Old Town San Diego

The Old Town San Diego Historic Park is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the most visited state park in California. The park essentially preserves, maintains, and recreates the historic Old Town of San Diego from just after the Mexican War of Independence, to its Alta California period starting in 1821, through to the American period and ending in 1872, 22 years after California was officially incorporated into the Union as a state. Attractions in Old Town San Diego range from restaurants (including many popular and authentic Mexican eateries) and bars to National Historic Landmarks like the Casa de Estudillo. There are many things to do in Old Town, and there is something to suit just about everyone.

Old Town Map
Old Town Map

The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park Casa de Estudillo, also known as the Estudillo House, is an adobe house that was constructed in 1827 by Jose Maria Estudillo and his son. It was considered to be a fantastic feat of architecture and construction in Mexican California at the time, and in fact was widely believed to be the finest house in town. Nearly 200 years later, it is not only a part of the National Register of Historic Places, but is also a U.S. National Historic Landmark. It is interesting to get a peak inside this kind of place that sheds so much light on how people of the day lived and worked. This is just one of the attractions in Old Town San Diego that keep tourists engaged and interested.

Old Town Market
Old Town Market

The Whaley House is a museum and another historic landmark in Old Town San Diego. It is thought to be haunted as a number of supernatural events have been rumored to have taken place here over the years. It is a two-story Greek Revival house that was constructed by Thomas Whaley in 1857. It is a large brick home that was built for only $10,000 at the time with brick and mortar. It was one of the first examples of this kind of construction. In the middle part of the 1800s, the Whaley House was not only a gathering place for the Whaley family and their social circle, but was also the local General Store, community theater, and courthouse.

Old Town Restaurants
Old Town Restaurants

The Congregation Beth Israel is the largest and oldest Jewish congregation in San Diego. The impressive Reform synagogue was built in 1889. It is a splendid construct where over 3,700 regular members attend Temple. Its stunning architecture and historical significance make the temple one of the most frequently visited spots in the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

Old Town San Diego is much more than a couple of historic buildings recognized as landmarks by the government. Rather, it is a place set out of time that is preserved in order that we all might not forget the roots of our country and the deep and rich history that is our cultural development. The Old Town San Diego State Historic Park sheds light on how American culture took hold in southern California, offering a unique glimpse into the way of life that saw various cultures, from Mexican to European to Native American all co-mingling at the same time. The attractions in Old Town San Diego go beyond the fine eateries, gift shops, and historic landmarks. It will be a day well spent if you choose to visit as a part of your trip to San Diego.

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