What attracts so many to this small area of San Diego?

It’s the history and culture that makes Old Town so popular with locals and tourists, and of course the great food and historic sites. Within Old Town there are three Parks, all of which have historic sites operated as museums. Located at the northern end of Old Town is Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, all of the museums are free to the public. The state park spans the decades from Californio rule to the Mexican Period and finally to the American Period. See the 1825 Casa de Estudillo, one of the finest adobe haciendas in the state;  you can see a scale model of nineteenth century Old Town at the reconstructed Robinson-Rose House, one-time Lodge of the Freemasons and home of San Diego’s first newspaper, the San Diego Herald; the Black Hawk Livery & Blacksmith; the San Diego Union newspaper building; and the first public schoolhouse in San Diego, the Mason Street School.

The Mormon Battalion Visitors Center, a state of the art attraction complete with video tour, hands on computer information where you can also pan for gold. There are many more historic museums at the center of Old Town: the Whaley House Museum is believed by many to be the most haunted house in America in addition to housing the former county courthouse and San Diego’s first commercial theater; the Old Adobe Chapel, San Diego’s former parochial church and setting for the famous wedding of “Ramona,” is now a city-owned museum; the Church of the Immaculate Conception was formally dedicated in 1919; El Campo Santo Cemetery is the final resting place of nearly 500 nineteenth century residents including the Indian leader Antonio Garra and the notorious boat thief Yankee Jim Robinson; and you won’t want to miss the Sheriff’s Museum.

Living History in the center of San Diego

There are several types of tours to choose from. With a town as rich in culture as Old Town you could easily take more than one of these tours and gain multiple perspectives.

Art and Culture

In addition to the history and the attraction of three unique parks that make up Old Town there are many festivals and art shows that are held in the streets and parks. There is also live theatre and daily entertainment around Old Town which is why millions of visitor are attracted to this historic area of San Diego each year.

So much to see and do in Old Town

From Theater to haunted houses Old Town is rich in interesting and fun things to do. It is steeped in history and the cuisine that is associated with many different countries. Old Town is where California began and is known as Birthplace of California.

The Jamul tribe supports this historic area of San Diego. It sees it’s significance as it is the oldest neighborhood of the Kumeyaay, the earliest people in San Diego.  See the history page for more information.

Old Town has a major transit center located within walking distance from the Old Town State Historic Park and the main street. Public transportation is convenient to most San Diego locations. 

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