Old Town, San Diego

62 Reviews

North of Downtown

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  • Tortilla maker Carmen, in
    Tortilla maker Carmen, in "Old Town."
    by travelgourmet
  • All decked out for
    All decked out for "Dia de los Muertos"
    by Jefie
  • San Diego's first jail behind the courthouse
    San Diego's first jail behind the...
    by Jefie
  • biancaneve's Profile Photo

    San Diego, circa 1860

    by biancaneve Written Oct 23, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One word: handmade tortillas (well, ok, thats two ).
    There is nothing in this world like fresh out of the oven, hand made tortillas, and if you go to Old Town, you will find them

    Also, do not buy souveniers anywhere but Old Town or Ocean Beach, because you will pay too much.

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Old Post Office

    by SLLiew Written Oct 8, 2006

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    Enjoyed visiting the old part of town of San Diego.

    Gives the atmosphere of Zorro where early Californians and Mexicans are putting down their influence that makes California so famous in Wild Wild West movies.

    The architecture and exhibitions of what daily instruments and things used in that era was interesting. Instead of parking the car, I can imagine tying one horse. Wonder how to keep a horse from being stolen.

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  • A State Historic Park

    by Phalaenopsis03 Updated May 6, 2006
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    The birthplace of California, Old Town San Diego turns back the pages of time to the Mexican and early American periods of the 19th century. Sometimes also referred to as the Jamestown of the Pacific, Old Town today provides its visitors with an enjoyable historical and cultural experience. With plenty of restaurants, shops, and historic sites, you're sure to enjoy a good day here.

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  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    See a quaint part of Town

    by marinarena Updated Apr 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Old Town San Diego, California
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    Just a 10 min trip from downtown is Old Town, a charming part of the city that has the feel of the "good ol' days", where there were not cars and when it was a great pleasure to walk and take in the local environment. If you want to see the classic "Americana" style mixed with a great Mexican/Spanish influence, you will absolutely love it here.

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    Old Town

    by acemj Updated Jan 17, 2006

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    San Diego is the site of the first Spanish settlement on the West Coast. Old Town is a community of preserved, original Adobe structures. There are over 100 shops, dozens of restaurants, a number of hotels and plenty of interesting historical sites here to occupy at least a good half day.

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  • neurochic's Profile Photo

    My Substitute for Tijuana

    by neurochic Written Nov 14, 2005

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    Church in Old Town
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    Ok I really wanted to go to Tijuana so that I could put another stamp in my passport and say I made it to Mexico, but I also heard it's not a very safe place to travel alone as a single female. So my alternative to feel a little Mexico was to go to Old Town San Diego. I must admit it is mainly a tourist trap now containing old period buildings that sell objects supposedly reminiscent of the Old West but the prices would make you think otherwise. Literally it took me maybe 15 minutes to maneuver the whole town. There are available bus tours through this area which may make the trip more worth it.

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  • zazatann's Profile Photo

    Need to go back there one day

    by zazatann Written Jul 8, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    What a lovely place to visit !! There are nice old town where I can imagine the old day of this place. Lots of shop to see and not to big to walk around.

    I've been there for 2 times and I feel like I'm not bored to go back there again.

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  • OLD TOWN STATE PARK

    by sabsi Updated Jun 14, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Old Town San Diego
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    San Diego became California's first Spanish settlement with a mission and fort. This was in 1769. San Diego's old town still looks like this today. You arrive here and you feel like you have time travelled while driving down the Interstate. There are original houses from the 19th century here as well as rebuilt old houses. I really enjoyed the look of it and with the sound of the train blowing its horn in the distance I felt like being in the "wild west" somehow.

    Outside the actual state park you will find Mexican restaurants and souvenir shops at every corner, I loved the Tile Shop especially. (see my Shopping tips for more)

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  • keida84's Profile Photo

    The Thomas Whaley House

    by keida84 Written Feb 19, 2005

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    In 1857 Thomas Whaley began building his Greek revival style house. The San Diego Herald claimed that the house was the, "finest new brick block in Southern California." It was constructed primarily by the areas Native Americans and the final cost was estimated around $10,000.

    The Thomas Whaley House has been purported as the most haunted house in California. The US Commerce Department officially declared the house haunted in the 1960's. Only one other home in California can lay claim to this distinction and that's the Winchester Mansion in San Jose California.

