Embarcadero San Diego

Enjoy the beautiful waterfront in Embarcadero. Visit nearby PETCO Park or the USS Midway. Enjoy the local museums, the neighboring Gaslamp Quarter or embark on a cruise from the cruise ship terminal. Walk to the local shops, cafés, and the boardwalk to watch the stunning sunset over San Diego Bay.
Embarcadero
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Embarcadero San Diego
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Downtown San Diego is Within Walking Distance from the Embarcadero!

Seaport Village Sign in Front of the Harbor House RestaurantSunset Shimmering off of the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Hotel

If you are planning a trip to San Diego, especially if you are arriving or leaving via cruise ship, the Embarcadero of San Diego may be a focal point of your plans. It is a neighborhood along the San Diego Bay that is best known as being the embarkation point of large ships. The name “embarcadero” means “boarding place” in Spanish.

Despite its small size, Embarcadero has a high density of attractions due to its being a high-traffic area. You could have a surprisingly full trip to the city without ever leaving this neighborhood.

However, anyone staying in the Embarcadero will want to make some journeys out to see the nearby attractions. Located next to Core-Columbia in downtown San Diego, the neighborhood has easy access to many of the most popular sites in the city.

The waterfront location offers some great opportunities to enjoy San Diego Bay. In the evening, watching the sun set from one of the shoreside parks. The sunsets in San Diego are famous for being some of the most beautiful in the country thanks to its west-facing, coastal location with clear skies.

For those who want to enjoy the bay, there are plenty of rentals, tours and more for getting out on the water. Even some of the museum ships in the area, most notably the Star of India, will sail out into the ocean from time to time.

The Embarcadero is an attractive area with plenty of green spaces and many modern buildings that suit San Diego well. Combined with the consistently mild weather, the pleasant shoreside looks of the neighborhood make it a nice place to spend your time while in San Diego.

Visitors who want to see everything the harbor has to offer can take a trip down Harbor Drive. There is plenty of space for walking by the water and several rental places with bikes and more. This route is a great way to take in all the coastal activity.

Between the many available activities and convenient location for visiting the rest of the city, Embarcadero should be on your list of places to see and stay. It is a great choice for recreational visitors, especially those taking cruises.

Embarcadero San Diego
Why you'll love Embarcadero
Walk the boardwalk and catch a sunset in Embarcadero. Stay close to the cruise terminal, tour local museums, shopping, PETCO Park, and the USS Midway.

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Things to Do

Biking
Biking
Convention Center
Convention Center
Cruise Ship Terminal
Cruise Ship Terminal
Fishing
Fishing
Museums
Museums
Petco Park
Petco Park
Picnic Tables
Picnic Tables
Skateboarding
Skateboarding
USS Midway
USS Midway

Things to Do in the Embarcadero

Although it only occupies a small strip of land along the harbor, the Embarcadero is packed with activities for visitors to the city. Naturally for somewhere named “boarding place,” the neighborhood has a lot of aquatic- and nautical-themed attractions.

San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal

The main cruise ship embarkation and disembarkation point is in the Embarcadero. San Diego is a major port for cruises in the area including international routes. If you are planning to take a cruise in the Pacific, there is a reasonable chance you will depart from or return to San Diego.

Watching the cruise ship terminal can be fascinating also. The larger cruise ships are a sight to behold as they come into port and leave. Fortunately, there are numerous spots that make for great viewing of the ships such as Waterfront Park in Harborview just north of the Embarcadero.

USS Midway & the Maritime Museum of San Diego

Visitors with an interest in nautical education should check out the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum and the Maritime Museum. Both attractions offer unique insights into the workings of ships and everyday life onboard.

The USS Midway was launched just after WWII and was the largest ship in the world for the next 10 years. It served in many significant conflicts before finally being decommissioned shortly after Operation Desert Storm. Today, it is a museum ship that visitors can explore and see everything from the aircraft on the deck to the inner mechanisms of the ship.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego is only a short distance past the USS Midway. It has a fine collection of museum ships including the Star of India, the oldest ship in the world that still actively sails (the USS Constitution and HMS Victory among a few others are older but stay in port). Each ship represents a different aspect of maritime life and industry.

