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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, 2021

San Diego area residents and visitors are in for a special treat in February! Pick up your Museum Month discount pass at participating libraries or when you stay at a Hilton to enjoy 50% off the cost of admission at more than 40 San Diego Museum Council member museums. The San Diego Museum Month pass is free; one pass can be used at several museums* throughout the month of February.

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

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

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Taste of December Nights

Dec 4 - Dec 6, 2020

For more than 40 years, the San Diego community has welcomed in the holiday season by celebrating the annual December Nights at Balboa Park. Due to the current pandemic conditions, we are saddened that our beloved gift to the region cannot occur as we know it. Instead, the City of San Diego is offering a "Taste of December Nights."

The program will have some of your favorite food vendors and food trucks from past December Nights in a drive-thru setting in the Inspiration Point parking lot near Balboa Park.

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Mission Federal ArtWalk Virtual Edition

Dec 5 - Dec 31, 2020

Mission Fed ArtWalk will be marking its 36th annual fine arts festival with a virtual experience beginning Saturday, December 5 through Thursday, December 31.

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Santa Claus Available for Virtual Visits!

Dec 2 - Dec 13, 2020

Santa Clause may be pre-empted from visiting most of his usual stomping grounds this season, but he, the Elf on the Shelf or the Snow Princess, is available for a limited number of virtual visits from Friday, November 27th to Sunday, December 13th.

Ready to take Christmas wishes and share his 2020 plans for delivering toys, there may even be time to ask Santa a question or two, or see what magic he has up his sleeve.

CHECK OUT SANTA: https://www.instagram.com/p/CH_olLdjHJe/ for dates and information

Each visit is 5-minutes long, and comes with a screen shot of your child alongside Santa (or the Elf on the Shelf or the Snow Princess). Cost is $37.50 per child/visit. Group rates for 3 - 5 children available.

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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, 2021
Discover

Taste of December Nights

Dec 4 - Dec 6, 2020
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Mission Federal ArtWalk Virtual Edition

Dec 5 - Dec 31, 2020
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Santa Claus Available for Virtual Visits!

Dec 2 - Dec 13, 2020
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Downtown on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Rates From $155* With Breakfast Included

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 $155* per night with daily breakfast for two.

Accommodation

Stay More, Save More

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Jun 1, 2020 - ongoing

Now is your chance to linger longer in sunshine and enjoy savings that heat up the longer you stay! Save 20% on stays of 3 nights or longer when you book your March - May stays! Stay 3+ Nights...

Tours & Sightseeing

$5 off Narrated Harbor Tours

Flagship Cruises & Events
Valid: Jun 23 - ongoing

Save $5 on any narrated 1 or 2 hour harbor tour. Good for up to six (6) full fare adult tickets. Use Coupon Code at Checkout: SDTABAYTOUR5

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