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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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Taste of December Nights

Dec 3 - Dec 5, 2021

For more than 40 years, the San Diego community has welcomed in the holiday season by celebrating the annual December Nights in Balboa Park. Due to the potential uncertainty of public health conditions at the time of December Nights, and out of an abundance of caution, the City has made the decision to expand upon the 2020 successful drive-through experience, "Taste of December Nights," for this year's event.

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San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec 28, 2021

The SDCCU Holiday Bowl is America’s Finest Bowl Experience! This signature San Diego event annually showcases a thrilling game between some of college football’s most competitive conferences, the ACC and the Pac-12. Don’t miss the electrifying pageantry, excitement and football thrills this year!

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San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 30, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022

Where the cars are the stars! The San Diego International Auto Show features the widest variety of new vehicles under one roof.

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San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2021

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see.

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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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Taste of December Nights

Dec 3 - Dec 5, 2021
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San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl

Dec 28, 2021
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San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 30, 2021 - Jan 2, 2022
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San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2021
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Downtown on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Have Vaccine, Will Travel!

Grande Colonial Hotel
Valid: Mar 19 - ongoing

You’ve been compliant with masking and social distancing. You’ve stayed close to home inside your bubble.  You haven’t eaten out in months!  But you’ve received your...

Accommodation

Rise & Dine

Paradise Point
Valid: May 4 - ongoing

Rise and Dine in America’s Finest City. Stay in any of our guestrooms, bungalows or San Diego hotel suites and start your day with a delicious breakfast. Whether you are craving traditional fare...

Accommodation

Dance the Night Away

Humphreys Half Moon Inn
Valid: Dec 31, 2021

Ring in the New Year the RIGHT way by booking our Dance the Night Away package! Package Includes: 2 tickets to Dance into 2022 on San Diego Bay: Live music in Humphreys Backstage...

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