Visit Gaslamp District in a downtown: great place if you love nightlife, music, food, watching people and so on - just the best place to be especially on Friday evening.
The Heart of the Gaslamp is Fifth Avenue and on either side Fourth Avenue and Sixth Avenue, however, 5th and 4th are the most popular and active of the three streets.
The Gaslamp Quarter (named for the gas lamps that glowed there in the late 19th century) is Southern California's premiere dining, shopping and entertainment district, where you'll find a truly eclectic blend of food, fun and culture. The charming ambiance of the Gaslamp Quarter is the attraction for both local residents as well as national and international visitors.
By day, take a walking tour and learn about the Gaslamp's vivid history when legendary lawman Wyatt Earp operated three gambling halls and the Gaslamp Quarter's oldest surviving structure, the restored William Heath Davis House, constructed in 1850. By night as the sun sets, the streets come alive.
The old-fashioned gas lamps begin to glow along the wide brick walkways, sample the busy happy hours at local pubs and dine at one of over 70 restaurants offering cuisine from around the world. Twice annually the area becomes a Mecca of entertainment during the widely popular Street Scene and Mardi Gras Parade and Celebration.
The Horton Grand Hotel is actually two 1886 hotels that were slated for demolition but fortunately saved, moved here from other sites, renovated and connected by an atrium; the original Grand Horton on the left, the Brooklyn Hotel (aka Kahle Saddlery Hotel) on the right. The Grand Horton building was built by a German immigrant to look like the Innsbruck Inn in Vienna, the Brooklyn Hotel had more of a cowboy flavor, indeed Wyatt Earp resided here for 7 years. This was the only building I went inside while touring the Gaslamp Quarter and it's worth a stop even if you aren't staying here.
In the lobby you'll find a life size papier mache horse named Sunshine which originally stood in front of the Brooklyn Hotel when the ground floor was a saddle shop. The reception desk is a recycled pew from a choir loft, old post-office boxes now hold guests' keys. In the hotel's Palace Bar, there is a portrait of local madam Ida Bailey, her brothel, the Canary Cottage, once stood a couple of blocks away.
And what historic hotel would be complete without their own resident ghost, if you stay here in room 309 you may be visited by Roger Whitaker who seems to be a friendly ghost, the theories are that he was either shot by his future father in law and dumped near where the hotels were relocated or that he was a gambler caught cheating at cards at the hotel, ran back to room 309 and was shot through the door.
There was a sign in the lobby stating that there was a historical tour on Wednesdays at 3:00pm, it didn't specify if you had to be staying there or if there was a charge.
The Gaslamp Quarter is a revitalized section of downtown San Diego, like many urban centers it started as the main business district, went through a period of decay, then revitalized with the help of preservationists. The major development of this area started in 1867 when Alonzo Horton started to develop it. It didn't take long though for the seedy elements to move in, by the 1880s the area started attracting prostitutes and gamblers and by the mid 1900s it was filled the urban blight of adult bookstores, X rated theaters and massage parlors. The preservationists rallied to save the historic buildings in the 19070s and now you will find trendy restaurants, clubs and shops in and around the historic buildings.
The Gaslamp Quarter covers 16 1/2 blocks and has over 90 buildings listed on the National Historic Register. Architecture fans may want to take a tour, the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation gives a guided tour Saturdays at 11 am or Frommer's has a niceself guided walking tour online.
Photo 1 Yuma Building, built in 1888, it was a brothel in 1912, the 1st to be closed when they tried to clean up the area
Photo 2 The Keating Building built in 1890 by George Keating who died 1/2 way through the completion, his wife engraved his name at the top of the building
Photo 3 Louis Bank of Commerce built in 1888, it's been home to the city's first ice cream parlor, an oyster bar visited frequently by Wyatt Earp and the Golden Poppy Hotel, a brothel run by a fortuneteller
If you are looking for a different, unique & fun alternative to the everyday "club" in the Gaslamp while in San Diego...try hitting The Shout! House. It's a Rock-n-Roll, Sing-a-Long, Dueling Piano bar that combines great music, awesome entertainers and the crowd as part of the show. It gives everyone a reason to sing the songs that they should never sing alone...getting your pals up on stage to embarress them is part of the fun. A great place to take your birthday person or bachelorette/bachelor for 1 last crazy night that won't get them into hot water. They have some fun specialty drinks & Big Ass Beer (a great deal)..you keep the cup it is served in. No cover during the week and only $8.00 on the weekend...a deal in the Gaslamp. It's fun for all ages (must be 21 though).
