Mormon Battalion Historic Site, San Diego

4.6
Visit the stomping grounds--quite literally--of a Mormon military unit from the Mexican-American War at Mormon Battalion Historic Site. Unique for being the only religion-based military unit in American history, this battalion included roughly 550 volunteers led by Mormon officers. The battalion is well-known for its gruelling march of almost 3,219 km (2,000 mi) from Iowa to San Diego. The site reveals the historic significance of the march and the battalion's triumphs through a series of interactive exhibits. Animation, video, and costumed actors enhance the guided tours, led dutifully by knowledgeable staff. Plan my day in San Diego using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.
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Mormon Battalion Historic Site Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
866 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Some good history of the Mormon Church and the Mormon Battalion's contributions to building the Santa Fe Trail and the city of San Diego. Well-produced guided tour.  more »
  • Its open from 9am-9pm.Its very well thought out and realization is even better.Loved or tour guide which was very knowledgable.Lots of intereactive content and staff dressed as in the old days.  more »
  • We went with my family. My brother is not a member of the church. Everyone, enjoyed the place, the stories, and the way that is set-up. It is very fun to listen how this brave people crossed the USA a...  more »
Google
  • Really interesting historical aspect of San Diego (and US history). The facilities are really nice (bathrooms are super clean and great AC for a hot day). They take you through a semi augmented reality experience of what it would be like to go back in time and be a part of the US army as a battalion member. You also can get a free black and white picture (see ours in the pictures I uploaded) to make you look like the old time period. My wife and I had fun. It’s super interesting to see how Mormons we’re a part of the founding of San Diego. Also, you can pan for gold! If you’re lucky, you might find some (it’s iron pyrite aka fools gold), but it’s still fun to get your hands wet and pretend. Fun for kids. They let us keep one piece. If you don’t mind them putting in a little pitch for their belief in Jesus, it is really worth while. They aren’t pushy at all, but if you have questions about spirituality, religion or Mormons, they’ll be more than happy to answer 😉. Oh there is also a great lookout with binoculars. They have really put some thought into this place.
  • Our family was visiting from out of town. Friendly guides walk you through re-enactments, viewed on screen, of actual LDS history. Our boys loved it. One of our boys was chosen to dress up like the soldiers did back then. At the end of the tour, we were able to have an 'old fashioned' looking picture taken of our family. Then, we were able to 'mine and sift' for fool's gold. Each of our boys were able to keep one piece.
  • We love stopping here and have been twice in the last 5 years. Bathrooms are clean and the short interactive free tour is fun for everyone even children. At the end you can pan for gold and go to the top tower where there are binoculars for viewing. The missionaries are very nice. I recommend this for anyone in the area.
  • A great place to go and learn some San Diego history. Especially good for kids with interactive displays and a pretty impressive walk through immersion of the pioneer experience. Kids can dress up as a pioneer soldier, pan for gold, and get vintage pictures taken. Best of all it is completely free!!!
  • Interesting interactive telling of the story behind the Mormon Battalion. See artifacts from the original members of the Battalion, let the kids pan for gold, see how bricks were made. Wonderful to see the faith of those men and women in the Battalion required to decide to walk 2000 miles across the undeveloped mid 19th century United States/Mexico. Worth the visit and bring the family!
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