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Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

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Old Town San Diego State Historic Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Old Town San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Tour

1. Old Town San Diego: Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Tour

Join the Hop-on Hop-Off Tour of Old Town San Diego at any of the tour's 11 boarding points and visit more than 100 interesting points in Coronado and San Diego at your own pace. You can begin at any time of the day and listen to the entertaining narration of the on-board conductors along the way. San Diego is known as America’s Finest City, and as you explore the sights of Old Town and the scenic coastline you’ll see why. Opt to begin your tour at the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, where you’ll see original adobe homes and artifacts from the earliest Mexican settlements. At the Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum you’ll learn about the importance of the U.S. Navy presence in San Diego. Then continue on to nearby Seaport Village, where you can stop for refreshments and enjoy shopping and entertainment. In the historic Gaslamp Quarter you’ll find loads of shops and other interesting places located in Victorian-themed buildings. One particular house of interest is the William Heath Davis House. Built in saltbox style, it is similar to the original home of Davis, who founded New Town San Diego. When you’re back on the trolley you’ll be entertained once again by the conductor’s narration. Continue on to the well-known Hotel del Coronado, one of America’s leading resorts. You may choose to take a stroll through nearby Balboa Park, along El Prado, the promenade lined with Spanish-style buildings. With more stops than any other tour, this hop-on hop-off trolley ride is guaranteed to deliver. In addition to sightseeing, enjoy free shuttle service to and from select area hotels, a map and day planner, and $70 in discount coupons to use at restaurants and area attractions. Hop on or hop off at 11 convenient stops: • Old Town State Historic Park • Maritime Museum of San Diego/Star of India • San Diego Embarcadero • Seaport Village • Marriott Marquis & Marina • Gaslamp Quarter • Petco Park/San Diego Convention Center • Barrio Logan • Coronado/Orange Avenue • Balboa Park and El Prado Museums • Little Italy Gold Pass includes: • Old Town Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off Tour • Admission to the Whaley House Museum Platinum Pass includes: • Old Town Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off Tour• Admission to the Whaley House Museum • Admission to the San Diego Maritime Museum/Star of India • Discounts on the Maritime Museum Harbor Tours

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San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

2. San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

Activities, attractions, and tours included on the Go San Diego All-Inclusive pass: THEME PARKS & ZOOS• San Diego Zoo • SeaWorld San Diego• San Diego Zoo Safari Park• Belmont Park• Knott's Berry Farm• LEGOLAND California OUTDOORS• San Diego Speedboat Adventures• La Jolla: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental• La Jolla: Full-Day Snorkel Adventure• La Jolla: All-Day Bike Rental• La Jolla: Surfboard Rental• La Jolla: Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Rental• San Diego Harbor: 2-hr SUP• San Diego Harbor: 2-hr Kayak Rental• San Diego Harbor: 1-hr Pedal Boat Rental• Coronado: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental• Coronado: SUP Board Rental• Coronado: Full-Day Bike Rental• San Diego Pier Fishing TOURS & CRUISES• 1-hr San Diego Harbor cruise by Hornblower Cruises• Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises• Whale Watch & Dolphin Tour - Beautiful Newport Beach• San Diego Hiking Tour• San Diego Beach Tour• San Diego City Tour• Catalina Flyer (ferry to Catalina Island)• One Way Coronado Ferry• PETCO Park tour• GoCar San Diego 30-min tour• Dolby Theater Tour MUSEUMS & PLACES OF INTEREST• USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum• Japanese Friendship Garden• San Diego Air and Space Museum• San Diego Natural History Museum• The Fleet Science Center with IMAX• Birch Aquarium at Scripps• San Diego Museum of Man• San Diego Automotive Museum• San Diego Model Railroad Museum• San Diego Museum of Art• The New Children's Museum• The Whaley House Museum• Coronado Museum of History and Art• Museum of Photographic Arts• Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown)• San Diego Art Institute• The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House• Mingei International Museum• San Diego History Center• Living Coast Discovery Center• Museum of Making Music• Hollywood Museum• UTC Ice Sports Center• South Coast Shop & Dine Package The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass is an all-access attraction pass offering the ultimate in convenience, savings, and flexibility for visitors to the area. Choose a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7-day pass and save up to 55% compared to the cost of full retail admissions. Enjoy the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, The U.S.S. Midway, Harbor Excursions, the New Children’s Museum and more. A total of over 50 attractions and tours are included with your pass.  The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass comes with a digital guide including helpful attraction information including how to get there and opening times.

