Spend the Day in Old Poway Park

Steam Locomotives, Free Museums, and Open Space!

By Courtney Daly-Pavone June 13, 2019

Fall in Love with San Diego's Best Kept Secret! 

I recently went on a trek to Old Poway Park with my family. I wasn't expecting much, but our son loves trains and I had to meet someone in the area. We were shocked to stumble upon what resembled an early 1900's village smack in the middle of suburban Poway!

The Poway Midland Railroad Steam Locomotive may have drawn us to the park, but we discovered so much more! 

History 101-Poway

In 1948 a retired army colonel John S. Porter moved to Poway with a dream to transform it to the old west.  Porter purchased property which is now Old Poway park, and began his dream project. His first main purchases were a 1907 Baldwin No. 3 Steam Engine and a half-mile track. He later created The Poway Village and Rattlesnake Creek Railroad which would host special events like the Fourth of July celebration and Poway Days. Unfortunately, Porter passed away in 1979, but the city of Poway bought the land and completed the project and established Old Poway Park.

Free Museums in the Park

The Nelson Homestead is a historic home located inside Old Poway Park it belonged to the Nelson family in the 1800's,  and is filled with antiques like early home telephones, coffee grinders and a self-playing piano. The City of Poway acquired the homestead, and moved it to the park. Other attractions include Overshiner’s Blacksmith Shop which has yarn making demonstrations, there's even a turn-of-the-twentieth-century style gazebo. The Heritage Museum educates the public on the history of Poway from the Kumeyaay Native Americans to its current residents. 

Old Poway Park sits on five acres and was styled after the Teddy Roosevelt National Park System.  It's perfect for picnics, parties, and weddings. There's even a Farmer's Market every Saturday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, and lots of celebrations take place at the park throughout the year including an Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration that attracts 10,000 visitors!

You Can Easily Spend The Day Here!

Grab a bite to eat in Old Poway Park at The Hamburger Factory  

We had juicy burgers and cool drinks in this fun, kitchy restaurant that's also entertaining to the eye. 

Kids will love the arcade, telephone booth, and loads of gags. Parents will admire the view of the park from the restaurants brightly lit dining area. The Hamburger Factory has a burger for every taste bud with 17 varieties of hamburgers on the menu. It's known as Poway's family friendly restaurant for a reason. They have a kids menu, plenty of things for children to do before their meal arrives, and it's the perfect place to end your visit to this hidden gem!

For More Information Visit:

Hamburger Factory Tel. (858) 486-4575 


Address: 14134 Midland Rd, Poway, CA 92064

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