The museum also has some fascinating exhibits. It is some family-friendly, educational fun.

San Diego Convention Center

The San Diego Convention Center is located on the south side of the Embarcadero. This large event space holds consistent conventions and other gatherings throughout the year. Perhaps the most famous of these is the San Diego Comic-Con.

Whether you are in town for a specific event or just want to check out whatever is currently going on, the proximity to the convention center makes the Embarcadero a desirable place to stay. Some of the architecture of the center is also worth seeing, most notably the Sails Pavilion’s unique roof made of “sails.”

Embarcadero Marina Park

For a truly memorable experience by the bay, head to the Embarcadero Marina Park. Technically, this space is actually two parks, one on each side of the marina entrance.

They offer greenspace, pavilions, benches and a pleasant walkway along the water. This is a great place to relax and enjoy the views. You can look across the water to Coronado or just sit and watch the ships passing by.

Waterfront Park

Another popular park is on the northern end of the area. Waterfront Park is another relaxing space designed along the harbor.

This park has a little something for everyone. There are interactive foundations and equipment for kids. There are also several nature gardens located throughout the space.

Waterfront Park also provides event spaces. It is a popular venue for weddings due to the incredible location next to the water.

Local Tips
Historic Carousel in Seaport Village
Don't miss the historic Fair Park Looff Carousel at Seaport Village. Both children and adults will enjoy each of the 54 animals and 2 horse-drawn chariots that were hand-carved in 1895.

Seaport Village

This shopping and dining complex is situated on the southern end of the neighborhood near the Embarcadero Marina Park. It has a diverse variety of shops, restaurants and entertainment. No matter why you are visiting the city and with whom, you will find something to love in Seaport Village.

The complex mixes some interesting architectural styles including Victorian and traditional Mexican design. This can make it an interesting place to walk around even if you are just looking.

Seaport Village is located close to the convention center. This makes it a great option for eating when you are planning to go to an event.

Attractions Around Embarcadero

The Embarcadero has a lot to offer within its small borders. However, there are also plenty of amazing attractions within a short walk or public transit trip. It is a great neighborhood to stay in thanks to the convenient access to some of the city’s most popular sites.

Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter is a downtown neighborhood that borders the Embarcadero. It is one of the liveliest areas in the city for nightlife and dining.

Take a stroll down the streets lining with vintage street lights (despite the name of the area, most are not gas lamps). Check out some of the historic buildings, several of which have been around for over 100 years.

The district has nightlife activities for every taste. Whether you want to catch a show, head to a club or enjoy a cocktail lounge, you can find it in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Balboa Park

Consider taking a short trip to this 1,200-acre urban park just to the north-east of downtown San Diego. This is one of the most enjoyable parts of the city to spend time in.

Balboa Park features theaters, museums and other attractions contained within the lush green spaces. The crown jewel of the park is the San Diego Zoo, which is by itself a good enough reason to visit the park. Whether you want somewhere to walk around and enjoy the beautiful weather or a day full of activities, Balboa Park can satisfy.

San Diego Zoo

The world-famous San Diego Zoo is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. It is the centerpiece of Balboa Park and one of the most popular attractions in the whole city.

The zoo features over 3,700 animals from more than 660 species and subspecies. Spanning over 100 acres, the San Diego Zoo is known for its very natural habitats and diverse selection of rare and endangered species. The zoo team is also committed to preservation and helping to protect threatened species.

Visitors can easily spend a full day exploring the zoo. However, even if you only have a few hours, it is worth a visit.

Save on tickets to the San Diego Zoo with the Go San Diego Card. This card will get you discounts to over 50 different attractions and activities in San Diego while getting you access with one card. For more details see our Go San Diego Card page.

Petco Park

Petco Park is the home of the San Diego Padres. Any visitors who are in the area during the season should consider planning to see a baseball game. It is located just outside of the Embarcadero.

