San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp District is a historic part of San Diego that transformed itself from a rough and tumble neighborhood packed with gambling halls and brothels to a booming nightlife, dining, cultural, art, and entertainment center of the downtown area.

Adjacent to PETCO Park and the San Diego Convention Center, the Gaslamp Quarter is often the starting or ending point for thousands of people who make a full day or night of it when going to a ballgame, concert, consumer conventions, or trade shows.  

The Gaslamp Quarter has become a haven for foodies and fashionistas who love strolling and shopping at large, well-known clothing stores and small trendy boutiques.

If you’re into history, you can tour the area, learn all about the neighborhood’s colorful past, and see many of these restorations, including the William Heath Davis house, the oldest wooden structure in the district area. The district’s charm also stems from close to 100 restored Victorian-era buildings. You can also find food, beer, fashion, and even Segway tours for a unique way to take in the neighborhood.

Food and drink offerings rival any that you’ll find in San Diego.  Multicultural offerings range from traditional American, Irish, and Mexican delicacies, including Italian fettuccine at BiCE Ristorante, to more adventuresome Asian and Middle Eastern delicacies, such as tandoori kabobs at Masala.  

The bar scene is electric and attracts crowds of all ages who find watering holes of all types, from dueling pianos at The Shout! House to a sophisticated cocktail experience with a skyline 20 floors up at Altitude Sky Lounge.  You can listen to live jazz at Croce’s Restaurant and Bar or take in the best blues players at Patricks’ Gaslamp Pub.

The nearby waterfront also serves up fresh seafood and local craft beer, with bars and lounges featuring live salsa, rock and roll, and other popular music every night of the week.

Art lovers also flock to the Gaslamp Quarter to spend hours gallery hopping to take in the latest works from emerging local artists and well-known masters in various mediums.  From the renowned Chuck Jones Gallery that exhibits the cartoon artist's creations of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck to the modern-day works of Tim Cantor and others, there is an array of impressive artwork to appreciate in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Because of its central location, the Gaslamp Quarter is also the perfect jumping off point for visits to the USS Midway Museum, the New Children’s Museum, and the lively nearby waterfront with lots of restaurants and attractions that serve up fresh seafood, steaks, burgers, craft brews and more.  Visitors love the view, and bars and lounges featuring live salsa, rock and roll and roll, and the latest dance music are popular every night of the week.

With all there is to do, you can stay for several days and never need to hop in your car.  Several hotels in the Gaslamp Quarter range from big and well-known high chains to small boutique destinations known for their eclectic decor.