Exploring historic Old Town San Diego

Last week, J and I took a sunny afternoon to explore Old Town San Diego, the original town site. It is just beneath the site of the Spanish mission, and has been refurbished to look much as it did 150 years ago.

We had been there several times for dinner (and they have some pretty good Mexican restaurants down there), but never during the day when the museums and historic sites were really open. We got there in enough time to see all three of the major museums this time, and to do the hour long guided tour, which was very useful.

Old Town great house

I learned a lot about California history, especially in the last two hundred years (it’s one of the most recent colonial sites). The site itself became popular again thanks to the novel Ramona, and a large house on the property was named “the wedding place of Ramona,” and so was preserved and now is the centerpiece of the restoration.

Old Town kitchen

The houses are set up to look like they would have in the town’s heyday, and cover a wide range of income levels. You can even see California’s first public (one room) school house, which they didn’t get until California became a state. Public education was a very American idea.

Old Town stagecoach


They also have a huge collection of western memorabilia, such as real stagecoaches, saddles, and the like. Twelve year old me would’ve had a fit to see all of that stuff, and I could feel her in there, really wanting to touch it all.

It was a very fun day, and we discovered all sorts of great shops, including places that sell loose leaf teas, homemade pickles and old fashioned candies, salsa and hot sauces, local artwork, and things I’m forgetting, plus some of the best churros I’ve had outside of Mexico.

So yeah. Come visit and we’ll go there. ^_^

(Photos from Old Town and a couple of SD Zoo trips are in this album.)

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