Old Town San Diego Travel Guide

  • Stage at Fiesta de Reyes
    Stage at Fiesta de Reyes
    by lmkluque
  • Transportation
    by lmkluque
  • to the state park
    to the state park
    by machomikemd

Old Town San Diego Things to Do

  • Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

    Old Town San Diego was designated as a State Historic Park since 1969 and most of the old town area lies withing the park as this state park commemorates the early days of the town of San Diego and includes many historic buildings from the period 1820 to 1870. Among the attractions in the state park include adobe built houses, roman catholic...

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  • Shop at Old Town

    Old Town San Diego is now just a suburb of the city but the area host a number of commercial establishments and culture like more than 100 shops selling various local crafts, historical items, souvenir items and at least 12 art galleries for the avid art lovers and othe areas, the district also hosts 27 historical sites related to the founding of...

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  • Old Town S.D. State Historical Park!

    While in San Diego, many visitors flock to Old Town State Historical Park. What it is they expect to do or see I'm not really sure, but this is not a boring place. It is a replication of the earliest Californian settlement. (Replication, because most of the original town was destroyed by fire in 1872.) Admission is Free. In fact, most people have...

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  • A Walk Around Heritage Park Row

    Under the auspices of the county government of San Diego and in the spirit of preserving San Diego's history, Heritage Park was created to give safe harbor to some of San Diego's oldest and most distinguished buildings that were in danger of being demolished.This is the Sherman-Gilbert house (1887) which serves as the County of San Diego Department...

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  • The New Bazaar Del Mundo!

    It was more than thirty years ago that Bazaar del Mundo was created as a part of Old Town SD State Historic Park. It was a festive colorful corner that drew locals as well as toursts to explore the offerings. Recently, the powers that be--at the Parks Department of the State of California--has determined it better to give the concession to an out...

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  • Mormon Battalion Memorial!

    I don't really know very much about the Latter Day Saint's religion, but have met quite a few of it's members while working for EF Foundation and one thing that I noticed, was their strong sense of community. So, it wasn't surprising--amazing, but not surprising--to learn about the impressive and brave contribution this group of people made to our...

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  • Visit the Serra Museum!

    Commonly referred to as The Presidio, this museum sits high on a hill overlooking Old Town commercial area. There are many things to see and this is one of them. There is a small shop at the entrance that sells various souvenirs, but mostly books that aren't found in the average book store. The large room on the ground floor has displays that have...

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  • Experience the Journey Yourself!

    The San Diego Mormon Battalion Site was completed renovated in 2009 and reopened in 2010. It has become a must see when visiting Old Town. I was there for weekend celebration and enjoyed the presentation so much that I took my family back yesterday. The site is now a historical museum style site that first presents the history of the people in an...

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  • Heritage Park

    The park is dedicated to the preservation of San Diego's Victorian architecture.Free.My rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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Old Town San Diego Restaurants

  • Buckets of Lobster!

    There are six Rockin' Baja Lobster restaurants in the chain. The Old Bonita Store, in Chula Vista was the first and the others followed. The style of food served at this restaurant is loosely based on the famed Puerto Nuevo style Lobster served in a small village south of Rosarito Beach, Mexico.I've been to Puerto Nuevo, had their style of lobster...

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  • Sushi intro

    We went for lunch and it was very roomy and not crowded, casual attire was fine. There was a patio area to eat in outside, but we chose a booth inside. For $30- 2 miso soup, 2 salad, 2 entrees, 2 lemonaid, dessert. It was enough to feed four people, in my opinion. Husband can't stop thinking about it, loved it! I enjoyed my first tastes of sushi...

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  • Another Chance to See a Tortilla Lady

    Yes, another Mexican Restaurant. Cafe Coyote is located on a corner of San Diego Avenue, the tortilla lady is easy to see as you drive by. However, it is more fun to walk-up and watch as she displays her talent in patting the dough to just the right size and thinness. There is no tortilla tastier than one freshly made. Without a doubt chicken...

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  • Take a Coffee Break!

    My first visit to the Living Room Coffeehouse Bistro and European Pastries on El Cajon Boulevard won me over. Located near San Diego State University, the place was full of people reading text books, holding study groups and in general, seeming to be in pursuit of answers to great questions, as well as just having a meal or a gourmet coffee. In Old...

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  • Belly-Up-To-The-Bar-Matey!!

    The decor is nautical-tacky with pier posts, ship's steering wheel and even lady figureheads. Just the place for relaxing after a rough voyage and swabbing decks. O'Hungry's is not my type of place and it might not be yours, but it is worth mentioning because of it's funky and festive atmosphere and it offers something besides Mexican food. Also,...

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  • Number One Tequileria!

    Oddly located above a neighborhood liquor store, this restaurant may not grab your attention, but that contributes to the fact that it is not such a touristy place and it is worth a try. This Mexican restaruant falls far from the typical place we're all used to. The flavors are true Mexican, but obviously the chef does not limit himself to garlic...

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Old Town San Diego Nightlife

  • Old Town Bars and Restaurants

    If you want to have a different experience of nightlife with an authentic native californian mexican flavor and away from the maddening crowd in Gaslamp district in Downtown San Diego, Old Town is the place as it hosts early Mexian California fare along with Italian, Japanese, Creole, Peruvian, and seafood plus it also hosts bars which are not...

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  • Old Town Closes Up Early But...

