Downtown, San Diego
Downtown San Diego, also referred to as Centre City, is the city center of San Diego, California, the eighth largest city in the United States. In 2010, the Centre City area itself had a population of more than 28,000. Downtown San Diego serves as the cultural and financial center and central business district of San Diego, with more than 4,000 businesses and nine districts. The downtown area is the home of the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera as well as multiple theaters and several museums. The San Diego Convention Center and Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, are also located downtown. Downtown San Diego houses the major local headquarters of the city, county, state, and federal governments.
The Columbia (waterfront) neighborhood of downtown hosts the Midway aircraft carrier museum ship, as well as the eight ships and boats of the San Diego Maritime Museum, headlined by the Star of India. More than 200 cruise ships a year call at the cruise ship terminal. A passenger ferry connects downtown San Diego with Coronado, and San Diego Bay harbor tours depart from Harbor Drive.
The San Diego Convention Center and Petco Park are located downtown. The Horton Plaza and Seaport Village shopping and dining complexes attract visitors as well as local residents.
Downtown events include the Big Bay Balloon Parade, held in conjunction with the Holiday Bowl; the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade and Festival; the Parade of Lights featuring holiday-decorated boats on the Bay; and the San Diego Street Scene music festival. Every mid to late July, downtown San Diego is transformed for San Diego Comic Con, the largest entertainment and comic book convention in the world. San Diego Comic Con is held inside the San Diego Convention Center, but the convention has expanded to other nearby hotels, parks, and plazas which include the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Omni San Diego Hotel and Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego as major supporting venues.