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“Great Family Place to Explore An Older Way of Life”

Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum
Ranked #4 of 29 things to do in Vista
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Attraction details
Owner description: Open year round, this museum features exhibits such as historic gasoline-and-steam powered farming equipment.
Level Contributor
63 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Great Family Place to Explore An Older Way of Life”
Reviewed August 14, 2013

This attraction is a great family afternoon. Park and wander around. there are exhibits of antique tractors, steam tractors, stationary boilers, gas engines, a building full of weaving looms, a blacksmith building, and a model railroad museum.
The best place to start is the gift shop inside the front gate. They can give directions and offer advice.
Bring your walking shoes.
For families with children, there is a new playground and a model railroad building where children can operate trains and go on a scavenger hunt.
Check the web site for details and operating hours.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank petest50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Escondido, California, USA
Level Contributor
125 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“CW re-enactment”
Reviewed April 18, 2013

This last time I went to the civil war re-enactment. But I like to go here for the Bluegrass weekend, and the threshing bee.

Visited March 2013
Thank LGA026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
160 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“This place is a ton of fun at the shows”
Reviewed March 17, 2013

This is a sprawling indoor and outdoor museum to all things about farming early in the mechanical age. Scores of machines powered by steam and gas, tractors, huge combine harvesters, weaving, farm life, just about everything mechanical and farm related.

Twice a year, it hosts a steam/gas engine and tractor show - in June and in the fall, two weekends in a row. We've been going for years. It's as low key and down to earth as is possible to be. Lots of food stands, endless displays of iron mongery, machine repair, reaping and threshing, work engines operating and being repaired by people who love to talk about what they're doing.

This is a wonderful place to have in your backyard, or if you're here for a visit, a remarkably un-southern-California half-day excursion you won't forget. It's open year round but often only for walking around, which is a pretty unique walk in itself. Check the website to see if there are activities on while you're here.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Tom F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A museum is where you are supposed to learn something...”
Reviewed February 3, 2013

But you won't learn much here.

Yes, there is an amazing collection of antique engines, but very few are labeled or present any information on their use or history. There aren't any docents present to explain the history of the equipment. There is just the occasional guy working on and riding his pet project.

We got there too late to see the model railroad (they close it at 1:00 pm), which I was looking forward to, so I can't say anything about it.

I suspect that this place exists to finance their hobby, and the viewing public doesn't really matter to them. I would imagine this would be a fun place to take the kids when they have an event, however. But any other time this place feels more like a graveyard for old tractors and engines; quiet and deserted.

Visited February 2013
Thank Karen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hemet, California
1 review
“antique gas and steam museum”
Reviewed December 23, 2012

wonderful displays of old running engines, steam, gas and diesel. How it works questions are answered by knowledgeable people.

Visited October 2012
Thank Jim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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