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“An Interesting way to present history”

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
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Ranked #23 of 435 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Historic site in downtown San Diego that recreates life in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872.
Corvallis, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“An Interesting way to present history”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

Old town Historic park is an interesting way to present history. The state has preserved this "old town" , but instead of empty buildings with artifacts, you step into the town with lively reinactments and handcraft and skill demonstrations.
Shopping and restaurants, yes. But at times I would be in a store and saying to myself, "am I in a store, or a museum?" Old timey women's dress shop with period dresses, ribbons, hats, interspersed with modern things. Leather shop with belts, hats, and... Old six shooters in the case? And the women working leather behind the counter.
In Old Town it is all about the interaction with those doing the reeinactments. Ask questions, that is where the experience begins. When you go into the shops look into the cases. It is like going into a museum, where everything is for sale!
I've seen a lot of stuff in my travels, and to me, there was a lot of really meat uniques items and I didn't feel like it was the same stuff, repeat. It held the curiosity of what will be next?!
I had a fascinating conversation with the blacksmith and was fully impressed with the movement
that exists in preserving these skills through living history.
Read the reviews for a good restaurant. We ate in the park at a Mexican restaurant that was so-so.
I thought it was neat. We went twice, I can see why people like it.

Visited October 2012
Thank christina T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Beautiful place”
Reviewed October 2, 2012

This is like walking back in time. It is a tourist trap but well worth a visit. All transport goes into the Old Town and it's so easy. The old fashioned shops and the history are fascinating. The man in the Cigar store was the most authentic looking I thought and although I don't like smoking(ex smoker) the smell was great. I bought a recipe book in the visitors centre. Loved it.

Visited September 2012
Thank Loulou777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hayward, Wisconsin
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A delightful surprise”
Reviewed September 27, 2012

I didn't know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised by the warm feeling that the park provided. It is touristy, but the outdoor restaurants, with excellent Mexican food, made it feel authentic and historic. I particularly liked the Whaley house. There seems to be enough witnesses to classify it as a genuine "haunted" house. The staff was exceptionally informed and pleasant.

Visited September 2012
Thank LeeB13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anaheim Hills, CA
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great place to visit with the family”
Reviewed September 26, 2012

Visiting old town is a great way to spend the afternoon with the family. I have visited Old Town numerous times, and I always have a great time with the family.

There a numerous historic buildings, shops, and restaurants, and you feel like you are traveling back in time as you get a sense of what life was like in San Diego during the mid to late 19th Century.

There literally hundreds of stores and shops to browse through, and that is what my family and I enjoy doing. There is something for everyone... arts and crafts, clothes, home and garden, toys, fine art, collectibles, souvenirs. It is impossible to visit all of the shops in one visit. There are also horse carriage rides, trolley tours, musicians, and artisans scattered throughout Old Town.

There are a variety of restaurants to choose from, so you should plan on having lunch or dinner in Old Town during your visit.

I also like the relaxing atmosphere of Old Town. It is just a nice place to escape to from our modern, chaotic life.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Nancy_Hubby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great little shops.”
Reviewed September 25, 2012

We visited Old Town to eat lunch and to shop. There were several shops and some outdoor vendors to visit. I bought some t-shirts and some scarfs. If you have time, spend a little of it here. It reminded me of Mexico's shopping villages on a much smaller scale.

Visited September 2012
Thank CJ G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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