Old Town is one of the most visited tourist attractions here in San Diego. With a mix of culture, history, old world style and the best Mexican cuisine Old Town continues to be a favorite spot to visit for tourists.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is a throwback in time to the mid 1800's.
Old Town San Diego History
The year round park depicts architecture, dining, shopping, and entertainment from 1821 to 1872 during which the first Spanish settlement in California was thriving. Old Town combines five original adobes which are used as restaurants, shops, and a museum. Old Town also has historical community buildings like an original schoolhouse, a blacksmith, stable with carriages, and San Diego's first newspaper office.
Old Town Information and Directions
Free parking can usually be found around the area in the lots or on the street and admission to the park is free. Many people explore Old Town aboard the Trolley, however the area is not that large and can easily be done on foot.
Old Town Address:
San Diego Avenue at Twiggs Street San Diego, CA.
Old Town phone number:
San Diego Old Town Insider Secrets
Hugely popular with tourists for its Old Town style shopping and excellent Mexican food, Old Town State Historic Park is a must see for all visitors to San Diego. A Local's opinion of Old Town is that this place is just fantastic. Free, dog friendly, and with plenty of historic charm, Old Town San Diego is a place I come back to over and over again. Old Town is one place in San Diego everyone should experience. It is very accessible by highway or train, the dining is great and the shopping is unique.
Old Town Reviews
Most Old Town Reviews by visitors reflect that Old Town has some serious drawbacks. Some Reviews state that Old Town lacks historical information. The park certainly has history in that it is made to recreate life from 1821 to 1872. However, the amount of information to a visitor walking around the park is almost non-existent. Most state parks will have historical information documented on signs throughout the park, but Old Town does not really provide this to the visitors. If you go the visitor's center, you can get some information but the setup of the park in general is not very informative.
Some Old Town Visitors reflect the opinion that most of the recreated historical buildings are primarily used for cheap souvenir shopping and not the best dining. The best restaurants inside Old Town were removed a few years ago when the California State Park association turned the control of the park over to a corporation. The shopping is certainly souvenir oriented, except the candy shop and tinsmith which go more with the park's theme.
The truth about Old Town is that in general the historical park is very similar to many other historical parks in the United States. Compared to other historical parks, San Diego's Old Town does not offer a tourist anything incredibly unique or must see. If you only have a few days in San Diego, you would probably not miss too much by skipping this attraction. However, a quick walk through for an hour or so on your way to lunch outside the park but still in Old Town is your best bet.
Outside the park the Old Town atmosphere is very lively. Some great Mexican restaurants, diverse shopping, and one of the United States most haunted houses make this area a popular place. The highly recommended haunted house, the Whaley House costs $5 and can be found close to the Old Town State Historic Park.