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Old Town San Diego State Historic Park


Visiting Old Town San Diego State Historic Park gives you the opportunity to experience the early history of San Diego and also gives you a feel of being connected to the past. The park marks the City of San Diego’s early days and many historic buildings that tell about life in the early American and Mexican period of 1820 to 1870 are included in the park. The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park was established in 1968 and it was listed by California State Parks as the most visited park in California in 2005 and 2006.
It was officially registered as a California Historical Landmark in 1969 and was included as Old Town San Diego Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places on the 3rd day of September in 1971. The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park keeps and recreates the early periods of the Old Town just as it was then, even down to when it lost its prevalent position to Downtown. The Old Town area is a popular destination that attracts tourists, and its significant feature it is known for is its Mexican restaurants. Although the state park contains other restaurants, several eating establishments, and gift shops in the surrounding neighborhood, its Mexican restaurants still remain most popular among tourists.

Facility Management

Outside Contractors are the ones usually in charge of managing the commercial facilities in Old Town State Park (facilities like restaurants and gift shops) and Bazaar del Mundo (“Bazaar of the World”) operated by San Diego businesswoman Diane Powers was the largest single contractor in the state park for more than 30 years until it was awarded to Plaza del Pasado (“Plaza of the Past”), run by Delaware North Companies in 2005 by the state park agency in a controversial move. This was done with the aim of creating a more accurate and authentic historical presentation of the Old Town and appreciation of life and commerce in it during the early days. However this new contract didn’t prove to be efficient to them as revenue plunged under their management and for this reason the contract was withdrawn in spring 2009, and the contract of managing the state park’s commercial facilities was then given to the Old Town Family Hospitality Corporation, run by local restaurateur Chuck Ross and the commercial area of the Old Town State Historic Park is now called Fiesta de Reyes (“Festival of the Kings”).

The State Historic Park located in San Diego, CA on San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street, is adjacent to the Old Town Transit Center that has Trolley, Coaster, and MTS Bus service and allows for convenient movement and transportation.

Admission Into This San Diego Place of Interest

Free admissions are offered to the Old Town State Historic Park and the individual museums. However, there’s a guided tour available for a fee. The museums are open from October to April. During the weekdays, it is open from 10am to 4pm while during the weekends it is open from 10am to 5pm. The attractions, however, are open from May to September and they are open everyday from 10am to 5pm. During Festive seasons like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, the museums are closed. There are a lot of activities you can enjoy in the park and some of them include exhibitions, geocaching stash hunts, interpretive programs and picnic areas.. Visitors’ access is provided by the nearby Old Town Station to several surface bus routes as well as the Green line on San Diego’s light rail system allowing you to easily reach the park by public transportation. Free street parking is also available in the Old Town State Historic Park.