Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Update (December 8, 2020): California has issued a Regional Stay at Home Order to stop the surge of COVID-19 cases and prevent a strain on the health care system. This action will help protect critical care for patients. While the order includes the closure of campground sites in impacted regions, the state also recognizes that mental health is physical health. As such, day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public will remain open. Members of the same household are encouraged to stay local and recreate responsibly in the outdoors. Please take the time to read the information contained on this webpage to find out what is open and closed, and the COVID-19 guidelines for this park unit.

Here is some additional information for locals visiting Old Town San Diego State Historic Park:

What is open now?
  • Visitors can walk around the park and view the exteriors of the exhibit and museum areas. QR codes linking to videos and other interpretive material are posted around the park.
  • Most retail stores. Many are open with changed hours or days. For more information about a particular store, please contact them directly.
  • The Cosmopolitan Hotel is open for limited days.
  • Full parking is now available to the public.
  • Selected park restrooms are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What is currently closed at this park and throughout the State Park System?
Closed at this park:
  • The Visitor Center building and all exhibit and museum areas.
  • Cygnet Theatre.
Statewide:
  • Many campgrounds across the state remain temporarily closed until further notice or will be temporarily closed in accordance with the new Regional Stay at Home Order. More information here.
  • High public-use indoor facilities, including museums and visitor centers.
  • Special events and tours continue to be canceled until further notice.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?
Yes, State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
  • Stay LocalStay close to home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Do not travel if you or someone in your household is sick.
  • Plan Ahead The COVID-19 pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. As such, information on this webpage may change. Prior to visiting us, please check this webpage again right before you visit the park to find out if new guidelines are in place.
  • Stay Safer at 6 feet – No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings, picnics or parties. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
    • Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
    • Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
  • Keep Clean – Be prepared. Not all restrooms are open to the public. in some cases, restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
  • Stay Covered – The state requires you wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. The need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(619) 220-5422

Park Hours

Visitor Center & Museums
October-April: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

May-September: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Park Restrooms Open 10am-Dusk; Concession Restrooms may be open longer.

Museums are closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years Day.

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs allowed only in outdoor areas like the plaza. Dogs not allowed inside museums or buildings.

Driving Directions to Old Town San Diego SHP

The park is located on San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street in San Diego.

Online reservations are not available for this park.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
Lodging
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Museums
Family Programs
Geocaching
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Food Service
Camp Store
Parking
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available


To watch the full videos, please press the full screen button after pressing play.

Having problems finding parking?

The Caltrans parking lot is open to the public after 5 pm during the week and all day on the weekends. Just in case you need a helping hand finding the lot, here is a map to help.

CalTrans Lot Map

Park Information

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. San Diego became California's first Spanish settlement when a mission and fort were established here in 1769. Later, it passed into the hands of the newly made Mexican government before gaining statehood in the United States after the Mexican-American War.

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. Five original adobe buildings are part of the historic park, which include museums, unique retail shops, and several restaurants. The Historic Plaza remains a special place for gatherings and historic activities. Visitors can also experience a working blacksmith shop, enjoy music, see or touch the park's burros, and engage in activities that represent early San Diego.

Location-Directions

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.

Free Parking Lots near Old Town San Diego State Historic Park:
Click here for PDF

Old Town San Diego, CA Latitude/Longitude: 32.7542 / -117.1961

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