Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Update Jan. 29, 2021: With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted, State Parks is reopening campground sites for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other campground sites for new reservations, starting January 28. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed. Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.

As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over.

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 Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

What is open now?
  • Starting February 5, a few outdoor areas in the park will be staffed and open to the public. On Fridays and Saturdays, interpretive staff will be stationed on the porch of the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center, in the Seeley Yard at the Blacksmith Shop and Donkey Corral, and La Casa de Estudillo.  On Sundays, interpretive staff will be stationed on the porch of the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center and in the Seeley Yard at the Blacksmith Shop and Donkey Corral (La Casa de Estudillo will not be open).
  • Visitors can walk around the park and view the exteriors of additional exhibit and museum areas. QR codes linking to videos and other interpretive material are posted around the park.
  • Most retail stores and restaurants. 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?
At this park:
  • The Visitor Center building and all exhibit and museum areas.
  • Cygnet Theatre.
Statewide:
  • Some park units and campground sites continue to be temporarily closed due to the pandemic, impacts from wildfires or other issues. Please visit the webpage of your local outdoor destination to find out if it is open.
  • 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?
State Parks has implemented the following guidelines to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
  • Stay Local: Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time. 
  • Plan Ahead
    • The ongoing pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of your outdoor destination you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect.
    • Learn what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
    • SNO-PARKS: Make sure your vehicle is snow ready. A permit is required for each vehicle parked at a SNO-PARK site. Parking is on a first come, first-serve basis at all SNO-PARK sites. The public is advised that parking lots are filling up early in the day. Illegal parking is prohibited. More information can be found at ohv.parks.ca.gov/SNOPARKS.
  • Stay Safer at Six Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day. 
    • 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 as not all services may be available. Some 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 to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.

Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.

California State Parks continues to work with local and state officials 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. 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

Land Acknowledgement

This is the ancestral land of the First People, the Kumeyaay.
Esta es la tierra ancestral de las Primeras Personas, los Kumeyaay.

Women's History Month

This Women’s History Month, we celebrate the staff and volunteers who embody the spirit and stories of the amazing women who made Old Town San Diego thrive. Visit our webpage for more information and resources to help celebrate this month.

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

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

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