Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Historic Site in San Diego

Image by Richard Cummins Getty Images

This park has an excellent history museum in the Robinson-Rose House at the southern end of the plaza. You’ll also find a diorama depicting the original pueblo at the park’s visitor center, where you can pick up a copy of the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Tour Guide & Brief History ($3), or a presentation tour (free) at 11am and 2pm daily. Personal tours cost $10 and depart at 11:30am and 1pm.

Across from the visitor center, the restored Casa de Estudillo is filled with authentic period furniture. Other buildings around the plaza include the first San Diego Courthouse/jail and the Fiesta de Reyes, just off the plaza’s northwestern corner, is a colorful collection of import shops and restaurants – great for Mexican souvenirs without the trip to Tijuana. Along San Diego Ave, on the southern side of the plaza, small, historical-looking buildings (only one is authentic) house more souvenir and gift shops.