A visit to Old Town gives you an authentic glimpse into life of a small Spanish Community, known as the “Birthplace” of California. First settled in 1769 Old Town San Diego was incorporated and became a city in 1850. In 1968 Old Town San Diego became a state historic park. As historical places in the United States should be and this one is FREE. The entry is free, most of the tours are free and those that aren’t — like the Whaley House — are $10 or under. Children and adults have fun playing games that were played 100 years ago and these are free activities for adults and children. The food is excellent in all of the restaurants and around every corner you will find fun and gain a lot of historical knowledge.
These are just a few of the things you will experience when you visit Old Town.
The Church of Immaculate Conception opened for worship on July 22, 1917 and has been in continuous operations since that time.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel was the ” IN” place to see and be seen in the 1870s. It is also considered to be one of the most important buildings in California. A cultural mosaic. The lower level is a Mexican adobe structure dating from 1827 and the upper wood-framed structure was added between the years of 1869 and 1888. It is said to be “nothing short of a cultural mosaic”. People from many different cultures “built it, lived there, worked there, visited there, partied there and died there.” A $6.5 million dollar restoration was competed in 2010 and it is now used for parties, corporate dinners, and weddings.
The Colorado House was originally a hotel. The building here is a reconstruction of the 1860 original. Today it is furnished as an historic Wells Fargo agent’s office. One of the famous 30 coaches shipped to Wells Fargo in 1867 is featured. Stage coaches began passing through San Diego in 1857. If you visit Old Town in July or August you can be part of Stagecoach Days which take place four Saturdays in July and August.
Break time! Anybody for the Margarita Sampler?
Other historic buildings and a sad donkey.
The La Casa de Estudillo was of particular interest to me not only because it is a magnificent structure with period furnishings but because its restoration was funded by John D. Spreckels. best known as the sugar magnate. He was also an entrepreneur whose business ventures included the Hotel del Coronado and the San Diego and Arizona Railway. Upon his death he was eulogized as “One of America’s few great Empire Builders who invested millions to turn a struggling, bankrupt village into the beautiful and cosmopolitan city San Diego is today.” When I first came to California my first job was located in the Spreckels’ building which housed a theater and still serves as office building and theater today.
La Casa de Estudillo was built 1825 by Don Jose Antonio de Estudillo, a Spanish aristocrat. During the American occupation in 1846 it became a sanctuary for women and children. It has 13consecutively arranged rooms that are connected by an exterior corridor.
Time for lunch and then a little shopping. Shopping is the best…. all things Mexican, most things hand made.