San Diego Tourist Guide

Gaslamp District of San Diego

Picture of the Gaslamp65=-08765
Creative Commons

The Gaslamp Quarter dates back to 1867 when development began. Originally known as "New San Diego", in contrast to "Old San Diego" which was the first Spanish colonial settlement of San Diego a few miles away. Today, this sixteen square block historic area in downtown San Diego is the most active part of the city. The name "Gaslamp" is derived from the gas lamps that were common in the late 19th century to light the streets. The Gaslamp District is located just a block from the San Diego Convention Center and Petco Ballpark. The historic area extends from Broadway to Harbor Drive and from 4th to 6th Avenue.

The Gaslamp still has the aura of its historic past. Some modern changes have been made but there are still 94 buildings still standing
from the Victorian Era. What was once the redlight district lined with saloons and bawdy houses is now a thriving nightlife area. Today, the historic buildings house restaurants, night clubs, pubs, bars, boutique shops, art galleries and even condos and lofts. When the sun sets, residents, tourists and conventioneers head to the Gaslamp for an evening of socializing, fine dining, dancing and entertainment.

Gaslamp Quarter The sidewalks are lined with trees and are well kept with city enforced guidelines that require building owners and tenants to keep their area of sidewalks clean and well-maintained at all times. Some people just enjoy strolling around the Gaslamp people-watching and street entertainers. Others make reservations at some of the finest restaurants in the city. Outside patios are in abundance along the sidewalks where you can eat, have some drink and socialize. It's an ideal environment for those that still smoke.

Other Nearby Venues

Petco Ballbark, home to the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball is on the edge of Gaslamp and the San Diego Convention Center is one-block away. The Seaport Village, a 14-acre waterfront complex that resembles a centuries-old harbor-side village features great shopping and even better views of the harbor and San Diego Bay. Cobblestone pathways lead you to a charming mix of shops, water features and restaurants. Horton Plaza is right next to the Gaslamp. There are hotels located in the Gaslamp District and many others within reasonable walking distance.

Annual Events in the Gaslamp

Throughout the year, there are many events that liven up the Gaslamp streets. Events like Mardi Gras, the largest Mardi Gras celebration on the west coast that features a Mardi Gra Parade, entertainment stages and live entertainment on the streets. The annual "Monster Bash" is held on Halloween weekend where people enter costume contests and enjoy the street music festival. Another popular event is St. Patrick's Day when Irish food is on the menu with live music up and down the Gaslamp.

Directions To The Gaslamp District

If you are walking. The Gaslamp is a convenient walking distance from these venues: Horton Plaza, San Diego Convention Center, Petco Park, and most places in the core business district and well as come hotels in the immediate area.

From the north. Take Interstate 5 South past the airport towards downtown. Exit at Front Street/Civic Center. Continue down Front Street to Market Street and turn east. The intersection of 5th and Market Street is the center of the Gaslamp District.

From the south. Take Interstate 5 North and exit at 6th Avenue. Drive nine blocks and cross Broadway and enter the Gaslamp from the top. Gaslamp By Trolley. Ride the San Diego Trolley to the Gaslamp. Also ride the Orange Line and get off at the 5th Avenue Station. See the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System for trolley maps and schedules.

Map To The Gaslamp

View Larger Map

More Information About The Gaslamp District

Gaslamp Quarter Video

San Diego, California