Horton Plaza Shopping Mall


Location: Downtown San Diego (Horton Plaza / Core District)

Open Daily: 10AM – 9PM (8PM on Saturdays); 11AM – 7PM on Sundays.

Features: Uniquely Designed Outdoor Shopping Mall in Downtown San Diego; Anchored by Nordstrom and Macy’s; Five Levels of Shopping includes a Food Court, Fine Dining, Movie Theater, and Many Visitor Services.

horton-plaza-2Horton Plaza Highlights: This is one of the more unique outdoor malls you will ever experience. With Nordstrom’s anchoring the mall on the south side and Macy’s anchoring it on the west side, there are over 130 retail stores and restaurants connected in a labyrinth of walkways, escalators, and stairwells. The unique and colorful architectural design makes one pause for a moment to appreciate the challenges of designing this mall, which includes five outdoor levels of shopping.

Horton Plaza Stores & Activities – Look up the stores available at Horton Plaza. You will find a wide variety from Abercrombie & Fitch to Zales Jewelers. Additional shops can be found in the adjacent Gaslamp Quarter. Also, during the winter holidays, you can enjoy ice skating in front of Horton Plaza. (How many places can you ice skate outdoors in warm weather?)

Restaurants – The extensive Food Court is on the 4th Level and two fine-dining restaurants, the Napa Valley Grille and Panda Inn, are on the 5th Level. Some of the food places are open with extended hours compared to the normal mall hours. You can easily access the food court from the top level of the Horton Plaza parking garage on the south side of the mall, which is on the same floor as the food court.

horton-plaza-1Visitor Services – Horton Plaza is in the middle of many tourist attractions throughout downtown San Diego. The Shopping Concierge Center on the 1st Floor can provide assistance to visitors needing help. Visitors will also find a Travelex Currency Exchange (1-619-235-0901), Ritz Camera Shop (1-619-233-9409), Longs Drug Store (1-619-231-9135), and an Eye Doctor with optical shop (1-619-544-9000) right inside the Broadway Circle Entrance.

Movies – Horton Plaza is a great place to watch movies. You can enjoy a meal in Horton Plaza or dinner in the adjacent Gaslamp Quarter and watch a movie on one of 14 movie screens. The UA Horton Plaza 14, owned by Regal, is usually free of the crowds you will find at other theaters. It is on Level 4 on the northeast side of the mall near the corner of 4th Avenue and Broadway.

Information on Visiting Horton Plaza

Directions from Google Maps to 324 Horton Plaza in San Diego, CA 92101. (Between 1st and 4th Avenues, on the west side of the Gaslamp Quarter)

Parking – The Horton Plaza Parking Garage can be entered at the intersection of 4th Avenue and F Street or at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and G Street. (These are all one-way streets.) Parking tickets can be validated for three hours of free parking at kiosk machines in the mall or at some mall stores. (Check the parking signs at the garage entrance regarding any changes.) Note that validations can only be used from 7AM – 9PM, except when you get a validation from the Horton Plaza establishments that have extended hours. Those who use the Horton Plaza Parking Garage when attending baseball games at Petco Park or spending an evening out in the Gaslamp Quarter outside of these parking hours will be required to pay the normal rate, which is typically $8 per hour. Pay attention to where you parked. The Horton Plaza garage is a maze. Each parking level has separate areas signified by a fruit or vegetable painted on the walls to help you remember where you parked.

horton-plaza-3Traffic – Getting in and out of downtown using highways I-5, SR-163, and SR-94 is relatively easy. Downtown San Diego is not a major employment center and thus there is very little rush hour traffic. Watch for slower traffic on the I-5 where it does a tight S-curve through downtown San Diego near the SR-163 interchange. When heading southbound on SR-163, stay to the left side unless you want to get on the I-5. (You will encounter a slight delay getting on the I-5 from SR-163.) You will also encounter a slight delay on SR-163 going into downtown when there is an event at Petco Park. If the San Diego Padres play a daytime game, it usually start at 1:05PM. Otherwise, games start at 7:05PM. Even though traffic backs up a little on SR-163, it continues to move along. When leaving downtown, remember that:

  • 1st Avenue will get you to the I-5 North,
  • 11th Avenue will get you to SR-163 and the I-5 North,
  • E & J Streets will get you to the I-5 South, and
  • G Street will get you to SR-94.

The traffic lights on these streets are synchronized and will generally move you along without delay. (Learn how to get the latest highway traffic updates.)

Once you are downtown, you will find most of the streets are one-way, on an alternating basis. (You can see them if you zoom in on Google Maps.) Broadway, which runs along the north side of Horton Plaza, and Market Street are both two-way streets running east-west. You will find that at several intersections you are not allowed to make a left turn off of Broadway or Market. Thus, if you need to make a left turn, it is often better to use a one-way street rather than Broadway and Market Street. For the other street running along the outside of Horton Plaza, Fourth Avenue is a one-way street heading south, First Avenue is a one-way street heading north, and G Street is a one-way street heading east.

All of the streets downtown move along quite well. The only exceptions are 4th and 5th Avenues through the Gaslamp Quarter in the evenings and around Petco Park before and after events. One other exception is crossing train tracks that run along Harbor Drive in front of the Convention Center. You can cross over the train tracks at Market, Front, 1st, and 5th. Sometimes, freight trains block the latter few crossover streets. If you see them sitting still, it means they are checking their brakes, so it could take a while. Don’t wait. Move farther north towards Market Street to cross over the tracks.

Transit – Both the Blue and Orange Trolley Lines move through Downtown San Diego and get you within four blocks of most attractions. Both lines stop at the Civic Center station, which is the closest to Horton Plaza. (The mall is two blocks south of the station.) However, other downtown trolley stops are also within manageable walking distance for most people. (See San Diego Transit Information for the downtown transit map and information for the online Transit Planner.) Walking around Downtown San Diego is easy since it is flat with the exception of the northeast corner near Cortez Hill.

Related Attraction – Read more about the variety of activities available in the adjacent Gaslamp Quarter.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: Architecture, Horton Plaza / Core, Unique Shopping Venues, Watch Movies |

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