Our Gaslamp Quarter San Diego real estate spotlight focuses on a 16-block historical neighborhood in Downtown San Diego. Also known as the Gaslamp District, it’s one of the oldest neighborhoods.
Gaslamp Quarter History
Listed as a historic district, the Gaslamp Quarter Historic District began in 1867. Alonzo Horton purchased land hoping to create a new city center on 5th Avenue close to the bay.
However, the area began to boom with gamblers and prostitutes moving in. Over the years, stores moved out of the district towards Market Street leaving a red-light district called the “Stingaree”. Over the years, the district decayed.
However, not until the 1980s and 1990s did the neighborhood undergo urban renewal and a renaissance with architectural charm. During the redevelopment, gas lamps were installed around the 5th Avenue and Market Street intersection creating the Gaslamp Quarter symbol.
Today, the Gaslamp boasts nightclubs, restaurants, and shops in 19th-century buildings where former saloons and brothels operated.
Wikipedia lists 93 historic buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter with links and photos.
Walking in the Gaslamp District
Get the real sense of Gaslamp with a random walk. With over 70 clubs and restaurants, you won’t starve and can refuel anytime.
Stroll the same streets where legendary Wyatt Earp owned gambling halls while living at the Horton Grand Hotel. He’s listed in the 1887 San Diego City Directory.
Gaslamp is near the Convention Center. As a result, you will find many tourists visiting boutique stores, souvenirs, and T-shirt shops.
Easy Walk: Since it’s only a few blocks in each direction you can enjoy the historical buildings, get a meal and do some shopping. Here’s a link to the Gaslamp area map.
The Gaslamp Museum
With the recent end of the COVID-19 pandemic closures, the Gaslamp Museum re-opened.
Located at the Davis-Horton House, built in 1850 as the oldest building in downtown San Diego on 410 Island Avenue. Here are the museum hours:
- Fridays and Saturdays – General Admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays – Pre-booked private family tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Call them at: (619) 233 – 4692
Pocket Park at the Museum offers a quaint park exuding charm in a cobblestone circle inside wrought iron gates. Plenty of shady trees so you can sit under their beautiful magnolia trees and relax.
U.S. News Review of the Gaslamp Quarter
The U.S. News Travel Section reviewed the Gaslamp Quarter. They describe it as “16 blocks peppered with Victorian-style buildings” offering art galleries, trendy restaurants, and theaters with plenty of bars and clubs.
They recommend starting your walking tour at the Gaslamp Quarter Gate located on Fifth Avenue and L Street. Most of the nightlife action found on Fifth Avenue as San Diego’s “premier nightlife destination”.
Or, start your day tour at the Horton Plaza Park on 4th Avenue. Enjoy the architectural charming buildings on the side streets. Likewise, enjoy the patio seating at the district’s restaurants and cafes.
U.S. News gave a scorecard for these Gaslamp amenities with 5.0 as the highest score:
- Value = 5.0;
- Food Scene = 4.5; and
- Atmosphere = 4.0.
Gaslamp District Things To Do
The San Diego Organization offers summaries of the various things to do in Gaslamp.
Overall, Gaslamp’s 16 square blocks with Victorian-era buildings standing side by side with modern skyscrapers house more than 100 of the city’s best pubs, restaurants, retail shops, and nightclubs.
Food & Drink
Every type of cuisine beckons visitors with “al fresco sidewalk dining” to “sky-high rooftop lounges”. Fine dining at its best. Craft beer lovers and wine connoisseurs will enjoy the varietals offered in so many venues.
The Gaslamp Quarter’s busy streets line up trendy boutiques and San Diego souvenirs. Visit the exotic art galleries for unique works of art.
Petco Park on the edge of downtown is the MLB San Diego Padres home. Enjoy games while sipping on local craft beer on tap and some of the city’s favorite eateries. Sit in luxurious Western Metal Building lounges or get close to the action in The Park’s ball field.
Feast at the high-profile restaurants showcasing celebrity chefs, or dance the night away at any of the happening nightclubs, or sip on signature cocktails prepared by a crafty mixologist on a sky-high rooftop bar, lounge, or restaurant.
Discover the History
Your whole family will enjoy learning about Gaslamp’s historical Stingaree District at the Davis-Horton House Gaslamp Museum.
Dine, Play, and Shop in Gaslamp
The Gaslamp Quarter Organization’s website provides links to many attractions, dining, and shopping venues. Click on each one to view them:
The Gaslamp Facebook page is dedicated to its shopping and entertainment venues listing upcoming events and activities.
Gaslamp bars, food, and entertainment venues are also listed on the Gaslamp Organization site.
The Future for Gaslamp
The Gaslamp Promenade sponsored by the Gaslamp Quarter Association lays out future plans for the district. The site includes links to a:
In essence, the Gaslamp Promenade will create eight unique plazas from Broadway to L Street. They will encourage social conversations, connections, entertainment, and dining. The promenade will enhance San Digo’s vitality.
Gaslamp Quarter San Diego Real Estate Spotlight – Conclusion
As you just read, our Gaslamp Quarter San Diego real estate spotlighted one of the oldest neighborhoods in downtown San Diego.
Your entire family will enjoy the variety of activities that our Gaslamp offers.
Historical: This 16-block historical district showcases over 90 historical buildings mostly of Victorian-era architecture. Several walking history tours are available.
Walking: Gaslamp offers an excellent atmosphere and environment for walkers to enjoy the historical buildings and to relax at the many outdoor seating cafes and restaurants.
Professional Baseball: The MLB San Diego Padres play at Petco Park a short distance from the Gaslamp District.
Dining: Gaslamp offers a wide variety of cuisines in numerous restaurants including breathtaking views from rooftop lounges.
Entertainment: Enjoy local food tasting and street music festivals along with traditional St. Patrick’s and Mardi Gras celebrations.
Drinking: Plenty of bars, lounges, and nightclubs to enjoy all night long.
Culture: The Davis-Horton House and the Gaslamp Museum provide an inside peek as to how the Gaslamp District began, flourished, tumbled, and renovated over the years.
Future: The Gaslamp Promenade will develop eight new plazas offering entertainment and social venues to enhance San Diego’s vitality.
Want to Live in the Gaslamp District?
Gaslamp looks forward to a bright future because of the upcoming Gaslamp Promenade. Who wouldn’t want to live in a neighborhood offering eight new plazas?
Contact us so one of our Realtors can show you our listings in this bustling district.
Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger
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