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San Diego: Ghosts & Gravestones Trolley Tour

3. San Diego: Ghosts & Gravestones Trolley Tour

Whilst San Diego is known the world over for its beautiful beaches, mild climate, and abundance of points of interest not many people know about the city's darker side. Discover San Diego's long history of unnerving deaths, mysterious occurrences, and more ominous sides on a fun and informative guided tour. Travel back in time and hear about the spirits of the notorious characters who lived and died in San Diego. First, venture into the sleepy streets of the Mission Hills neighborhood, where Pioneer Park is transformed at night. Continue to Old Town, walking through El Campo Santo Cemetery and learning about the notorious past of this city full of gunslingers, gamblers, ladies of the night, and many more unsavory characters. Finally, the tour includes a tour of the grounds and exterior of the Whaley House, where many reported paranormal occurrences have taken place.

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San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - choose 2-7 attractions

4. San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - choose 2-7 attractions

Experience San Diego's top attractions and tours and get up to 55% off admission with Go City's Explorer Pass. You have the flexibility to choose between 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 top attractions from over 40 options.  Decide what you feel like doing on the day, so you don't even need to plan in advance. Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo or the USS Midway Museum. Explore more of San Diego with a Hop-on, Hop-off trolley tour, or kayak and snorkel in beautiful La Jolla. The possibilities are endless. Your pass is fully digital and no physical card is required. Simply download your pass directly to your smartphone or print at home. Show your pass at each attraction for quick and easy entrance. Tours and Attractions Included with the Go San Diego Explorer Pass: Top Attractions and Museums: • San Diego Zoo OR San Diego Zoo Safari Park (choose 1) • USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum • Belmont Park Ride and Play Pass • Maritime Museum of San Diego • Air and Space Museum • Birch Aquarium at Scripps • The Fleet Science Center with IMAX • San Diego Natural History Museum • San Diego Museum of Us • Living Coast Discovery Center • The New Children's Museum • San Diego Museum of Art • San Diego Model Railroad Museum • Japanese Friendship Garden • PETCO Park Tour • San Diego Automotive Museum • Mingei International Museum Tours and Activities: • 2-Day Hop-On Hop-off Old Town San Diego Trolley • Living Coast Discovery Center • Hornblower Best of the Bay Cruise • San Diego Speed Boat Adventures • SEAL Tour San Diego • Jet Ski Rental San Diego Harbor • Pure Brewing Tastings in 3 locations • Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises • San Diego Pier Fishing • San Diego Hiking Tour • San Diego Harbor: Kayak Rental or Stand Up Paddle Board Rental • La Jolla: Kayak Rental, Snorkel Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, or Bike Rental • Coronado: Kayak Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, or Bike Rental • UTC Ice Sports Center • Speed Circuit: All Access • San Diego City & Beach Tours • 1-Hour Scooter Rental • GoCar San Diego Tours • Patriot Jet Boat Tour

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San Diego: Old Town Tales, Tacos, and Tequila

5. San Diego: Old Town Tales, Tacos, and Tequila

As the birthplace of California, Old Town San Diego has seen its fair share of history. Today, it’s also widely regarded for its restaurants, margaritas, and souvenir shops. Start your exploration at the Adobe Chapel which served both as a home and church in the 19th century. Then, you'll be treated to handmade tortillas, a world-famous dish that dates back to before Columbus landed in North America. After that, continue the tour and see one of the oldest brick buildings in Southern California, best known for its haunting ghost stories. Marvel at the wonderful examples of Victorian architecture, including San Diego's first Synagogue. The nourishment from the tortillas will be handy as you'll start a brief hike to the original European settlement on the West Coast of the U.S. You'll see the outline of some of the 18th-century structures and learn about the history of indigenous people living on this land upon the arrival of European settlers. Once back in town, visit a hundred-year-old Catholic church, followed by a stroll through a landmark cemetery with graves dating back to the 1850s. By now you might be thirsty, so take a brief walk to a local tequileria boasting a collection of thousands of bottles. Here you will learn about the many different types of tequilas and be treated to a tasting of one of the best tequilas in the world. (This sample is included as part of your tour price, but you may instead choose a margarita, beer or another beverage of your choice). You’ll bid adios here, but feel free to linger over another drink, or dig into some great Mexican food. Or, if you want to keep moving, you can continue shopping and exploring this great San Diego neighborhood.

