San Diego/Old Town-Mission Valley

Mission San Diego de Alcala

The birthplace of San Diego, Old Town is now a popular tourist district of historic buildings and Mexican-themed shops and restaurants sitting at the foot of Mission Valley, a major commercial center lining the San Diego River that is home to several shopping centers, Qualcomm Stadium (home of the San Diego Chargers), and the Mission San Diego de Alcala, the oldest of the California missions.

Get in

By car

Mission Valley is strung along I-8 and several interstates intersect with I-8 through the valley, making access by car relatively easy. Old Town is located just off the intersection of I-5 and I-8 at the western end of the valley, SR-163 intersects I-8 near the Fashion Valley shopping center, and I-805, and I-15 cross I-8 in the eastern part of the valley near Qualcomm Stadium.

Getting through Mission Valley in a car is quite painless, given the large boulevards and numerous parking lots. However, finding a`place to park in Old Town can be a real drag. Even Mission Valley's large roads can get clogged with traffic during rush hours, Chargers games, and the holiday shopping season when shoppers flock to Mission Valley's many retail outlets.

By public transit

The   Old Town Transit Center (at 4005 Taylor St, near the intersection of Taylor Street and Pacific Highway at the northwest corner of Old Town) and the Fashion Valley shopping center in Mission Valley are hubs for many local Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) bus routes. In addition, the Old Town Transit Center serves the COASTER, a commuter rail service which runs north along the coast of San Diego County to Oceanside, and certain Amtrak Pacific Surfliner trains (check the schedule, as not all trains stop in Old Town).

The San Diego Trolley, a light rail service operated by the MTS, runs through Old Town and Mission Valley. The Green Line comes up from Downtown and stops at the Old Town Transit Center before turning east and heading through Mission Valley (making stops at all the shopping centers, Qualcomm Stadium, and the Mission San Diego), then continuing east past SDSU out to El Cajon and Santee.


Casa de Estudillo, Old Town

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

A historic district which encompasses most of Old Town and many of the area's original Spanish structures from when the settlement was founded in the 18th century. The park is around nine square blocks, or almost 30 acres, and can be toured with or without a guide.


Qualcomm Stadium


Mission Valley is a major shopping hub for the entire region, with several large shopping centers and many big-box stores and retail outlets.

Old Town offers many different places to shop. There are over 100 stores in Old Town State Historic Park.


Old Town not only offers great Mexican delicacies it also offers many other types of food like Italian or even some Irish Pubs. If you are planning on going during the weekend leave plenty of time because it will get crowded. Or, try to make reservations if the restaurant will take them.

Old Town

Mission Valley


Mission Valley


Houses at Heritage Park in Old Town

Most of the hotels in this area are of the chain variety, located along Interstates 5 or 8 and loudly proclaiming their proximity to Old Town as well as Sea World in nearby Mission Bay. Hotel Circle, located along I-8 in the western part of Mission Valley, is home to a large number of basic chain hotels.


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, November 21, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.