Kensington is named for a borough in London, England, and its pioneering subdivision dates back to 1910. Developers designed this unique neighborhood based on its geography and the non-standard layout due to its location on a narrow peninsula isolated on three sides by steep slopes, much of which is dedicated open space. Kensington offers a miniature "Main Street" along Adams Avenue, replete with coffee shops, restaurants, a branch library and the regionally famous Ken Theatre, Kensington Café and Kensington Video. With its stone gateways, ornamental lighting, and curving streets, the neighborhood is a strong candidate for designation as a historical district.

This upscale enclave on the southeast rim of Mission Valley is picturesque, with attractive (and pricey) Spanish-styled homes for upwardly mobile yuppies. It's a peaceful pocket amid the hubbub of the inner city. There's a tiny business district along the single main artery, Adams Avenue.

Kensington's History

Known for its distinct California Spanish-style single family homes, Kensington was developed by real estate developers in 1926.

The subdivision consists of 115 acres overlooking Mission Valley. The Davis Baker Company of Pasadena developed much of the original homes. Famous local architect Richard Requa, who was associated with Davis Baker, brought his distinctive California architectural theme, which had Mediterranean influences.

What Makes It So Special

The original homes and the quiet, winding streets. The Spanish tiled cottage style homes and their immaculate lawns also make the neighborhood stand out.

What Defines Kensington?

Kensington is one of the three mid-city urban neighborhoods that whose main thoroughfare is Adams Avenue. It is at the eastern end of the strip that begins with University Heights at the western end, with Normal Heights in-between. Of the older urban neighborhoods in San Diego, it is one of the most desirable to live in. Like its fellow 'hoods, it is distinguished by the classic neon "Kensington" sign that spans Adams Avenue.

Things to Do in Kensington

Like the other appealing neighborhoods in town, Kensington is a great, compact walking neighborhood. Just stroll through the winding roads north of Adams Avenue and admire the homes that exude character. Take in the 3-block business district along Adams of local businesses and eateries.

Best Bets for Eats in Kensington

You must go to Ponce's for Mexican food. It's been around forever (actually since 1969) at the corner of Terrace Drive and Adams Avenue, serving up no-frills Mexican food at good prices. Local favorite the Kensington Grill offers a hip and stylish setting, and the Blue Boheme, a rustic vibed French bistro. Romeo & Julieta on the southeast borders of Kensington & Talmadge features inimate upscale cultured eats and great wine pairings.

Best Bets for Drinks and Entertainment

The Kensington Club is the place for drinks in Kensington. This venerable, old-school neighborhood haunt is one of San Diego's favorite dive bars. By day, it's a dark and mellow place to chill. At night, it livens up the quiet 'hood with live bands and DJs spinning music. For unique entertainment, there's the art house Ken Cinema, one of the last single-screen movie venues in the county. It's an excellent place to see classic, short and foreign flicks.

How to Get to Kensington

From I-8, take SR-15 south and take the Adams Avenue exit. Go east on Adams and Kensington begins just after the SR-15 overpass.

It's hard to miss the big Kensington sign.

The neighborhood's eastern boundary is generally considered Van Dyke Avenue. Meade Avenue is considered the south boundary, where there is more of a mixture of bungalow homes and apartment complexes. The core Kensington, though, is acknowledged as from Adams Avenue north.

San Diego, CA 92116
Rarely available pool home nestled in the heart of the sought-after neighborhood of Kensington. This Spanish Revival Architecture features 3 bedrooms 2 baths. Hardwood flooring remodeled kitchen with designer cabinetry and stainless-steel chef appliances, in-home washer, and dryer. The home shows off the classic 1920's Spanish style architecture, the living room features arched windows, a coved ceiling with fireplace, an archway then leads you into the formal dining room, through patio door you enter into a trellised entertaining patio or spa-like relaxing retreat. Private large rear entertainers delight yard features a crystal-clear pool and spa, a shaded cabana overlooks the pool and sun deck for the perfect tan, backed up to a private canyon. All within walking or riding distance to all the shopping, restaurants and cafes of Adams Avenue Welcome home to this Kensington stunner!
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