San Diego/Downtown

Downtown San Diego (also referred to as "Centre City" in some cases) is the thriving central business district of San Diego. A heavily gentrified area with plenty of tourist amenities, Downtown serves as a hub of business and entertainment, with plenty of restaurants, shops, and nightlife to take in, as well as a few attractions, including several museums and the home of the San Diego Padres baseball team.

55 things to do

All Places United States California



San Diego Padres

See the Major League Baseball Padres play at '''Petco Park'''. The stadium, modeled after other "retro" ballparks, has many unique elements, such as the Western Metal Supply Co. building, a historic warehouse which is incorporated into the left-field seats. Price range for tickets varies widely, from $15-$20 for a spot on the grassy lawn beyond the outfield wall (the "Park at the Park") to over $50 for a seat behind home plate. Ballpark tours are available off-season daily at 10:30AM and 12:30PM, with an extra 3PM tour on Saturdays; tours are also available during the season, but times vary depending on whether there's a game that day or not.

DO   —  Petco Park

Horton Plaza

A massive five-story outdoor shopping mall unique for its appearance, with lots of bright colors, architectural tricks, and interesting spaces. Even if you're not planning on doing any shopping, it's worth coming here just to ''see'' the place. Horton Plaza contains nearly 200 stores and restaurants, including a couple of department stores, a food court on the 4th floor, and entertainment options such as a movie theater. From March to October, a '''farmer's market''' takes place every Thursday from 11AM-3PM on the square just north of the mall.



San Diego Comic-Con International

For four days every July, one of the world's largest fan conventions descends on Downtown San Diego, flooding the convention center with over 100,000 attendees. Since its comic book origins, the convention has expanded into virtually every genre of pop culture, drawing Hollywood celebrities, major television producers, toy manufacturers, video game designers, and top-name anime and manga creators, offering sneak peeks at their future works. Expect massive crowds and all manner of celebration of geek culture.


Hostelling International San Diego-Downtown

Located in Gaslamp Quarter, clean, friendly, offering 24-hour desk service, free breakfast, laundry facilities, lockers, and wifi. This hostel is part of a non-profit organization, HI-USA. The only hostel in this area to offer air conditioned rooms with iPod dock alarm clocks. Also offers free activities including: Walking tours, pub crawls, a screen printing workshop and bicycle tours. In addition there are three donation based dinners offered per week.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 525-1531 —  521 Market St


Park at the Park

For the 81 Padres home game days, this grassy berm overlooking Petco Park is closed to the general public, open as a place to view the game for the price of a ticket. But for the other 284 days of the year, the park is open to the public. The park has a small baseball diamond, a playground, and there are various monuments to the achievements of the Padres, such as a statue of star player Tony Gwynn nearby.


Anthony's Fish Grotto

Anthony's Fish Grotto is co-located with Anthony's Fishette, a quick and informal outdoor eatery. Seems to be especially frequented by tourists to the nearby Maritime Museum and senior citizens. Lunch in the Grotto is some version of fried fish with a choice of sides from $10-12. The main entree/fish menu is priced from $15-20+. Beer is $5 and up. Try the Anthony's Amber Ale.



Embarcadero Park

Also known as the Marina Park, Embarcadero Park is split into two parts, north and south, which shelter the marina. Very pleasant, with lots of trees, grass, and good views of the harbor. You can access the north park by walking through the Seaport Village shopping center, and you can reach the south park by going around the back side of the convention center.


Gaslamp Museum at the Davis Horton House

Previously called the William Heath Davis House, this museum is the headquarters of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. The visitor center here offers information for self-guided tours of the district as well as a guided walking tour of the district that leaves every Saturday at 11AM, and Thursday at 1PM. Hosts a festival every St. Patrick's day.



