When we think of modern San Diego’s long history, it is undeniable that it all began in Old Town. This is the spot where the very first Spanish mission was established, way back in 1769, in what is now the state of California. Within a century, a municipality developed around the original site and remained the heart of the town for about a century. Only in the 1860s did the area we now know as Downtown San Diego usurp Old Town’s place as the hub of the community. Nowadays, the neighborhood north of the main hustle and bustle of the city is well worth exploring.

Make no mistake: Old Town is still an important piece of San Diego’s sphere of influence. There are loads of sites to visit and plenty of accommodations, eateries and shopping. And naturally, there is a lot of history to see here. The beaches, theme parks and big city thrills may be what make “America’s Finest City” so famous, but you will be missing out if you don’t drive just a bit out on Interstate 5 to spend some time in this remarkable little corner of San Diego.


Like many historical locations in America, Old Town has done much to preserve its landmarks and keep bygone traditions alive for visitors to experience firsthand. Many houses have been kept in their original state, providing a tactile connection to centuries past. One is even rumored to have a ghost in residence! There is a memorial spot harking back to the Mexican-American War. And a full-on restoration village offers a window into what life was really like way back when.

On top of these preserved relics, many structures have been converted into local museums. If you think cars are the only way to get around, wait until you see the collections of vintage carriages that used to carry people over the rough country ground before asphalt was invented. An old newspaper building still stands, showing modern folks how the news was produced and distributed during an earlier time. And an original adobe chapel is still in use to this day for religious services. Come pay your respects or simply take in the antiquated scene.


If you’re into Mexican food, you’re in luck! Old Town is home to over a dozen restaurants. Many of them serve up dishes that go back decades. You’ll be hard-pressed to find more authentic south-of-the-border fare like tortillas, enchiladas and more. Many of these establishments add song and traditional dance to the mix for an experience you’ll not soon forget. Plus there are loads of musical events in Old Town all year long. Rather go shopping? Check out the scores of neighborhood stores. Unique gifts and souvenirs, funky bookshops, local jewelry and more – it’s all here to peruse or purchase.

To view the full publication, click here.


No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.