Hillcrest is served by State Route 163 at the University Avenue, Washington Street and Robinson Avenue exits. University Avenue and Washington Street are the major east–west thoroughfares in Hillcrest; Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Avenues connect Hillcrest to Downtown San Diego through Park West and Bankers Hill. There is bus service connecting to Downtown as well as to the Mission Valley trolley stops.
Situated on the mesa above Old Town, Hillcrest is characterized as a compact “walking community.” The central business district and close proximity to Balboa Park offer a highly convenient neighborhood featuring an eclectic mix of small business, apartments, condominiums, bungalows, and lovely older homes. Balboa Park’s world-class collection of recreational areas, gardens, cultural venues, activities, and amusements add the quality of life for Hillcrest neighborhood residents. Beautiful beaches are nearby for world-class boating and water sports. Fifth Avenue is home to fascinating shops, salons, galleries, and restaurants.