- Mon: 10am-1am
- Tue: 10am-1am
- Wed: 10am-1am
- Thu: 10am-1am
- Fri: 10am-3am
- Sat: 10am-3am
This 16 block district in downtown San Diego offers a myriad of modern shops, bars, and theaters, but is also a member of the National Registry of Historic Places. With Victorian style architecture among many of its 94 buildings, the allure of the Gaslamp Quarter lies in its blend of past and present. Gaslamp Quarter meticulously combines an area rich in history with one of the most popular shopping and dining districts in all of San Diego.
Parking and public transportation at Gaslamp Quarter
Parking can be a challenge in the area surrounding the Gaslamp Quarter. Located directly in the most populated area of San Diego, parking is available for a fee in various lots, or in street parking on many of the surrounding streets. Nearby the NBC building, which is visible from most of downtown, Horton Plaza contains a multi-level parking garage where you can park for free if you validate your ticket in the mall, so depending on your destination, that could be the best parking option. Other transportation options include multiple trolley stops that run throughout the downtown area, in addition to taxis and an active Car2Go service.
Best and worst time to go to Gaslamp Quarter
It is reasonable to expect a different experience depending on the time you visit Gaslamp Quarter. If your goal is to walk, shop, or see the historical sites, then day time hours are optimal for the Gaslamp Quarter. However, if your goal is to celebrate, party, or have some drinks or dinner with friends, then you'll find that Gaslamp Quarter offers an extremely active nightlife.
Admission to Gaslamp Quarter
Although there are hundreds of things to spend money on within the Gaslamp Quarter, admission to walk throughout the district is completely free.
Must see and do at Gaslamp Quarter
- Explore the rich history of the Gaslamp Quarter with one of many unique tours.
- Find a place to dine among hundreds of popular local restaurants of all kinds.
- Visit the architecturally creative, five story outdoor mall at Horton Plaza.
Other places to visit near Gaslamp Quarter
US Grant Hotel & Grill
Join the likes of Albert Einstein and 13 US Presidents in visiting the US Grant Hotel, which was built by the son of Ulysses S. Grant in 1910. Its signature restaurant, the Grant Grill, has been known as an upper-scale dining spot for San Diego's elite since it's opening in 1952.
See a Show at Spreckels Theater
Opened in 1912, the Spreckels Theater was commissioned by successful sugar entrepreneur, John D. Spreckels. Today, it hosts a wide variety of shows, including comedies, plays, and concerts. You can view a calendar of its upcoming shows here.
Explore the Best Restaurants and Bars in San Diego
There are so many unique and interesting restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter, you could have a different dining experience every night for a year. Some notable bars include The Field, Star Bar, and the Tipsy Crow, while the wide variety of phenomenal restaurants range from Ra Sushi to Spike Africa's Fresh Fish Grill and Bar.
Insider tip for visitors to Gaslamp Quarter
Most locals would agree that the Gaslamp Quarter is at its most vibrant during one of its many popular festivals. If you're able to make it to the Monster Mash in October or the Shamrock festival on St. Patrick's Day, among others, you'll be witness to some of the wildest block parties on the West Coast.
Author's bio: After a seven year career in the US Navy, Nicholas Napier completed his MBA and settled in California. He's published over 40 articles as the San Diego Fitness Trends Examiner, and regularly contributes as a freelance writer to various companies.