January 10, 2013

20 Things to Love About San Diego's Gaslamp District

This article originally appeared on EventTeam.Com:

What better way is there to continue The Event Team’s 20 year anniversary than exploring San Diego’s most famed entertainment district, The Gaslamp Quarter!  These historic 16 blocks are brimming with shops, art galleries, trendy restaurants, lively bars, and exciting nightclubs.  Whether you are a tourist or a local, there is always something new and fun to explore here.  Let’s check out 20 things we love about The Gaslamp Quarter!

1. Live Music:  The Gaslamp Quarter is the center of San Diego’s live music scene.  Representing a wide range of musical genres, you will surely find a melody that moves you!  Check out the House of Blues for big name acts, Croce’s Restaurant and Bar for jazz, The Field Irish Pub for lively drinking music, Sevilla for South-of-the-border musical flair, or Dick’s Last Resort for classic rock on their entertainment stage every night of the week. Jimmy Love’s, Patrick’s II, and Gaslamp Tavern are also popular venues for a diverse group of local music.

2. Hotels:  Elegance and comfort combine in Gaslamp’s many luxury hotels.  From classic to modern and historic to brand-new, this is the place to stay for full immersion into San Diego’s most famous entertainment district.  Whether you’re looking for a boutique hotel with quaint charm, or a luxurious resort and spa with all the amenities, The Event Team can help match your group to the perfect property.

3. Shopping:  One could spend days browsing unique boutiques and specialty shops along the Gaslamp Quarter’s 16 blocks.  Visit G-Star to fulfill your denim dreams or Eyes on Fifth for a new pair of shades.  Two floors of specialty wines are available at The Wine Bank Inc. and there are travel bags galore at Le Travel Store.  Quicksilver Boardriders Club, Puma, and Oakley provide San Diego with all our sporting good needs.

4. Nightclubs:  Unleash your inner dance god at one of the district’s many incendiary nightclubs!  From local fav Stingaree to the ever changing interior of FLUXX to the underground electricity of Belo or Red C, the Gaslamp District is the ideal place to let loose and party the night away.

5. Festivals/Block Parties:  Gaslamp Quarter is home to many popular festivals throughout the year including Mardi Gras, ShamROCK, Halloween Time, and the San Diego Film Festival.  Locals look forward to June when the Taste of Gaslamp festival allows participants to explore and sample food from several restaurants in the district. The Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade is not to be missed in December! The Event Team can even arrange for your company to have their very own block party, smack dab in the streets of The Gaslamp!

6. History: This National Historic District was founded in 1867 when Alonzo Horton bought the land for $256.  It contains many Victorian-era buildings and a rich history, some of which is of a less-than-wholesome nature.  After becoming a red light and gambling district for sailors in the early 1900’s, a massive preservation and redevelopment effort in the 70’s and 80’s transformed the area into the internationally renowned destination that it is today. The Event Team offers walking tours of the Gaslamp, featuring local historians and reflections of its diverse past are seen throughout the area’s architecture.

7. Horton Plaza:  A five-level architectural marvel, Horton Plaza is downtown San Diego’s retail sanctuary.  Macy’s and Nordstrom’s are the massive complex’s featured department stores. With a movie theater, event space, diverse dining options, a gym, the Lyceum Theater, and even a dog park, this is much more than just a mall!

8. Petco Park:  Located at 19 Tony Gwynn Way, the beautiful Petco Park is one of San Diego’s newest traditions.  Opened in 2004, this uniquely-designed home of the Padres offers state-of-the-art fan amenities and spectacular views of San Diego Bay, the San Diego skyline, and Balboa Park.  Integration of the historic Western Supply Co. building and the grassy “Park at the Park” that slopes above the outfield are only a few of the features that distinguish this spectacular baseball stadium.
Did you know The Event Team can organize your next event on the field fo Petco Park? Fireworks, batting cages, player meet and greets - the works!

9. Searsucker:  Celebrity Chef Brian Malarky has opened 5 ultra-popular restaurants throughout San Diego including his the mega-hit, Searsucker, which is located in the heart of the Gaslamp District. Time Magazine named it America’s #2 hottest restaurant!  Featuring an open kitchen and airy design, Searsucker serves local seafood with local lagers and ales.