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Urban Adventure Quest: 3-Hour Interactive Tour in San Diego

6. Urban Adventure Quest: 3-Hour Interactive Tour in San Diego

If you’re looking for a way to turn San Diego into a giant board game, try the Urban Adventure Quest. This is an interactive scavenger hunt that combines the fun of the Amazing Race with a 3-hour sightseeing tour of San Diego. Guided from any smartphone, groups make their way among well-known and overlooked gems of the city, solving clues and completing challenges while learning about local history. The adventure begins at the Waterfront Park and takes you on a well-designed course through Little Italy, the waterfront, and down to the war memorials. The tour involves approximately 2.5 miles of walking and uses the downtown transit system at one point in the game. Using a smart phone as your guide means that you can begin when you like and determine your own pace of play. Stop for a stroll in the park or gelato in Little Italy. The Quest is offered at a fixed price per group rather than per person, making this city tour/game great value for those on a budget. Points of Interest on Your Quest: • Little Italy • Maritime Museum • USS Midway • Bob Hope Memorial • "Kissing the War Goodbye" Statue

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San Diego: Self-Guided Scooter Tour of Downtown & Old Town

7. San Diego: Self-Guided Scooter Tour of Downtown & Old Town

Start your tour with a trip through historic Little Italy. Once home to the city’s Italian community, the neighborhood has now become a modern business and arts district. Make your way to the bay and see ships that explored the new world, and patrolled the waters in time of war. Then cruise down the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter which was once San Diego’s red-light district, but is now the center of the city’s nightlife.  Leave modern San Diego and take a trip through the past as you check out the beautiful Mission Hills and the historic Fort Stockton. Visit Presidio Park where see the old Spanish mission used to stand. Ride through Old town San Diego and see how the city looked in the era of the old west when its Spanish and American residents were just laying the foundation for a thriving community.

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The Gaslamp Segway® Tour of San Diego

8. The Gaslamp Segway® Tour of San Diego

Get the perfect overview of San Diego’s landmarks and history on this 2-hour Segway tour. From downtown, through the Gaslamp Quarter to the Embarcadero and waterfront, we cover the main sights of the first city in California. The Gaslamp Segway® Tour is a great introduction to San Diego. The Gaslamp district is where we started our business, and gives this tour its name. Get to know the historic heart of San Diego and see what makes the Gaslamp District home to the city’s most exciting events and nightlife, but there’s more to the tour than this charming quarter. Take in the impressive San Diego The Convention Center and breathe in Pacific air at the Seaport Pier. Enjoy a beautiful San Diego skyline view, see the USS San Diego Memorial and USS Midway on the water, check out the urban tree exhibit and Inez Parker Rose Garden, and much more! Explore San Diego by Segway to experience the sights and history of the first city in California.

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San Diego: Self Guided E-Bike Tour

9. San Diego: Self Guided E-Bike Tour

Ride with ease to the best parts of San Diego on an e-bike. Experience the iconic sights of Downtown, Balboa, and the Old Town, with plenty of time to explore all three. See all the major attractions on a prepared route, or venture out on your own. Begin your journey in San Diego's Old Town and take your time at the Maritime Museum, known for its bold restorations and interesting exhibits. Navigate through the unique Horton Plaza Mall and the Gaslamp Quarter to make your way to the rest of Downtown. Peruse Balboa Park by foot and breathe in the fresh air and beautiful sights and sounds. Take the option to enter some of the many museums or smell the roses in the Rose Garden with over 800 different varieties. Grab a bite to eat at an authentic Mexican food restaurant after meandering through many of the city's historic buildings. Visit the spookiest location, the Whaley House, named one of America's most haunted houses. Stop and take pictures, try different foods, drink and relax, and truly discover why San Diego is America's Finest City.

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San Diego: Driving Day Tour with GoCar Luxury

10. San Diego: Driving Day Tour with GoCar Luxury

See every inch of wonderful San Diego in a unique and fun way by going on the all day Everything Tour with GoCar. Let the car be your guide with onspot GPS and story telling features. See the historic Old Town, Point Loma Ecological Preserve, Ocean Beach, and so much more. Witness history at the Gaslamp Quarter, window shop at the iconic Horton Plaza, and stroll through the aromatic rose garden of Balboa Park. Find the natural beauty of the Point Loma Ecological Preserve. Wade in tide pools and see sea anemones, crabs, lobster, fish, and the occasional lucky octopus. Walk along Ocean Beach and through San Diego's famous Maritime Museum. Take in the vibe of Old Town and see how San Diego has changed over the centuries.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

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What people are saying about Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 213 reviews

The tour included eleven locations around San Diego and Coronado Island with the option to get off & reboard at your own convenience. Trolleys run approximately every half hour. Our tour guide was very informative with personality. He provided commentary throughout such as history of various buildings, neighborhoods, naval base & founding of the city. Entire trip if you didn't get off anywhere was around two hours and totaled about 26 miles. I think it was an excellent way to get a taste of the city in a short amount of time.

Very nice to see sooo much for a low price. Excellent information from all drivers. The two day option would have been even better had we had time to take advantage of it, there was so much to see and do.

Great time and a great way to see San Diego. Enjoyed all the drivers and the lunch at Fiesta de Reyes was very good.

Informative and fun! We learned a lot of info about the early days of San Diego!

Overall it was a beautiful day we spent visiting San Diego