arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin
Welcome to

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.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

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.

Discover Downtown & Gaslamp Quarter

What's Hot
What's On

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.

Discover

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

Discover

San Diego's Embarcadero

A great place for a stroll along the water

Discover

Downtown after sundown

Discover

East Village

Downtown San Diego's largest neighborhood encompassing 130 blocks, East Village burst into life and today, visitors can enjoy luxury hotels and restaurants, rooftop bars, cafes, boutique shops, galleries, and live music venues.

Discover

San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 15 - Jan 22, 2017

San Diego Restaurant Week is back to kick off your New Year with food, fun, and memories January 15th through January 22nd. This foodie-favorited event is celebrating its 13th year of bringing people together to dine out, reconnect, and indulge! With more than 180 participating restaurants to choose from across every neighborhood in San Diego County, diners can be assured that appetites will be appeased and cravings will be satisfied with prix-fixe two course lunches and three course dinners.

Discover

Museum Month: Half-Off Admission

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2017

Presented by Macy's, San Diego Museum Month invites everyone to enjoy half-off entry fees at 40+ museums throughout the county for the all of February.

Discover

shamROCK Gaslamp Block Party

Mar 17, 2017

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in the Gaslamp Quarter, as it magically transforms into the greenest party complete with go-go dancers and great live bands.

Discover

World Baseball Classic

Mar 14 - Mar 19, 2017

The North American venues for the 2017 World Baseball Classic include San Diego! The Padres' Petco Park will host second-round games from March 14-19, 2017.

Discover

Brass at Sea with Westwind Brass

Feb 12, 2017

The Westwind Brass, San Diego's premier professional brass ensemble, and the San Diego Maritime Museum announce their upcoming series of concerts aboard the Steam Ferry Berkeley. This world class ensemble will bring together performance, dialogue, wit, and fellowship to take audiences on a journey through the ages. Set against the stunning backdrop of the San Diego Harbor, in the Romantic era ballroom of this beautiful historical landmark, this series promises to be a journey for audiences of all ages!

 

Discover

2 Hour Private Daytime Sailing Tour for 2

Sep 6, 2016 - ongoing

Experience sailing aboard a classic yacht on a 2-hour intimate tour of the San Diego Bay with an attentive Captain who will be catering to your every need.

Discover

Deals just for you

Restaurants

$5 Off Any Sunset Dinner Cruise

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Valid: Jan 4 - ongoing

Sunset Dinner Cruises are a deliciously different dining experience sailing nightly on San Diego Bay. Enjoy a 3 hour cruise, with 3 course dinner, chilled glass of champagne with entertainment and...

Boating

$5 off Whale Watching Cruises

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Valid: Dec 10, 2016 - ongoing

$5 off Whale & Dolphin Watching with Hornblower Cruises. Hornblower offers large comfortable Whale Watching boats with live narration from San Diego Natural History Museum's trained naturalists and...

Activity

Save Up to 55% On San Diego Attractions!

Go San Diego Card by Smart Destinations
Valid: Oct 31, 2016 - ongoing

Money: Savings off combined admission prices Time: Skip the line at select attractions Flexibility: Create your own itinerary from over 40 attraction choices Freedom: Do as much as you want each...

Related Articles and Features

Getting Around

Stay Downtown and Go Car-Free!

Enjoy the convenient, walkable layout of San Diego

Flying into the San Diego region, travelers who stay in Downtown San Diego can enjoy the convenient, walkable layout of downtown San Diego to craft a perfect car-free vacation and fun urban escape.

Discover
Bars

Marvelous Modern Mixology in San Diego

Mixing up the perfect cocktail
Discover
Museums

San Diego's Embarcadero

A great place to spend the day exploring

Located adjacent to Downtown San Diego along the Big Bay, San Diego's Embarcadero is a testament to the region's colorful maritime history complete with historic ships, museums and harbor tours, as well as a working fishing harbor, cruise ship terminal and plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops. 

 

 

Discover
Trains

Getting Around Town

For visitors looking to give weary feet a rest, here are alternate modes of transportation for exploring San Diego.

Discover

Explore theNeighborhood

Areas of Interest

Where to Stay

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China Deutschland Great Britain Japan Mexico Korea USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish