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Complete Guide to Gaslamp Quarter

a view of a city

Some adventures stay in your memory for the rest of your life. Those magical moments happen when every detail of your trip falls into place, and you enjoy all life has to offer. When you explore the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, you will feel awe and excitement that you won’t find anywhere else. This historic downtown area has a fascinating history, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and buzzing nightlife. Here’s your complete guide to exploring the Gaslamp Quarter.

Getting There

Whether visiting San Diego for the weekend or getting acquainted with the city for a more extended stay, it’s easy to get to the Gaslamp Quarter. If you enjoy public transportation, you can take a bus or ride the light rail into downtown San Diego. A few stops will get you within walking distance of the area, including the Gaslamp Quarter light rail station. If you’re driving a car, decide which parking garage you want to use beforehand to save your valuable time exploring.

Getting Around

The San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is an ideal place to explore on foot. The entire area covers 16 square blocks, which you can see from one end to the other in about 90 minutes. Of course, once you walk around the neighborhood, you’ll want to return to your favorite places or visit a local museum. There are many activities to do in this area of San Diego, and you can even take public transportation up to Balboa Park or down to the seaside if you want to see the surrounding destinations. 

a view of a city with a bridge in the background

Hotels To Stay At

If you’re interested in staying in or near the Gaslamp District in San Diego, you’ll have plenty of hotel options. Many major hotel chains, including Marriott and Hilton, have set up shop in downtown San Diego. So if you are a regular customer of one of these well-known hotels, you’ll have a comfortable and convenient option in the historic part of downtown San Diego. There are also hostels where you can find budget accommodation and connect with other travelers in the area. 

For a unique stay, you can reserve a room at downtown San Diego’s oldest hotel, the Horton Grand, which has welcomed guests since the 1880s. Another historic option is the US Grant Hotel, which boasts a uniquely American spin on European luxury.

Activities To Do

While exploring the Gaslamp District in San Diego may only take you one or two hours, there are enough activities to keep you busy for a few days. This historic and beautiful part of the city is also an excellent destination for families and couples. The top things to do in the area include:

  • Visit the New Children’s Museum
  • Take in a Baseball game at Petco Park
  • Watch a performance at Balboa Theater
  • Explore a U.S. Navy vessel at the Midway Museum
  • Go on a haunted city tour 
  • Experience the nightlife after dark

a store front at night

Bars & Restaurants To Attend

The food and drink scene in the Gaslamp District will impress you. If you want a high-end dining experience, you can find it in the Gaslamp Quarter, although you may want to plan and make a reservation at the STK Steakhouse or Rustic Root.

For bars, there’s a wide variety of places to choose from, including roof-top cocktail bars and establishments that cater to the underground music scene. Some local favorites include Metl Bar, Werewolf, and Prohibition Lounge. 

Next time you plan a trip to southern California, put a pin in Gaslamp Quarter San Diego to experience this historic and vibrant destination. There’s even more to love about San Diego when you venture offshore on a whale-watching excursion or private boat charter.