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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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Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 18 - Jul 21, 2019

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 25, 2019

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 & Dimensional Art Expo

Aug 31 - Sep 2, 2019

One of the top 20 "Must See" seaside festivals in the world according to American Express and USA Today's 10 Best, the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition will return to San Diego's downtown waterfront for 2019. This will be the eigth year that one of the world's most important sand-sculpting competitions will be held on this built-for-the-occasion beach, with over 300 tons of sand dumped on the pier on San Diego's Big Bay. The 8th annual edition will be open to the public Aug. 31 - Sept. 2. The Port of San Diego is again the presenting sponsor, as the event is held on its beautiful Broadway Pier and Landing. So come and celebrate Labor Day on the Bay with us.

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Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo

Jun 16 - Sep 2, 2019

Stay after dark and celebrate summer during Nighttime Zoo presented by One Medical, June 16 through September 2. Enjoy live music, fun shows, animal encounters, food, and more!

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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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Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 18 - Jul 21, 2019
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Bike the Bay

Aug 25, 2019
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US Sand Sculpting Challenge & Dimensional Art Expo

Aug 31 - Sep 2, 2019
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Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo

Jun 16 - Sep 2, 2019
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Downtown on Instagram

 

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Accommodation

Kimpton Summer Offer

Kimpton Solamar Hotel
Valid: May 21 - ongoing

Book direct to receive 20% off our summer best available rates or join IHG Rewards to receive 25% off at Kimpton Hotel Solamar or Kimpton Hotel Palomar.

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Kimpton Summer Offer

Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego
Valid: May 21 - Jul 31, 2019

Book direct to receive 20% off our summer best available rates or join IHG Rewards to receive 25% off at Kimpton Hotel Solamar or Kimpton Hotel Palomar

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Stay Cool in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter!

San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Jun 1 - ongoing

Book a Summer stay at the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter! Stay Cool in the heart of the city, surrounded by restaurants, nightlife & shopping.  We’re 90 steps from PETCO Park, home...

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