Downtown is a sub-neighborhood, which was introduced in Hot Date, allowing Sims to explore SimCity beyond their neighborhood. Sims can go there on their own to relax in a park, purchase new clothes, or go on a date and spend a quiet evening in a restaurant or bar. There are many NPCs that wander around Downtown, including Miss Crumplebottom, waiters, pianists and so on. There are a total of 10 places for the player to visit, one of them being an empty lot which could be a good place for the player to build their own Downtown Lot.
Going Downtown costs 50 simoleons, and going from one Downtown lot to another costs another 50. Going back home is free.
Sims who go Downtown will find a mixture of Townies and neighborhood Sims, and may see members of their own families. Family members do not need to be greeted, but the Sim cannot date, hang out, or control them. However, if a Sim who is not with a date grills, any family members on the lot will come to eat a burger.
For some default Downtown lots, how they look and what is on them will depend on which other expansion packs are installed, and may depend upon the order in which they were installed. Pet-related items from Unleashed may not appear unless Unleashed or a later expansion pack was installed before Hot Date. Tiki, disco, and "country" items from House Party may not appear if any expansion packs were installed between House Party and Hot Date, or if Unleashed or a later expansion pack is installed. (Note that The Sims Complete Collection contains the Unleashed versions of the lots, meaning that the items from House Party will not appear by default, but the items from Unleashed will).
If you look closely near the beach, a sea serpent occasionally appears. This may be a reference to the Loch Ness Monster.
Below is a list of the default Downtown lots:
- 21 Wright Way, Hedman's Hideaway
- There's not much to do here except enjoy a nice meal in the fancy restaurant, get a drink from the bar, or play the slot machines.
In The Sims 2, Hedman's Hideaway is mentioned in one of the results for the Lobbyist chance card.
- 22 Wright Way, Cory's Place
- This is a nice outdoor area, with a small restaurant, a fishpond and a rental shack.
- 23 Wright Way, Vacant Lot
- There's hardly anything there, but there is a rental shack, so Sims could go there and have a picnic. This is a good place for the player to build their own lot without having to remove any of the others.
- 24 Main Street, Wrensday's
- This large lot has two stories. On the first floor, there is an outdoor restaurant, a small shop which sells formal wear and has several bookcases, a magazine rack, a flower stand, and a pinball machine. There is also a relaxation room where Sims can lean back and listen to music. The second floor has a bar, chess table and several chairs.
- 25 Main Street, Solana Towne Center
- On this lot, there is a small shop that mainly sells magazines. It also has bookcases and places for Sims to sit and read. In addition, there's a restaurant, an ice cream stand, and a small game room with a jukebox, pool table and pinball machines. If Unleashed is installed, there may also be a shop that sells pet treats, some pet supplies, and some small pets.
- 26 Main Street, Landgraab Mall
- As its name suggests, this lot is a mall. It has four different shops along with a small restaurant and an entertainment room. If Unleashed is installed, Sims should be able to buy pet treats, chew toys, and fish there. In the House Party version of this lot, the restaurant has a tiki theme. Otherwise, it's a Burger Clown.
- 27 Main Street, Old Farm Square
- This lot has a fancy restaurant, a bar, and a small shop. There are many things to do here, such as dancing in the DJ room, playing pool or even riding the mechanical bull. In the non-House Party version of this lot, the decor will be "generic upscale", there will be three pool tables instead of one, and a jukebox instead of the DJ booth.
- 28 Main Street, Barrett's Boardwalk
- Here, there is a shop and a swimwear store, a small swimming pool, various food counters and a room with six pinball machines, slot machines and a jukebox. There's a bar on the second floor. There is a BBQ grill outside, and there are chess tables on the sidewalk. In the House Party version of this lot, the outdoor seating area on the second floor is replaced by a small dance floor with a DJ booth.
- 29 Main Street, SimCity Beach
- At the beach, there are a couple of fish ponds with a rental shack, a BBQ grill, a hot dog stand, a small bar, and a small shop where Sims can get new swimsuits. Of course, they can't go in the sea.
- 30 Main Street, Crumplebottom Memorial Park
- This park, named after Robert Crumplebottom, philanthropist and puppeteer, is home to a BBQ grill, two ponds with a rental shack and a hot dog stand. There's not an awful lot here apart from a love swing.
- Notes on lots with grills, the default Downtown lots which have BBQ grills are not well supplied with places to put the burgers. Since Townies and neighborhood Sims may decide to grill, and since they'll ignore partially eaten plates of burgers even if they'd just cooked them, this can become a problem. Since a Sim will be charged unless they're using a downloaded grill that's been fixed to prevent this, it can also become expensive.
- The street names Wright Way and Main Street were reused in Pleasantview from The Sims 2.