See where it all began and visit Old Town San Diego! It’s the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California, therefore is known to be the “birthplace” of the state. We created a list of ways you can experience Old Town in a whole new way: shopping, dining, museums and theatre. Below, you will find transportation options from the Inn as well.
Whether you’re visiting or a local San Diegan, a day should start with some shopping.
Bazaar del Mundo Shops
This central shopping area is an open-air square with shops on three sides, a fountain, plaza, and a restaurant, Casa de Reyes, where you can dine al fresco. Have a one-of-a-kind experience with the several stores Bazaar del Mundo has to offer. You will find hand-woven shawls, authentic Native American jewelry, and exotic gifts and collectibles from around the world.
For more information, click here.
Monday-Saturday – 10AM-9PM
Sunday – 10AM-5:30PM
Shopping and eating simply go together and there is no better place to have authentic Mexican food or drinks than Old Town. Adjacent to San Diego Avenue are two long-time favorite Mexican restaurants. The Old Town Mexican Café and the Café Coyote y Cantina are both famous for their tortillas that are handmade on a grill that can be seen from the dining area. After you’ve had your fill, head over to the Old Town Tequila Factory for some drinks.
Old Town Mexican Café
Sunday-Thursday – 7AM-11PM
Friday & Saturday – 7AM-12AM
Café Coyote y Cantina
Old Town Tequila Factory
This is a local favorite for a reason. The patio overlooking Old Town will take your breath away! You along with your friends and family can sip on Margaritas and indulge in authentic Mexican food, such as freshly made tortillas and guacamole, while listening to nightly music.
To make a reservation, click here.
Now it’s time to step back into history! Whether it’s exploring original and reconstructed buildings, sitting in an 1850s replica of a Sheriff’s office or having a picnic at Presidio Park, Old Town showcases what San Diego was like in the 1800s.
The Whaley House
Have you ever wondered what it was like living in San Diego 160 years ago? Walk through The Whaley House Museum and look into the restored rooms to see what it was like. But full disclosure, it has a reputation for being haunted because it was built on the site of a former graveyard, and the backyard was once the site of public hangings. The museum offers a day and night guided tour, as well as haunted tours.
For more information, click here.
Step into a museum filled with cars, motorcycles, real life jail cells from different eras, and replicas of Sheriff’s offices from the 1850s, 1940s, and the present. Be fascinated by the 6,800 square feet exhibit space that showcases the entire history of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department from its foundation in 1850 through today. Children will have a jolly good time sitting on the motorcycles, using the siren, picking up a bullet proof vest, playing with handcuffs, and sitting in a Sheriff’s Car. You can even have a picture of your entire family locked in jail cell!
5 (General Admission)
Free (Kids 12 & Under)
The grass is always greener at Presidio Park! The 40-acre site is where the San Diego Presidio and the San Diego Mission were founded in 1769. Relish the sweeping views over San Diego to the Pacific Ocean and even down to the San Diego river basin. This is the picture perfect place for picnics and for your kids to roam around.
Cap off your day in Old Town with a night at the theatre!
See for yourself why the Cygnet Theatre is one of the city’s leading theatre companies. Since 2003, it’s been producing adventurous, entertaining and thought-provoking classics and musicals year-round. Cygnet’s mission is to bring new voices to the community and in 11 years, the theatre has created jobs for over 392 actors.
MTS is a convenient way to get to Old Town from Ocean Park Inn. To view the bus route schedule, click here.