The city of San Diego is known for much more than its beaches, amazing weather, and that scene at the end of the Madagascar movie—it also happens to be home to the historic Gaslamp Quarter. The Gaslamp Quarter is a vibrant downtown neighborhood that is well known for its nightlife. From dive bars, to clubs, to cocktail lounges, there is always something exciting happening in the quarter. The nightlife can also include music, comedy, and performance programs between its two theaters, as well as many restaurants, and an open park to relax in. With everything that San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter has to offer, it’s no wonder that it’s spiked as one of California’s top tourist destinations. So, what makes the quarter so great?
History of the Gaslamp Quarter
Making its debut in 1867, the Gaslamp Quarter is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Alonzo Horton established the Quarter, when he wanted to create a new city center that was closer to the bay. While the area went through a period of urban decay, it was revived in the 1980s and 1990s. Still home to 94 historic buildings, most of which were constructed during the Victorian Era, the Quarter functions as a hub for restaurants, stores, nightclubs, and tenants.
The Nightlife Brings in Crowds of All Ages
With a number of new and emerging dive bars, nightclubs, and cocktail lounges, there’s no shortage of nightlife in the active Gaslamp Quarter. With locations such as ultra-lounge meets nightclub, Side Bar, experimental nightlife venue, FLUXX, upscale hip-hop nightclub, F6ix, and night and day club and restaurant, PARQ, there are always events occurring in the Quarter, catching the attention of people of all ages, whether they’re locals, or visiting.
There Is a Growing Arts and Performance Community
As the Gaslamp Quarter brings in more and more locals and visitors alike, there is a growing community engaging the arts and arts performance. With two theaters in the downtown district, Spreckels and Balboa, the performing arts have been bringing more people into the city for events and shows than ever before. Some of these performances include plays, concerts, comedy shows, and plenty more. There is also a growing fine arts community in the Gaslamp Quarter. Housed in historic locations such as the Brunswick building, or the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation’s pop-up locations, it can seem as though there’s art to experience on every corner.
Home to Horton Plaza Park
To accompany all of the activity in the Gaslamp Quarter, the downtown neighborhood has a calmer counterpart: Horton Plaza Park. Named after the Quarter’s founder, this park offers a quieter, and more relaxed aspect of the historic downtown experience. With a fountain, grassy lawns, ice cream and coffee vendors, this is the perfect location to wind down in an otherwise active area. The Quarter is open for people to sit around with friends, enjoy outdoor entertainment, take a nap, people watch, or maybe even have a picnic before the nightlife comes out to play. If you are looking for a great thing to do in San Diego, you can’t do better than visit the Gas Lamp District.