Fun Things To Do in San Diego, California
Many people feel that the best things in life are free – we do, too! And you’ll discover lots of fun, free things to do when you’re a guest at our Downtown San Diego hotel. We’re within walking distance of Little Italy and Seaport Village, two eclectic sections that are entertaining to stroll through and explore. Other cool nearby places to visit include Balboa Park, the country’s largest urban cultural park. Of course, we’re just a short drive from some of Southern California’s most famous attractions, such as the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. And while they’re not free, they’re definitely worth the price of admission. Learn more about our neighborhood below.
Come to the Gaslamp Quarter and discover an architectural mix from the turn of the century. The Quarter features modern gaslamps, brick sidewalks, landscaping, galleries, theaters, hundreds of boutiques and shops, more than 100 restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and many beautifully restored buildings. Experience San Diego’s colorful past in this exciting, active urban setting. For more information, visit
Westfield Horton Plaza, not to be confused with its adjacent namesake Horton Plaza, is a five-level outdoor shopping mall located in downtown San Diego known for its bright colors, architectural tricks, and odd spatial rhythms. It stands on 6.5 city blocks adjacent to the city’s historic Gaslamp Quarter and is currently anchored by Macy’s and Nordstrom. It was the first successful downtown retail center since the rise of suburban shopping centers decades earlier.
San Diego Convention Center
Situated on sparkling San Diego Bay in the heart of downtown San Diego and just 10 blocks from the 500 West Hotel,, the San Diego Convention Center features abundant, flexible space and five-star service. Events run the gamut from international conventions with trade shows and consumer shows to local trade shows and community events. The San Diego Convention Center is currently ranked 21st in size among the 375 convention facilities in North America. For more information and a list of upcoming events, visit
San Diego’s ideal weather makes for taking in many fun outdoor activities. One of them is visiting Seaport Village. Enjoy more than 50-plus diverse shops and 17 unique eateries. Explore Seaport Village’s sprawling tropical grounds. Encounter four miles of tree-lined paths where a variety of entertainers-singers, dancers and magicians-do their thing. For more information, visit
Located along Broadway and stretching towards the Broadway Pier on San Diego Bay, the Embarcadero is home to a vast array of waterfront sights and sounds. Home of the USS Midway Museum, the San Diego Maritime Museum, and acres and acres of parks, San Diego’s Embarcadero is a great place for stroll along the water, taking in sweeping views of the harbor and the Downtown skyline.
The largest urban cultural park in the country, Balboa Park boasts 15 major museums, renowned performing arts venues, beautiful gardens and the unparalleled San Diego Zoo. Perfect for family vacationers, the Park has an ever-changing calendar of museum exhibitions, plays, musicals, concerts and classes-all in a supremely scenic setting. For more information, visit
Petco Park is spectacular in every way, combining the best sight lines in baseball with breathtaking views of San Diego. Architecturally magnificent, it celebrates the sea, the sky, the natural beauty, cultural diversity and unique spirit of our region. Innovative design features evoke the timeless traditions of baseball in an intimate setting, with state-of-the-art fan amenities to suit every taste and budget.
The East Village
East Village is San Diego’s largest and most rapidly developing neighborhood encompassing 130 blocks. East Village burst into life in the past few years. It is the largest district downtown, located east of the Gaslamp Quarter and southeast of the Core district and Cortez Hill. Visit this vibrant district for world-class cuisine, microbreweries, and hidden architectural gems.
Little Italy represents downtown San Diego’s oldest continuous neighborhood business district. At one time, more than 6,000 Italian families lived and worked here, successfully turning San Diego into the center of the world tuna industry. Today, art galleries and specialty shops dot the neighborhood along with a wide array of restaurants, markets and cafés. Join us for Little Italy’s two annual events-ArtWalk and Carnevale. For more information, visit
Old Town San Diego
Known as the “birthplace of California,” Old Town San Diego features 32 restaurants, 106 specialty shops, 12 art galleries and 27 historic buildings and sites. Take an Old Town trolley tour that captures the flavor of this popular destination. Or stroll through Heritage Park where you can view an amazing collection of Victorian homes. For more information, visit
SeaWorld San Diego
Enter the wild world of SeaWorld San Diego and you’ll enter a world like no other. Come nose to wet nose with a dolphin. Thrill to innumerable attractions like “Journey To Atlantis.” Experience amazing shows like “Believe,” the visually stunning Shamu show that’s designed to awake your sense of curiosity and wonder. Or catch Shamu in a totally different light at his high-energy nighttime performance, “Shamu Rocks.” For more information, visit
San Diego Zoo
The 100-acre, world-famous San Diego Zoo is located just north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park. Explore more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing more than 800 species and subspecies. Discover a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. For more information, visit