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Old Town

The Birthplace of San Diego

Step into another world on your visit to Old Town, San Diego - dubbed "The birthplace of San Diego" as it's California's first settlement established in 1769. Many of the original architecture and structures still stand today, making for a historic trip down San Diego's history and where it all began. Although considered a "touristy" part of the city, many locals visit the area due to the plethora of stellar Mexican cuisine, boutique shopping, museums, markets and historical buildings. You won't get far without strolling across a passing mariachi band or employees dressed in old-fashioned garb to fit the era. Old Town truly is a sweet San Diego gem, read on below to discover our favorite spots along with tips from the staff.

Things To Do

Whaley House Museum

Considered one of the "most haunted places in America", the Whaley House Museum was constructed in 1857 by Thomas Whaley and features it's own court room, store and theatre. Visitors are guided throughout the house and the grounds as tour guides explain the history as well as tragedies that have taken place in the house. 

Pro tip: Book a nighttime ghost hunting tour for the fright of your life.

Cygnet Theatre

Catch a show at the Cygnet Theatre, located at the 246-seat Old Town Theatre. Known for producing unique and thought-provoking works of art, Cygnet's upcoming theatre line-up is one for the books, check out their upcoming shows by following the link below.

Pro tip: Don't worry about seating, there truly is no bad seat in the house. Perks of a smaller, more intimate theatre!

Presidio Park

Featuring a golf course, the iconic Junipero Serra Museum, and the Mormon Battalion historic site; Presidio Park speaks to those looking for some San Diego history but with a little more peace and quiet. 

Pro tip: Bring your walking shoes and be prepared to park a little further away!


Cafe Coyote

One of the most popular Mexican restaurants in Old Town; Cafe Coyote boasts a selection of over 100 different kinds of tequilas, authentic Mexican cuisine, and a strolling Mariachi band. 

Pro tip: Have a 'a mano' or 'by hand' made tortilla made right on the streetside corner from one of the tortilla ladies! Choose from savory or sweet.

Rockin' Baja Lobster

Inspired by the coastal cuisine of Puerto Nuevo along the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, stop by the fun and lively Rockin' Baja Lobster restaurant for an authentic taste of the south and live music. 

Pro tip: Try the lobster bites!

Old Town Mexican Cafe

In business since 1977, Old Town Mexican Cafe is known for its freshly made tortillas, carnitas plate prepared in your choice of three ways (shredded, crispy, or chunky; crispy is our favorite), and delicious margaritas. Stop by this Old Town, San Diego staple for a solid meal and great drinks.

Pro tip: The molcajete is amazing.

Harney Sushi

If you're craving something a little different than Mexican food, hop on over to Harney Sushi. It's considered a little more upscale but totally worth the price and the wait.

Pro tip: Check out their Late Night Happy Hour for lower prices and a more intimate experience!