Core-Columbia’s Best Attractions and Events
Any visit to Core-Columbia is an opportunity to explore the city and see what makes it special. From baseball stadiums to cultural museums to opportunities to see performing arts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, is the perfect vacation stop for baseball fans. You can catch a game, enjoy a live concert, or take a guided tour of the park complete with insider trivia about the team and the park itself. Other fun things to see and do here include grabbing a drink in Beer Alley or the Western Metal Supply Building Deck Bar, picnic on the grass at the “park at the park,” and lounge on the sandy beach included within the park.
Check out a really special view by heading up to the upper deck. On one side, you’ll see the stadium and the city beyond it. On the other, you’ll see the Coronado Bridge. On especially sunny and clear days, you can even see part of Mexico in the distance.
Are you a fan of the performing arts? If so, Core-Columbia has plenty to offer to make your trip downtown truly special. The Civic Theater is a hub of entertaining performances, with new events every night and is located right in the heart of Core-Columbia!
The Civic Theater houses the San Diego Opera and routinely runs opera shows, as well as performances by the California Ballet. Musicals and concerts also find a home on the stage here, and with a maximum seating capacity of nearly 3,000 people, it’s easy to get swept up in the atmosphere of a great night enjoying excellent entertainment no matter what you come to see.
In Town for the Holidays?
San Diego is known for its ballet, specifically its Nutcracker performances. California Ballet Company performs at the San Diego Civic Theater. We feature this in our Holiday Season Guide
San Diego Symphony
If you’re looking to see a truly incredible symphonic band, be sure to make time in your trip to check out the San Diego Symphony. The symphony performs in the Copley Symphony Hall, which has been in operation since 1929 and hosted the symphony since 1984. There are also outdoor performances of the Bayside Summer Nights program in the summer which are located at the nearby Embarcadero Marina Park South.
There’s no better place in Southern California to experience live classical music. With over 80 musicians performing a wide rotation of classical pieces, there’s always a unique experience awaiting you. The San Diego Symphony performs over 140 concerts each year, which makes scheduling a performance into your vacation itinerary a breeze.
The San Diego Opera performs at the Civic Center Plaza. Come see one of their many renowned performances, and after the show you can meet the singers and tour the backstage to get a closer look at all the work that goes into a performance.
Don’t be fooled by the stereotype of opera being a performance only especially stuffy people enjoy. It has widespread appeal for people young and old, and it’s an excellent way to spend an evening enjoying local entertainment.
Santa Fe Depot
The Santa Fe Depot is a union train station that began operation back in 1915. It still runs to this day, bringing people to and from the Core-Columbia area of Downtown San Diego. There are also shorter rail lines that navigate the city, so if your feet are sore from walking and you don’t want to pile into a cab, consider taking the train!
The depot was built in the style of Mission Revival architecture, with a signature set of twin domes that have been replicated on many of the buildings throughout the downtown area. Inside the depot, you’ll see ceramic tile wainscot walls, redwood beam ceilings, and influences from Hispano-Moorish designs.
Seaport Village is just outside Core-Columbia, situated along the coast of the San Diego Bay in the Embarcadero. It’s full of local restaurants and stores, so it’s the perfect spot to do some afternoon shopping and then grab lunch.
In addition to containing over 50 stores and 13 eateries, the area also hosts outdoor events like free live music performances on the weekends and the Old Town Trolley's Holiday Lights and Sights Tour in the winter. At the center of Seaport Village is a large carousel perfect for kids.
Have you ever wanted to board a real naval aircraft carrier and see how it looks on the inside? At the USS Midway Museum which rests at a port in nearby Embarcadero, you can do exactly that plus so much more. Check out the museum’s large collection of aircraft, learn about the historic Battle of Midway, and step into the Command Information Center to feel like a real crewmate.
The USS Midway is one of the many attractions included in the Go San Diego Pass. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to save BIG on standard admission prices!