Brothels, Bites and Booze
San Diego, California, USA
- Brothels: Hear scandalous stories about San Diego's 120+ brothels, gambling halls, and drug dens, covering about a century from the late 19th century to the 1980s.
- Bites: Sample cuisine from around the world on a tasting tour that takes you to some of the quarter's most popular restaurants.
- Booze: The Gaslamp Quarter is home to unique cocktail lounges and microbreweries. Enjoy a guided walk of this intriguing quarter and we'll conclude with a crawl that stops at a few of the most popular.
About this San Diego, California tour
Over its long and colorful history, the Gaslamp Quarter has been called the "Stingaree" and the "sailor's entertainment district." It got its start as one of California's largest red-light districts, and its reputation for salaciousness reached well into the 1980s. In this place where brothels, drug dens, and gambling halls once dominated commerce, it's only fitting to set off on a food and drink tour that celebrates scandal.
Your guide will regale you with the history of the district as you hop from restaurant to restaurant and bar to bar, whetting your appetite for cuisine and gossip. You'll learn, for instance, that the Stingaree (as it was called at the end of the 19th century) once boasted more than 120 brothels. Gamblers and prostitutes had the run of the place, while the law turned a blind eye (for a price, of course). Even lawman Wyatt Earp got a piece of the action, opening three gambling halls in the district.
In the years after WWII, peep shows, massage parlors, and seedy bars drew sailors and Marines looking to blow off a little steam. A call for “rehab” in the mid-'80s led to a whole new Gaslamp Quarter. But as you'll see on this tour, it's a lot of fun to revisit the bad old days.
No gunfights here, but probably plenty of quick draws
The lawman who shot it out at the O.K. Corral was hardly a standup citizen. Wyatt Earp was also a gambler, brothel owner, and pimp, among other pursuits. When he opened the Oyster Bar in the Stingaree, it became one of its most popular saloons – largely because of the Golden Poppy brothel upstairs. Each room was painted a different color, and prostitutes dressed in matching colored garments.
Please make your way to 207 5th Ave, SD, CA 92101. Under the Gas Lamp Quarter sign near the Hard Rock Hotel.
Please don't forget your Photo ID. Guests must check-in 30 minutes prior to tour time. Please expect from 4-12 people on each tour. Drinks are sample-sized and not served at each stop. The cumulative food tastes are usually enough for a full meal.
This tour is not wheelchair accessible. This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which is over paved and uneven paths, involving some steps.
Cultural, Walking Tour, Food and Wine
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages. However, the minimum age to consume alcohol is 21 years. You must present valid photo ID to the tour leader at the start of the tour.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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