Omni Hotel

A modern luxury hotel connected to Petco Park via a skybridge across the street, the Omni was built along the new ballpark and has a few baseball relics inside, such as Joe DiMaggio's cleats in the lobby, Babe Ruth's 1932 contract with the Yankees in the Presidential Suite, and a broken bat autographed by Willie Mays in the fifth-floor hallway.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 231-6664 —  675 L St

Maritime Museum of San Diego

Home to a number of historic sea vessels, including the ''Star of India'', the world's oldest active sailing ship, the ''Berkeley'', an 1898 steam ferryboat, the ''Californian'', a replica sailing ship, the ''Medea'', a 1904 steam yacht, the ''HMS Surprise'', another replica sailing ship, and a B-39 Soviet Attack Submarine.


USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum

Take a self-guided tour of the USS Midway (CV-41), a former aircraft carrier of the US Navy. The Midway is home to a collection of former naval aircraft housed on her expansive flight deck. Guided tours and displays offer a unique look into the life aboard and of a powerful old warhorse.


Knotty Barrel

Cool gastropub with a great menu and wonderful selection of draft beers. Would recommend getting a sample of four beers for $7 to see what you like. If none of the draft beers suit your taste, there's a multitude of other beers from all over the world listed on the chalkboard.


San Diego Public Library

San Diego's impressive central library offers free WiFi to the public; just connect to the network 'sdpl'. Desktop computers are available only to library card holders. Library cards are free only to California residents; non-residents have to pay $32 for an annual card.

OTHER   —  +1 619 236-5800 —  330 Park Blvd

Hostel on 3rd

Hostel with easy access to the historic Gaslamp District. They have 2 bed private rooms, 4 bed mixed, 4 bed female and 6 bed mixed dorms. Most of them with a sink and a closet. Amenities include free wifi, free luggage storage, and free breakfast.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 595-1440 —  542 3rd Ave

The Mission

Third and newest of the popular locally owned breakfast restaurant. Avoid the lines at the North Park and Mission Beach locations by coming here. Vegetarian offerings for the diet conscious. Only open for breakfast and lunch from 8AM - 3PM.

EAT   —  +1 619 232-7662 —  1250 J St

Lucky D's Hostel

Fun hostel in San Diego's trendy East Village. The hostel offers free breakfast, free dinners, free internet, free house phone, free pub crawl and free use of linens and towels. They also run a weekly tour to Tijuana.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 595-0000 —  615 8th Ave

Gaslamp Quarter

Home to a number of historic Victorian-era buildings, such as the Louis Bank of Commerce, the Backesto Building, the Old City Hall, the Yuma Building, and a whole bunch of other beautiful old structures.

SEE   —  +1 619 233-4692 —  Map

Amici Park

A small park located in Little Italy, notable for its bocce (a popular sport in Italy) courts. You can also find Italian recipes engraved onto the sidewalk plaques and tables around the park.


Children's Park

An unusual park with lots of grassy hills, shade trees, and a large water feature. Unfortunately, this park is usually occupied by homeless, so it wouldn't be a safe destination for children.


La Pensione Hotel

Located in Little Italy, this lovely hotel has 75 small rooms with views of the bustling neighborhood. Parking is quite tight here, but the place is quite affordable at around $80/night.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 236-8000 —  606 West Date St

U.S. Grant Hotel

A luxurious and historic hotel located across the street from the Horton Plaza Square. Originally built by Ulysses S. Grant's son, who later became a real estate developer in San Diego.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 232-3121 —  326 Broadway

Manchester Grand Hyatt

This hotel has over 1600 rooms, making it the largest hotel in San Diego. Located next to the Convention Center, consisting of two towers that are connected on the bottom four floors.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 232-1234 —  1 Market Pl

USA Hostels San Diego

Small hostel in the Gaslamp Quarter. The hostel offers free breakfasts, wireless access, lockers, a laundry room, and bike rentals. They run a tour to Tijuana on Saturdays.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 232-3100 —  726 5th Ave

Marriott Gaslamp Quarter

22-floor hotel in the Gaslamp neighborhood with most of the services and features typical of Marriotts (sadly, no pool or jacuzzi). Rooftop bar, on-site restaurant.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 696-0234 —  6060 K St

Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown

A unique 245-room hotel where timeless charm is blended seamlessly with sophisticated comfort of modern guest accommodations. Ideal location in the Gaslamp Quarter.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 446-3000 —  530 Broadway

Hotel Palomar

Formerly the Se Sean Diego, now a Kimpton Hotel. This boutique hotel is near Horton Square and a few blocks from the Gaslamp District. Rates start at $159 a night.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 515-3000 —  1047 5th Ave

ITH Adventure Hostel

A friendly and cozy hostel that offers free breakfast and free dinner daily. Also they provide free adventure activities that guests can go on to enjoy San Diego.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 228-9234 —  1658 Front St

Seaport Village

A shopping and dining complex overlooking the bay, with a recreated historic "seaside village" look. Nearly 70 shops and restaurants and an antique carousel.


Gaslamp Plaza Suites

Housed in a beautiful historic building, this hotel offers lovely rooms and complimentary breakfast - served on the rooftop terrace (weathering permitting).

SLEEP   —  +1 619 232-9500 —  520 E St

Mona Lisa Restaurant & Deli

Enjoy Sicilian style favorites and some of the best pizza in town at this family oriented restaurant. Deli has large selection of Italian imports.

EAT   —  +1 619 239-5367 —  2061 India St

The Oceanaire

Great seafood. Can be a little pricey. Food is fresh and flavorful. The Australian rock lobster is fantastic. Also, try the oysters.

EAT   —  400 J St

Gaslamp Quarter Park

A small square located next to the Gaslamp Quarter trolley station with a small water fountain. Good views of the convention center.


Bencotto Italian Kitchen

Modern and classic hand-made pasta dishes. Multi-year winner of critics and readers choice for Best Italian in San Diego Magazine.

EAT   —  +1 619-450-4786 —  750 W Fir St

Horton Plaza Park

A historic square located just north of the shopping center of the same name. A large fountain marks the center of the park.


Acqua al 2

A pleasant Italian restaurant somewhat removed from the heaviest congestion of downtown with an outdoor dining patio.

EAT   —  +1 619 230-0382 —  322 5th Ave

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum

A museum dedicated to Chinese history, culture and art. Includes exhibits on the Chinese experience in America.

SEE   —  +1 619 338-9888 —  404 Third Ave

Kansas City Barbeque

Unpretentious barbeque on paper plates. Unique interior with friendly staff and customers. Bar on premises.


Seaport Fudge Factory

Gorgeous shop with very well priced and excellent chocolates. All candies are made fresh daily on premises.


Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Just north of Santa Fe Depot, this museum holds a part of the museum's collection over 4,000 works.

SEE   —  +1 858 454-3541 —  1001 Kettner

Café Chloe

Very cozy wine bar/restaurant. Prices are more on the expensive side, however quality is excellent.

EAT   —  +1 619 232-3242 —  721 9th Ave

500 West Hotel

YMCA-affiliated Hostel in downtown San Diego, right next to Amtrak railway station. Free Wi-Fi.

SLEEP   —  500 West Broadway

Bristol Hotel

A contemporary and casual hotel, the Bristol features an unusually large pop art collection.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 232-6141 —  1055 1st Ave

The Keating Hotel

A modern luxury hotel with an on site bar, spa services, and Italian designed rooms.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 814-5700 —  432 F St

Doubletree San Diego Downtown

Complimentary airport shuttle, extensive amenities and friendly staff.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 239-6800 —  1646 Front St

Waterfront

One of San Diego's oldest drinking establishments and best dive bars.


Comfort Inn Gaslamp Convention Center

A 100% non-smoking hotel located in the Gaslamp Quarter.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 238-4100 —  660 G St

Horton Grand Hotel

A luxurious Victorian era hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter.

SLEEP   —  +1 619 544-1886 —  311 Island Ave

San Diego Firehouse Museum

Dedicated to the history of firefighting in San Diego.


Sogno Divino

Wine bar and appetizers, relaxing environment.

DRINK   —  +1 619 531-8887 —  1607 India St

Pantoja Park

A small park surrounded by a residential area.

DO   —  Map

Princess Pub

Traditional British pub.

DRINK   —  +1 619 702-3021 —  1665 India St


Source: wikivoyage