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San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Mission Valley

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Originally established in 1769, Mission Valley was the first settlement for the Spanish in California. Located in the center of San Diego County, this family-friendly neighborhood is recognized as a booming shopping and entertainment mecca. Nearby areas include University Heights, Hillcrest, and North Park, which ranks amongst the best San Diego neighborhoods for foodies. Like its nearby neighborhoods, Mission Valley offers a wealth of great restaurants and is only minutes away from Balboa Park, San Diego International Airport, and Downtown. Explore everything from the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld to trolley tours in Old Town and some of the top hiking spots in San Diego!

History of Mission Valley

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Mission Valley was originally known as La Cañada de San Diego, meaning ravine or gully in Spanish, due to the area being encompassed by a 500-foot deep trench that carried the San Diego River. After the trench filled with silt from the river, the land provided flat and fertile conditions for many dairy farmers. In the 1860's, the now house-filled neighborhood changed its name to Mission Valley after the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, the first Franciscan mission in the Californias. Prior to the area’s name change, the Mission was moved to its current location in 1774 at the eastern end of Mission Valley. This provided closer access to fresh water for drinking and farming.

After years of agricultural activity in an undeveloped Mission Valley, the expansion of San Diego after World War ll began impacting Mission Valley. By the early 1960s, the remaining dairy farms had closed down. The most notable developments for Mission Valley began after the creation of the neighborhood’s first Hotel, which gave rise to the area known as Hotel Circle. Some of these developments include the Fashion Valley shopping center, the Interstate 8 freeway, and Westgate Park (known by most as the Qualcomm Stadium and recently renamed the SDCCU Stadium), a baseball stadium built for the San Diego Padres in 1957.

Shopping in Mission Valley

Shoppers will never be short of stores to choose from in Mission Valley. Fashion lovers can browse over 200 stores at the Fashion Valley mall with everything from Coach and Apple to H&M. Additional stores, restaurants, and movie screenings can also be found at the nearby Mission Valley Mall, which also offers many delectable restaurants including the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant. Warehouse stores like Costco make bulk buying convenient for Mission Valley locals. Looking to decorate your new home? The nearby Ikea and Home Goods allow you to furnish your new space and accent it with affordable touches all in one day!

Restaurants in Mission Valley

If you’re looking for local restaurants in San Diego, you may not find many in Mission Valley. However, this buzzing neighborhood is filled with all your favorite chains like The Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang’s, California Pizza Kitchen, and the deliciously healthy True Food Kitchen. For those looking for a more personalized dining experience, check out the American fare at STACKED, where you can create your own plate with the easy touch of an iPad.

Other Things To Do in Mission Valley

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Close to San Diego’s Old Town, Mission Valley is only a short drive away from several cultural attractions like the Mission San Diego de Alcala, historical trolley tours, and Old Town State Park with over 10 acres of Mexican lore. Mission Valley offers many recreational activities for sports and outdoor enthusiasts such as rock climbing at Mesa Rim Climbing Gym and hiking in the Mission Trails Regional Park. The Riverwalk Golf Club also lures in many Golfers, who can play 18 holes on its scenic course. Don’t forget to see a catch a game and other exciting events at the Qualcomm Stadium (now officially renamed the SDCCU Stadium)!

Mission Valley Demographics

  • Population 2016 (via City-Data): 52,442

  • Estimated Median House Sales Price in June 2017 (via SDAR): $777,042

  • Estimated Median Condo/Townhouse Sales Price in June 2018 (via SDAR): $412,000

  • Median Gross Rent 2016 (via City-Data): $1,621

  • Median Household Income 2016 (via City-Data): $65,258

Mission Valley Real Estate

With the opening of many luxury stores and restaurants in Mission Valley’s shopping malls and surrounding, newly developed townhouses and condos have been on the rise. While it is possible to find larger and more lavish homes in Mission Valley, Homebuyers looking to downsize may find that a condo is a more affordable option for living in Mission Valley.

Discover Your Dream Home in Mission Valley

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