22 Fun Things to Do in Gaslamp Quarter San Diego

The Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego, California, is a bustling neighborhood known for its vibrant nightlife, diverse dining options, and lively cultural scene. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that tourists flock to this historic district year-round. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the Gaslamp Quarter, highlighting some must-visit spots and activities that will make your trip one to remember. So, grab your walking shoes, and let’s dive into all the exciting things to do in Gaslamp Quarter San Diego!

Rustic Root

Located on 5th Avenue, Rustic Root is a popular rooftop bar and restaurant that offers stunning views of the city skyline. This hidden gem is the perfect spot to relax with a cocktail in hand while taking in the vibrant atmosphere of the Gaslamp Quarter. With a menu featuring modern American cuisine and extensive craft cocktails, Rustic Root is a must-visit for any foodie or cocktail aficionado.

Moonshine Flats

For those looking for good old-fashioned fun, head to Moonshine Flats on 6th Avenue. This country-themed bar and live music venue will transport you to the heart of Nashville with its lively honkytonk atmosphere. So, grab your cowboy boots and dance the night away to some good ol’ country tunes.

Gaslamp Quarter Sign

No trip to the Gaslamp Quarter is complete without a photo in front of the iconic Gaslamp Quarter sign on 5th Avenue. This historic landmark is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, so be sure to snap a picture (or two) to capture the essence of this vibrant neighborhood.

Lou & Mickey’s Steakhouse

If you’re in the mood for a fancy dinner, head to Lou & Mickey’s Steakhouse on 5th Avenue. This upscale restaurant offers a prime selection of steaks, seafood, and salads paired with an extensive wine list. With its elegant decor and top-notch service, Lou & Mickey’s is the perfect spot for a special occasion or a romantic date night.

The Escape Game San Diego

Looking for something more adventurous? Look no further than The Escape Game on 5th Avenue. This interactive experience challenges you and your group to solve puzzles and riddles to escape a themed room within an hour. With different scenarios to choose from, such as prison break and gold rush, The Escape Game is a fun activity for friends and families alike.

House of Blues San Diego

Music lovers will feel at home at the House of Blues on 5th Avenue. This popular music venue hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the year, featuring both local and international artists. With its lively atmosphere and top-notch sound system, the House of Blues is the place for a night filled with great music.

Davis-Horton House Museum

For history buffs, a visit to the Davis-Horton House Museum on 2nd Avenue is a must. This Victorian-style house-turned-museum offers guided tours that take you through the different eras of San Diego’s past. With its well-preserved artifacts and knowledgeable guides, the Davis-Horton House is a fascinating glimpse into the city’s history.

Art of Tim Cantor

Art enthusiasts will not want to miss the opportunity to visit the Art of Tim Cantor on 5th Avenue. This gallery features the works of renowned artist Tim Cantor, known for his surreal and dreamlike paintings. Enjoy browsing the stunning pieces and take home a unique souvenir from your trip.

Mr. Tempo Sports Bar / Tempo Cantina

For a night filled with drinks, food, and entertainment, head over to Mr. Tempo Sports Bar or Tempo Cantina on 5th Avenue. With its lively atmosphere and wide selection of craft beers, this spot is perfect for a casual hangout with friends or catching the game on TV. If you’re feeling hungry, be sure to try their delicious Mexican cuisine.

American Comedy Co.

Looking for a good laugh? Look no further than the American Comedy Co. on 6th Avenue. This comedy club hosts some of the funniest comedians in town, providing endless entertainment and laughter throughout the night. So sit back, relax, and prepare for a barrel of laughs at this popular venue.

Trailer Park After Dark

For those looking to explore the Gaslamp Quarter’s nightlife more unconventionally, join the Trailer Park After Dark pub crawl on 5th Avenue. This unique experience takes you to some of the neighborhood’s most popular bars and gives you a taste of the lively atmosphere for which the Gaslamp Quarter is known.

USS Midway Museum

Take a break from city life and immerse yourself in history at the USS Midway Museum on Harbor Drive. This retired aircraft carrier turned museum offers self-guided audio tours that take you through its impressive flight deck, hangar deck, and even the captain’s bridge. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you in awe.

