• Location: Downtown San Diego (Gaslamp Quarter)
  • Guided Tours: 11AM on Saturdays (except holidays). (Advanced Reservations Required)  Call 1-619-232-1480. Please arrive 10 minutes early, if possible.
  • Cost: $5 (Kids 16 and under free with parent or guardian) Groups of up to 30 welcome (ask about special group rate)
  • Features: Visit the West Coast Hangout for Legendary Jazz and Blues Musicians, including Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Nat King Cole.

San Diego's Harlem of the West Highlights: From the mid 1920's to the late 1940's, the Creole Palace in the Douglas Hotel on Market Street came to be regarded as the "Cotton Club of the West". The hotel and nightclub were both owned by African-Americans and provided refuge for blacks and whites alike during an era of segregation. The surrounding black community became known as the "Harlem of the West" and is today the subject of a PBS documentary and a focus for the San Diego Black Historical Society.

Much of the area, including the Douglas Hotel, was redeveloped in the ensuing years. A few historic buildings still remain. This guided tour will take you down memory lane to relive the early 20th century history of San Diego when it was the West Coast hot spot to a vibrant community of blues and jazz musicians and other black entertainers.

Tours start and end at the Museum of San Diego African American History.740 Market Street  (TOURS DISCONTINUED)

The area is flat so walking should be easy for most. Wear comfortable/loose fitting clothes, walking or comfortable shoes. 

Black Historical Preservation -You can learn more about the efforts to preserve the San Diego community originally known as "Harlem of the West", view pictures from that time period, and find out where to look for plaques commemorating the history of the Douglas Hotel (Sidewalk at 2nd Avenue and Market Street) and the Clermont/Coast Hotel (Building at 7th Avenue and Island Avenue).