Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
4.5
State ParksHistoric Walking Areas
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Historic site in downtown San Diego that recreates life in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
The area
Address
Neighborhood: Old Town
How to get there
  • Old Town Transit Center • 3 min walk
Reach out directly

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles5,688 reviews
Excellent
2,731
Very good
2,035
Average
729
Poor
138
Terrible
55

CrankingChick
Tucson, AZ7,699 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019
We visited Old Town on a Saturday morning. It was pleasant to walk around the historic area and see the restored/recreated buildings. We watched a demonstration in the blacksmith shop showing how they work with iron, and old stage coaches were on display in Seeley Stable. Admission to the park is free but many of the buildings are operated as museums and some have small admission fees. Trolley tours are also available for a fee. We were interested in the history of the area but there are also numerous souvenir shops arranged in a maze-like market, as well as restaurants and bars. The attractions are only partially wheelchair accessible due to stairs and small, tight spaces in some buildings and shops. A vagrant was camped in the handicapped stall of one restroom. We only stayed an hour or two because it was too crowded for us with groups of tourists milling about.
Written February 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LuvToCruise4001
El Dorado Hills, CA116 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This was our second visit to Old San Diego State Historic Park. On our first visit in 2008 we rushed through the exhibits due to time constraints. On this visit we took our time to stop at each of the numerous museums located within the park boundaries and discovered a much different experience than that of 2008.

Whether a casual visitor or someone with a strong interest in the early history of California, Old San Diego State Historic Park has something for almost everyone. A Mexican themed area best described as a plaza with restaurants, a stage for performances of dance and music, shops offering a wide variety of items for sale; a recreated livery stable with displays of wagons and other forms of transportation; a blacksmith shop with a demonstration of the blacksmith's role in the community; a period hotel with a restaurant; and glimpses throughout the park of early San Diego life.
There is no admission fee. It is an excellent place to spend a couple of hours or a full day. Well worth your time.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kathy04106
South Portland, ME20 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I guess we expected more from what is called a "state" historic park. Most of the buildings are just reproductions, not actual old buildings. Not a big deal, but many of the exhibits were really not done well either. We didn't know what we were looking at upstairs in the Seeley Stables until we were almost done walking through and saw a mention that some guy had collected all of this stuff. There were some cool looking things (maybe slot machines?) but no interpretive panel next to them to let us know what we were looking at. I don't know why they didn't have an interpretive panel at the start of the exhibit to give an introduction/explanation about what was on display. The exhibits in the McCoy House Museum were great (worthy of being part of a state-level museum), but other than that one building, we were underimpressed with most of the rest of what we saw. The Casa de Estudillo was closed when we visited, unfortunately. Most of the volunteers/staff that we saw in the buildings were just clicking a clicker to count the number of people coming in, but not interacting with visitors. The site is free, at least, and there were some good looking restaurants...maybe worth a trip if you come out to go to a restaurant and then have some time to walk around.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

simply-peregrinating
Waddington, UK2,730 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019
The complex is well set out giving the idea of an old town with historical buildings. When you look closely virtually all the buildings have shops and restaurants inside them. It was pleasant enough with some interest other than shopping and eating but overall it really is quite touristy. The park is quite a way out of the centre, we got there by train and the station is right by it. The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is free to get into and when we were there in the late afternoon was very busy.
Written March 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly
Phoenix, AZ9 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
This is an interesting stop if you are in San Diego. There are some cool historic places to learn about and great shopping with items from Mexico. Almost all of the shops were very reasonably priced and I found some great art and gifts. There were some good food options as well. Parking is free but very hard to find (prepare to circle a parking lot 20 times) and restrooms are few and far between. One restroom required a quarter entry and was absolutely disgusting inside with no toilet paper or anything, but there were some nicer free ones throughout as well.
Written June 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mimie W
Spokane, WA1,162 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019
It's a cute little town that gives you a little taste of what the Old Town must have been. Further up is a little park where you can rest up or use the picnic tables. It's mostly souvenir shops lining this little place which can be very crowded depending on the season and time of day. We never went inside those souvenir shops but chose to walk up and down the street and imagine the Old West.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheExplorerFamily
Somerset, NJ7,103 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
This awesome place established in 1858 is a State protected historical Park in San Diego. It is called a Park, but actually it is the First European settlement in CA, and we found it quaint and very interesting when we visited.

Many of the historic buildings that we saw date back to the period between 1820 and 1870. All of them have been preserved and maintained very well, but have been converted to house unique Gift Stores and Restaurants.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent here. We would certainly have liked to see the Museums and take some tours, (especially of the Whaley House – supposedly, the most haunted house in the State), but alas! Nothing has opened up as yet after the pandemic. We did, however, get to go inside the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception, It was simple and serene inside, and the stained glass windows were worth checking out.

Would LOVE to return on our next visit to San Diego…
Written July 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheLeongOhana
United States7,455 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022 • Family
We came here in the early afternoon and wandered around the sandy paths. There was limited free street parking and a number of different pay lots.

There were two buildings we found to be worth visiting:

1. The blacksmith was very educational with a very friendly docent explaining how different metals items were made in particular a snake that came from a file.

2. The Seely Stables contained mix of stage coaches, wagons and buggies. One of the earliest known wagons was on display.

Other buildings onsite included the
Cosmopolitan hotel (which was operational and accepting reservations), candle, candy, gemstones and many other specialty stores.

The visitor center was worth a short stop to see a diorama of the Old Town.

Fiesta Del Reyes was the last a stop for us and this was an open air restaurant and shopping arcade that was quite packed.

My view was a bit touristy overall.
Written December 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

845beatriz
Arcadia, CA129 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
Fun spot to enjoy Mexican flavors and shopping. We drove to San Diego specifically to visit Old Town. I have been visiting old town since I was in my twenties, which has been decades now. Lots of good memories. It did not disappoint. I came with my daughter and this was her first time. We walked around for a bit taking in the Rustic charm of the old Spanish style buildings, going into some of the specialty shops and having lunch at the iconic Mexican Restaurant Casa de Reyes. We enjoyed our afternoon and had a great time.
Written August 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Priscilla S
Greer, SC33 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
Lovely and safe area to take a stroll. Really enjoyed the Wells Fargo museum, the varied collection of succulents through out the walk and the one authentic Adobe building. Most of the buildings are replicas so don't go expecting a true history lesson.
Written January 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 4,530
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

All San Diego HotelsSan Diego Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in San Diego
All things to do in San Diego
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars