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Old Town San Diego State Park

Travel back to 1872 at this historic park, which features preserved buildings and recreations of San Diego life in the 19th century.

Experience a simpler time at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, a living museum complete with 19th-century buildings. This park is located on the former site of San Diego’s commercial center, which moved closer to the coast in the 1860s and 1870s for easier shipping and commerce. Visit this historic reserve, which was established in 1968, to visualize what the city center looked like during this early period.

Tour authentic 19th-century buildings throughout the park. Occasionally actors play the parts of period San Diego figures. Visit the Casa de Estudillo, built in 1827, and learn how the cultures of Mexico and the United States were in conflict at the time. Be sure to stop at the Racine and Laramie store, where a tobacco trade was booming in the 19th century.

Stay a while at the Black Hawk Smithy and Stable to see a demonstration of period blacksmithing. Afterward, browse a collection of horse-drawn buggies at the Seeley Stables and explore the classrooms of Mason Street School, San Diego’s first public school house.

Delve into San Diego’s history at the Wells Fargo Museum, which occupies a former hotel built in the 1850s. See where travelers dismounted at an authentic stagecoach stop or learn about Morse code at the telegraph office. Discover how newspapers were printed at the nearby San Diego Union Museum.

Settle your hunger after a walk with a meal at one of many restaurants in the Old Town area. The suburb is known for its exquisite Mexican restaurants and stalls selling pan dulce, sweet Mexican bread.

Nearby, browse exhibits of modern police equipment and vehicles at the William B. Kolender San Diego County Sheriff’s Museum and Educational Center. Take a ghost tour of Old Town’s Whaley House Museum, one of America’s most famous haunted mansions.

Find Old Town San Diego State Historic Park just next to the Old Town Transit Center, which is conveniently served by public commuter rail, trolley and bus services. The park is open daily throughout the year and is free to access, although several individual venues charge admission.


Guide to Exploring Old Town San Diego State Park


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£62
Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town

Best Western Plus Hacienda Hotel Old Town

4041 Harney St, San Diego
4.1
of 5, from 698 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Heritage Park and Old Town San Diego State Park. University of San Diego and SeaWorld are also within 3 mi (5 km).

£60
Wyndham Garden San Diego Near SeaWorld

Wyndham Garden San Diego Near SeaWorld

3737 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego
3.0
of 5, from 1,317 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in San Diego, this family-friendly hotel is 1 mile from SeaWorld Adventure Park and 2 miles from Mission Beach. Belmont Park is 2.4 miles away.

£32
E-Z 8 Motel Old Town

E-Z 8 Motel Old Town

4747 Pacific Highway, San Diego
2.6
of 5, from 103 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this motel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Old Town Trolley Tours and Old Town San Diego State Park. University of San Diego and SeaWorld are also within 3 mi (5 km).

£103
Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant

Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant

2660 Calhoun Street, San Diego
4.2
of 5, from 31 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Old Town Trolley Tours and Old Town San Diego State Park. University of San Diego and SeaWorld are also within 3 mi (5 km).

£105
Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Old Town/SeaWorld Area, CA

Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Old Town/SeaWorld Area, CA

4200 Taylor St, San Diego
4.4
of 5, from 109 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Old Town San Diego State Park and Heritage Park. University of San Diego and SeaWorld are also within 3 mi (5 km).

£46
Good Nite Inn San Diego near SeaWorld

Good Nite Inn San Diego near SeaWorld

3880 Greenwood St, San Diego
3.2
of 5, from 1,395 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

The Good Nite Inn is a limited-service hotel centrally located in the Valley View Casino Center area, only 4 miles from San Diego Int’l Airport, and minutes away from SeaWorld Park, Mission Bay, and Marine Corps Recruit Depot – MCRD.