Old Town San Diego, San Diego
Old Town is a historical park , located in the center of San Diego, that keeps the feeling of the original Spanish settlement. The people who work within the park wear traditional dress so it adds to the atmosphere.
The buildings are kept in the condition they were hundreds of years ago. Many of them now house museum displays and shops. Many of them are also haunted. They also have the original cemetary within the park.
The La Casa de Estudillo is one of these buildings that is now a museum display. The Spanish style Hacienda house is set up just like it was hundreds of years ago. It is free and open to the public to take a look at how the original San Diego residents lived.
There are also early Victorian houses kept in original condition...some are Bed&Breakfast places and others are famous.
The Whaley House is on of these famous Victorian Houses, which has the distinction to be deemed "Haunted' by the US Government. They have tours of this house which costs a small fee for entrance. Many visitors have "ghost encounters" there so do not be surprised if Whaley himself makes an appearance.
The Bazaar Del Mundo also is a part of Old Town....here you will find international shops which have wares from South America and Mexico. The Bazaar always has Latin music on display and they put on displays of traditional dances in the plaza there. There are also many restuarants around the plaza with great Mexican food and wonderful margaritas.
In the streets surrounding the park are many great restuarants...most serving Mexican food and all very good. Also up the hill from Old Town is one of California's original missions located within a beautiful park that is worth a look.
Old Town is well worth the time and it's best to get there early and finsih out the day eating at one of the many great restuarants in and around the park.
Walk from Washington Street in Mission Hills to Goldfinch, Ft. Stockton to Sunset, then down the hill on Juan Street to Old Town. Stop at the Mission Hills Nursery and browse through. It was started in 1910. The neighborhood is beautiful, with great houses and gardens, the view is spectaular. Go through Heritage Park on Juan Street near the bottom of the hill. If you have the engergy, walk back up the the hill. It's good for your heart.
Old Town San Diego. As the name says, this is the old part of town. A great historical look back at the early days. A great Mexican flavor to this place adds a special quality. There are many shops and restaurants to choose from. We ate at one Mexican restaurant (forgot the name), but the food was fantastic!
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Photo is art from the Musitek Corporation Gallery. If you are interested in their art email Chris at
Artist: Thelma Speed Houston, Old town San Diego Watercolor; 12' x 18' - 1951
Heritage Village is up the hill a short distance from Old Town. When you are on San Diego Avenue going to Old Town there is a sign for the Mormon Battalion Museum. There is not a sign for the Heritage Village but it is in the park across from the Mormon Battalion museum on Juan street. Some of these nice old victorian style homes in the park are open to the public. There are shops and a bed and breakfast place there.
The old site of Fort Stockton is on the hill top for Presidio Park over looking Old Town. The Mormon Battalion was stationed in the fort. This statue of a Mormon soldier stands where the fort once was. A twin to this statue is located in the city below at the Mormon Battalion Museum.
Junipero Serra Museum and Tower Gallery is on a hill in Presidio Park above Old Town. The park and museum were a gift to the people of San Diego from a millionaire named George Marston. I am not sure that the city of San Diego is doing enough to use and keep up this wonderful gift Mr. Marston gave to them. There is one large room to the museum and I felt there was not enough there to justify the $5 admission. From the tower is a good view of the interstate highway system if you like to see miles of concrete.
The Mormon Battalion Memorial Visitors Center is not very big. A nice woman named sister Jensen took time to explain to me about how the Mormon Batallion came to be in San Diego. There is a statue there that is like the one in Presidio Park. Because of the things I learned at the visitor center I now know why the statue had a white bandolier and wore moccosins. I had camera problems so there is not a better picture than this one to put here.
Casa De Estudillo in Old Town has a walled courtyard in the center of the adobe walled structure. It is one of the best of the small museums to visit in old town. There are quite a few small one room museums among the shops in old town. There is a Wells Fargo Museum with glass cases of items and a Wells Fargo office. Black Hawk Smithy is behind the Seely stable and I saw working black smiths there. The Old Town Dental Museum is just one room set up like a dental office. There is also a one room school, an adobe home, and an old restaurant to take a look at.
Seeley Stable in Old Town has a stage coach and buggies on display. It is a museum about the cowboy side of life in old San Diego. There are quite a few museums in Old Town. Most of them are free. This is one of the best ones.
Bazaar Del Mundo in Old Town is place for shopping, dining, and listening to music. The restaurants here get busy early so consider eating mid afternoon or late at night. A few blocks from Old Town State Historic Park on San Diego Avenue are some other good places to eat. Try a churro at La Panaderia.
The Whaley House was owned by an early citizen of Old San Diego. It was first brick home in the area. There is a sad story about a woman who lived in the house. She killed herself over an affair of the heart. Now it is said that the house is haunted.
This is the old adobe chapel in old town. It is about a block east of San Diego Avenue. There is not a lot to see if you look in through the door way. If you go across the street there is a display under an awning with photos of this place and other buildings in Old Town and the people who once lived there. It is free and only takes a moment so it is worth a look if you are nearby.
Locals say there is a 'haunted house' here in San Diego. It's called the Whaley House in Old Town. I don't believe it because I went in there about 7 or 8 years ago and nothing happened to me...lol...but some people claim to have seen ghosts and what not.