Visit Old Town San Diego: San Diego Activities

San Diego’s Old Town is considered the “birthplace of California,” and is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California.

Old Town San Diego is where Father Junipero Serra came to establish the first mission in 1769, which would be followed by 20 other missions which became the cornerstone of California’s colonization. 

Old Town San Diego
2802 Juan Street
San Diego, CA 92110
Telephone: 619-487-9613
Distance from The Keating Hotel: 5 Miles

Sign for Old Town San Diego
Old Town San Diego is considered the “birthplace of California,” and is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California.

Why You Should Visit Old Town San Diego:
Father Serra’s mission and Presidio were built on a small hillside overlooking what is currently known as Old Town San Diego. At the base of the hill, a small Mexican village of adobe buildings was constructed, and it attained the status of El Pueblo de San Diego, in 1835. 

Old Town gives San Diego visitors and residents a glimpse of what life was like in the early days of San Diego, with Museums, Restaurants, Shopping and other gathering places available to present a near-authentic view of those times.

What to know about visiting Old Town San Diego:

  • You can take the San Diego Trolley from downtown San Diego to Old Town San Diego and arrive in minutes to a must-see, historic San Diego activity. 
  • Old Town San Diego is home to many great restaurants serving traditional Mexican food, American food and more including; Old Town Tequila Factory & Cantina, BERTA’S and Café Coyote.  You’ll find many unique shops and boutiques selling merchandise, souvenirs, clothing, food items and more all in a quaint, historic atmosphere. Shops include Bazaar del Mundo, Fiesta de Reyes, the Old Town Market and many boutique shops offer a variety of uncommon gifts.
  • If you are in the mood for a bit of a fright you may be interested in a tour of Whaley House Museum, one of the most haunted places in the United States or consider taking Haunted Trolley Tour from Old Town San Diego.
  • Discover San Diego’s history by visiting the many historic sites in Old Town San Diego and learning about San Diego’s past culture compared to modern downtown San Diego living.
  • In 1968, the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation established Old Town San Diego State Historic Park to preserve the rich heritage that characterized San Diego during the 1821 to 1872 period. 
  • Old Town San Diego includes a main plaza, exhibits, San Diego Activities and annual events, museums and living history demonstrations.
  • Historic buildings in Old Town San Diego include La Casa de Estudillo, La Casa de Bandini, La Casa de Altamirno Pedrorena and the Mason Street School, San Diego’s first one room schoolhouse. 
A Plate of Mexican Food
Old Town San Diego is home to many great restaurants serving traditional Mexican food, American food and more!

Schedule time during your next visit to San Diego to visit Old Town San Diego, one of the most popular things to do in San Diego.

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Sign leading into Old Town San Diego