Your Complete Guide to Liberty Station
Located just a 5-minute drive from Sunrise Inn San Diego, Liberty Station is one of San Diego’s most popular dining, drinking, and arts districts. With its market, restaurants, art galleries, and museums, it’s like a bustling village where locals and visitors hang out to enjoy good food and drinks, sunny weather, and beautiful surroundings. So what makes this San Diego attraction worth your time? Here’s an introduction to one of the city’s most beloved commercial districts.
Though you might not know it from first glance, Liberty Station didn’t start out as a buzzy waterfront hangout. It opened in 1923 as The Naval Training Center and expanded even further during WWII as a major center for military recruit training. By 1997, the Navy closed The Naval Training Center and the City of San Diego gained ownership of the property in 2000. The renovation that followed gave birth to the Liberty Station we know and love today.
So what are the parts of Liberty Station you should definitely experience? Let’s go over its various parts.
Standing at the center of the Liberty Station neighborhood is Liberty Public Market, housed in old Navy barracks. It’s one of the best-known San Diego markets for good reason. Open 7 days a week, this indoor foodie paradise boasts an expansive collection of food stalls and shops. As you walk through its narrow hallways, you’ll pass tempting morsel after tempting morsel. Choose a variety of cuisines and dishes, from bao and empanadas to burgers and crepes. You’ll find indoor seating and patio seating near the market, too.
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, a popular San Diego attraction and a huge draw to the district, occupies a massive swath of the outdoor patio skirting the market. Grab a local brew and kick back on their sunny courtyard, a mellow spot with water features and plenty of umbrellas for shade.
More than just a place to hang out and grab a bite to eat, Liberty Station is also a center for artists and artisans, with dozens of galleries, art studios, shops, and performance centers occupying 26 renovated historic buildings. It’s a great place to buy art, take a class, or even view a dance performance. To see the studios and shops, wander along the 75,000-square-foot greenbelt known as the North Promenade, home to a collection of buildings exhibiting stunning Spanish Revival architecture. Admire the work of artists and get inspired for your next creative project.
Liberty Station NTC Park
After hours spent browsing the stalls at the market or checking out the area’s museums, make sure to get some fresh air at Liberty Station NTC Park. Stroll along the waterfront walking paths past grassy fields and picnic areas. You’ll see a variety of fauna and birdlife, and will no doubt see aircraft as they take off and land at San Diego International Airport. Got little ones in tow? Head to the playground, equipped with slides and swings. For your convenience, there are benches and a bathroom nearby. As you continue walking along the paths, you’ll eventually come to the basketball court, a circular space that’s irresistible to kids on bikes or skateboards.
First Friday Arts District
Liberty Station comes alive on the first Friday of every month. Meet artists face-to-face, check out the station’s public art installations, and dive deep into the Arts District. With free kids’ activities, receptions, happy hours, and later-than-normal hours, it’s a great way to get introduced to the rich artistic offerings of this district. Liberty Station is also home to the Arts District Outdoor Summer music series taking place July through October from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Carruth Cellars patio located between Barracks 17 and Barracks 19. Come catch some live music while you enjoy the creative vibes and magnificent setting.
Liberty Station is one of those San Diego attractions you simply can’t miss on your trip to town. Located just a 5-minute drive from Sunrise Inn San Diego, it’s easy to reach for a quick bite to eat or a whole afternoon of entertainment. Head out and make use of our free self-parking when you return.