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Downtown & Gaslamp Quarter

The hottest nightlife scene on the West Coast

Discover San Diego's Urban Side

The heartbeat of every city lives in its downtown, and San Diego is no exception. Located only minutes from the airport, San Diego's thriving urban center offers an abundance of options for accommodations, activities, dining and cultural attractions, all easily accessible by foot, bike, car or public transportation. In the historic Gaslamp Quarter, where modern architecture and Victorian-Age buildings stand side-by-side, you'll discover eclectic galleries, chic boutiques, trendy nightclubs, rooftop bars, gastropubs, craft beer haunts and fine dining restaurants lining the streets.

During the day, families can enjoy compelling cultural attractions in San Diego's downtown, like The New Children's Museum, take in a baseball game at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, or catch the trolley to Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. With plenty of places to eat, shop and explore, families can enjoy a true California urban safari.

After dark, the city transforms into a sophisticated playground for adults. With an endless variety of posh night clubs, sizzling music venues and sky-high rooftop bars, there's plenty of ways to enjoy a memorable night on the town.

The waterfront Embarcadero (or "landing place" in Spanish) lines the western edge of downtown. Its boardwalk hugs the San Diego Bay, home to the cruise terminal, the Navy Pier and Seaport Village. Climb aboard to explore the ships at the USS Midway Museum, the Star of India, or the Maritime Museum of San Diego. If a moving sea vessel is more your style, hop on a harbor cruise and explore the bay, while taking in the skyline views. For fun on land, head to the Headquarters at Seaport Village to grab a gourmet bite or browse for one-of-a-kind take-home treasures.

If you're looking for some authentic local flavor, immerse yourself in San Diego's Little Italy district, just north of downtown, where you can grab a slice of pizza or an espresso and biscotti from a local café, or dine at one of the celebrity chef restaurants located on bustling Kettner Boulevard known as "Top Chef Alley." Just south of downtown sits the vibrant East Village, a revitalized warehouse district with a hip social scene, and trendy cafes, craft beer bars and high energy vibe. East of downtown you'll find Barrio Logan, the epicenter of San Diego's Hispanic community, where art and food converge in a symphony of sights, sounds and tastes. The colorful murals and outstanding fare are worth the trip.

 

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Getting to Downtown & Gaslamp Quarter

Downtown is the heart of San Diego and there's not shortage of ways to get into the action. All major freeways go through the city including Interstate 5 and 805, and State Highway 163. Unlike many cities, traffic during rush hour flows away from the city in the morning, and into the city at night - so for tourists, the trip is quick! San Diego's public transportation system is efficient and cost-effective. The Red Trolley crosses the city in several key areas with major connections at downtown's Santa Fe Station. Amtrak and the Coaster rail service connects North County and its quintessential beach towns to downtown action. And once you are in the city, ride share programs including Car-To-Go, DecoBike, and FRED (Free Ride Everywhere Downtown) provide great alternatives to move around town.

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Barrio Logan

For years, the Barrio Logan neighborhood has been one of San Diego's best kept secrets. An epicenter of the city's Mexican-American culture, this neighborhood is quickly becoming a hotspot for cutting-edge art and authentic local culture.

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San Diego's Embarcadero

A great place for a stroll along the water

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San Diego's Historic Gaslamp Quarter

Not only is this area the epicenter of San Diego’s nightlife scene, it is also rich with cultural offerings

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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2019

Locals and visitors to San Diego area libraries are in for a special treat this February! Pick up your Museum Month discount pass at a San Diego City or County libraries to enjoy half-off admission at more than 40 San Diego Museum Council (SDMC) member museums. The pass can be used to visit multiple museums across the region.

Whether you are an art aficionado, history buff, or nature lover, the SDMC has a variety of member organizations that are bound to capture your interest.

Take advantage of the program to visit both old favorites and new attractions you have never even heard of!

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San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2019

San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, January 20th through Sunday, January 27th with a FEAST for the senses at over 180 participating restaurants. Dine deliciously at restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County. This foodie-favorited week is the perfect time to take a culinary tour throughout the diverse and thriving food culture of San Diego.

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Natural History 101

Jan 23, 2019

This is one in a series of talks by the Museum’s curators. Come hear Vice President of Science and Conservation and Curator of Entomology Dr. Michael Wall discuss the entomological biodiversity of San Diego County. He will also share (and answer) the top 10 questions he receives about insects in our region.

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Keepers of the Culture

Feb 9, 2019

In February 2018, the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA) hosted at the San Diego History Center its first annual recognition of individual’s whose contributions have resulted in retaining and expanding the cultural expressions that are uniquely African American. This recognition has become exceedingly important during this time when we see the rich, and diverse array of aesthetics, expressions and styles inherent in African American culture continue to be limited or all together omitted by major institutions.

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Barrio Logan

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San Diego's Embarcadero

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San Diego's Historic Gaslamp Quarter

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What's On

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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2019
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San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2019
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Natural History 101

Jan 23, 2019
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Keepers of the Culture

Feb 9, 2019
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Downtown on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Tours & Sightseeing

Family Friendly- Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Nov 26, 2018 - ongoing

Enjoy an Amazing Race type adventure with your family and Save 20% when you use Promo Code SDFUN. Only $39.20 for a Team of 2-5 people. Have fun and do something unique!

Venues

Cruise Ship Passenger Offer

Havana 1920
Valid: Oct 1, 2018 - ongoing

Cruise Ship Passengers can enjoy buy one get one free entree at Havana 1920!

Accommodation

Parking Package at the Bristol Hotel

Bristol Hotel
Valid: Oct 16, 2018 - ongoing

Save money on hotel parking when you book The Bristol's San Diego Hotel Parking Package. This hotel package includes free valet parking with unlimited in-and-out privileges so you can come and go as...

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