Like other urban mesa neighborhoods north of Balboa Park, Normal Heights has a high rate of pedestrian activity. The stretch of Adams Avenue between Texas Street on the west and Ohio Street on the east is sometimes referred to as Antique Row, due to its numerous antique stores. A landmark neon sign over Adams Avenue at Felton Street identifies the neighborhood.
Several important neighborhood events take place in Normal Heights. The Adams Avenue Street Fair, Southern California’s largest free music festival, is typically held the last weekend in September. Adams Avenue Unplugged, formerly the Adams Avenue Roots Festival, another free music festival, is held the last weekend of April. Another large Art Around Adams is a local community art event where unique and talented artists showcase their work inside and outside businesses and spaces along Adams Avenue.
The community contains three public elementary schools, Adams Elementary School and Normal Heights Elementary School, run by the San Diego Unified School District, and the public charter school San Diego Global Vision Academies which is K-8 California Distinguished School co-located on the Adams Elementary Campus. The neighborhood also houses St. Didacus Catholic School, as well as a nonprofit private Leeway Sudbury School, for students ages 4 through 18.