If you are a baseball fan, there are few joys better than catching a good game in the warm weather down by the harbor. In addition to games, the stadium is a popular choice for concerts and many other events.

Featured Activity

San Diego's Balboa Park: 3-Hour Scavenger Hunt Adventure
Balboa Park Scavenger Hunt
Experience the iconic Balboa Park through this 3-hour interactive scavenger hunt! Led by any smartphone, you'll solve clues and riddles as you learn about history and visit landmarks throughout the park.
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Places to Stay in the Embarcadero

There are several major hotels in the Embarcadero and the surrounding neighborhoods. The proximity to the cruise ship terminal and the airport makes it a popular place to stay. We recommend the Wyndham San Diego Bayside, this waterfront hotel has a casual vibe with modern amenities and it is a very short walk to the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal and the USS Midway.

For something a little less conventional, there are plenty of independent and boutique hotels in downtown San Diego. You can find anything from a hole-in-the-wall inn with a local vibe to a high-end, urban hotel. Whatever you prefer, there is something for you around the Embarcadero.

Overall, this neighborhood is a great place to stay with a lot to offer. Anyone thinking about making a trip to San Diego should consider either visiting or staying in the Embarcadero.

Featured Hotel
Wyndham San Diego Bayside
Exterior night view of Wyndham San Diego Bayside
Bayfront
Bayfront
Families
Families
Zoo
Zoo
3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
Fancy yourself on the waterfront when you stay at Wyndham San Diego Bayside. The casual vibe, modern amenities, and great location will make a fan out of any guest.
Prices Starting at $135
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Know Before You Go & Tips

Amazing Sunsets
Amazing Sunsets
Ballpark
Ballpark
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Cafes
Cafes
Cruise Ship Terminal
Cruise Ship Terminal
Museums
Museums
Parks
Parks
Shopping
Shopping
Trolley Stop
Trolley Stop
Walkable
Walkable

Tips for Visiting the Embarcadero in San Diego

Visit the Iconic ‘Embracing Peace’ Statue

The iconic ‘Embracing Peace’ statue is located on the south side of the USS Midway Museum. This statue symbolizes the end of World War II with the peace and the joy of people coming together.

Walk the Length of the Embarcadero

Walking the length of the Embarcadero is worth doing. There is a boardwalk looking out to the San Diego Bay and Coronado Island the entire 2 mile stretch of the Embarcadero.

You can start at the Star of India and stroll past the USS Midway Museum with a brief stop to check out the ‘Embracing Peace’ statue then continue on to Seaport Village. After that, continue to the Embarcadero Marina Park then continue on to the Convention Center.

Once you arrive at the convention center you will be just across the street from the Gaslamp Quarter. This is the perfect place to grab a meal or enjoy a drink at one of the many restaurants or bars.

Embarcadero San Diego
is Famous For:
Boardwalk
Boardwalk
Convention Center
Convention Center
Cruise Ship Terminal
Cruise Ship Terminal
USS Midway
USS Midway
Known For:
Comic Con
Comic Con
Gaslamp Quarter
Gaslamp Quarter
Museums
Museums
Parks
Parks
Walkable
Walkable
This Month's Forecast
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Partly Cloudy in June
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Sunny in July
Aug
69℉ / 79℉
Sunny in August
Sep
67℉ / 79℉
Sunny in September

Stay

Hilton San Diego Bayfront
Family Friendly
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Hilton San Diego Bayfront
from $206 / night
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Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Bayfront
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
from $172 / night
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InterContinental San Diego
Bayfront
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
InterContinental San Diego
from $188 / night
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Wyndham San Diego Bayside
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Wyndham San Diego Bayside
from $135 / night
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SpringHill Suites by Marriott San Diego Bayfront
Bayfront
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
SpringHill Suites by Marriott San Diego Bayfront
from $161 / night
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Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
Convention Center
4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating4 Star Rating
Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
from $159 / night
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Residence Inn San Diego Downtown
Family Friendly
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Residence Inn San Diego Downtown
from $199 / night
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Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown
Near Cruise Port
3 Star Rating3 Star Rating3 Star Rating
Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown
from $184 / night
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