Serving the city of San Diego, University City is a charming community located north of the downtown area. The main area is sandwiched in between the I-5 interstate to the west and the United States Marine Corps Base Miramar to the east. The installation is home to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Aircraft Group 46, and Combat Logistics Company 11. The 23,116-acre base is comprised of two portions: the eastern section is undeveloped and used for live training while the western portion serves as the primary base and airfield. The community’s name of University City is derived from the neighborhood’s position just east of the main campus of the University of California at San Diego.
Westfield University Towne Center is the area’s flagship shopping area, headlined and anchored by several large retailers including Sears, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. The regional mall also serves as a gathering place because of its fine selection of stores and restaurants. Due to the large local population, several other retail plazas have spring up around town, including Marketplace in University City, Costa Verde Shopping Center, Regents Marketplace, and Renaissance Towne Center. The largely seasonal student population results in a very empty summer and a very busy fall and spring.
As the community’s name might suggest, education is a very important part of daily life in Universal City. Besides the University of California San Diego, an exceptional public K-12 education system provides quality learning environments for all of University City’s youth. Marie Curie Elementary School, Standley Middle School, and University City High School are the area’s primary institutions.
The Marian Bear Memorial Natural Park forms University City’s southern border and runs along Route 52. The large park is filled with fun and challenging trails that afford some pretty intriguing views of the surronding areas. Standley Community Park and Recreation Center is University City’s primary recreational area. The center hosts a variety of sports leagues and tournaments, both in field sports and gym sports. Summer classes are also held during the June-July vacation. In addition to the main center and park, University City’s residents can also make use of Soledad Natural Park, Rose Canyon Open Space, University Gardens Park, University Village Park, and Nobel Athletic Area to meet their exercise and other recreational needs.