San Diego Old Town is a historical neighborhood located in San Diego, California covering an area of 230 acres. It is known for being the place of San Diego’s first settlement as well as the first Spanish settlement in the West Coast. This community is home to many historical sites, vibrant commercial districts, early-California-style eateries, an old theater, museums and a restored landmark hotel.
San Diego Old Town is an ideal destination for those who want to travel back in time and reminisce what the old-fashioned San Diego looked and felt like. Having preserved many of its heritage sites, locals enjoy living in a setting resembling that of movie scenes.
Aside from American, San Diego Old Town was also infused with Spanish and Mexican cultures which further diversified and equally beautified this place. These two nations have made their mark by passing on traditions and festivities that are alive until today. Among the annual events in San Diego Old Town are: Cinco De Mayo every 5th of May, Dia de los Muertos every November 1 and 2, Fiesta Navidad and Las Posadas every December.
This neighborhood also offers many exciting amenities such as a wide selection of international cuisines with a highlight on Mexican food. Some of the best tacos, burritos and nachos can be found here. It also has more than a hundred boutique shops and numerous museums and historical sites that attract tourists from all over the world. Here are some of the most iconic spots in San Diego Old Town:
1. Old Town State Historic Park
It holds a collection of homes and businesses that were built in the 19th century. Visiting this place gives a glimpse of the old colonial life in California. It also has a schoolhouse and a graveyard as well as an old adobe ranch. This park is where Kit Carson raised the American flag in 1846.
2. Whaley House Museum
This museum is one among the only two haunted houses in California that was officially designated. It was constructed on a former site of gallows in 1856 and once served as the residence of Whaley Family. Later on, it was turned into the first theater in San Diego and county courthouse.
3. Casa de Estudillo
It showcases the luxurious lifestyle of a rich San Diego family. This house with 13 rooms was constructed in 1825 and was also recognized as the most famous original adobe buildings in the area. To this day, furnishings are preserved with some items being as old as 400 years.
4. Junipero Serra Museum
Located in Presidio Park, this museum is among the more popular landmarks in San Diego. It is known as the place in which California began. Not far from it is the Heritage Park which houses antiques from the Victorian era as well as restored homes from the 19th century.
The prominent character of this locale can be described as lively and historical. Its colorful past and present is reflected by the entertainment scene. There are mariachi performances happening live everyday. There are also different kinds of shows all-year round such as Fiesta de Reyes featuring the Ballet Folklorico dancers and many other world-class performers.
Check out the San Diego Maritime Museum!