Stroll down the streets of the San Diego Gaslamp Quarter and you will find a multitude of interesting places to check out. Cultural establishments such as museums, art galleries, theatres, symphony halls, and concert venues offer an outlet for art lovers and history buffs. Visitors looking for a native, authentic Gaslamp San Diego experience can browse the boutiques for unique items, sample fine cuisine from renowned chefs at one of the many high-profile local restaurants, grab a microbrew at a pub, or head to a rooftop lounge for a drink with a view. To cap off the night, dance in the high-class, high-energy atmosphere of the city’s nightclubs.
For a taste of history during your Gaslamp Quarter excursion, stop by the William Heath Davis House, the oldest residence in San Diego, and go on an informative walking tour of the Gaslamp. Nearby, you can visit the Philippine Library and Museum and surround yourself in books, or take a trip to the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum for a glimpse of Asian culture in the area.
If you’re more interested in the modern side of Gaslamp San Diego culture, visit Sparks Art Gallery, where local artists of all backgrounds display their contemporary pieces. Catch a show at one of the several local theatres, such as the Lyceym Theatre, the Balboa Theatre, or the San Diego Repertory Theatre. You can also attend major events at the San Diego Convention Center, such as concerts and conventions—including the world-famous San Diego Comic-Con, for the geeks at heart.
Kids and kids-at-heart will the San Diego Zoo’s diverse animal life. Additionally, the New Children’s Museum has interactive exhibits that are sure to please, as well as several nearby parks, including Children’s Park, Balboa Park, and Pantoja Park if you want to plan a picnic or lay in the grass.
Out-of-the-ordinary native Gaslamp boutiques include Goorin Bros. Hat Shop, the souvenir shop Gaslamp Garage, the gourmet cheese shop Venissimo Cheese, men’s apparel store The Shop On 5th, designer clothing store Dolcetti Boutique, and Cuban Cigar Factory. Shoppers seeking more traditional stores will find that the Westfield Horton Plaza has shops to suit all tastes, while Ghirardelli and Ben & Jerry’s are adored on a national scale.
Culinary enthusiasts will find that Gaslamp District San Diego has much to offer in the way of local cuisine. Ocean Pacific Grille features a Filipino take on Asian fusion seafood at a reasonable price, while Searsucker serves American dishes in a very modern style. Werewolf is a great downtown brunch date restaurant, and La Puerta will satisfy your Mexican food cravings. Hard Rock Café, of course, also draws a crowd for its rock n’ roll theme and classic American burgers.
Beer, Wine, and Cocktails
Grab an after-dinner cocktail crafted by the expert mixologists at Prohibition, the Gaslamp’s most renowned speakeasy-style bar. The Tipsy Crow is a nice little spot for drinking and playing bar games. Gastropub junkies will rejoice at Neighborhood, which offers quality pub food along with a wide selection of beer and cocktails. Barleymash is a tried-and-true local favorite, while Altitude Sky Lounge will give you a luxe, California club experience as you look out over the sparkling lights of the city.
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Banner Photo By Bernard Gagnon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons