses along Adams Avenue.

In the evenings, outdoor film screenings are held in Ward Canyon Park, and you can find concerts in Trolley Barn Park. Adams Avenue is home to many important local celebrations. The Adams Avenue Street Fair is amongst the largest free music festivals in Southern California and is held every September. Adams Avenue Unplugged is held every April. Finally, Art Around Adams is a huge community art event featuring unique local artists all up and down the street.

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History of Normal Heights

Normal Heights is named for the teacher's college that was here before San Diego State University, and the area was founded in 1899. The original Normal School building is now part of the San Diego Unified School District. Before its founding, the area was mostly brushland and farms, but it sprung up rapidly starting around the early 1900s. The area quickly became one of the first tram suburbs of San Diego with the installation of a trolley route along Adams Avenue, an area now considered for historic district status.

Normal Heights suffered massive damage from a wildfire in 1985, which destroyed many expensive buildings and bungalows that had existed since the neighborhood's founding, ruining 69 homes in all. Still, that same year, the area was a finalist for the All America City designation. Today it's a tight-knit, vibrant community and a destination for visitors and families looking to buy homes.

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What to know about Normal Heights

Though Normal Heights is full of exciting things to do, including street festivals, park events, art exhibitions, and of course outstanding eateries, it's still a residential area, and due respect should be given to those who live here if you're coming on holiday. It's rated as one of the top areas in the city for millennials, so many of the attractions and businesses in this area are geared towards that demographic.

Don't be fooled by its name, either; it's often called "Abnormal Heights" by locals because it's got its own unique character, especially in places like Antiques Row with its used book stores, record shops, vintage clothing stores, and other small businesses both antique-vintage and modern focused. It's an area with a bohemian character. Still, if you're looking for somewhere to base your exploration of the greater San Diego area, this is a convenient place for public transport and easy access all over the region.

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Normal Heights