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Gaslamp Quarter is a lively downtown neighborhood of San Diego. The name of the neighborhood is due to the design of the signature Gas Lamp street lights and the well-kept Victorian feel of the area. It has a lot of history attached to it.
Best Things to do in Gaslamp, San Diego (Jump To Section)
The area is known for its nightlife, lively, vibrant and majorly younger crowd. There are tons of great pubs and bars in the area. There are many restaurants available for dining and enjoying some delicious food.
The area is perfect for those who want some adventure. A perfect location to enjoy the nightlife of San Diego. It is a good change of pace for those who want to get away from the beaches and enjoy the activity/party hub of the city. There are many buildings in the area which have an elaborate history attached to them thus making them more important.
Not just eating food and gulping delicious cocktails, this area has other things to offer too for those who want to explore beyond the traditional nightlife. Here is a list of 10 things to do Gaslamp Quarter area of San Diego.
- Best Things to do in Gaslamp, San Diego
- 1. Artisan Market
- 2. Davis-Horton House
- 3. USS Midway Museum
- 4. American Comedy Co.
- 5. Prohibition Lounge
- 6. Balboa Theatre
- 7. Cuban Cigar Factory
- 8. Sparks Gallery
- 9. The Shout House
- 10. Haunted San Diego Gaslamp District Tour
Best Things to do in Gaslamp, San Diego
1. Artisan Market
This is a perfect place to visit if you are looking to spend some time browsing through small street vendor shops in a hip place full of lively crowds and ambiance. An artisan market is a small street outdoor vendor market where you can find a variety of things sold by shops. This is the place to go if you are looking for some stuff.
Whether you are looking for some unique jewelry, home decor, funky T-shirt or some CBD, you would find these and plenty more things. The market is well managed and the streets are clean. The vendors are friendly and overall you would love to just stroll along the stalls and browse through stuff.
Among other things in shops, you will have an amazing variety of food options. There are plenty of eating options available which are not only delicious but affordable too. This is a perfect place to visit and search for those unique items that you see nowhere, sort of like a treasure hunt feel.
You would find an eclectic mix of craft and natural merchandise here. This makes for an amazing place to shop for one-of-a-kind gifts as well. In the mix of all this, there are always live street performances going on by different local performers, which you are surely going to enjoy. This is basically a weekend market so it stays open only on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
It is situated at 599 Fifth Ave, San Diego
2. Davis-Horton House
This is the oldest standing structure in Downtown San Diego. Naturally, it has a rich history behind it. This was formerly known as the William Heath Davis House. This Victorian-era edifice was built in 1850. This is one of the fascinating places you can visit in the area. It consists of a housing office, a museum, a garden etc.
It is a great place to visit to learn about Gaslamp history consisting of History Talks Videos, Story Time, Victorian Snippets etc. The house itself is gorgeous and a beautiful example of a Victorian-era structure. All the furniture and heritage together with the ambiance transport you to that era. You can witness some amazing collections and exhibits.
Apart from this, one other interesting thing about the museum is that they host ghost tours as it is claimed to be haunted. We will let you decide how haunted the place is but it surely makes for one unique experience when it comes to visiting museums. The guides are knowledgeable, informative as well as friendly. There are costume guides available to give it a proper feel of the Victorian period.
The general admission self-guided is 8 dollars while private admission is 10 dollars. You can opt for an audio tour which would cost you 12 dollars. They have Tuesdays exclusively for private tours. It stays closed on Sundays and Mondays. For the rest of the week, it remains open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It is located at 410 Island Ave, San Diego, California.
3. USS Midway Museum
How about taking a tour of something which you otherwise only see in movies? This place will leave you amazed. It is a perfect place to take your kids to see the things that they only get to play with as toys. There aren’t many museums as different and magnanimous as this. It is dedicated to maritime vessels and the Navy. It is a historical naval aircraft museum. This makes for one of the most unique experiences you will ever get.
This museum has some of the coolest exhibits. The sheer size of all the aircraft and display things would give you a new perspective on things. This is a great place not just for adults but an excellent choice to take your kids and go with the entire family. The museum consists of the aircraft carrier Midway.
The USS Midway Museum is a must-see in San Diego! It is located in the heart of downtown San Diego and is only a mile away from our inn. Book your stay today. Visit https://t.co/SvIzfwvDQl.— Comfort Inn Gaslamp (@CGaslamp) June 21, 2022
.#sdhotels #sdhotelreview #sandiego #sandiegohotels #gaslamp #downtownsandiego pic.twitter.com/Gh8osJ275F
The place still has all the beds, kitchen and equipment along with other props to make you feel you are in the real deal. You can enjoy the free audio tour of the place, which is very informative, as well as a little movie about the Midway battles and the soldiers. This place is perfect for those who want to see something grand. All the airplanes and other exhibits look realistic and gigantic.
