Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)
Open Daily: 9AM – 9PM
Features: One of the longest military marches in U.S. history is profiled in this new, state-of-the-art museum.
Mormon Battalion Museum Highlights: Mormons were early pioneers of the Old West. They were in search of open areas where they could escape religious persecution. In 1846, they answered the call to duty when the U.S. Government requested their help to move the boundary of the United States all the way to what was then, Mexican controlled California and the Pacific Ocean. The Mormon Battalion Museum portrays the journey of 500 soldiers who marched from Council Bluffs, Iowa to San Diego, California under the direction of General Kearney as part of the Army of the West.
What to Expect
- Docent led tours of the museum are offered continuously throughout the day. Guests may also tour the exhibits on their own.
- Plan to spend about 45 minutes at the museum. You will need more time if you watch all of the videos that describe the details of the historic march and the contributions Mormons made to help settle the Old West.
- There are a number of interactive displays, which are particularly appealing to children, including an area to pan for gold. (After the march, some of the Mormons headed north and were at Sutter’s Mill for the discovery of gold in California.)
- Many of the displays help portray what life was like in the Old West.
- The museum is particularly accommodating for foreign language speakers.
- Be sure to sit in front of an old fashioned camera that takes a picture of you in an early pioneer setting, which you can then immediately email to friends and family. (You will be designated as an ‘Honorary Member’ of the Mormon Battalion.
Food – You will find many food options two blocks south of the Park. Many are on San Diego Avenue and include full service and fast-food Mexican, Italian, and general American fare. You will not find any national chains.
Directions from Google Maps to 2510 Juan Street in San Diego, CA 92110. (Located at the corner with Harney Street.)
Parking – There is a free parking lot behind the museum, on Harney Street.
Traffic – It is relatively easy to reach Old Town since it is close to both the I-5 and I-8 freeways. Traffic on the I-5 is not bad in this area. You will have some heavy delays if you need to head east on I-8 during the evening rush hour. There will also be a slight delay if you need to head west on I-8 to the end of the freeway during the evening rush hour. (Learn how to get the latest traffic updates.)
Transit - The Mormon Battalion site is about 7 blocks southeast of the San Diego Trolley Station in Old Town. It is served by the Blue and Green trolley lines. You will walk through Old Town San Diego Historic State Park to reach the museum. The walk is slightly uphill most of the way. (See San Diego Transit Information for information on using the online Transit Planner that will plan your route to Old Town and to print out a Trolley Schedule.)
Nearby Attractions – The Heritage Park Victorian Village is across Harney Street.