Conveniently located in downtown San Diego on West Harbor Drive near the Pacific Highway, Seaport Village is a 14-acre waterfront complex for shopping, dining and entertainment. It features more than seventy diverse outlets in its 90,000 square feet of retail space, offering shoppers "Everything - Under the Sun.''
The reclaimed land upon which the complex stands was once called Punta de los Muertos (Point of the Dead), named after sailors who died of scurvy during a 1782 Spanish expedition here. For a while, a railroad yard occupied this spot, handling goods unloaded from ships and bound east. When Seaport Village opened in 1980, its developers aimed at recreating the atmosphere of a bustling 19th century port of call, with four miles of cobblestone pathways complemented by ponds, fountains and colorful landscaping.
Today, some 54 retail shops call Seaport Village home. They sell clothing for women, men and children, souvenirs for visitors, art, toys, gift items, cameras, home goods, candles, books, music, kites, and so much more. Among the many merchants represented are Crazy Shirts, Island Hoppers, Mystic Mermaid, Pet Hideaway, San Diego Surf Company, Tamara G, Trails West, The Cerveza Store, Village Hat Shop, Little Viking, and Harley Davidson, to name a few.
There are thirteen casual eateries and four fine dining restaurants on the premises. They range from the elegant Harbor House and the Edgewater Grill to the laid-back San Diego Burger Company and Marion's Fish Market. Shoppers can relax at the Greek Island Cafy or tip a few late into the evening at Buster's Beach House & Longboard Bar. There are specialty shops for nuts, ice cream, fudge, popcorn and cookies, too.
Entertainment is also a big attraction at Seaport Village. The complex has a monthly calendar of musical performances, ranging from jazz and blues to country and swing. There is also an antique carousel with hand-carved animals on site; it was created by Charles Loof in 1895. And the Cinderella Carriage Company provides horse-drawn carriage rides through the complex, while balloon sculptors and face painters treat youngsters to their works of art.
As part of its 30th anniversary celebration in April 2010, Seaport Village has launched a "Busker Festival,'' filling the complex with the unusual acts of street performers. Jugglers, sword swallowers, singers, dancers, magicians, contortionists, comedians, caricaturists, and stuntmen are just a few of the scheduled attractions. The event is free of charge, although tipping the buskers is highly recommended.
Seaport Village is open daily from 10am to 9pm; many of the restaurants have extended hours. Shoppers and diners can enjoy two hours of free validated parking with any purchase and pay just $3 an hour after that. Visitors staying at the Manchester Grand Hyatt or Marriott hotels can walk to Seaport Village on the quarter-mile boardwalk that connects them, the marina area, and the San Diego Convention Center.
The Seaport Village address is 849 West Harbor Drive, #D, San Diego, California 92101. It is a featured stop on the Old Town Trolley route and can also be reached via the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System. By car, take Interstate 5 to the Sixth Avenue Exit and turn left. Continue to Ash Street and turn right. Then take a left on Pacific Highway, which ends at Seaport Village. San Diego International Airport is just about five minutes away.