Things to do in National City

As the second oldest city in San Diego County, National City will impress you with its rich historical sites as well as offering a slew of contemporary activities to partake in. Here is a list of things to do in National City, California:

Historical and Educational

San Diego Electric Railway Association (SDERA): Get a taste of what it might have been like taking the public train in the late 1800s to 1949. Visit the National City Depot, a restoration of the original train station built in 1882 and located within National City. You’ll also be able to view a few of the old streetcars that have been preserved by the association.

Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center: Part garden and part educational center, the 6.85-acre center’s aim is to promote environmental and sustainable gardening practices to adults and children. Take part in field trips, public garden tours, or drop in for a public open house as you learn about the different growing methods and produce available. The center also offers gardening and cooking classes for both adults and children.

Kimball Brothers
Kimball Brothers

Brick Row: Take a stroll through one of the historic sites right in the heart of National City. Brick Row is a one-mile street containing homes built by Frank Kimball, one of the founding brothers of National City. Kimball’s ten-unit row homes were built with the intention to house railroad workers. Brick Row is one of the few sites from National City that is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fun Things to do in National City

Pepper Park: This 5.5-acre park has a well-kept children’s playground, picnic table, and a walking path along the Sweetwater Channel. There is also a pier for fishing and boat launching.

Mile of Cars: National City’s Mile of Cars is a road with over 20 car franchise dealerships and 5,000 cars for sale. They have all the major car brands such as Ford, Honda, Toyota, Jeep, Volkswagen, and more. Drive down this impressive one-mile stretch and test-drive some of the vehicles while you’re here.

National City Public Library: More than just a catalog of books, the National City Public Library has plenty of resources from learning math and reading for adults to tutor training and computer training. Gain access to their public computers and take advantage of their two 3D printers that you can use for free. There are always events taking place in the library, such as family movie nights, game/activity nights, tech lab tutorials, and more.

Steal and Escape: A more contemporary offering, head over with some friends to plan your escape from an Escape Room. Perfect as a collaborative event—solve puzzles, answer riddles, and work under pressure to fulfill your team’s mission.

Kimball Park: Enjoy a day at this public park. Play basketball at one of their multiple courts, toss a baseball around at one of their diamond fields, or skate over to their skate park. Local events are also held at this spacious park.

Having preserved many historical buildings and artifacts is what makes National City so nostalgic and charming. From the historical sites to the contemporary offerings, National City provides a unique mixture of things to do.

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