Old Town – Where San Diego Began
Some believe that Old Town San Diego is considered the “birthplace” of California. In 1769, Father Junipero Serra established the first mission of many that would be the beginning of California’s colonization. Old Town offers the original and reconstructed buildings that illustrate San Diego from the 1800’s. Old Town recreates the Californian life during the years of 1821-1872.
In 1968, the State of California Department of Parks and Recreation established Old Town Historic Park to preserve the heritage of this area. A main plaza, museums, and living history demonstrations are located in the park.
La Casa de Estudillo, La Casa de Bandini, La Casa de Altamirano Pedrorena, and the Mason Street School are some of the historic buildings in Old Town. Mason Street School is San Diego’s first one room schoolhouse. Up the hill from Old Town San Diego Historic Park, Herritage Park contains some of San Diego’s Victorian homes which have been restored to their original looks. On San Diego Avenue, there is an official haunted house, the Whaley House. The first Church in Old Town is Little Adobe Chapel on Conde Street.
Old Town allows visitors to step back into time to the early nineteenth century. There is a great variety of interesting retail shops — taffy shops, places to make-your-own candles, gourmet foods, book stores, historic reproductions, leather shops, cigars stores, and more! Old Town San Diego has something for the entire family to enjoy in a quaint setting — historic sites, authentic cuisine, and unique shopping.
Robinson James McCoy House
Casa de Wrightington
San Diego house
Casa Machado Silvas
Racine & Larame Tobacco Store
First Brick Courthouse
Mason Street School
Casa Machado y Stewart
San Diego Union
Casa de Pedreoena
Casa de Estudillo
Casa de Bandini
Immaculate Conception Church
Derby Pendleton House
Little Adobe Chapel
El Campo Carillo
Casa Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant
Jack & Guilio’s Italian Restaurant
Finding Old Town
Exit at Old Town Avenue off the I-5, turn Left at Old Town Ave. Take 3rd left onto San Diego Ave.
A closer look into Old Town is part of our new series called Sights of San Diego, check back each week for a new local discovery!