You can stroll around the place enjoying the amazing views while kids can run around and have their own fun. There is a place on board to eat also, in case you guys want to grab a bite. The staff are helpful and informative. The experience is not only fun but also educational. The museum stays open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It is located at 910 N Harbor Dr. San Diego, California.
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4. American Comedy Co.
Who doesn’t like to hear jokes? What could be a better way to spend your evening or night than listening to some jokes, laughing out loud, and enjoying the company of your partner while you get to drink amazing beer and eat delicious food.
This makes for an amazing evening plan for those who like to go out and have fun not just at the club but can also sit back, relax and enjoy the performances too. If you are someone who regularly enjoys comedy routines on YouTube then you must have seen this iconic and easily recognizable underground basement, exposed brick setting in many videos. This is a rather intimate venue where your focus is on the performance.
The very funny @drewmichael is performing LIVE TONIGHT @ 8PM at American Comedy Co. 🦅🇺🇸 TICKETS👉 https://t.co/kaelqjNIty 🎟— American Comedy Co. (@americancomco) January 4, 2018
•#SanDiego #StandupComedy #Funny #Comedy #Gaslamp #AmericanComedyCo #Jokes #Fun #SNL #DrewMichael #SD #StandUp #ThursdayThoughts #Thursday #Joke pic.twitter.com/XbcqRWKjkY
They always have great performers like Akash Singh, Michael Blackson, Paul Virzi etc. This is one of the most iconic venues as far as comedy performances go. They have a 5-dollar happy hour live too so you can drink while enjoying the performances. The staff is polite and friendly. The service is amazing, which ultimately adds to the whole experience of going out for a comedy show.
This is a perfect thing to do for an evening if you haven’t already been to a comfort show. It is highly recommended. The shows are technically free but you need to buy 2 drinks to sit and enjoy the show. It remains closed on Mondays. For the rest of the week, it stays open from 7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
It is located at 818 Sixth Ave, San Diego, California.
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5. Prohibition Lounge
It is a perfect place to go out and have fun with your partner or your friends. A weekend hurray, if you are in the mood to listen to some live music and drink then this place should check out this place. This is one of the most iconic places in Gaslamp with a rich history. It is a stylish, sophisticated bar with a 1930’s vibe and feel to it.
The whole place is washed with a red-hue light which gives it a dark mysterious ambiance. From its carefully selected decor to the overall look of the place, it will feel like you have been transported into the past opulence.
Tomorrow night, Sunday. 8:30pm, July 7th, at Prohibition Lounge 548 5th Ave. San Diego, California 92101. "Hot Butter Soul", will be flowing from Downtown Gaslamp District…. "The Award-winning" Vanguard of Soul, Captain Morgan Lee and the Village of K. O. R. E.! pic.twitter.com/nEWHHPqe3m— Captain Morgan Lee and the Village of K.O.R.E. (@HenryLWallace1) July 6, 2019
The place also features live music by some of the most talented artists playing jazz and classic rock, which adds to the mood and feel of the place. The bartenders are highly talented and know their craft so don’t forget to get some of the seasonally inspired cocktails. They are polite and friendly as well. Because of this, it makes for a great date night spot as well.
The food is also excellent. It is LA Street food inspired with a twist. One of the great things about this place is there is no need to make any reservations. The place remains open throughout the week from 8:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
It is located at 548 Fifth Ave, San Diego, California.
6. Balboa Theatre
If you haven’t been to an old theatre and enjoyed live performances then you are missing out on an experience that is unique and quite memorable. This is a historic theatre built-in 1924. It was refurbished and reopened in 2008 as a performing arts venue. The theatre itself is absolutely gorgeous from the outside as well as inside.
Our photos from two wonderful and very diverse performances last weekend. Bill Murray in Escondido at the California Center for the Arts then Wendy Whelan at the Balboa theatre in the Gaslamp. Wendy's dance was stunning and Bill's performance was fun! #balance #arts #culture pic.twitter.com/o31rx5Ej8s— Ingrid Croce (@ingridcroceart) December 6, 2017
You will have the feel of sitting in a grand place. The exterior structure looks amazing and the interior decor is elegant, meticulous and beautiful. The original charm of the 1920s is still there.
You can catch a variety of performers here, from Spanish bands to mainstream artists and comedians, everyone can hope to catch something or the other that they like. The seating arrangement as well as overall feel is comfortable and the acoustics are good too.
The staff is amazing, and the service, too, is exceptional. You can also catch plays here such as jungle book so they have these kinds of events regularly. It makes for a good experience for kids too. There is food and beverage available too. You can enjoy wine, beer or crafted cocktails. The food is equally delicious. You can check their website for upcoming events, shows and ticket booking.
The place is located at 868 Fourth Ave, San Diego, California.
