Sights and scenes: San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter

A photographic walk through one of the west coast's most vibrant entertainment districts: San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter gateway on Fifth Avenue.

Downtown San Diego is the city center of San Diego, California, the eighth largest city in the United States. In 2010, the Centre City area had a population of more than 28,000. Downtown San Diego serves as the cultural and financial center and central business district of San Diego, with more than 4,000 businesses and nine districts. The downtown area is the home of the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera as well as multiple theaters and several museums. The San Diego Convention Center and Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, are also located downtown. Downtown San Diego houses the major local headquarters of the city, county, state, and federal governments.

The Gaslamp Quarter is a 16½-block neighborhood in the downtown area of San Diego, California. It extends from Broadway to Harbor Drive, and from 4th to 6th Avenue.

Listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places as Gaslamp Quarter Historic District, it includes 94 historic buildings, most of which were constructed in the Victorian Era; many are in use as restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, and nightclubs.

It is the site of various events and festivals, including Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp, Street Scene Music Festival, Taste of Gaslamp, and ShamROCK, a St. Patrick’s Day event. Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, is one block away in the East Village neighborhood.

San Diegans generally refer to the area as “the Gaslamp”, rarely “Gaslamp Quarter”, as on the entryway arch and official city signage and banners.


Walking south on Sixth Avenue between E and F Streets.

The intersection Sixth Avenue and F Streets.

Sixth Avenue near G Street.

Looking east on Market Street.

The intersection of Sixth Avenue and K Street.

The Baja Rick’s Cantina at the San Diego Trolley Gaslamp Quarter station.

Many Gaslamp Quarter intersections are 4-way stops instead of traffic signal controlled.