San Diego is studded with plenty of beautiful tourist attractions such as the wonderful Zoo, the Sea World, the shopping centers, the sunny beaches and so on. Tucked away from the modern, urbane San Diego is the mesmerizing and colorful Old Town, which has its own magnetic attraction for tourists from all over the world.
Whether you are a history buff, die-hard shopper or a food lover; Old Town has something for everyone.
Old Town is known as the birthplace of California. It was here in 1769, where Father Junipero Serra laid the foundation of very first Spanish mission; the Mission San Diego. Old Town gives you an opportunity to step back in time and relish the rich and colorful history of erstwhile California.
Old Town is home to at least 27 historic building and sites, 12 art galleries, numerous specialty shops and dozens of restaurants.
Historic buildings include State Historic Park, Heritage Park, Presidio Park, Sheriff’s Museum, La Casa de Estudillo, the first Church in Old Town, La Casa de Bandini, La Casa de Altamirno Pedrorena, Mormon Battalion Visitors Center, Mason Street School and lots more.
Some of its prominent landmarks that both old and young enjoy are:
State Historic Park – State Historic Park is the most visited park in San Diego and preserves the rich heritage of San Diego from the period 1821 to 1872. The best part is that all of the museums here are free of charge for the public. It preserves many historic structures such as
Casa de Estudillo
Casa de Bandini
Old Adobe Chapel
Wells Fargo History Museum
San Diego Union Museum
First San Diego Courthouse
Black Hawk Smithy & Stable
State’s first newspaper office
Mormon Battalion Memorial Visitor’s Center
San Diego’s first school; the Mason Street Schoolhouse
Heritage Park – Heritage Park looks majestic with its cobblestone roads and beautiful archaic Victorian homes. Seven historic Victorian homes have been restored to their original magnificence here. It also consists of San Diego’s first synagogue, which now hosts weddings, receptions, and bar mitzvahs.
Whaley House – It is famed to be the most haunted house in America. In 1960, it was opened as a museum. Whether the place has ghosts or not, a visit to the Whaley house is not to be missed.
Shop, Dine and Enjoy in Old Town
Old Town is a perfect place for buying souvenirs for your family and friends. The place is packed with shops selling amazingly artistic handmade jewelry, books, sun-powered products, Mexican-style pottery, leather products and numerous other such unique ethnic items.
When in Old Town, you will never get bored. The place is full of life and buzzing with activity. Local artists here are a tourist’s delight. Plaza del Pasado in Old Town comes alive with Mariachi players strumming the sounds of Mexico, artisans demonstrating glass blowing and storytellers strolling around in period costumes.
Bazaar del Mundo is another spectacular landmark in Old Town and a visual delight for tourists. The place offers delicious Mexican cuisine, sea food, and the famous tequila-based cocktails called margaritas. Shops here are full of vibrant home décor, gifts and jewelry.
The exquisite and delicious cuisine of Old Town is another major attraction for tourists. Tourists flock to the restaurants serving authentic Mexican delicacies. Some restaurants have waitresses dressed in traditional Mexican attire. Apart from Mexican cuisine, tourists can also get a taste of variety of world cuisines ranging from Japanese, Italian, Peruvian, Creole and mouth-watering sea food. There are restaurants to suit all kinds of budgets.
A vacation in San Diego is incomplete without a visit to the colorful and vivacious Old Town. It is virtually a paradise for history lovers, shoppers and food enthusiasts. Just a single day is not enough to fully explore the town. It would be better for you to find an lodging in San Diego which is located near Old Town so that you can commute easily.