Old Town, San Diego
Here is the Bazar Del Mundo. Many folks who hate shopping and soulvenirs would hate this place. Picture the husbands sitting on benches while they wait. I rather enjoyed the shops because they are unique to the area. Not entirely authentic with local crafts the way they used to be, but lots of good stuff can still be found here. It is certainly attracting plenty of people, which the Old Town district did not come close to years ago. There are places to eat and outdoor entertainment from time to time...lots of lush gardens everywhere...and I found it all around quite charming. Guess it depends on your point of view.
Not all Mexican Souvenirs at old town are really mexican, careful not to buy a made in china. Many souvenirs are the same ones you can Find in Tjuana and Rosarito for a lot less $ so, be aware if you plan Cross the border wait to buy them there, if you think something is too expensive, that because it probably really is over-priced in comparision with the price in Mexico.
Unique Suggestions: Well if you can't go To Mexico a good place to eat Mexican Food is Old town, "Enchiladas" are a Must.
And Mexican souveniers if you are not in Mexico is up to you;
The same item in USA: $20.00dllrs in Mexico $5.00dllrs
Fun Alternatives: If you are in san Diego A Visit to Tijuana could be a good option, safe in the day, not too expensive, and at less than 20minutes from SD downtown to Tijuana.
This used to be called Bazaar del Mundo. A company from the east coast (Delaware Company) outbid the people who had it for 30 years. It was a very popular place to eat and shop. It was a very colorful place with a Mexican theme, where there was music and dance on weekends. It is now supposed to reflect "early California." It doesn't. It's just boring, unless you like beige. San Diegans and frequent visitors are boycotting it. Don't go there.
The message I received about this comment was probably from someone connected with it.
UPDATE: The Delaware Company takeover was a total failure at the old Bazaar del Mundo as the "vibes" were gone when it took over. A new owner is taking over. The jury is still out on that one. It's "wait and see" if they can bring the good "vibes" back.
Unique Suggestions: Go across the street to the Guadalajara Restaurant and the new Bazaar del Mundo. Most of the shops from the old Bazaar are there as well as entertainment on weekends. Or go to the other part of Old Town, east of the State Park where there are more shops and restaurants.
Fun Alternatives: I do recommend going to Old Town, the state park. There are lots of other areas to shop and eat, and much historical information about the history of early San Diego.
Old Town: It is a tourist trap, but it also provides some interesting history of San Diego, and some great Mexican restaurants. There is a coffee cart just as you are about to enter the bazzaar that serves a great 'Mexican' cafe mocha (mocha w/cinnamon).