Seaport Village is a 14-acre, waterfront shopping district with a lot of charm. It's not really about "shopping" - it's more like "exploring".
Seaport Village has over 70 shops & stores. These aren't your everyday stores that you find at a shopping mall - they're small and uniquely specialized. These stores are not lined up side by side - they are loosely organized into 3 plazas which are connected by cobblestone walkways, winding paths, ponds, bridges, fountains, and secluded nooks & crannies.
By far, the highlight of the West Plaza is the carousel! The horses are hand carved from wood and will bring back memory of days gone by. Indeed, these colorful animals are carved by Charles Looff (1852-1918) and are considered works of art. This particular carousel was made in 1895, traveled to various locations in USA, was completely restored in 1992, and finally found its home in Seaport Village in 2004. All this for $2 - what a bargain!
If you love the carousel and want to take it home, check out the Carousel Music Box Company (number 51 on this map). Here you will find all sorts of music boxes (some in the shape of a mini carousels) that is sure to make your heart sing.
Also noteworthy on this West Plaza is
- Swing and Things: a store dedicated to hammocks, swings and things that will transform your backyard into Gilligan's Island.
- Windsong and Discover Nature (#64 and #66 of map), be sure to browse through these two stores which have a variety of small fountains, wind chimes, whirligigs, and the like.
- Tile Shop (#42 on map): this shop has tiles and tiles and more tiles! It's wonderful for anyone who enjoys being in a kitchen.
Often, street artists (balloon art, caricatures, face painting, henna) set up shop in the West Plaza. It's perfect because this is where Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and the Coffee & Fudge Factory are located too (#54 of map).
While we are on the topic of snacks, the East Plaza houses the Nuts and Candy Company, (#13 of map), the Village Café (#16 of map), and the Seaport Cookie Company (you can smell the cookies even before you can see them!) (#17 of map).
If you've had your fill of snacks, check out Wyland Galleries. Robert Wyland is a marine life artists who has explored the deep ocean waters for over 25 years. He shares the beauty and power of ocean life in the form of marine paintings, sculptures, and photographs. Wyland has over 25 galleries across the USA and one of them is right here in Seaport Village. Enter and enjoy but keep your eye on your kids because if you break it,... you buy it!
If your kids are too rambunctious to survive an art gallery, take them to the Toy Cottage: a cozy toy store which carries unique toys unlike the usual stuff found in chain toy-stores.
All three plazas are interconnected by walkways that weave in-and-out seamlessly. The Central plaza is loosely located between the West and East Plazas. Noteworthy stores here include:
- Kite Flite (#39 on map): a must-see store specializing in kites, whirligigs and all sorts of twirly wind-indicators.
- Mistletoe (#36 on map): not only will you find Christmas in December, you will also find Christmas in July, and August, and September... This store sells Christmas decorations all year round!
- the Apple Box (#35 of map): specializing in all-wooden, personalized toys - fun fun fun!
- the Upstairs Crow: of a slightly different note, but equally interesting is the Upstairs Crow: a combination of bookstore and coffee house. A great place browse and take a break from all that walking.
Location, Hours, Parking, and More
located in downtown by San Diego Bay
at Kettner Blvd and West Harbor Drive
Open daily from 10 am to 9 pm, hours may vary so call to be sure: 619-235-4014
Validated Parking: (min $10 purchase from Seaport Village)
$3 for the first 2 hours; $2 every 30 minutes thereafter.
$8 per hour.
Public bathrooms are located in all 3 plazas.
There are 4 major sit-down restaurants and a dozen or so smaller eateries. Please note, some of the smaller eateries in Seaport Village only take cash; an ATM machine is located in West plaza.
Of the sit-down restaurants, the Pier Cafe is on a pier directly over the water. Busters Beach House is rambunctious/casual and family friendly. The Harbor House is most posh/expensive. The Edgewater Grill is a nice in between with good food/ambiance and not terribly overpriced
The trick is to go when it is not jam packed with people due to some event: rather, try visiting this quaint shopping district during off-peak hours, you'll love it.
In December, you can see the Parade of Lights from Seaport Village. Here boats are decorated with holidays light and they sail down San Diego Bay.
During summer evenings, you can see the SeaWorld fireworks from Seaport Village every evening.
On occasion, traveling outdoor exhibits may be on display at Seaport Village.