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Things to do in Old Town, San Diego

Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.
Neighbourhood
“Try the handmade tortillas on the street, visit Cousin's Candy Shop, dip your own candles at Toby's, and stop by the Mormon Battalion for free gold panning.”
  • 379 locals recommend
State / Provincial Park
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“ WELCOME TO OLD TOWN SAN DIEGO OLD TOWN is the historic heart of San Diego. Created in 1769, Old Town San Diego was California’s first settlement with only a mission and a fort. Wander through lush gardens or browse at one of the many specialty shops for treasures from around the world. Indulge in authentic Mexican food at one of the many restaurants or dance to the strolling mariachis. Pause to reflect at the fountains at Fiesta de Reyes and in the Bazaar del Mundo and plan a day or two to visit the dozens of historic sites. Take a tour of a haunted building and spend a day at one of the many museums. Year round, Old Town is the place for food, folklore, and fun. Visit Old Town, celebrate San Diego’s heritage, and bask in early California ambiance. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is in the center of Old Town. Here you can experience life from the early Mexican-American period of 1821-1872 through rich living history programs. Watch forms come to life at the blacksmith and woodworker shops, and read a newspaper from the 19th century. Old Town San Diego, where Interstate 5 and Interstate 8 meet, is nestled in the heart of San Diego. Old Town is just across the street from the San Diego Trolley Old Town Transit Center, across the freeway from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) and a short drive from most San Diego destinations. ”
  • 81 locals recommend
Miscellaneous Shop
“Jump on the coaster (coastal train) which is .2 miles from the studio. It’s a $11 round trip adventure to Old town San Diego where you can enjoy some of the best authentic Mexican food, shops, free museums and old school candy/taffy store. Drink a few margaritas and don’t feel guilty the train will being you back :)”
  • 54 locals recommend
Transportation Service
“Don’t feel like driving, but feel like sight-seeing San Diego? Hop on an Old Town Trolley Tour!”
  • 38 locals recommend
Park
“The missions in SoCal go way back to Spanish times. Nice to hike around the park as well. Laid back scene.”
  • 30 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
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“Walk in and watch the homemade tortillas being made, this is authentic Mexican Food! Located in the heart of Old Town, right off Interstate-8 and Interstate-5. This is the oldest area of San Diego, and there are plenty of sites to see in the area.”
  • 25 locals recommend
Sushi Restaurant
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“Very good sushi for the price about $20 per person for entrees comfortable feel street parking free”
  • 25 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
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“When staying in San Diego, you have to head to the heart of old town. Miguels is a classic spot that my friends and I frequent all the time. Expect a wait though! ”
  • 13 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
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“Great place in old town, don't get fooled by the long lines! its a big restaurant and the line moves fast. Try the fresh made flower tortillas on the patio.”
  • 17 locals recommend
Restaurant
“You really can't go wrong with any of the restaurants in Old Town San Diego, but this is one of our favorites. It has a fun, colorful atmosphere, live mariachi music, and delicious Mexican cuisine! ”
  • 12 locals recommend
History Museum
“The Whaley House in San Diego’s Old Town is one of only two officially designated haunted houses in California (yes, official!).”
  • 7 locals recommend
Museum
“Trolley , buses, Uber, Lyft, taxis, bicycles, and scooters available in San Diego.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Department Store
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“This isn't really a shopping mall. It's bunch of unique shops with tasteful imports, and lots of GREAT Mexican restaurants. Try "Casa De Bandini", wonderful food and LARGE Margarita's. ”
  • 8 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
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“Old Town is a great place to go for Mexican food. Casa De Reyes has live music and is in a beautiful protected outdoor setting with colorful shops with fun themes all around it.”
  • 9 locals recommend
Corner Shop
“Located in the Old Town neighborhood of San Diego it includes many historic buildings from the period 1820 to 1870. Visitors can also experience a working blacksmith shop, enjoy music, see or touch the park's burros, and engage in activities that represent early San Diego. Lots of shopping and dining places. ”
  • 38 locals recommend
Theatre
“Live theater company. Small house, ambitious productions and always professionally staged.”
  • 6 locals recommend

Top restaurants

Mexican Restaurant
“Walk in and watch the homemade tortillas being made, this is authentic Mexican Food! Located in the heart of Old Town, right off Interstate-8 and Interstate-5. This is the oldest area of San Diego, and there are plenty of sites to see in the area.”
  • 25 locals recommend
Sushi Restaurant
“Very good sushi for the price about $20 per person for entrees comfortable feel street parking free”
  • 25 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
“When staying in San Diego, you have to head to the heart of old town. Miguels is a classic spot that my friends and I frequent all the time. Expect a wait though! ”
  • 13 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
“Great place in old town, don't get fooled by the long lines! its a big restaurant and the line moves fast. Try the fresh made flower tortillas on the patio.”
  • 17 locals recommend
Restaurant
“You really can't go wrong with any of the restaurants in Old Town San Diego, but this is one of our favorites. It has a fun, colorful atmosphere, live mariachi music, and delicious Mexican cuisine! ”
  • 12 locals recommend
Mexican Restaurant
“Old Town is a great place to go for Mexican food. Casa De Reyes has live music and is in a beautiful protected outdoor setting with colorful shops with fun themes all around it.”
  • 9 locals recommend
Restaurant
“Best Pho place in San Diego. We went here at least once a week for the past five years.”
  • 4 locals recommend
Bar
“Has great Margaritas and best Mole in town (if you like stronger flavors). Also, is nicely set away from the more touristic spots on the main strip of San Diego Ave.”
  • 6 locals recommend

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