Old Town San Diego
San Diego CA 92110
- Mon: 10am-8:30pm
- Tue: 10am-8:30pm
- Wed: 10am-8:30pm
- Thu: 10am-8:30pm
- Fri: 10am-8:30pm
Old Town San Diego, known as the birthplace of California, illustrates the ambiance of 1800s San Diego, connecting visitors and locals to the past. Within walking distance there are many places to shop, dine and explore. From quaint boutiques and museums to mouth-watering authentic Mexican cuisine and cantinas. Old Town hosts plenty of family-friendly events and has nightly entertainment in many of the restaurants located here. Colorful art galleries and festive theatres are also part of this not-to-be-missed hot spot for tourists and locals alike.
Parking and public transportation at Old Town San Diego
There are plenty of free parking lots surrounding Old Town San Diego. The Old Town Transit Center (where the Old Town trolley is located) has also a fairly large, free parking lot. It's about a five minute walk from this parking lot to Old Town. On weekends and during big events, it can be a challenge to park in Old Town (there's also heavy traffic), so at times like that it's usually best to take the trolley instead.
Best and worst times to go to Old Town San Diego
Weekends and holidays are the worst times to go to Old Town San Diego. There's very little parking, heavy traffic and very long wait lines at the best restaurants. The best time to go to Old Town is on weekdays in the afternoon (school trips are there in the morning), you'll find plenty of parking and no lines at restaurants.
Admission to Old Town San Diego
Old Town San Diego doesn't have an admission fee and is open everyday. There is no charge to enter the state park or any of its museums. Restaurant and store hours vary.
Must see/do at Old Town San Diego
- Try the famous giant margaritas at Casa Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant.
- Stop by the Alvarado House to see what a home in 1824 looked like.
- Go on a guided Ghost Hunting Tour at the Whaley House.
Other places to visit near Old Town San Diego
- Indulge in a day of upscale shopping at Fashion Valley Mall.
- Stroll through the historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego.
- Go fishing in Point Loma and Fisherman's Landing near downtown.
Insider tip for visitors to Old Town San Diego
Visit on a Wednesday morning to see volunteers recreate a 'living history' in Old Town. They'll be wearing period costumes while operating the wood and metal shops.
Rose Wheeler has lived in San Diego for over nine years. She's been published in "La Jolla Patch," "Global Post" and Yahoo. Her blog regularly features great local finds and trending style tips.