Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by lmkluque
  • Things to Do
    by lmkluque
  • Things to Do
    by lmkluque

Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Things to Do

  • Bazaar del Mundo

    I know this isn't the "Restaurant Tips" Section, I just wanted to show you the best place to be sitting when the free performances begin. We'll have a great view of the stage from Casa De Pico's patio. Let's sit at a table near the wall and order a Margarita! Update: The free performances I spoke of will be no more, after May 2005. I don't know...

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  • The Patio at Fiesta de Reyes

    I know this isn't the "Restaurant Tips" Section, I just wanted to show you the best place to be sitting when the free performances begin.We'll have a great view of the stage from Casa De Pico's patio. Let's sit at a table near the wall and order a Margarita!Update:The free performances I spoke of will be no more, after May 2005. I don't know...

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  • Take A Walk Through Presidio Park

    There is a lovely expanse of park area in Old Town just behind Fiesta de Reyes. Most tourists miss it, but if you are traveling with children who need to run off some excess energy or if you'd rather a picnic on the lawn, this is a place to be. There are little surprises hidden throughout the park, this is one of several statues placed in various...

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  • Visitor's Center

    Headquarters for the park is located in the Robinson-Rose House at the north/west corner of the town square. The house was built in the Spring of 1850 by a Texas lawyer, James Robinson. The San Diego Herald, the San Diego and Gila Railroad offices were not the only offices James and his family shared their home with. When James died his wife sold...

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  • What a Lovey Way to Spend an Afternoon!

    Perfect timing! The show begins.What could be a better Must See than this? A sunny day, great food, yummy drink, energetic music and a friend to share it with!These performances are offered several times a day in the summer and on weekends in winter.Update:So much for this tip too. The bad news is that the original Bazaar del Mundo will be closing...

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  • Where It All Ends!!

    El Campo Santo Cemetery in Old Town began in 1849. This Roman Catholic cemetery had over 400 buried. It is a small place now, but part of the original cemetery is located underneath the street and sidewalks of San Diego Avenue! Thousands of stories have been told of feeling icy chills, cars not starting once parked in front of the walls, and actual...

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  • La Casa De Estudillo

    As a school girl, third grade I think it was, I came to this place and was told it was "Ramona's Marriage Place." Helen Hunt Jackson had written a novel called "Ramona" and it was believed that the chapal in Casa de Estudillo was the location Ramona said her vows. Since that time it was discovered that the chaple mentioned in the book was located a...

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  • Commercial Restaurant

    This was originally the home of Jose Antonio Nicasio Silvas, his wife Maria Antonia Juliana Machado and their six children. Though the family moved to El Rosario, their ranch in Baja California, the house remained in family hands until 1933.The building survived the 1872 fire and over the years was used for several different purposes including...

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  • Plaza Del Pasado

    Bazaar del Mundo has been replaced by Plaza del Pasado and I went there to see the changes.The difference was so shocking that I just stood there, staring, mouth open and even I forgot to take a picture! A lady standing near me must have recognized my reaction because she said, "I don't like it!"Guess, I was standing at the entrance too long in my...

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  • A bit of Color!

    Either this is something new or it had just blended in with the Bazar del Mundo look so, I hadn't noticed it before.At the entrance of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park three of these colorful kiosks stand. The items offered for sale are not quite unique and can also be found in many of the shops in Old Town. However, it is near the "Old Town...

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  • Bazaar Del Mundo Carriage Entrance

    This is the entrance to Bazar del Mundo, (Bazaar of the World.) In this section of Old Town you will find a "newer" addition, constructed in the late 1960's and created to boost interest in Old Town. It is a colorful place, with shops selling all kinds of things from around the world, thus the name. In the Bazar del Mundo courtyard there is a stage...

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  • Junipero Serra Museum ~Presidio Park...

    It was here in 1769 that a Spanish Franciscan missionary, Father Junípero Serra, with a group of soldiers led by Gaspar de Portolá, established Alta California’s first mission and presidio (fort).On July 16, 1769, near the site where the museum now stands, Fr. Serra founded the Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Often confused for the Mission, the Serra...

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Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Restaurants

  • This Has Replaced Casa De Pico

    Though Casa de Reyes occupied the same space that Casa de Pico had, the difference was immediately noticable. The bright, colorful umbrellas, which covered each table on the patio, has been replaced by a few beige tarps spanning the patio. The over all effect is that the whole area seems much more subdued and much less festiveUpdate:Finally! Good...

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  • House of Juan Bandini

    Juan Bandini came from Peru to San Diego in 1819. His home, La Casa de Bandini was completed ten years later and he lived there with his wife, daughter of Capitan Jose Maria Estudillo, the commander of the Presidio, until Bandini sold the home in the early 1850's. Since that time the building has served as a hotel, a store and even a pickle...

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  • So Many Items to Choose from!

    Casa de Pico is my favorite restaurant in Old Town. There are many other very good places for a meal. What makes it my favorite? The fantastic memories I have of sharing a meal with a friend? Spending the evening laughing with friends? Oh, the stories I could tell. Yes, this restaurant is a fun place to eat and I like the atmostphere here. Many...

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  • Hidden Oasis

    We didn't dine here, but we could see they had a very lovely patio area that looked so inviting. We looked at the menu and they had quite a good selection.

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  • Fiesta!

    Fiesta de Reyes is a huge courtyard of restaurants, activities, and shops. We walked into here to look for a bite to eat, but it was way too crowded. Yet, it has lots of choices to eat, shop, and just sit and enjoy the entertainment of music being performed.

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  • Dine among the blooms!

    When we were here last, pretty much all the places were really busy and the lines at all the restaurants were out the door or just way too long. So we walked to this place to give it a try and they sat us right away. We sat on a lovely patio with a beautiful lattice about our heads just covered in beautiful dark pink and red blooms. The fragrance...