    The home was built over the land where the town's hanging gallows once stood. James "Yankee Jim" Robinson was hung on this spot but sadly he did not die right away. He was a very tall man and his feet kept scraping the ground taking him over 45 minutes to die. His presence can be felt in the home. Visitors report hearing heavy footsteps, others experience the tightening of the throat, while others have reported having the sense of strangulation. During my visit I experienced the latter.

    The ghost of a young girl is often seen but there seems to be a good deal of debate as to who is child is. A neighbor's child supposedly died in the mid-1800s after she ran into a low clothesline that fractured her neck.

    Located in the historical Old Town District of San Diego the Whaley House offers tours Wednesday through Monday:
    10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    The house is closed on Tuesdays

    Nighttime tours:
    9:30 p.m. and on as available

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  • IceBear7's Profile Photo

    Visit Old Town

    by IceBear7 Updated Dec 15, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Old Town San Diego

    The kind of museum I absolutely adore!

    If you try and not see the souvenir shops it is like stepping back into San Diego's past, with the first Spanish settlers having just arrived, the city being governed by the Mexicans and a beautiful city in a great climate starts to rise.

    They have wonderful restored houses with shops selling crafts, pottery, soap, mexican food and clothes, chocolates...There is a dentist house, newspapers ediorial office, courthouse, stables, blacksmith and houses where people were living.

    Entrance is free, and they have free guided tours once or twice a day which I highly recommend! You learn a lot about San Diego's past and present, and our guide was a wonderful old lady who loved telling stories.

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  • queensgirl's Profile Photo

    Whaley House Museum/SOHO

    by queensgirl Written Nov 10, 2004

    On must first trip to San Diego I was taken around to alot of different sights. They say it is one of the most haunted house in America. It was a courthouse and a theater. Sorry I wish I had a photo but I ran out of memory on my camera.

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  • queensgirl's Profile Photo

    San Diego Old Town

    by queensgirl Updated Nov 9, 2004

    Nice little place with old buildings from the 1800-1900's they have alot of shops and restaurants. The shops are filled with alot of Mexican art and other cultures too. We ate out at a really good Mexican restaurant which I tried fish tacos for the first time.

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  • travelgirl3's Profile Photo

    Entertaining History Lesson

    by travelgirl3 Updated Oct 24, 2004

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    Cigarette Shoppe, Old Town San Diego, CA

    You can't come to San Diego and not visit Old Town! Step back to the 1700's, and visit the "Birthplace of California". It was here that Father Junipero Serra established the first of 21 missions, colonizing southern California.

    A lot of the shops are staffed by interpreters in period costume, and some of the buildings are very authentic. The Cigar ette Shoppe pictured, for example, is part museum, part cigar store, so much so that in looking through the cases, it was difficult to tell what was part of the exhibit, and what was actually for sale.

    You should also visit 'Bazaar del Mundo', a fascinating collection of shops selling wares from various latin countries.

    There are several great restaurants (we enjoyed Casa de Bandini), so you can easily spend the day exploring Old Town. Be sure to give yourself enough time to stroll and enjoy.

    Old Town is easily accessible by the San Diego Trolley (the red ones), the Old Town Trolley (green & orange), or its about a 10 minute drive from Gaslamp.

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  • cheap_tourist's Profile Photo

    Old Town

    by cheap_tourist Written Jun 29, 2004
    Bazaar del Mundo

    Old Town State Historic Park is said to be the original site of San Diego. It has many old buildings and people wearing period costumes--visiting it is like stepping back in time.

    I visited the Seeley Stable Museum which displays pictures, artifacts, and horse-drawn vehicles from a bygone era. I also checked out the Wells Fargo Museum which has exhibits on their stagecoach and early banking services. Of course, I had to see Bazaar del Mundo which looks like a Mexican villa. It houses many interesting shops and restaurants.

    Outside of Old Town, particularly on San Diego Avenue, are other excellent retail and food establishments. There are also other historic sites like the Whaley House and Heritage Park. The Whaley House is said to be haunted.

    I'm sure I missed a lot in this description so if you are going to Old Town, better go to the visitor center there first and get lots of brochures. That should make you very well-informed.

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    • National/State Park

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  • CJD68's Profile Photo

    Pay a visit to Old Town

    by CJD68 Updated Jul 17, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Take a trip to the Old Town and grab a great meal at almost any restaurant. There are plenty of shops for those needing to depart with some cash and the architecture and history behind the buildings is very interesting.

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