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Neighborhood Guide: Grantville to San Carlos

These green suburbs near Mission Trails brim with outdoor activities and healthy eats
Ariana Drehsler

By Jeanette Giovanniello

Grantville - Trails Eatery

The Trails Eatery

Ariana Drehsler

To Eat

Suitably, this area has plenty of fulfilling dining options to keep you energized for your travels. Before you hit the trail for nearby Cowles Mountain, treat yourself to Pure Press: Hikers flock to the small juice bar for acai bowls and green smoothies. You’ll also pass The Trails Eatery, a local diner with breakfast classics like crab Benedict and sweet cinnamon pancakes. A cold beer is always a reliable reward, and San Diego Brewing Company’s blueberry pilsner is a local favorite. The Purple Mint serves up vegan twists on your favorite Asian dishes, like lemongrass rolls and orange chicken.

S3 Coffee - Grantville

S3 Coffee Bar

Ariana Drehsler

If you’re feeling spontaneous, try something off of Test Kitchen’s ever-changing menu—this lunch spot is literally the taste-testing room for Bare Back Grill, Queenstown Public House, Dunedin, and other Kiwi-inspired restaurants in San Diego, and it usually serves up options like sandwiches and soups.To add some color to your day, head into the vibrant S3 Coffee Bar. This café serves artsy rainbow lattes, pink matcha, mermaid toast, and color-changing lemonade.

Grantville - Lake Murray

Lake Murray

Ariana Drehsler

To Explore

Grantville and the surrounding neighborhoods are home to valleys, hills, and unique flora, all of which can be seen at Mission Trails Park. There’s much to explore in this 7,000-acre park, filled with dozens of trails and scenic viewpoints. Lake Murray is one of the most popular spots where joggers, anglers, and picnickers come together (note that the trail is not a complete loop). If you’re looking for a mini getaway, consider camping at Kumeyaay Lakewhere visitors can find horseback riding trails and rock climbing spots.Experienced hikers can take on the Five Peak Challengewhich stretches for 11.5 miles and hits all the picturesque summits: Pyles Peak, Kwaay Paay Peak, North and South Fortuna, and of course, Cowles Mountain, the highest point in the city of San Diego. 

To Shop/Play

If all that hiking wasn’t enough of an adrenaline rush, put your arms to work and test your aim at Battle Axe, the largest indoor axe-throwing space in Southern California. Once you’ve had enough of a workout, Artifacts and Artichokes will entertain you with vintage trinkets and happy houseplants to take home.

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