Columbia District Downtown San Diego
The Columbia district in down town San Diego is bordering Ash Street to the north, "F" Street to the south, Union Street to the east, and the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay to the west. These borders place the Columbia district south of Little Italy, north of the Marina district, and west of the Core district. It is close to freeways, the San Diego Trolley, and the Santa Fe Depot where the Pacific Surfliner and the Coaster trains connect to Los Angeles and points north.
Quite a bit of new developments are underway or in the planning stages, mostly along the San Diego Bay. One of these new developments is the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan (NEVP) which will include a 100' wide pedestrian pier stretching from Market Street to Laurel Street. This will become a San Diego landmark with boutiques and casual and fine dining, great amenities, and generous green space for both residents and visitors. The Columbia district will become a center for fine urban living. Some of downtown San Diego's finest condominium buildings are placed in the Columbia district: Sapphire Tower, Bayside, Electra, Treo and The Grande are all located here.
The new developments in this district will be a mixture of fine hotels, office buildings and residential skyline towers. Further waterfront projects will include the Navy Broadway Complex and the Embarcadero Circle cruise ship terminal expansion. This is the fastest growing cruise ship port on the U.S. Pacific Coast, the home port for Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America Lines. It is also the embarkation and debarkation port for Celebrity Lines and Royal Caribbean Lines which offer itineraries that include the Mexican Riviera, the Hawaiian Islands, Central America and the Panama Canal.
A new Federal Court House is also under construction at this time with estimated date of completion sometime in 2012.
Arts, Culture & Points of Interest
Museum of Contemporary Art (MCASD) opened a down town expansion in January, 2007. Across the street you find the "baggage building", part of the still active Santa Fe Depot, a Nationally Registered Historic Landmark, fully renovated as gallery space, preserving its Spanish Mission-Colonial Revival-style exterior. This was originally erected in 1915 for the Panama-California Exposition and adds 10,500 square feet of new exhibition space for MCASD.
The USS Midway Museum, America's longest-serving aircraft carrier is permanently docked on San Diego's waterfront, along the Columbia Bayfront district. It offers 35 exhibits and tours, exploring its rich 47 year history. Many of the tory-telling veterans guiding visitors aboard actually served aboard the USS Midway during its many voyages while on active duty. The Star of India, the world's oldest active sailing ships is docked here, part of the floating Maritime Museum of San Diego.
While visiting the San Diego Bay front you will find some very original and unusual art work. Thirty outdoor Urban Trees decorating part of the bay front, is part of this. These are life-size sculptures of fantastical trees, a public art project for the Port of San Diego, designed and fabricated by local artists. These sculptures are made of steel and glass, tiles and copper, wood and canvas, showing both inspiration and imagination.
Hornblower Cruises & Events and San Diego Harbor Excursion (SDHE) offer several exciting activities; nightly 3 hour dinner / dance cruises and Sunday champagne brunches; daily one-and two-hour harbor excursions and seasonal whale cruises. SDHE offers live entertainment with their Sunday brunches and well as excursions to the Coronado Islands, located in Mexican waters just off San Diego's port area.