Mission Hills is an historic residential neighborhood with a vibrant business community. We have over 160 businesses consisting of restaurants, bars, local shops, and services. Several active organizations call Mission Hills home, such as the Mission Hills Garden Club, Mission Hills Heritage and Mission Hills Artists.
Mission Hills is one of San Diego’s premier communities. Distinctive architecture reflecting the origins of San Diego, generously proportioned homes built by civic leaders seven to eight decades ago, winding streets lined with palms, eucalyptus, and wildlife canyons, good schools and great neighbors make our community a wonderful place to live. The community of Mission Hills geographically neighbors Downtown, Balboa Park, three primary freeways (I-5, I-8 and Highway 163), and the great Pacific Ocean; yet because of topography and long time landscaping, provides a lush refuge from most of the bustle of city life.
Mission Hills’ first home (at 2036 Orizaba) was built in 1887 on “Inspiration Point” by the daughter of the captain of the pacific coast sidewheel steamship Orizaba. Her father could see it when he guided the ship into harbor on return from the northern California coast. Now known as Villa Orizaba, this home was soon joined by newly planned subdivisions along Sunset, adjoining Presidio Park, and overlooking the dairy farms and river in Mission Valley. Some of our most prominent city forefathers developed here in the 1920’s and 30’s. George Marston, Kate Sessions and J.D. Spreckels aimed to create an “Uptown Fine Home” area, in the leapfrog growth up the hill from downtown. Kate Sessions sought a rural site for her nursery when it moved from Balboa Park, and then convinced her friend and patron, Spreckels, to bring his electric railway out to Mission Hills to expand her customer access.
Mission Hills has consistently benefited from the dual virtues of proximity to the heart of our City and the serene refuge of lush wild canyons, sparkling and breezy ocean vistas, and strong community sensibilities. Primarily populated by active business and civic leaders, doctors, attorneys and entrepreneurs, MH also has a flourishing front-porch visiting tradition, little league system, 3 churches, and excellent primary school choices; private, parochial and public. Mission Hills architecture is a product of the Arts and Crafts movement of the late 1800’s, and early 1900’s, where craftsmanship and natural materials were venerated. In the 20’s and 30’s the romantic Spanish style began to emerge in both bungalows and grand homes. There are also a few of the nicer 50’s “contemporaries” in the Frank Lloyd Wright vein. In the 1970’s our green tree-lined streets and lush canyons precipitated a proliferation of wood and glass and earth-tone contemporary homes. An occasional cottage blooms here and there. Ranging from moderate to estates, the homes in Mission Hills do not cluster strictly by price, and people mingle not only in the renowned restaurants and shops, but on the sidewalks and two community parks.
Neighborhood activities include beautification, and under discussion is the formation of an “Historical District”. There are annual community functions from the schools, churches and civic or athletic groups. A music fest sees picnic blankets spread under the trees every Friday during the summer for band concerts at Pioneer Park. Presidio Park is home of the historic Serra Museum, and many specimens of native and Mediterranean plants. Mission Hills is just good-weather strolling distance from world class cuisine, theatre, points of interest in Balboa Park and Hillcrest venues. Or take a few minutes drive or healthy bike ride to our best local beaches or Downtown. You can expect this leafy residential community to provide both the embrace of good neighbors and a convenient launching site toward easily accessible enterprises anywhere in town.