Image source: Seaport Village
Seaport Village Highlights
Located next to San Diego Bay on the Embarcadero waterfront in downtown San Diego, Seaport Village is a shopping and dining complex right behind the Grand Hyatt with more than 70 shops, galleries and restaurants.
The car-free environment features four miles of walking paths that connect an assortment of buildings showcasing Victorian as well as traditional Mexican architectural styles. Both the cruise ship terminal and San Diego Convention Center are within walking distance of Seaport Village, which is at the intersection of Harbor Drive and Kettner on West Harbor Drive.
Seaport Village History
It’s hard to believe that the 14-acre family and pet-friendly spread, with its green spaces and stunning views of The Big Bay and Coronado Bridge, is actually built on a landfill, which 200 years ago was a burial ground and in later years a railroad yard. The tourist attraction that stands today took two years to build and opened in 1980.
Kids of all ages love to ride the antique carousel at Seaport Village. Hand-carved in 1895, the ride was built by the Coney Island carousel builders, Looff, and features dozens and dozens of animals on which to ride. If there’s a small line-up, sometimes you’ll be lucky enough to be entertained by a one-man band, face painter or caricaturist. The carousel runs all day and costs $2 per ride.
Green Space and Boardwalks
Families and tourists can enjoy spotting ships and taking in the views on a stroll of the quarter-mile long boardwalk along the San Diego Bay. Cobblestone walkways are a pleasure to meander, with ponds and fountains dotting the lush landscape. Bring a kite (or buy a new one!) and join the kite-flying fun — or settle down on the grass for a picnic and enjoy the passing show. Shopping and Dining
Seaport Village offers lots of places that cater to families and kids, including Assagio Pizza Pasta Plus for pizza lovers and the San Diego Burger Company for those who prefer burgers and fries. For sandwiches and salads, drop in to the Seaport Village Deli, or if it’s just a snack you’re after, stop by Wetzel’s Pretzels. Of course, a little something Ben & Jerry’s is always welcome treat.
From sunglasses and kites to all things nautical, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the more than 50 shops in Seaport Village. Whether you’re seeking souvenirs or toys, browsing the stores is a time-honored tradition, and you’re sure to see something perfect.
Daily and Weekend Entertainment
Seaport Village is home to face painters, balloon artists and street performers including mimes, musicians and dancers. Weekends are usually the best time to enjoy street performers and free entertainment, while weekdays have the benefit of being less crowded.
In the Food Court, you’ll find live music every day from noon until 4 pm. The type of music is never the same, so you might enjoy rock or jazz or even Flamenco guitar. For more live music, you can take in the Free Sunday Concert Series, held at the East Plaza Gazebo every Sunday from 1pm-4pm.
There are special events each year. These include:
Spring Busker Festival
The only busker (or street performer) festival in Southern California, Seaport Village brings professionals from across the country for the two-day festival. You’ll see anything from juggling on unicycles to sword swallowing and pogo stick tricks to knife throwing at this event. It’s free with performers appreciating gratuities.
You’ll see Santa as you’ve never seen him before–in his board shorts and flip-flops as he arrives on his yacht for the annual boardwalk parade. He’s available for photos on his surfboard during the afternoon, a picture that might be a great conversation-starter in later years!
The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights
The December event is a parade held on San Diego Bay with some 80 boats and more than 80,000 spectators taking part. It’s a two day spectacle, which takes place on two consecutive Sunday evenings (from about 5:30pm-9pm) each December. Vessels are decorated for the holiday season, and compete for prizes. The location of Seaport Village makes it the perfect viewing location.
Validated Parking: $3 for the first 2 hours or part thereof; $2 every 30 minutes thereafter or part thereof. Validation with a minimum $10 purchase from any Seaport Village establishment. Non-validated parking: $8 per hour or part thereof. As expected, the parking lot is more crowded on weekends, and during Summer and holidays.