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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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24th Annual Taste of Gaslamp

Jun 16, 2018

Join us for the 24th Annual Taste of Gaslamp presented by Karl Strauss, San Diego's original culinary tour! On Saturday, June 16, 2018, the Gaslamp Quarter will be showcasing the excellent dining options available in our vibrant district. General Admission tickets are $35 pre-sale ($45 day-of) and allow you to sample 24 different restaurants from 1:00 to 4:00 PM on a self-guided walking tour with a beer garden featuring different brews from the Karl Strauss brewery. But the fun doesn't have to stop then. For only $65 ($75 day-of), you can upgrade to a VIP Ticket and experience 6 additional fine dining restaurants serving larger bite portions with a cocktail at each location, a Gaslamp Goodie Bag and an exclusive VIP reception at one of the rooftop bars in the Gaslamp Quarter!

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Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2018

The Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed strategically around the Bay off Shelter Island, Harbor Island, Embarcadero North, Seaport Village, Embarcadero South Marina Park and Coronado Ferry Landing. The impeccably choreographed display will last approximately 17 minutes.

Come down to the bay and enjoy the biggest fireworks show in San Diego!

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Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 19 - Jul 22, 2018

Comic-Con International is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related to pop culture.

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Mainly Mozart Festival: Festival Salon Experiences

Jun 1 - Jun 24, 2018

The 30th annual Mainly Mozart Festival, set for June 1-24, 2018 and led by Music Director Michael Francis, continues its six-year exploration of Mozart’s life with Year Three - Brave New World: From Rebel to Entrepreneur. Some of Mozart’s greatest works of this period will be featured in Festival programming, along with boundary-breaking works by other composers. Throughout the month of June, Orchestral and Chamber Music concerts, lectures, parties, and presentations throughout San Diego and Tijuana illustrate the story of one of the greatest geniuses of all time. 

New in 2018, Salon Experiences feature members of the Festival Orchestra in experiential concerts and dinners in private homes. Salon Experiences are limited to twenty guests.

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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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24th Annual Taste of Gaslamp

Jun 16, 2018
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Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2018
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Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 19 - Jul 22, 2018
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Mainly Mozart Festival: Festival Salon Experiences

Jun 1 - Jun 24, 2018
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Deals just for you

Accommodation

Plan in Advance and Save!

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Apr 17 - Jun 15, 2018

Save 15% on stays through June 15th, 2018!

Accommodation

Romantic San Diego Getaway Package

The Westgate Hotel
Valid: Apr 10 - ongoing

Romance awaits! This package includes a luxury Premier Room or Suite accommodations, welcome amenity of our signature macaroons and champagne, topped off with a $100 credit for the Westgate Room or...

Restaurants

$5 off Weekend Champagne Brunch Cruise on San Diego Bay

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Valid: Mar 15, 2018 - ongoing

$5 off any weekend Champagne Brunch Cruise aboard Hornblower Cruises in San Diego. This two-hour cruise features a bountiful brunch buffet, free flowing champagne and the best views of San Diego Bay,...

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