San Diego Gaslamp Quarter Sign and Street Lit Up at Night

Stay at a Gaslamp Quarter Hotel

Explore the History of this Vibrant Area

The perfect vantage point to a unique slice of Southern California history, this Gaslamp Quarter hotel provides easy access to all the acclaimed attractions and activities for which this destination is famous. But before we get into what you can expect to explore upon arrival, let's travel back in time to see how it all began. 

William Heath Davis

In 1850, a San Franciscan man named William Heath Davis began developing land near what is now the foot of Market Street all in efforts to build his dream town on the San Diego waterfront. He soon builds his "salt box" home for his family, the oldest surviving structure in the Gaslamp and open for tours. Unfortunately, William Heath Davis doesn't get very far--an economic depression leads to the failure of his vision and his town becomes known as Rabbitville after its principal inhabitants.

Alonzo Horton

Another San Franciscan, Alonzo Horton, comes to the area in 1867 and decides that it is the best place to build a new town. He purchases at auction some 800 acres of land on the waterfront for approximately 33 cents an acre and gradually purchases more over years of development. His biggest expense is a $50,000 wharf at the end of 5th Avenue. Land gets sold off for commercial purposes as the new town begins to come alive.

Wyatt Earp

The new town starts to attract gamblers like Wyatt Earp, who runs three gambling halls. Meanwhile, Madame Ida Bailey is working on building her own redlight district Stingaree with notorious entertainment venues. Gradually, San Diego commerce begins moving up Market Street.


In the mid-1970's, a major redevelopment began to reclaim the Gaslamp's historic aesthetic. In 1980 the area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Developers and restoration experts banded together to restore the Gaslamp's Victorian buildings, leading to one of the most notable joint urban preservation efforts in San Diego history. In 1991, the iconic archway was completed and dedicated and within easy walking distance of our luxury hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter.


The area is teeming with premier shops, restaurants and entertainment. With over 200 celebrated eateries, nightclubs and lounges, along with endless boutiques and galleries, the Gaslamp Quarter is now a vibrant destination of urban luxury and exciting entertainment. The Gaslamp Quarter is truly the heart of San Diego's dining and entertainment district.