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Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Nightlife

  • Order the Margarita

    Margaritas are delicious here and they come in so many sizes!Old Town isn't a place for late night parties, most restaurants and bars close by 10 p.m. Casa Guadalajara does close early, but is such a lively place I suggest you try it for an evening. The food is good, full service bar making great cocktails and after the dinner hour Mariachis play...

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  • Only at the Restaurants!

    There is nothing much in the way of nightlife in Old Town San Diego State Historical Park as the only places that remain open past 5:00 p.m. are it's restaurants.Casa de Bandini serves great cocktails and for an intimate evening of converstaion with a friend or loved one, the portico would be an ideal place to stop. On one side of the entrance...

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  • More Hauntings!

    I didn't "see" a ghost, but honestly felt a presence. Could it just be my imagination? The Whaley house, might be considered Americas Most Haunted House, it is not the only haunted structure around Old Town or even San Diego. Robinson-Rose House, El Campo Santo Cemetery, Casa de Bandini, El Fandango, Casa de Estudillo, even the Star of India, are...

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Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Transportation

  • Parking Lots Surround the Park

    Driving is the easiest way to get to Old Town San Diego State Historical Park, but once you get there you may have to circle the various parking lots numerous times before finding an open space. Especially during holidays and the summer this popular visitors site is very crowded. There are several parking lots surrounding the Park on the east and...

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  • San Diego Trolley--Blue Line

    San Diego Trolley--Blue line--will take you to the Old Town Trolley Station which is just a couple of blocks from Old Town San Diego State Historical Park. This station is also a hub for many of the buses in the San Diego area. So, if your hotel is not near the SD Ttrolley line, you can take a bus either to the nearest Trolley station or directly...

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  • Old Town Trolley Tours

    The Old Town Trolley Tours bus makes a stop in Old Town San Diego State Historical Park. It is an expensive form of transportation, but not so expensive as taking a taxi. The convenience of being guided to the most interesting spots in and around San Diego might be worth the cost to some people. Old Town San Diego State Historical Park is one of...

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Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Shopping

  • Bazaar del Mundo

    There are things from all over the world to buy here, of course you do know that "del mundo" means "of the world." The court yard in Bazaar del Mundo is surrounded by at least sixteen shops selling, from exotic lands, items such as clothes, books, children's toys, cooking ware, chimes, garden accessories and here you'll find several good...

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  • They Have Relocated!

    There are things from all over the world to buy here, of course you do know that "del mundo" means "of the world."The court yard in Bazaar del Mundo is surrounded by at least sixteen shops selling, from exotic lands, items such as clothes, books, children's toys, cooking ware, chimes, garden accessories and here you'll find several good...

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  • Gems, Rocks and Fossils!

    Miner's Gems and Minerals is housed in the historic home of Don Miguel de Pedrorena (Junior) built in 1869.Now it is home to the Miner's Gems & Minerals shop. I am not particularly interested in rocks and such but know that many people are so I suggest a stop in this historic building. They offer samples from all over the world but also things that...

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Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Local Customs

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    by lmkluque Updated Dec 8, 2013

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    As with many of the most interesting tourist spots in San Diego, Old Town San Diego State Historical Park is popular with the residents also. The bad news is that this means that parking is a royal pain, but the good news is that a trolley station is just a block or so away.

    Right now, a controversial legal war is being battled in our court system over the fate of Bazaar del Mundo. Seems that another--out of state--company has made a bid for the section of the park that has been established as Bazaar Del Mundo for the last 32 years. The new company has grand plans to re-do things in a more "western" motif and the big concern of the locals is that we will trade great things for mediocre things.

    As an example, Casa de Bandini is now a wonderful Mexican restaurant, with authentic Mexican food. It could be turned back into a hotel and it's restaurant, along with the other popular restaurants around, could have their delicious, authentic dishes changed into undistinguished "chain-restaurant-typical

    Of course, this would go a long way towards repelling local visitors, who know where to get a mediocre-chain-restaurant meal at much lower prices.

    Update:

    All that did happen and the company changed everything! It was a disaster and eventually they bailed out. A new, local group took over the lease, brought back the festive vibe and again it's a pain to find a parking space! We are all delighted and more so because the SD Trolley is still an option.

    The Casa de Bandini is now the Cosmopolitan Hotel.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Off The Beaten Path

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    Active Dig

    by lmkluque Updated May 2, 2012

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    Mission San Diego de Alcala is an active neighborhood parish located at:

    10818 San Diego Mission Road
    San Diego, CA 92108-2429

    The Mission is also open to the public. There is a nominal donation requested, $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for children under twelve. This donation is paid at the Gift Shop
    which is open 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. daily.

    Along with religious articles, the gift shop sells some interesting books and pamplets on the subject of the Mission and about the history of the San Diego area as well.

    There isn't much to see at the archaeological site on Church grounds, but over the years the dig has developed and a foundation is now visible.

    A self-guided audio tour is offered for a small charge for those who are interested in specific dates and detailed facts of history. The tape is not really necessary to enjoy the general historical significance found at the Mission.

    Time needed to spend here wouldn't be much more than an hour or so--unless you want to include a mass as well as a tour.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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Old Town San Diego State Historical Park Favorites

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    by lmkluque Updated May 2, 2012

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    Favorite thing: Sorry the map is a bit crooked. Here are marked, the location of the Old Town Cottages, a Liquor/Deli a block away and the direction of the offices to the Old Town Cottages.

    The streets colored brown are Old Town State Park and the other streets are Old Town. The freeway exit is a few blocks away, very convenient, but not so close as to create a noise issue.

    Click on map for a clearer view.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

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