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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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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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Bike the Bay

Aug 27, 2017

Experience Bike the Bay, a scenic bayside ride, and also enjoy a rare opportunity to ride over the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge.

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US Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition

Sep 1 - Sep 4, 2017

US Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition is an extravaganza for the whole family with Master Sand Sculptors, entertainment, food and more.

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Twilight in the Park Summer Concerts

Jun 20 - Aug 31, 2017

For 36 years, Twilights live music under the stars has been delighting visitors to Balboa Park. The music program ranges from military bands and Dixieland jazz, to big band swing and Latin salsa. Concerts run all the way through to August, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 7:30 PM, plus special theme-events starting at 5:30 PM on the stage of the majestic Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

Our goal at Twilight is to provide a fabulous, free, family-oriented venue for folks to come and listen to some great music. Bring a picnic, sit back and relax, or kick up your heels to some wonderful tunes.

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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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Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 20 - Jul 23, 2017
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Bike the Bay

Aug 27, 2017
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US Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition

Sep 1 - Sep 4, 2017
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Twilight in the Park Summer Concerts

Jun 20 - Aug 31, 2017
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Event Planners

Celebrate your Sweetheart on a Wine Country Tour

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: Nov 23, 2016 - ongoing

Take your sweetheart on a Chauffeured Wine Country Tour they will remember for a lifetime! Take $10 off each tour ticket by using code "Couples17." Sit back, relax and let us take you to the best...

Accommodation

Save $200 On Summer Stays In La Jolla

Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa
Valid: May 31 - ongoing

Make the most of your La Jolla summer vacation with over $200 in complimentary spa and dining credits.

Accommodation

San Diego Zoo Package

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa
Valid: Jan 25 - ongoing

Let us help you plan the San Diego family vacation of your dreams. With the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa's San Diego Zoo package, experience the best that San Diego has to offer with ease.

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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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