7. Cuban Cigar Factory
This is another place with a history behind it. It was established in 1955. It is a happening lounge serving a great selection of global wines and microbrews. Obviously, the main catch of the place is that they offer hand-rolled premium as well as basic cigars. This is a great place for cigar aficionados who want a place to just kick back and some stogies and enjoy.
The Cuban Cigar Factory is located in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter on Sixth Street. Opened in 1985, it not only sells cigars from the humidor room in the back, but also its own cigars, hand-rolled by#markusmcdowell #author #books #sandiego #cigarshttps://t.co/SurO60etAb pic.twitter.com/NbsdSq4Amd— Author_Markus_McDowell (@markusmcdowell) August 21, 2022
This is not to say people who don’t smoke won’t enjoy this place. They have an equally amazing bar and the bartender is knowledgeable, serving some of the most delicious cocktails and drinks. The microbrews, too, have a great selection. Even if you don’t smoke you can watch people rolling cigars which itself is quite unique.
There is an indoor as well as Outdoor seating area available. You can sit outside and enjoy the open air. The interior decor is classy, elegant and understated. It has a warm welcoming feel. You can just sit back and relax as you enjoy drinking and some amazing food. If you are a novice at cigar smoking then no worries, the bartender will guide and help you.
The staff is super friendly and helpful. There is in-store shopping available too. You can purchase cigars if you like among other things. Overall, it is a unique place to visit. You are surely going to like the experience. It stays open throughout the week from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
It is located at 551 Fifth Ave, San Diego, California.
8. Sparks Gallery
If you are someone who likes art, visiting galleries or anything related to creativity then you are going to love this place. This is a local art gallery and unique event venue where you can hope to see some of the most unique, artistically beautiful and mesmerising paintings and photos among other things as well.
This vibrant and classy gallery screams sophistication and class. Unlike museums, they always have new things and events so you will always find new things to see. All of their event openings attract a large crowd due to the creative works they display.
You will get to see the works of lesser-known but highly creative local artists here. It is a fun spot to visit and browse the exhibits. Even if you are not pursuing art, you would love your visit simply due to the artistic creativity. The family who runs the place is super friendly and the ambiance is laid back and relaxed.
You can check out their website to know about what they are currently displaying and what events are upcoming. This surely makes for a unique experience that you don’t get to experience every day. The gallery stays closed on weekdays. On Saturdays and Sundays, they remain open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
It is located at 530 Sixth Ave, San Diego, California.
9. The Shout House
If you want a night of music, dancing, and fun high on energy then you should check this place out. It is a live music venue where you can get some of the best live music experiences in San Diego. It is a bar where you can witness dueling piano players leading the crowd singing along to the classic rock songs and familiar tracks that everyone loves and adores.
The place has a lively, welcoming and warm feel to it. The decor is filled with plenty of spotlights and exposed brick walls give it a sort of industrial look. The bar looks elegant with the wooden counter.
This is a perfect place to have a fun and happening evening. The staff take part in the singing as well. They dance while the two piano players perform. The place is high on energy so everything is hyper and upbeat. They have a great menu to compliment the energetic ambiance.
They have a great selection of drinks too. From cocktails to beers you have plenty of options to choose from. This place is always packed to the brim on weekends, they do accept walk-ins but they recommend reservations due to the popularity of the place.
There is a nominal reservation fee, which is different for different days. You can check out reservation details as well as offers of the day on different drinks on their website. The place remains closed on Mondays. For the rest of the week, they are open from 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
It is located at 655 Fourth Ave, San Diego, California.
10. Haunted San Diego Gaslamp District Tour
If you are one of those people who want to do something offbeat and you don’t get easily scared then this one is for you. This is perfect for all those people who want some adventure and aren’t afraid of the dark. The Gaslamp Tour By Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours is a haunted bus tour of the downtown area of San Diego, i.e, the Gaslamp district.
Our Gaslamp District walking tour will take you into party central of San Diego; it's wild for people and spirits alike. This fast-paced tour visits 30+ locations, with mostly haunted and some true crime / dark history stories unique to San Diego locations thrown in. #haunted pic.twitter.com/z2usRZyZo9— Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours (@hauntedsdghosts) September 29, 2021
The area is full of history, heritage and vibrant culture. Among all these things there are elements of horror, macabre and supernatural, at least that’s what they say you are going to get.
You are going to visit over 30 locations and the tour would include haunted stories and events with Dark History and true crime elements as well. This tour is not for the weak heart. This is a 2-hour long tour and one would need to walk around 1.5 miles.
This is certainly a unique and fascinating tour giving you anecdotes, rumours and history from the 1800s to the present, contemporary true crime stories. The tour would cost you 30 dollars per person. You can book this from their website.
They are located at 209 Fifth Ave, San Diego, California.
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Note: The hours of operation, ticket prices, and admission criteria of museums, parks, etc. may change from time to time. For the most updated information, we recommend checking the official website of the attraction directly prior to your planned visit.