Downtown San Diego is a living tribute to history and revitalization. The Gaslamp Quarter followed up its boisterous boomtown... more » years—the late 1800s, when Wyatt Earp ran gambling halls and sailors frequented brothels lining 4th and 5th Avenues—with a long stint of seediness, emerging only recently as a glamorous place to live and play. Little Italy, once a bustling Italian fishing neighborhood, got a fresh start when the city took its cause to heart.
The restored gas lamps that give the Gaslamp its name; the juxtaposition of old and new architecture; Little Italy's sidewalk cafés.
At the corner of 4th and Island avenues, at the William Heath Davis House. It’s a short walk from most downtown hotels. If you drive, park in a paid lot or at nearby Horton Plaza, which offers three free hours with validation (get your ticket stamped by a store).
About 3 mi and three to four hours with stops round-trip. Take the Orange Line trolley from Santa Fe Depot back if you’re tired.
From Little Italy follow the same path back or head down Laurel Street to Harbor Drive and wander along the waterfront until you hit Broadway.
Best Time to Go:
Morning or early afternoon.
Where to Refuel:
If your stomach is growling, Little Italy is waiting for you like an Italian mamma: Mangia, mangia! Try Solunto’s Bakery and Deli (E1643 India St.) or Mona Lisa (E2061 India St.). less «