Overview of San Diego
Young professionals and recent graduates from one of the several universities in and around the city will find that Downtown San Diego offers an almost limitless set of possibilities for fun, excitement and nightlife. With the sheer wealth of resources the neighborhood offers, anyone with a taste for the active, urban lifestyle will surely not run out of things to do.
Nightlife, entertainment in the Gaslamp Quarter
San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter is the center of the city's nightlife. In keeping with the natural beauty you'll find all around you in San Diego, this neighborhood also offers manmade beauty in the form of Victorian buildings that have stood for over a century. Their proximity to the skyscrapers and other modern buildings that populate the quarter is one of the distinctive sights of the area.
Lovers of all kinds of nightlife will find something for them in the Gaslamp Quarter. Foodies can take advantage of the great restaurant scene. The neighborhood is home to Croce's, a well-known, upscale eatery and jazz bar. Because of the beautiful weather in San Diego, a number of the quarter's restaurants offer al fresco dining, and outdoor cafes and bars are common as well. You can also take in a martini and a scenic view of the nearby coastline at one of the numerous rooftop bars and lounges.
Those with a taste for fine food and drink don't have to worry about finding non-culinary activities suited to their sensibilities in the neighborhood. The fashion-minded can take advantage of the Gaslamp Quarter's many boutique shops, as well as Horton Plaza, a large-scale outdoor shopping mall. Meanwhile, art and design galleries offer late afternoon activities for art lovers before nightlife kicks off.
A vibrant food culture
The Gaslamp Quarter isn't the only nook within Downtown San Diego where food enthusiasts can find something great to eat. Little Italy, located in the northwest of the Downtown area, features restaurants specializing in authentic Italian cuisine, as well as European-style coffee shops with some of the best espresso and biscotti you could ask for. Art galleries and museums are also easy to find in Little Italy, so you can easily lengthen your sojourn to the area if desired.
The Coronado View neighborhood - northeast of downtown, just south of Balboa Park - features trendy cafes like Krakatoa, which serves both beer and espresso, as well as traditional Mexican fare like the food served up by Los Reyes.
The riches of Balboa Park
Located just on the other side of the San Diego Freeway from Downtown, Balboa Park is one of the city's richest resources. In fact, the term "park" doesn't quite begin to describe it. Spanning nearly 2 square miles in the heart of San Diego, Balboa is hub of recreation and culture.
No fewer than 13 museums covering a range of interest areas exist within Balboa's borders, including the San Diego Museum of Art, Automotive Museum and Air and Space Museum. The park also contains cultural centers like the Centro Cultural de la Raza - a space devoted to Mexican and Indigenous art - as well as the WorldBeat Cultural Center, devoted to the traditions of Africa.
The park also houses the San Diego Zoo, a great activity for kids and young families.
Of course, lovers of physical activity won't go wanting in Balboa. There are plenty of walking and running trails, and dog owners can let their pets run free at Nate's Point Dog Park and Morley Field Dog Park.
Afterwards, if you're tired out from all that Balboa has to offer, you can relax and re-caffeinate at the Tea Pavilion or Greenzoo Coffee.