View Attractions Related to: Old Town

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Explore California History in Old Town

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Come visit the historic heart of San Diego in Old Town. You may wonder, how much history can their really be in San Diego. If you have ever visited San Diego before, you probably noticed it is a very attractive, modern city with very few old buildings or run down areas of town.

Don’t let that fool you. San Diego is the oldest settlement on the West Coast of the United States. It is also one of the oldest European settlements west of the Mississippi River. (It goes back even farther when you consider that prior to the arrival of Spanish Conquistadors, Indians occupied the area going back over 10,000 years.)

You can explore all of this history in Old Town, where the first of California’s 21 Spanish Missions was established. You will learn about the transition of power over the area from the Indians, to the Spanish, to the Mexicans, and eventually becoming part of the Old West of the United States. In addition, you will learn what life was like in an early frontier town. The State Historic Park in Old Town has preserved and recreated much of what life was like for the early settlers.

After spending your day visiting the attractions, you will have plenty of fabulous shops and restaurants to choose from for your evening. Old Town offers some of the best Mexican restaurants this side of the border.

Add some fascinating history to your vacation by reviewing each of the attractions pictured above or read an overview of what to do in Old Town.

Old Town Historical Area and Attractions

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: Attractions are Generally Open 10AM-6PM; the Dining Scene Stays Alive Late into the Evening.

Cost: Most Attractions are Free while a Few have a Nominal Cost.

Features: 1st European Settlement in California; Historic Landmarks; Parks, Shops, and Restaurants; Most Haunted House in America

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Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 10AM – 5PM (Some Attractions Close at 4PM)

Cost: Free

Features: Several National Register and California State Historic Landmarks within seven blocks; Great Collection of Historic Stage Coaches & Carriages; Interpretive Center Provides a Historic Timeline of the American Continent starting 20,000 Years Ago.

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Wells Fargo Stagecoach Museum

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 10AM – 5PM

Cost: Free

Features: One of Only 7 Wells Fargo History Museums in the Country; Includes One of the Few Remaining Original Butterfield Stage Coaches.

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Whaley House Museum

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)

Open: 10AM – 5PM (Until 10PM during Summer and Weekends); Closed Wednesdays during the School Year

Cost: $6 During Daytime; $10 after 5PM

Features: Historic House Built in 1857 was once noted by the Travel Channel as the Most Haunted House in America.

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Mormon Battalion Historic Museum

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 9AM – 9PM

Cost: Free

Features: One of the longest military marches in U.S. history is profiled in this new, state-of-the-art museum.

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Heritage Park Victorian Village

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 9AM – 5PM

Cost: Free

Features: Collection of Six Victorian-Style Homes and San Diego’s First Synagogue all in a Romantic Park Setting.

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Junipero Serra Museum

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 10AM – 5PM Weekends

Cost: $6 ($3 for Kids ages 6-17 and $4 for Seniors 65+)

Features: Site of the 1st European Settlement in California

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Historic San Diego Food Tours with So Diego Tours

Locations: Gaslamp Quarter and Old Town

Tour Schedule: 2.5 hour tours for Lunch & Dinner, Wednesdays through Saturdays

Cost: $45, includes food tastings

Features: Themed Walking Tours combining local Food and History

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San Diego County Sheriff’s Museum

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 10AM – 4PM (Closed on Sundays and Mondays)

Cost: Free

Features: Historic Relics from Early Lawmen dating back to 1850; Behind the Scenes Look at the Sheriff’s Department, including the Police Academy and SWAT

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Bazaar Del Mundo

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego)

Open Daily: 10AM – 9PM (5:30PM on Sundays and Mondays)

Features: Nine International Specialty Shops and a Popular Mexican Restaurant

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Cygnet Theatre

Location: Old Town (4 Miles North of Downtown San Diego) & College Area (12 Miles East of Downtown San Diego)

Performances: Year-Round; Generally Alternate between Both Locations

Cost: $22 and Up

Features: Award Winning Local Theatre Company.

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