Mid-City is the eastern part of the city of San Diego, bordered by I-8 and Mission Valley to the north, National City to the south, Downtown, Balboa Park and Hillcrest to the west, and La Mesa to the east. Mid-City has trendy urban neighborhoods, like Kensington, North Park, Normal Heights, and University Heights, and quieter neighborhoods, such as Golden Hill and South Park. Mid-City consists of a number of interesting neighborhoods – those of particular note are:
- City Heights, a historic and ethnically diverse community, centered around the intersection of Fairmount and University Avenues.
- College Area, on a plateau overlooking Interstate 8 on the northeastern corner of the Mid-City area, home to San Diego State University (SDSU).
- Golden Hill, a small, quiet neighborhood of historic homes, directly east of Downtown and south of Balboa Park.
- Kensington, a trendy neighborhood with many shops and restaurants, centered around Adams Avenue east of Interstate 15.
- Normal Heights, an urban community that’s home to plenty of unique stores and festivals, centered along Adams Avenue between Interstates 805 and 15.
- North Park, an urban neighborhood north of Balboa Park, centered around El Cajon Boulevard and University Avenue near 30th Street.
- South Park, a quiet residential neighborhood southeast of Balboa Park, along 30th/Fern Street north of SR-94.
- Talmadge, a historic neighborhood with eclectic architecture situated between Kensington and SDSU.
- University Heights, a scenic urban neighborhood centered on the intersection of Park Boulevard and Adams Avenue, filled with restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and art studios.
Given the size of the Mid-City, traveling by car is the most reliable way to get around. SR-94 passes east-west along the southern edge of the area, providing quick access to Downtown to the west and the suburbs to the east, while I-8 cuts across the northern edge of the area through Mission Valley. SR-15 and I-805 pass north-south through the area, crossing each other in Mid-City. Major east-west streets include El Cajon Boulevard, University Avenue, and (in the northeastern part of the region) Montezuma Road. Major north-south streets include Fairmount Avenue, Euclid Avenue, 54th Street, and College Avenue.
The Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) operates transit service in the city. Frequent routes serve Mid-City, but given the size and often sprawling nature of the area traveling by bus can be time-consuming. Plan your route carefully. Frequent routes include the #7 and #10 on University Avenue, the #1 and Rapid #215 (stops only at major intersections) on El Cajon Boulevard, and the #11 on Adams Avenue, all of which connect either to Hillcrest or Balboa Park to the west, with some continuing on to Downtown. North Park is also served by the frequent #2 to South Park and Downtown and the #6 to Mission Valley. A transit center at SDSU is served by many bus routes as well as the San Diego Trolley Green Line service from Downtown and Old Town to the eastern suburbs.