10.San Diego Convention Center and San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau:  The San Diego Convention Center is the city’s premiere, award-winning facility for major conventions, trade shows, meetings and special events. Situated along the harbor just a short walk from the main Gaslamp area, the attractive complex is a steward of San Diego with a commitment to sustainable practice and community leadership. In the same vein, The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau works extremely hard to bring “happiness” to locals and visitors alike, highlighting all the places to stay and things to do in the city’s popular neighborhoods, like the Gaslamp! Our partnership with both of these organizations allows us to offer the very best San Diego has to offer!

 11. Harbor Cruises:  The many cruises around San Diego Harbor offer scenic escapes away from the bustle of the city.  You can eat and drink in style aboard a pleasure ship while enjoying the freedom of the water.  For the more audacious, Pirate Ship Adventures provides the opportunity to join a buccaneer crew and participate in swashbuckling activities while exploring the Harbor.
The Event Team offers public mix-in harbor cruises, or we can even arrange for your group to charter a private dinner cruise!

12. The Culy Warehouse:  The Culy Trucking Warehouse is a 4,400 square foot multi-purpose event center located in the Gaslamp’s East Village.  Once the base of the Culy Trucking Company, founded in 1914, the venue now consists of a completely blank interior, perfect for flexing the creative muscle and designing inspired event spaces.  When combined with the adjacent entertainment venue, Block No. 16, the complex has the ability to accommodate a capacity of over 1,500!
13. Civic Theater:  Catch a Broadway show, an opera, or a ballet at the San Diego Civic Theater, the region’s largest performing arts and community gathering center.  Opened in 1965, the theater contains 2,967 seats and a chic interior.

14. The New Children’s Museum:  Visitors and locals with children can think, play, and create at the innovative New Children’s Museum.  This dynamic educational environment celebrates kids and the language of art, providing a safe space to learn and grow.  The environmentally sustainable facility consists of galleries, interactive exhibits, open studio space, and an Arts Education Center.

15. Lucky’s Lunch Counter:  Though new to the scene, Lucky’s Lunch Counter has quickly become a San Diego favorite.  Themed like a retro Chicago lunch counter, the eatery serves traditional, high quality diner fare all day long.  Located just across from Petco Park, Lucky’s is the perfect place to catch a meal before or after the big game!

16. The Trolley:  Cars and taxis are not necessary here.  The Gaslamp Quarter is conveniently located along the San Diego Trolley Orange Line.  From San Ysidro to Santee, downtown’s entertainment district is easily accessible via an efficient and comfortable trolley from all over San Diego.

17. Copley Symphony Hall:  Home to the San Diego Symphony, this multi-functional facility was originally The Fox Theater movie palace, built in 1929.  State-of-the-art digital sound and lighting capabilities have been installed in this continually updated venue, but, rest assured, the original look of the lobbies and performance chamber have been preserved.  A full-sized Robert Morton pneumatic pipe organ and two carbon-arc film projectors are featured within the performance chamber.  This symphony hall is not just for music though, it can accommodate comedy shows, corporate and civic events, and film screenings.

18. The San Diego-Coronado Bridge:  Though not directly in the Gaslamp, this stunning structure provides an amazing backdrop to the neighborhood. Majestically arching over the bay and linking downtown San Diego with the resort city of Coronado, The San Diego-Coronado Bridge is a local landmark. Its two mile length is uniquely designed as a 200-foot high curve to accommodate the large Naval ships that pass underneath. The bridge’s eastern support pillars are located in Chicano Park and feature the largest collection of Chicano art murals in the world.

19. Segways:  Explore the Gaslamp Quarter aboard the latest in electric, two-wheeled personal transportation technology, the Segway! History and culinary tours can be experienced aboard these fun and quirky vehicles. Quickly maneuvering down the sidewalk by leaning back and forth is the best way to navigate Gaslamp’s many blocks.

20. Seaport Village: Just a short walk from the Gaslamp, along the scenic San Diego Bay, sits the waterfront shopping, dining, and entertainment complex of Seaport Village.  Cobblestone pathways, ponds, lakes, fountains, and tropical landscape wind through a plethora of architectural styles housing a variety of boutique shops.  Everything from San Diego souvenirs to high-end apparel and art galleries can be found in Seaport Village’s 54 shops, 13 casual eateries, and 4 fine dining restaurants.  Musicians and street artists inhabit this nostalgic seaside village year-round and an 1895 antique Charles Loof carousel is another major attraction!

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