This is San Diego's Historic Gas Lamp Quarter district. Hmmm, does that hint around what it use to be around here? Gosh, if the walls could talk in these buildings...or maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea to hear.......LOL!!! Ok, onto the history lesson, this area use to be a notorious area for gamblers and prostitutes, such as Wyatt Earp and Ida Bailey, who founded numerous gambling halls, saloons and brothels. Wow a sight that must of have been. As colorful as our history is, it is still history and they were still people. Now it has become one of trendiest area for so many to frequent and hang out. Loads of restaurants, theaters, clubs and shopping. It is a place where you can see charming Victorian-style buildings constructed between 1880 and 1910 and at night.....Wow....the old-fashioned gas lamps begin to glow along the wide brick walkways illuminating many charming sidewalk cafes. Over 70 restaurants to enjoy or have a late-night coffee and tea at one of the many coffee houses. Here is another tip, park in the underground parking garage where the downtown mall is, buy something at any of the stores and they will validate your parking for free.....Yay!*
Street Scene has emerged as a premiere musical event presenting top-rated artists along with a diverse array fo musical styles. From Grammy winners to emerging artists, the event continues to preserve its reputation as the top urban music festival in the U.S.A.
The Gaslamp Quarter in downtown is spread over 16 blocks of well preserved Victorian styled buildings. There are antique and crafts shops, restaurants and other. You can take a walking tour of the area.
Hans video taped our adventure in front of the webcam and took still photos. This is where you can see those:
Waalewiener Webcam photos:
I haven't received permission to post one of his pics--and we do look like ghosts in the night--yet.
Demonia not only made many photos of us, she wrote a journal of the experience.
The rest of her photos are at this address:
Demonia’s Webcam photos:
One correction: It was only sprinkling, not pouring rain while we were out there.
A News Flash sent this morning:
ROFLMAO, imagine that unbeknown to you, a new craze starts around the world,
where people go in front of webcams and wave for the people back home.
News Flash: The name of this new fad is "cyber-tourism" and after some
investigation it turns out that it started in San Diego on the 9th of November 2002, when a group of merry people were doing just that in front of a webcam in the Gaslamp Quarter. It seems that this group were waving at 300000 other people, all members of Virtual Tourist, a website where travellers share their experiences.
LOL Ohhhh fun! :)
There’s no way you can come to San Diego and miss the Gaslamp Quarter. During the last five years this district in the southern end of downtown has blossomed into a sophisticated sidewalk-cafe area with music, art galleries, cappuccino nooks and complete with crowds at times walking four abreast on brick-paved sidewalks. Most of the hot spots are on Fourth and Fifth avenues just north and south of Market Street. Daytime, the section is crowded with lunch patrons sipping wine on sidewalk patios. At night, the air is filled with music—blues, jazz, whatever you want to hear. No one should miss the Gaslamp. For tours, contact Downtown Sam (293-3480). He’ll dispense fascinating facts while wearing out your shoe leather.
Street Scene - an AMAZING weekend festival!! It usually takes place the 2nd weekend in Sept. and begins on Fri. night. A music festival featuring 10+ different stages with groups like 311, Offspring, Big Head Todd & the Monsters, G Love & Special Sauce, Jack Johnson, Outkast, etc...
Shopping at the Gas Lamp Quarter and Horton Plaza Down Town.
Horton Plaza is another great outdoor mall in the heart of down town. This mall is famous for people misplacing their cars. Each floor is named after a vegetable and after a long day shopping no one remembers where. I'm a purse fanatic and they have the best Louie Vutton store ever as well as Nordstroms. There is a Planet Hollywood in the mall too. I saw Bruce Willis perform with his band when it opened. It was great!!
Although the name Gaslamp district or Quarter derives from gas lamps, nowadays you can find only electric lights there. But didn't they look nice?
You cant miss the Gaslamp Quater in downtown. 5th Ave is the hot spot with your choice of clubs and restaurants not to mention a view of our brand new baseball stadium Petco Park.