A living history museum, Old Town San Diego commemorates the early days of the city, from the 1820s through the 1870s. At this historic state park, guests are treated to original adobe haciendas, a variety of museums, restaurants and various events. One of San Diego’s most visited destinations, the park is home to many historic buildings, including San Diego’s first schoolhouse and newspaper office, a working blacksmith shop, a reconstructed cigar store, gardens and a stable complete with a carriage collection. Also onsite is the Whaley House, considered by many to be the most haunted house in America.
Just a few miles away from Old Town San Diego, Balboa Park offers hours of entertainment and enlightening experiences. There are more than 15 museums on site in this urban, cultural park that spans 1,200 acres. There are also restaurants, performing arts venues, magnificent gardens and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
USS Midway Museum
An unforgettable experience awaits visitors at this aircraft carrier museum just a few miles from Old Town San Diego. Here, you’ll walk on deck and explore a floating city that showcases the life that military sailors lived. Sixty exhibits, restored aircraft, a flight simulator and more bring the history of this iconic carrier to life.
As San Diego’s only ethnic neighborhood, Little Italy offers an abundance of authentic Italian experiences including dining, shopping and viewing art in the town’s various galleries. Festivals and events are often happening throughout the year and each week visitors and locals are drawn in for the well-known Farmers’ Market.
Star of India
The world’s oldest active sailing ship, the Star of India, resides in the San Diego bay at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. A visit to the museum allows you to tour this historic ship as well as a collection of other ships and exhibits. Public and group tours are also offered. You can even partake in a water adventure.
For some fun in the sun and playtime in the surf, head over to Mission Beach just a few short miles from Old Town. In true Southern California style, the beach offers sandy shores, an abundance of restaurants from casual to fine dining and historic Belmont Park. This beachfront amusement park is a crowd pleaser among children and adults alike.