Once home to California’s original people, the Kumeyaay, Old Town was discovered by Juan Rodriguez 1542. The Spanish explorer was immediately drawn to the area and its people. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that the Spanish built their first permanent settlement in California. In 1769, Father Junipero Serra established the first church in a California, named Mission Basilica San Diego de Alaca. This mission was to become the first in a chain of missions that served as the foundation of California’s Spanish colonization.
Trolley busses have become an increasingly popular way to see all of Old Town’s most famous attractions. Old Town Trolley Tours offer San Diego’s only on-and-off tours and feature spirited narration by expert tour conductors. You can enjoy all the sites in Old Town from the comfort of a trolley, including the legendary Whaley House, often regarded as the most haunted house in America.
While aboard the trolley, you will enjoy humorous stories and shocking history lessons. After your tour, you can enjoy a meal at one of many Mexican restaurants on the main drag, many of which feature handmade tortillas and seemingly endless lists of pure agave tequilas. Whether by foot or by trolley, Old Town San Diego historic Park can’t be missed. As the most visited park in the state, it spans many periods of rule and features a historic livery & blacksmith, an antique stagecoach, original adobe haciendas, and the first public schoolhouse in San Diego.