Old Town San Diego
Old Town San Diego is the historic site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California. Father Junipero Serra established the very first mission in a chain of 21 missions that were to be the cornerstone of California’s colonization. Father Serra’s mission and Presidio were built on a hillside overlooking what is known today as Old Town San Diego. At the base of the hill in the 1820’s, a small Mexican community of adobe buildings was formed and by 1835 had been denoted as El Pueblo de San Diego.
In mid 1968, the State of California established Old Town State Historic Park to preserve the rich heritage that characterized San Diego during the 1821 to 1872 period. The park includes a main plaza, exhibits, museums and living history demonstrations.
Old Town San Diego is considered the “birthplace” of California.
Historic buildings include La Casa de Estudillo, La Casa de Bandini, La Casa de Altamirno Pedrorena and the Mason Street School, San Diego’s first one room schoolhouse. Just up the hill from Old Town San Diego Historic State Park, you’ll find Heritage Park where several of San Diego’s most notable Victorian homes have been relocated and authentically restored to their original splendor. Just a short walk down San Diego Avenue is the Whaley House, an officially designated haunted house.
Old Town San Diego is home to some of San Diego’s finest Mexican Restaurants with great ambiance, live “mariachi” music, and San Diego’s best Margaritas. There is no shortage of Restaurants in this area, but our favorites include Casa de Guadalajara, The Old Town Café, and Casa de Pico.
San Diego Old Town features many shops, boutiques, and artisan stores. Bazar del Mundo is a local favorite and is a vibrant village mixed with restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. Shopping in Old Town includes candy stores, soap shops, toy stores, pottery and ceramic stores, textile stores, a tobacco store, a woodwork shop, clothing boutiques and more.