Did you know the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego was once known as
Rabbitville? The early days of the settlement saw no success for human
inhabitants, but it made for a perfect rabbit habitat.
From Romanesque to Baroque Revival, San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is a treasure
trove of architecture – a collection of distinctive historic buildings known for
diverse entertainment and rollicking nightlife, just as it was when first established.
Take a peek behind the ornate facades and hear how these buildings evolved and
how those responsible for their construction lived and worked in what became
San Diego’s most notorious district, when the glow of gas jets illuminated the
guilty pleasures of yesterday.
“My husband and I love looking at old buildings, but the stories of these places made the tour a real surprise!”
The Old Cali and War for the West Experience brings to life the
city’s former red-light district characterized by drinking, gambling, and pleasure of
all kinds. Discover the historic Victorian and Edwardian buildings that once
functioned as saloons, gaming halls, opium dens, and brothels, and take in the
impressive array of architecture with a side of spicy anecdotes during this
This fascinating tour will take you on an immersive exploration of the notorious
activities taking place in San Diego’s historical buildings, such as:
The bedroom business in the Louis Bank of Commerce
The strange history of the Horton Grand Hotel
The colorful past of Tivoli Bar and Grill
The illegal activity at the Yuma Building
And so much more…
Expert local guides will introduce you to architecturally significant structures of
the frontier years when San Diego struggled for a foothold in the story of
California and the tantalizing tales of those, directly and indirectly, responsible for
Join us to explore the eclectic heartbeat of San Diego and the colorful way of life
it enjoyed before it rebranded itself as America’s Finest City.
“San Diego is the best city in the world.” – Eric Weddle
Meeting point address: 199 5th Avenue, San Diego CA
Duration: Approximately 2 hours
Parking: We recommend parking near 199 5th Avenue. To see options, click below:
Use parkme.com for more parking locations.
October 3rd 2023
"Our tour guide, Dave, was really great. He was very knowledgeable and fun. We even had some ghost ac ... "
October 1st 2023
"Crystalinda was a fantastic tour guide! We had a great time! In the attached pic - portrait, reflect ... "
September 30th 2023
"Fernando was an amazing, cordial, and very entertaining tour guide! Five stars all the way!"
Please arrive to the designated meeting location before your tour’s start time, or they may leave without you! Your email confirmation will verify map and meeting location.
No need to print anything out. Just show up, and the tour guide will mark you present! Please save your email confirmation handy on your phone for reference.
Press “book now” to view current time and date availability.
Looking for a private or large group tour? Contact us for details
This tour is a walking tour.
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