What's Horton Plaza?:
Horton Plaza's construction in the mid-1980s jump-started the Gaslamp renaissance. Its multi-level, somewhat confusing whimsical architecture is a must-see for any San Diego visitor. Nordstrom, Macy's and a wide array of shops and eateries make this the noontime stop for downtown workers.
What makes it so special?:
It's the architecture. Horton Plaza just might the most unusual mall you've ever seen. At once whimsical and downright baffling, this multi-level outdoor complex mimics some bizarro European villa, with nooks and crannies to be discovered. It's cool, and a genuine tourist attraction.
What's the mall's flavor?:
Urban chic. A good mix of upscale and mid-level stores: Nordstrom, Macy's, along with the usual mall chain boutiques and shops.
What's the clientele:
It's smack in the middle of downtown San Diego, so the daytime it's filled with office workers. At night, you get the younger set doing shopping before heading to adjacent Gaslamp for dining and entertainment.
Primarily food court fare, located on the third level. For better sitdown choices, just head to the adjacent Gaslamp district on Fourth Ave.
Nordtrom, Macy's, BCBG, Bebe, Louis Vuitton, Levi's Store. There's also a 24-hour Fitness gym located here.
The parking structures can be confusing for first-timers. They are designated by vegetables and fruits. Make sure you validate your parking ticket (with any purchase) for 3 free hours (4 hours with movie or restaurant purchase). Public transit bus service on the Fourth Avenue side.