Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House Museum

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410 Island Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
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Open:
10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Tuesday – Saturday)
Noon to 3:30 p.m. (Sunday)
Closed Mondays
At the Gaslamp Museum, you’ll learn about the oldest building that still stands in San Diego and its most significant residents throughout history.
Davis-Horton House Museum
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Learn About History and Architecture at the Gaslamp Museum!

Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to live in a house from the Victorian Era? At the Gaslamp Museum, you can get a taste of not just the architecture from that time, but also the lives of those who once called the house their home.

The Gaslamp Museum is located in the historic Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego, California. It is part of the Davis-Horton House, also known as the William Heath Davis House, which is the oldest building not just in the area but in all of San Diego!

The David-Horton House is the highlight of any educational trip. It was built in 1850 as part of a settlement called “New Town.” Since then, it has been owned by many people including Anna Scheper, who used it as a hospital, and the Lanuza family, who donated the house so it could be turned into a museum.

The building itself has been moved many times. It began as a saltbox-style structure in Portland, Maine, before being shipped to San Diego. From there, it was moved again when it became a museum in 1977.

Visitors can learn about the many changes and restorations that have been made over the years. Prior to renovation, there were 17 layers of wallpaper from generations of families, which has since been removed to showcase the house’s previous appearance. Electricity wasn’t installed until 1984, long after the museum restoration process began.

The Gaslamp Museum is one of the many attractions available with the Go San Diego All-Inclusive Pass. The pass gives you greater flexibility in your trip and can help you save up to 55% off the regular price. Combine your trip with other fun attractions like a San Diego Harbor Cruise or the San Diego Zoo.

At the museum, you and your family can step right into history. The educational tours the museum offers are all part of its mission to preserve and celebrate the culture, architecture, and heritage of San Diego.

Don’t just learn about history - experience it!

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The US Grant
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$143
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What to Expect During Your Visit

The Davis-Horton House is a cultural landmark that has changed many times throughout the years. During your visit, you can learn all about its uses as everything from a private residence, to a hospital, to military barracks.

You will also learn about the different people who resided in the house during each period. See how San Diego looked through the eyes of the founders of New Town and other notable figures.

When you finish your tour, stop by the “Gaslamp Gifts” gift shop! The shop is inspired by the original William Heath Davis merchandising business from 1850.

In its current form, the museum serves as the headquarters for the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation (GQHF).

The museum also offers a featured exhibit that rotates every few months. To learn about the current exhibit, visit the official site.

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What attractions are included with a Go Pass?

Attractions that you can visit with a Go San Diego Pass include:

The San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, Harbor Cruise, USS Midway Museum, the NAT Museum, Whaley House, PETCO Park Tour, iFLY San Diego and many, many more!

Gaslamp Museum Attractions

The museum offers many different types of tours to its visitors. You are welcome to take your own self-guided tour of the Davis-Horton House, join a tour group, or try the guided audio tour.

Tour the Davis-Horton House

In order to accurately represent the full history of the Davis-Horton House, the rooms in the house are themed around a certain era. Each one is styled to depict how the house would have looked at different points throughout history.

A guide will walk you through rooms spanning the pre-Civil War era all the way up to the modern-day. Your tour guide will provide cultural and historic context that will give you a better idea of what it would be like to live during these times.

Local Tips
Rooms with History
Each room in the house depicts a period in its history: from its first use as a pre-Civil War military officers’ barracks, to a county hospital, to a private residence.

Guided Audio Tour

If you want to go at your own pace but you still want information about the set pieces in the Davis-Horton House, try the guided audio tour.

With this tour, audio recordings provide historical context without the need to keep pace with a tour group. The recordings really help you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Paranormal Investigations Tour

The Davis-Horton House is said to be the “most haunted house in the Gaslamp Quarter.” See if you can spot any lingering spirits yourself with the paranormal investigation tour! During the tour, you’ll hunt for ghosts and other evidence of paranormal activity.

Educational Tours for Kids

Kids are sure to have just as good of a time at the Gaslamp Museum as adults. The museum offers children’s tours that focus on educating kids about architecture and history.

The museum also offers free admission for kids every October, as part of the San Diego Museum Council’s “Kids Free October” annual event.

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Horton Grand Hotel
Exterior view at night, Horton Grand Hotel
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For a one-of-a-kind hotel stay in historic Gaslamp Quarter, book a room at Horton Grand Hotel. This boutique hotel features comfortable rooms and amenities galore.
Prices Starting at $143
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Planning Ahead

The museum is best enjoyed when you’re well prepared! Here are a few things to keep in mind to make your trip as enjoyable as it can be:

  • Tour Duration: Tours of the museum typically take around 30 minutes
  • Booking: It’s recommended that you book tours in advance, but it’s not required for your visit
  • Parking: There is a parking garage nearby at 435 Fourth Ave

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