Your Destination Guide to San Diego

Destination Guide San Diego - Your Destination Guide to San Diego, CA

Join the Community

Log In

Historical and Cultural

Historical and Cultural
Historical and Cultural

© Richard O. Barry

The cultural spice of modern day San Diego is flavored by a colorful and prominent past. From the original palate of Old Town's Adobe buildings and Victorian homes to the gritty gambling halls and brothels of New Town, (now revived as the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter) San Diego's charm is her willingness to retain her character. As a cultural response to the Great Depression, several buildings inspired by Native Indian themes were launched in Balboa Park to help invigorate and encourage the city. Today, San Diego is filled with eclectic, historical, and sometimes off-beat attractions guaranteed to satisfy the tastebuds of anyone's cultural hunger.

San Diego | Historical and Cultural

Botanical Building
Cabrillo National Monument
Centro Cultural de la Raza
  • Centro Cultural de la Raza
  • The Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park is a multidisciplinary cultural arts center with the goal of promoting, preserving, and providing education on Chicano, native Mexican, Latin American, and Native American art and culture.
  • View More >
Chula Vista Nature Center
Coronado Bridge
  • Coronado Bridge
  • Connecting the two miles that separate San Diego from Coronado Island is the Coronado Bridge, a prominent landmark in San Diego County. Located near the San Diego airport, it is often one of the first sights tourists see and locals recognize as they fly into San Diego.
  • View More >
Del Mar Racetrack
  • Del Mar Racetrack
  • Legendary crooner Bing Crosby sang Del Mar Race Track to life with six simple words: "Where the turf meets the surf." In a time when San Diego was largely undeveloped, Crosby and friends concocted a plan to turn the balmy beachside community of Del Mar into a freewheeling summertime playground.
  • View More >
Gaslamp Quarter
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • No visit to San Diego should be attempted without visiting the Gaslamp Quarter, the city's historic downtown neighborhood, now home to many of the city's finest restaurants, a plethora of pubs and nightclubs, theaters, galleries, and at least 100 retail shops.
  • View More >
Hotel Del Coronado
  • Hotel Del Coronado
  • This legendary beachfront resort fuses contemporary comfort with historical charm. The Hotel del Coronado offers something for everyone: world-class spas, decadent dining, an impressive guestbook,...
  • View More >
Marston House
  • Marston House
  • An outstanding and unsurpassed example of the Arts and Crafts architectural movement of the early 20th Century, the Marston House is situated on five acres of landscaped grounds with a formal English Romantic garden.
  • View More >
Mission Basilica
  • Mission Basilica
  • More than 200 years old, Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala is the birthplace of Christianity in the far West.
  • View More >
Mission San Luis Rey
  • Mission San Luis Rey
  • "King of the Missions" aptly describes Mission San Luis Rey de Francia. Of the 21 missions sprinkled along California's coastline, it is the biggest in size and was remarkable for its productivity and large population.
  • View More >
Old Town Trolley
  • Old Town Trolley
  • All aboard! Avoid the stress of parking and traffic through the best way to view any city...while someone else is driving. Painted orange and (environmentally friendly) green in color, the San Diego Trolley is a fun way to see California's birthplace.
  • View More >
Olympic Training Center
  • Olympic Training Center
  • Olympic athletes are busy year-round at the ARCO U.S. Olympic Training Center, an all-weather, 150-acre complex, one of just four official Olympic Training Centers in the country.
  • View More >
Palomar Observatory
  • Palomar Observatory
  • In 1930, famous American astronomer George Ellery Hale chose Palomar Mountain as the ideal spot in northern San Diego County to gaze into the sparkling night sky.
  • View More >
Qualcomm Stadium
  • Qualcomm Stadium
  • Where many freeways that span San Diego County converge is the massive 166-acre site of Qualcomm Stadium. Since its construction in 1965 for $27 million, Qualcomm has been home to the SDSU Aztec football team, the San Diego Padres, the 1998 Superbowl, and the San Diego Chargers.
  • View More >
Seaport Village
  • Seaport Village
  • Seaport Village along the Embarcadero includes 14 waterfront acres that recreate a historic harbor setting, combined with modern landscaping including ponds, lakes, and fountains.
  • View More >
Spanish Landing
  • Spanish Landing
  • San Diego's Spanish Landing is the axis where generations of history intersect, where reverence for the past co-exists with a celebration of the present. Spanish Landing Park marks the site where two of the most influential Spanish voyages to California converged.
  • View More >
Spanish Village Art Center
Star of India
  • Star of India
  • This is the third century she's seen, and she's still looking good. The Star of India is the oldest active ship in the world, currently registered and docked in San Diego Harbor.
  • View More >
Villa Montezuma
  • Villa Montezuma
  • Villa Montezuma is both a vestige of San Diego's boomtown days and a testimony to the eccentric genius who built it. The house showcases highlights of the ornate Queen Anne/Late Victorian style of architecture with colonnades, towers and imposing facades.
  • View More >
Whaley House
  • Whaley House
  • The historically significant Whaley House in Old Town San Diego is or is not haunted by ghosts, who may or may not be friendly. The Travel Channel named the Whaley House the nation's most haunted, and numerous visitors have reported seeing ghosts.
  • View More >


  • 75°
  • A Few Clouds
A Few Clouds