Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

On my quest to visit all of California’s State Parks I often find myself at parks that I have no information about before I get there and Old Town State Park was just that. While I am a planner, it is sometimes just fun to show up and see what is in store for you. When I arrived at Old Town State Park, I was worried it was going to be another updated “historic” area like Calico Ghost Town but when I arrived I actually really did enjoy myself.

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  • Free
  • Lots of places to enter and to park
  • Open until 5 PM

The Park

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The park itself collects a lot of history on the old town of San Diego and is super close to the Whaley House. It is full of old houses and architecture and maintains the vibe, even though almost all of them have been modernized into something different.

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You can shop here, have something to eat and even tour the multiple museums; there is something for everyone.


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They have leather stores, cigar stores, and restaurants just to name a few. I enjoyed the style of the cigar store that is in a building that has been around since the early 1900’s.

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My favorite store of the bunch was the root beer and beef jerky store, I mean what a perfect combination! I asked for a recommendation and got the butterscotch root beer from their collection of at least 50 different types.

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You can even have it poured over ice cream if you are into that kind of thing!

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They also had a fun candy store and a place to buy plants and succulents that are found all over the grounds.

The Museums

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The museums also cover a wide range of history as well. There are at least three museums on the ground, all of which are free. The first we went in was the visitor center and had a massive diorama that showed the layout of the town in the 1800’s.

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We also went to the old ranch house right in the middle, and that was a beautiful house as well with a lot of well-preserved gardens and rooms.

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Lastly, I went to the stagecoach museum. I was surprised by how awesome this one was. It had at least four old stagecoaches to show the history of them as well as how they help shape this area of San Diego.

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All of these buildings are around the central grass area in the middle of the grounds with its massive American flag pole.

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All in all, this is an excellent park for the whole family. There is a lot of fun stuff to do, and it is a great way to escape the hustle of the city. Check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments.


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About JoshMc

Thanks for checking out the blog, I am happy to be sharing my adventures with you! You can get to know me by reading my about me, which includes a video and additional information on the site, myself and my full disclosure. Also, follow along on Twitter here or read all of my posts on this blog here.