Whaley House Museum
Historic Sites • Mysterious Sites • History Museums
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10:00 AM - 4:30 PM, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
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About
One of the most historic buildings in Old Town San Diego, the Whaley House was built in 1857 by Thomas Whaley, a San Diego pioneer, as his family home. Over the course of history the Whaley House has served as a general store, county courthouse and theater. It has been said that the Whaley House has “witnessed more history than any other building in the city.”
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.0
366 reviews
Excellent
129
Very good
100
Average
84
Poor
30
Terrible
23

Holly s
Boston, MA13 contributions
Nov. 2022 • Solo
Instead of visiting the self-guided tour during the day, I opted for the evening “Most Haunted House in America” tour. Unfortunately, it was a big disappointment. Instead of just telling a totally compelling story of the tragedy and despair of the Whaley family, the presenter spent half his time relying on gimmicks and singling out audience members for laughs.

As was promised in the advertising, little was shared about the paranormal activity researched on the Discovery Channel. And, I think the presenter gave a different account of Yankee Jim who was killed at the site. I visited Jim’s grave in the cemetery down the street and read that account, but, you should check for yourself.

Although tickets were only $20, I think the audience, the Whaley family and house deserve better. The company behind this tour should seriously consider rewriting its script to tell a truly haunting story.
Written November 10, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello, We were sorry to read you did not enjoy your time on the Whaley House Museum evening tour. We offer a satisfaction guarantee located on the customer service page of our website, trolley tours dot com, under the subheading "our guarantee".
Written November 17, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

sandyhoy
Bridgend, UK16 contributions
Nov. 2022 • Family
What a complete waste of money! Two minute talk and then left to walk around an old house with a few flickering lightbulbs,
Written November 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello, We were sorry to read your visit to the Whaley House Museum did not meet your expectations. We offer a satisfaction guarantee located on the customer service page of our website, trolley tours dot com, under the subheading "our guarantee".
Written November 17, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Julie R
11 contributions
Nov. 2021 • Family
Loved it! I am an old soul and this was right up my alley. You do a self guided tour thru the house at your own pace.
Written October 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Laurie M
San Jacinto, CA5 contributions
Aug. 2022 • Family
We had a great time!! Shep was our tour guide, fantastic! Wasn’t expecting “experiences”, but if they happened, that would be cool. In the parlor, my sister had an issue trying to catch her breath. I walked out of the house, and noticed a big blood blister on my arm. I have NO idea how it happened. No pain, nothing! (Has something like this, happened to anyone else?? Would do this tour again!!
Written August 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dylan
4 contributions
Aug. 2022
The tour was pretty informative about the history of that area and early San Diego, and some of the original artifacts and rooms are still in perfect condition. We didn't experience any ghosts but I felt as though I got my moneys worth just out of the tour.
Written August 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

George
Sunderland, UK8 contributions
Jul. 2022 • Friends
Really confused how this museum rates so highly. As a group we were quite nervous whilst waiting to enter however it was disappointing from the introduction.

The tour guide introduced the place at the fastest of paces meaning that information was missed. Also, the museum is very staged with flickering lights and artificial scents meaning that it automatically loses any form of integrity.

We could forgive all of that if the museum had any substance which it didn’t. There were about 5 information placards spread out over the 3 rooms. We asked the ticket office when waiting how long the tour would last which he answered about 30 minutes… honestly we were in and out within 5 minutes.

If visiting get a picture of the outside and save your $14 entrance fee.
Written July 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you @gc19932022 for visiting the Whaley House Museum. Our Daytime Self-Guided Tours allow guests to enjoy the museum at their leisure with a brief introduction to start them off. As guests explore the museum, we've installed informational text panels to help folks become familiar with the history and family. We definitely recommend folks to check out some the images on these wonderful panels. Of course, guests can always chat with any of our helpful history tellers roaming the museum. To help with the ambiance we do have flicker lights but, interestingly enough, we don't have any artificial scents--perhaps you may have had an encounter! We are very sorry you did not enjoy your experience with us. Perhaps you might enjoy our Evening Guided Tour, a 30 minute guided tour with one of our history tellers guided you room by room with the history and mystery of the Whaley House. Thank you for your comments. It is observations like yours that helps us provide a better service and we do hope that your next experience is a more positive one. We offer a satisfaction guarantee located on the customer service page of our website, trolley tours dot com, under the subheading "our guarantee".
Written July 14, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kelly
Phoenix, AZ9 contributions
Jun. 2022
We did the ghost tour. It was fun to see the house and hear its "spooky stories" from the guide. However, the house did not feel very spooky. It felt pretty rushed compared to similar tours I've done elsewhere. You didn't get much time to look around inside, but rather moved room to room hearing short stories about the past residents. I don't necessarily think it was worth the price, but our guide was great.
Written June 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anita Destino
Denver, CO17 contributions
Jun. 2022 • Couples
This was a fun last minute decision to go on a tour. Bullet, our tour guide, was FANTASTIC!!! He made the tour more fun. We took lots of pictures but i haven't had time to view them yet.
Written June 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

THE-TW0-BEES
Phenix City, AL695 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
So much history, going back to the 1800's. The house has many original pieces and still has a fully functioning courtroom. Everyone is friendly and more than willing to answer questions. Though it is said to be the most haunted house in America, we did not encounter any paranormal activity. But I did find a flower that I've never seen before while visiting the beautiful grounds. Enjoy!
Written June 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GitchSup
Duluth, MN1,465 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
We went here while visiting Old Town and I’m glad we stopped. If you enjoy history this is worthwhile. The court room is actually functioning and was set to hold a trial not long after our visit. There are family portraits throughout the house and tons of information about the Whaley’s and the land the house sits on, which was originally where public hangings took place. It is said to be haunted, but we didn’t have any occurrences during our visit.
Written May 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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WHALEY HOUSE MUSEUM (San Diego) - 2022 What to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Whaley House Museum

Whaley House Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Sun - Sat 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Whaley House Museum tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 9 Whaley House Museum tours on Tripadvisor

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