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History buffs and margarita lovers descend upon Old Town San Diego to take a step back in time and learn about what the region looked like in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821-1872. San Diego was California's first Mexican settlement (and first mission) and the Old Town buildings (as well as Living History Days) recreate the past. Today visitors can explore the restored structures and the collection of Mexican artifacts within. Favorites include La Casa de Estudillo (a mansion built around a garden courtyard); La Casa de Machado y Stewart (which showcase ordinary life of the 1800s); the Mason Street School (California's first ...

History buffs and margarita lovers descend upon Old Town San Diego to take a step back in time and learn about what the region looked like in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821-1872. San Diego was California's first Mexican settlement (and first mission) and the Old Town buildings (as well as Living History Days) recreate the past. Today visitors can explore the restored structures and the collection of Mexican artifacts within. Favorites include La Casa de Estudillo (a mansion built around a garden courtyard); La Casa de Machado y Stewart (which showcase ordinary life of the 1800s); the Mason Street School (California's first public schoolhouse), La Casa de Machado y Silvas, the San Diego Union Printing Office (the city's oldest newspaper office), and the first brick courthouse. Additionally, the Seeley Stables Museum shows off a decent collection of wagons and carriages. Many locals trek here to get their fix of fish tacos and beers in a festive setting, while tourists traipse in and out of the many shops. Whatever your pleasure, a trip to San Diego is not complete without a visit to Old Town.

Michele Bigley
About the Expert

Michele Bigley is the author of Northern California: An Explorer's Guide and Great Destinations Kauai from Countryman Press.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Old Town San Diego State Historic Park is located in the Old Town district of San Diego and commemorates the town's history from 1820 to 1870.
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, fall, winter, spring