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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.

Celebrate 150 Years of the Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter Association invites locals and visitors alike to a year-long celebration of the 150th Anniversary of San Diego's National Historic District. The celebration will include several special events and a public art installation to commemorate the occasion. The Gaslamp Quarter's colorful history, combined with its modern-day, world-class boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, makes this urban district unlike any other. Come see for yourself why the Gaslamp Quarter is one of the West Coast's premier destinations!

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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.

Discover Downtown & Gaslamp Quarter

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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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Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2017

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 20 - Jul 23, 2017

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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San Diego EarthFair

Apr 23, 2017

Our annual EarthFair in Balboa Park is the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. EarthFair 2017 will be our 28th annual event! Each year, the EarthFair draws around 60,000 visitors.

Produced by 300 volunteers, EarthFair 2017 will feature more than 300 exhibitors, special theme areas, a Food Pavilion, a special Children's Activity Area, four entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, the eARTh Gallery arts and crafts show, and the Cleaner Car Concourse.

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17th Annual Pet Day on the Bay

Apr 29, 2017

Hornblower's popular, pup-friendly Pet Day on San Diego Bay promises a tail-wagging good time! This is the one time each year that Hornblower invites dogs to cruise for free with their owners.

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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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Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2017
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Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 20 - Jul 23, 2017
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San Diego EarthFair

Apr 23, 2017
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17th Annual Pet Day on the Bay

Apr 29, 2017
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Deals just for you

Breweries

10% off tour

Epicurean San Diego - Food, Farm & Libation Tours
Valid: Jan 3 - ongoing

Enjoy 10% off your tour.  Group size 4 to 14 people.  Must contact Stephanie to apply - stephanie@epicureansandiego.com Not applicable on farm dinners.

Accommodation

Pet-Friendly Package at the Empress Hotel of La Jolla

Empress Hotel of La Jolla
Valid: Mar 6 - ongoing

With a one-time fee, this hotel package will provide a pet bed for your special friend and a baggie of milk bones. Dogs are welcome to stay with us and enjoy exploring the beautiful La Jolla area...

Accommodation

Summer Connections Package

Kona Kai Resort & Spa
Valid: Apr 17 - ongoing

Summer Connections Package Reserve your family getaway now and enjoy the best of Summer in San Diego! Relax and enjoy 2 spacious connecting guest rooms, each with private patio. Two rooms for more...

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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.

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