Tahiti Felix’s Master Tattoo Parlor and Museum

For something unique, visit Tahiti Felix’s on 6th Avenue, where tattoos meet the museum. This tattoo parlor offers top-notch tattoo services and houses a museum showcasing the history of tattoos and their cultural significance. Even if you’re not looking to get inked, appreciating the art and history behind this popular form of self-expression is still worth a visit.

New Children’s Museum

Last but not least, families with children should stop at the New Children’s Museum on Island Avenue. This interactive museum encourages kids to use their imagination and creativity through various hands-on exhibits and activities. From building with recycled materials to creating art masterpieces, there’s something for every little one to enjoy at this fun and educational museum.

Gaslamp Museum

For a glimpse into the past, visit the Gaslamp Museum located in the beautiful Davis-Horton House. Step inside this Victorian-style building and be transported back to the 19th century. The museum showcases the history of the Gaslamp Quarter and its evolution over the years. You’ll learn about the area’s early settlers, famous figures, and cultural heritage through intriguing exhibits and artifacts. Take a guided tour or explore to appreciate this historical gem.

Gaslamp Artisan Market

One of the best ways to experience a city is through its local art and culture. That’s where the Gaslamp Artisan Market comes in. Over 30 local artists and vendors gather at Fifth Avenue every Sunday to showcase their unique creations. You’ll find various items to browse through and purchase, from handmade crafts to gourmet food. Plus, the market is located next to the lively Gaslamp Quarter, making it a perfect spot to grab souvenirs or gifts.

Petco Park

You can’t miss visiting Petco Park if you’re a sports fan. This state-of-the-art stadium is home to the San Diego Padres baseball team and offers an unforgettable game experience. Whether catching a live game or taking a park tour, you’ll love the energetic atmosphere and stunning views of downtown San Diego. With various food options, craft beer stands, and interactive exhibits, Petco Park is not just for sports enthusiasts but also a great outing for everyone.

Copley Symphony Hall

Copley Symphony Hall is a must-visit attraction in the Gaslamp Quarter for classical music lovers. Home to the San Diego Symphony, this beautiful concert hall hosts a variety of performances throughout the year. From symphonic orchestra shows to jazz concerts, there’s always something happening at Copley Symphony Hall. With its excellent acoustics and elegant design, you’ll be enchanted by the music and atmosphere.

San Diego Comic-Con

Whether you’re a fan of comics, movies, or pop culture, San Diego Comic-Con is an event that shouldn’t be missed. Held annually at the San Diego Convention Center, this massive convention draws in thousands of attendees worldwide. From celebrity panels to cosplay competitions and exclusive merchandise, there’s plenty to see and do for everyone. If you are in the Gaslamp Quarter during Comic-Con, check the surrounding areas for special events and attractions.

Balboa Theater

Built in 1924, the Balboa Theater is an iconic landmark of the Gaslamp Quarter. This beautifully restored theater hosts a variety of performances, from Broadway shows to comedy nights and concerts. The intimate setting and excellent acoustics make it a favorite among performers and audiences. With various shows happening throughout the year, there’s always something to catch at Balboa Theater.

Horton Plaza Park

After a day full of exploring, take some time to relax at Horton Plaza Park. This urban park is located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter and offers a peaceful oasis amidst the bustling city. Stroll through the park, admire the public art installations, and picnic on the grassy lawn. With its central location and beautiful surroundings, Horton Plaza Park is a great spot to recharge before continuing your adventures in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Cuban Cigar Factory

For cigar enthusiasts, visiting the Cuban Cigar Factory is a must-do in the Gaslamp Quarter. This family-owned factory has made hand-rolled cigars for over 20 years and offers an authentic Cuban experience in San Diego. Take a tour of the factory, learn about the process of cigar-making, and even roll your cigar with the help of their skilled employees. You can also purchase some of their high-quality cigars to take home as a souvenir.

Wrapping Up

With its rich history, diverse culture, and endless entertainment options, Gaslamp Quarter is a must-visit destination in San Diego. From exploring museums and markets to attending concerts and sporting events, there’s no shortage of things to do in this vibrant neighborhood. So, next time you plan a trip to San Diego, include the Gaslamp Quarter in your itinerary for an unforgettable experience.

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