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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade connects a number of sites along San Diego's waterfront. The walkway runs on the northern side of an active railroad corridor parallel to the Linear Park, which occupies the southern side of the tracks.
At a walking pace, you can stop to appreciate the artwork and cultural touchstones along the way. Set into the grass are more than two dozen plaques engraved with the powerful and inspirational words of Dr. King. The trailside sculptures Breaking of the Chains, Dream, and Shedding the Cloak also commemorate the great civil rights leader.
Begin your journey at the trail’s eastern end, situated between Petco Park, home to Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres, and the San Diego Convention Center. (To reach the convention center, across the railroad tracks, you can take the Harbor Drive Pedestrian Bridge, which begins here.) After 0.25 mile, you’ll come to your first street crossing at Fifth Avenue, where you can turn right (north) into the city’s lively Gaslamp Quarter, with its trendy restaurants, bars, and hotels, or continue northwest down the promenade, which features views of skyscrapers and interesting urban architecture.
After another quarter mile, you’ll reach First Avenue and the popular Children’s Park, which is undergoing a major renovation to provide new amenities, including an off-leash dog park, a picnic area, exercise equipment, and restrooms.
The trail ends in the Marina District at the intersection of busy Market Street and West Harbor Drive, where you can retrace your steps to the starting point. Alternatively, from here you can follow sidewalks south down Kettner Boulevard to reach the touristy Seaport Village shopping and dining area, and the Embarcadero/Bayshore Bikeway along the waterfront. By heading northwest along the Embarcadero, you can check out the famed USS Midway Museum, a historical naval aircraft carrier; otherwise, from Seaport Village, follow the waterfront pathway southeast back to the convention center and the start of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Promenade.
While the trail does not have dedicated parking, metered parking can be found along Fifth and First Aves., which the trail crosses, or in the large paid parking lots surrounding Petco Park on the east end of the trail. The trail is also accessible via the San Diego Trolley from the Gaslamp Quarter and Convention Center stations on the Green and Silver lines.
Visit the TrailLink map for all transit options and detailed directions.
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