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A Walk Through Downtown San Diego

Gaslamp Quarter, architecture, harbor views and Little Italy

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Rating: 3 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3 miles
Duration: Half day
Family Friendly

Overview:  Downtown San Diego is a living tribute to history and revitalization. The Gaslamp Quarter followed up its boisterous boomtown... more »

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Points of Interest

The oldest wooden house in San Diego houses the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, the district's curator. Before Alonzo Horton came to town, Davis, a prominent San Franciscan, had made an unsuccessful attempt to develop the waterfront area. In 1850 he had this prefab saltbox-style house, built in Maine, shipped around Cape Horn and assembled ... More

2. Architecture along Fifth Avenue

Along Fifth Avenue you’ll see some of the historic district’s best-known Victorian-era commercial beauties, including the Italianate Marston Building (at F Street), the Keating Building, the Spencer-Ogden Building, and the Old City Hall.

3. Spencer-Ogden Building

Address: 770 5th Ave.

4. Keating Building

Address: 432 F Street

5. Marston Building

Address: 809 5th Ave.

This downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment mecca fronts Broadway and G Street from 1st to 4th avenues and covers more than six city blocks. Designed by Jon Jerde and completed in 1985, Westfield Horton Plaza is far from what one would imagine a shopping center—or city center—to be. A collage of colorful tile work, banners waving in the air,... More

7. U.S. Grant Hotel

Far more formal than most other hotels in San Diego and complete with a $56 million renovation in 2006, the doyenne of downtown lodgings has a marble lobby, gleaming chandeliers, attentive doormen, and other touches that hark back to the more gracious era when it was built in 1910. Funded in part by the son of the president for whom it was named, ... More

8. Santa Fe Depot

The Mission-style Santa Fe Depot, which replaced the original 1887 station on this site when it opened in 1915 for the Panama–California International Exposition, serves Amtrak and Coaster passengers. A booth here has bus schedules, maps, and tourist brochures. Formerly an easily spotted area landmark, the graceful, tile-dome depot is now... More

At the downtown branch of the city's contemporary art museum, explore the works of international and regional artists in a modern, urban space. In January 2007, the museum expanded its galleries across the street in a superb juxtaposition of old and new. The Jacobs Building—formerly the baggage building at the historic Santa Fe Depot—features... More

At the turn of the 20th century this district was a bustling Italian fishing village. The area fell into disarray in the early 1970s due to a decline in the tuna industry and the construction of I–5, which destroyed 35% of the area. In 1996, a group of forward-thinking architects—commissioned by the city—created a cache of new residential, retail,... More

11. Solunto's Bakery & Deli

Address: 1643 India St.
Phone: 619-233-3506‎

Address: 1602 State St.
Phone: 619-238-4590‎

13. Amici Park

14. Mona Lisa Deli

Address: 2061 India Street
Phone: 619-234-4893‎