Old Town San Diego is a true celebration of the region’s heritage. As you wander through the streets of Old Town, you will be surrounded by colorful storefronts and the aroma of San Diego’s authentic cuisine.
Go back in time as you tour one of the country’s best-preserved adobe haciendas. The Casa de Estudillo was built in 1825 provides an excellent illustration of San Diego’s roots, as well as an amazing photo op. Head to the Wells Fargo Museum to view a rare original Stagecoach before stopping by the homes of San Diego’s first newspaper and public schoolhouse. Embark on a late night ghost tour through the Whaley House, touted as one of America’s most haunted houses. Lore has it that James “Yankee Jim” Robinson’s heavy footsteps could be heard by the home’s owners. Robinson was hanged on the property.
Don’t even think of visiting San Diego without savoring the local cuisine. The area’s culinary roots are on display with over 25 restaurants within a one-mile radius. The refreshing margaritas won’t drink themselves! When you visit Old Town San Diego, you can also take food to go. Freshly cooked tortillas chips can be purchased in front of some of the neighborhood’s most popular Mexican restaurants.
Full and satisfied, drop into the unique shops and boutiques that celebrate San Diego’s heritage. Many of the shops carry skeletons and variations of Catrina, typically used in Day of the Dead altars to honor those who have passed. Sweets, artisan olive oils, and other keepsakes are also available.
Old Town San Diego also celebrates its past with the Mormon Battalion Historic Site. The site commemorates the 2,000-mile trek from Iowa to San Diego in 1847. To this day, the Mormon Battalion remains the only religiously based unit in the US Army’s history. The battalion was instrumental in the U.S.’s westward expansion. At the site, visitors can pan for gold, make bricks, enjoy an interactive theater, learn about those who served in the battalion and more.
Celebrate some of Mexico’s most popular events and holidays in Old Town. Old Town San Diego’s Cinco de Mayo festivities includes live bands, a soccer competition, and a beer garden. Dia de Los Muertos celebrations run November 1 – 2 each year.