arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin
Welcome to

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!

Read More

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

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

What's Hot|
What's On|

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.

Discover

San Diego's Embarcadero

A great place for a stroll along the water

Discover

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

Discover

San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 21 - Jan 28, 2018

The 14th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, January 21st through Sunday, January 28th with a FEAST for the senses at over 180 participating restaurants. Dine deliciously at restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County. This foodie-favorited week is the perfect time to take a culinary tour throughout the diverse and thriving food culture of San Diego.

Discover

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Nov 12 - Nov 19, 2017

The San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival is an international showcase of the world's premier wines and spirits, culinary personalities, and gourmet foods.

Discover

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 10 - Dec 17, 2017

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.

Discover

San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 28, 2017 - Jan 1, 2018

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

Discover

What's Hot

View More

Barrio Logan

Discover

San Diego's Embarcadero

Discover

San Diego's Historic Gaslamp Quarter

Discover

What's On

View More Events

San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 21 - Jan 28, 2018
Discover

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Nov 12 - Nov 19, 2017
Discover

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 10 - Dec 17, 2017
Discover

San Diego International Auto Show

Dec 28, 2017 - Jan 1, 2018
Discover

Deals just for you

Tours & Sightseeing

Buy One, Get One Free Sightseeing Tours

Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
Valid: Aug 22 - ongoing

Buy One, Get One Free off all our Sightseeing Tours. 

Tours & Sightseeing

$5 off Sunday Champagne Brunch Cruise

Flagship Cruises & Events
Valid: Dec 19, 2016 - ongoing

Save $5 and hop aboard a Flagship luxury yacht to have an amazing San Diego brunch cruise experience.

Promotional Gifts

Receive a FREE Tote Bag With Purchase of Ticket!

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: Oct 20, 2017 - ongoing

Book a Chauffeured Distillery Tour and receive a FREE canvas tote bag! Book your tour today by calling 858-551-5115. We are open every day from 9am-9pm (PST).    

Related Articles and Features

Explore theNeighborhood

Areas of Interest

Where to Stay

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

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.

Read More

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

ChinaGermanyGreat BritainJapanMexicoKoreaSwitzerlandBrazilFranceAustraliaCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish