Old Town San Diego State Historic Park presents the opportunity to experience the history of early San Diego by providing a connection to the past.
Learn about life in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872. Even today, life moves more slowly in this part of San Diego, where the hustle and bustle is balanced with history and fiestas. Visitors are offered a glimpse into yesteryear, as converging cultures transformed San Diego from a Mexican pueblo to an American settlement. The core of restored original historic buildings from the interpretive period are complemented by reconstructed sites, along with early twentieth century buildings designed in the same mode. The Historic Plaza remains a gathering place for community events and historic activity. Five original adobe buildings are part of the historic park, which includes museums, unique retail shops, and several restaurants.
Each year, a variety of special events that represent the history of early San Diego take place in the park. View Old Town's Events Calendar.
Visitors can experience a working blacksmith shop, enjoy music, see or touch the park's burros and engage in activities that represent early San Diego.
La Casa de Estudillo is a mansion built around a garden courtyard. La Casa de Machado y Stewart is full of artifacts that reflect ordinary life of the period. Some of the other historic buildings include the Mason Street School (California's first public schoolhouse), La Casa de Machado y Silvas, the San Diego Union Printing Office (site of the city's oldest surviving newspaper office), and the first brick courthouse. The Seeley Stables Museum, with newly rehabilitated exhibits on overland transportation, houses one of the finest wagon and carriage collections.
Robinson-Rose House Visitor Information Center
James Robinson came to San Diego from Texas in the Spring of 1850 and developed a successful law practice. He built this two-story structure in 1853 to serve not only as his family residence but also as the home of the San Diego Herald, the San Diego and Gila Railroad office, as well as other private offices. Robinson died in 1857 and his widow Sarah Robinson sold the building to Louis Rose, who probably purchased it as a family residence. Fire destroyed the roof in 1874 and the building fell into ruins by the turn of the century. The reconstructed building now serves as Old Town State Historic Park's visitor center and has on display a model of Old Town as it looked in 1872, created by Joseph Toigo.
McCoy House Museum
In March 2000, the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) completed construction of the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Entry Redevelopment project, which included extensive landscaping and reconstruction of the McCoy House. State Park archaeologists excavated in Old Town San Diego in 1995 to recover information needed to reconstruct a large residence built in 1869 by James McCoy, a well-to-do Irish immigrant who served as San Diego’s sheriff and state senator. Prior to 1851 the property belonged to Maria Eugenia Silvas, descendant of a Spanish Colonial soldier who came to Alta California in the 1770s.
The park is located on San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street in San Diego, and is conveniently adjacent to the Old Town Transit Center, with Coaster, Trolley, and MTS Bus service. Parking and entrance to the park are FREE.
Visitor Center & Museums- 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily (free admission)
Retail Shops & Restaurants- 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., hours may vary
Tours- Daily 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Begins at the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center
Living History Activities- Wednesdays & Saturdays 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.