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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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Dine Diego

Sep 15 - Oct 15, 2020

San Diego’s favorite foodie event, San Diego Restaurant Week will take a break this September.  Instead, Dine Diego (presented by San Diego Restaurant Week), will run September 15 through October 15, 2020.  Dine Diego will feature San Diego’s top eateries showcasing all the current offerings for outdoor dining, to-go options and unique in-house promotions.

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Virtual: San Diego 101 History of Our Region

Oct 13, 2020

Before it was the second-largest city in California, San Diego was a small Mexican pueblo. As the demographics quickly changed with statehood, however, the pueblo did not meet the needs of the new population. This presentation explores the geographical shift from Old Town to New Town – as well as the cultural and economic implications of the move. 

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Virtual SDMA+

Jun 9, 2020 - ongoing

Virtual SDMA+ are unique online experiences offered by The San Diego Museum of Art in collaboration with other local arts institutions to inspire a robust appreciation of the arts and a deeper exploration of the SDMA permanent collection.

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San Diego Lobster Dinner Cruise

Dec 27, 2019 - ongoing

Hornblower's signature 3-hour Dinner Cruise comes with an exclusive three-course lobster dinner option on Friday and Saturday nights. The evening's experience begins when you board a classic yacht with a glass of chilled champagne. From there, you're treated to a delectable three-course dinner and unforgettable views of scenic San Diego.

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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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Dine Diego

Sep 15 - Oct 15, 2020
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Virtual: San Diego 101 History of Our Region

Oct 13, 2020
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Virtual SDMA+

Jun 9, 2020 - ongoing
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San Diego Lobster Dinner Cruise

Dec 27, 2019 - ongoing
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Downtown on Instagram

 

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Accommodation

Linger Longer at The Dana on Mission Bay!

The Dana on Mission Bay
Valid: Feb 26, 2020 - ongoing

Unpack, unwind, and enjoy your stay at The Dana on Mission Bay! Our San Diego hotel packages include discounts on room rates and our Resort Fee. Choose us and choose the best hotel special offer in...

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Book Direct & Save!

Days Inn By Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle
Valid: Feb 18, 2020 - ongoing

Book direct at the Days Inn By Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle and save! Receive Daily Breakfast for Two as well as Free Nightly Parking!

Accommodation

Rates From $125* & Complimentary Parking

DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley
Valid: Mar 13, 2020 - ongoing

Treat yourself to a warm welcome at DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego - Mission Valley with rates as low as $125* per night with parking.

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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.

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