    Most nightlife in Old Town will be found in the bars that are usually connected to a restaurant. Rancho Corona is located on Congress Street very near the Rockin' Baja Lobster and just a block away from Old Town San Diego State Historic Park entrance. They offer a modest outdoor patio as well as inside dining. Casual dress is the usual at this...

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  • Old Town San Diego Hotels

    0 Hotels in Old Town San Diego

Old Town San Diego Transportation

  • San Diego Trolley

    There is a San Diego Trolley station in Old Town San Diego and if you don't have the use of a car, this would be the best way of getting to Old Town.Depending on where you are staying, take the bus, Blue Line or Orange Line Trolley and connect to the Green Line. The only station that all three Lines connect is at the 12th & Imperial Transit Center....

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  • Old Town Trolley Tours

    First thing: Old Town Trolley Tours is a tour bus, not the San Diego Trolley--public transportation--which does have a station in Old Town.The tour begins at Old Town, however you can begin your tour at any of the 7-9 (The number of stops change and at this writing there are 8) stops, because the tour is a two hour narrated tour which goes on an...

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  • Don't Forget Insurance

    If your current health insurance doesn't cover you while your abroad, you should consider getting international travel insurance just in case something should go wrong.

Old Town San Diego Shopping

  • One of a Kind Items

    This store attracts my attention every time I go to Bazaar del Mundo. So many things for cooking, for the table or to accessorize a special dinner, from elegant hand painted items to wild colorful cloths, dinnerware and spices. There are products of Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the American Southwest to name a few. Some of...

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  • Home and Garden Gallery

    Earth, Wind and Sea had been located in the Bazaar Del Mundo but has moved over to Congress Street. The grand opening is, today actually and for a change of style stop by to see their new shop. This is a place to find those unusual things to put in the garden to make it look unique. Wind chimes are always a nice gift. Personally I like their tall...

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  • Another Unique Shop In The Bazaar!

    Laura Burch offers a great collection from her own perspective. This shop was originally in the Old Town SD State Historical Park but has move, along with the rest of Bazaar del Mundo to a new location.Laura Burch, was a brave women, full of passion and creativity. The shop still offers her eclectic efforts. Experience her world. You might find...

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Old Town San Diego Warnings and Dangers

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated May 6, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    San Diego is a California coastal city and one of the conditions that seems to occur, especially the early part of the summer, is a heavy marine layer--big clouds--almost every morning. The sun will burn this off by lunch time, but a visitor not used to this fact will look up and expect rain or at least a cold gloomy day.

    So, there you are in the middle of Old Town, bundled up to stay warm and instead you actually are getting hotter and more uncomfortable as the sun burns off the marine layer. This is where these T-shirt shops come in handy. It will cost only $4.00 or $5.00 to get a t-shirt to change into. Of course, some of these shirts are actually cute, but if they aren't really your style at least you can feel cooler.

    T-Shirt Sale!
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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Old Town San Diego Tourist Traps

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    by lmkluque Updated Nov 19, 2013

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    On the corner of San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street, across the street from the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, there is a Roman Catholic church which many visitors seem to mistake for the Mission Basilica San Diego De Alcala.

    This church is the Immaculate Conception, a Parish of The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, California.

    2540 San Diego Avenue
    (619) 295-4148

    Of course it has a history. It was originally called the Old Adobe Church. The cornerstone was laid in 1851 and the completed church was dedicated on November 21, 1858, under the title of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    On July 10, 1868, almost a hundred years after Father Junipero Serra planted the first Cross on Presidio hill , the cornerstone for a brick church was laid to replace the Old Adobe Church. On July 22, 1917 Immaculate Conception Church was finally opened. The Church has been in continuous operation since that time.

    Two of the original bells of the San Diego Mission still summon the faithful to worship, one in the Mission San Diego de Alcala and the other one, here in the bell tower of Immaculate Conception Church in Old Town.

    Unique Suggestions: If it looks interesting, you may go in to look around. Of course, if there is a mass being said at the time, you should either sit respectfully in a pew and wait for the service to be over or leave and return after mass has ended, to look around.

    Fun Alternatives: The place you are probably looking for is the Mission Basilica San Diego De Alcala.

    The first Mission of the twenty-one Californian missions. It is located only a few miles from Old Town, at

    10818 San Diego Mission Road.
    (619) 283-7319.

    Immaculate Conception
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

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Old Town San Diego Off The Beaten Path

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    by lmkluque Updated Nov 11, 2013

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    The first of the famed Twenty-One Missions built along the California coastal route running south to north from San Diego To San Francisco. When the settlers arrived and set up camp, they also built a church below the Presidio. This was not an ideal location for cultivating so about seven years later they moved over to the San Diego River area and built the first of the missions.

    The whole compound built several miles from old town, has been recreated/restored. They have a gift shop, nice museums in some of the buildings, a lovely courtyard, the first cemetery of San Diego, the church itself and even an on going archaeological dig has been and continues to be in progress.

    Location:
    10818 San Diego Mission Road.

    A Landmark in SD
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

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Old Town San Diego Favorites

  • Old Town San Diego

    What made this section of San Diego so attractive to the first inhabitants and later, to the Spanish settlers was the San Diego River that flowed by. These days the only evidence of the San Diego River in this area, full of roads and freeways, is the flooding that happens every time it rains for more than a day. After a fire in, 1872, which...

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  • Floral And Foliage

    While in Old Town, take a littletime to see the large variety offlowers that are growing wild,and enjoy the different varietyof palm trees ......Oh yes - bring your camera

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