|Downtown's Horton Plaza shopping and entertainment complex is a hub for movies, food, theater, Gaslamp parking and, of course, shopping.
With more than 130 specialty shops and restaurants, movie theaters and live theater, Horton Plaza can keep a body busy. Nordstrom, Macy's and Mervyn's are the mall's primary department stores. You won't find Crate&Barrel or Pottery Barn, but you will find Banana Republic, Gap, J. Crew and Victoria's Secret. And the mall's Long's Drug Store is a local favorite for parking validation ... um, I mean gum.
Fresh air. Times Square.
A signature of San Diego's warm climate, Horton Plaza is an open-air mall with plenty of palms and colorful plantings to enhance the amuseument park maze of shops. The imbalance of five staggered levels -- three on one side and two on the other -- and the infusion of 40-plus paints help to create a wandering wonderland of colorful pathways and alcoves.
If you get lost in the maze, head for the customer service booth on plaza level one. They've got Kiddie Kruzer carts to wheel the young ones and all kinds of information on where to spend your money. And if you're a member of AAA, they also can tell you how to save it. Show your card, and they'll slap some discounts on you.
Like New York's Times Square, Horton Plaza is one of San Diego's best-known attractions; it's right up there with the Zoo, Balboa Park and SeaWorld. Ask any local about going downtown and they're likely to mention Horton Plaza, either as a place to go or a place to park. Just shy of 2200 spaces, the complex's parking garage is free for three hours with a purchase (four hours for validation at movie theater or restaurant). If you're loaded like Eva Gabor you can park overnight, but at $1 per 20 minutes, you better be bringing home the big dollars.
Horton Plaza covers 6-1/2 city blocks, or 11-1/2 acres, of prime real estate. Open in 1985, the complex was designed to combine the aesthetic elements of historic San Diego, a European marketplace and an amusement park. Gas lamps on plaza level one harken back to San Diego's early history and make a connection to the nearby and now-thriving restaurant and club destination known as the Gaslamp Quarter -- just blocks away. The open plazas and art -- such as "The Obelisk" by Joan Brown and the worldly Jessop's Clock built by Claude Ledger -- attempt to relate a European air, while the greenery and maze-like construction tie together a downtown location with a commercially successful mission.
Part of its success is its diversity. In addition to shopping and food, Horton Plaza also houses the United Artists (UA) Horton Plaza theaters, which can seat a whopping total of 3000 movie goers, and the Lyceum Theatre, home to San Diego Repertory Theatre and a host of live theater from musicals to one-man dramas and comedies.
Mon-Fri 10 am-9 pm
Sat 10 am-8 pm (until 9 pm after July 6 for summer)
Sun 11 am-7 pm
324 Horton Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 238-1596
From I-5 south, exit Front Street, left on G Street, parking lot on left (or via Fourth with garage on right); from I-5 north, exit Sixth Avenue, left on Sixth, right on Market, right on Third, which continues directly into garage (as does F Street).