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Old Town's Historic Sites & Museums

Visit the "birthplace" of California

Old Town San Diego is considered the "birthplace" of California, and today the historic buildings and museums allow you to "go back in time" and visit California's history firsthand.

Visit original and reconstructed buildings that illustrate the ambiance of 1800’s San Diego in Old Town. Old Town San Diego is considered the "birthplace" of California, and today the historic buildings and museums allow you to "go back in time" and visit California's history firsthand.

Visitor Center 
619-220-5422 
Hours: 10am-4pm October-March; 10am-5pm April-September
A look at San Diego’s beginnings. 
Take advantage of free guided walking tours: Wed-Sun 11am and 2pm
Visit the free “Living History” on Wed and Sat 10am-4pm
Blacksmith Tues, Wed, Thurs, and Sat

Whaley House Museum/SOHO
2482 San Diego Ave.
619-297-7511 or 619-297-9327
Hours: Daily 10am-4:30pm, except Tues; 10am-7pm Fri and Sat during summer
Built in 1841, the Whaley House is the number one most haunted house in the United States, according to the Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted.

Black Hawk Livery & Blacksmith 
619-220-5399
The town's original blacksmith shop that was operated during the 1860’s.
Hours: Wed and Sat 10am-2pm 

Casa de Carrillo
4136 Wallace (Presidio Hills Golf Course)
619-295-9476
The oldest building in California, built with adobe in 1821. 
Hours: 7:30am-6:30pm  

Casa de Estudillo
619-220-5426
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm 
The largest of the adobe houses.  Restored in 1910 and 1930.   

Casa de Machado y Silva  
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm 
An excellent example of adobe construction, it was built by Corporal Jose Manuel Machado for his daughter, Maria Antonio Machado de Silvas. It was from this house in 1846 that Senora de Silvas ran to cut away the Mexican flag, and in it that she hid the banner.

Casa de Pedrorena  
Hours: Daily 10am-4pm
An original adobe house built in 1854.

Casa del Rey Moro African Museum                                      
2471 Congress St.     
619-220-0022
Hours: Daily 10:30am–7pm, except Wed
Museum depicting African American culture in San Diego.

Heritage Park
Juan St. and Harney St.
A 7.8-acre county park with seven restored and relocated Victorian homes. Includes San Diego's first synagogue.  

Mason Street School
619-297-1183 
Call for hours 
California's first public school house. Was built out of salvaged lumber in 1865.

San Diego Sheriff's Museum & Educational Center
2384 San Diego Ave.
619-260-1850
Hours: Tues-Sat 10am-4pm 
Admission: free
Captures over 150 years of history and present day operations of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. 

San Diego Union Building  
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
Admission: free
This first office of the San Diego Union newspaper is restored to what it was when the Union printed its first edition on October 10, 1868 as a weekly paper. Visitors can view the original printroom with a Washington press and the editor's office.

Seeley Stables
619-220-5427
Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
The Yuma/San Diego stagecoach stop built in 1851. It has since been reconstructed and now houses a collection of vintage carriages and transportation memorabilia. 

Serra Museum
2727 Presidio Dr. 
619-297-3258
Hours: Fri-Sun 10am-4:30pm
Admission: $5, children under 13 free
Built in 1929, houses Kumeyaay Indians Spanish & Mexican exhibits of San Diego history from 1700 to 1920.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

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