Sometimes you don’t have to travel very far to escape to another time and place.
This afternoon I needed to get out of the house and, in less than thirty minutes, I was back in the 1800’s in Old Town San Diego. It’s where the earliest settlers sank their roots and formed what would eventually become the city of San Diego. If you’re really interested in a brief overview of San Diego’s early days, you can read about it on the Old Town San Diego State Historical Park’s website.
I enjoy Old Town because of some of its historical architecture—fully restored adobe buildings and some of the typical “wild west”-style wood frame merchant buildings—and for its vibrant, international flair. Between the open air restaurants with their tantalizing aromas of great Mexican food or the shops with the hand-painted ceramic tiles or the vendor carts with their garish kitsch, Old Town San Diego stimulates your senses. Just be open to take it all in.
Old Town San Diego is quite popular with the tourist crowd, so it’s a great place to people watch under the shade of a tree on the square or the awning of a storefront.
It was a fun afternoon escape. Check it out one day.
What You Need to Know
Location: The heart of Old Town is at Twiggs Street and San Diego Avenue, and extends for several blocks in all directions (see map below).
Hours: Hours vary by business.
Cost: Old Town San Diego State Historical Park is free.
Tips: Parking in Old Town can be a challenge at any time of day or night. There are free parking lots at the Old Town San Diego SHP, and there is street parking. There are also privately operated pay parking lots in the neighborhood. The best way, however, to avoid parking issues is to take the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (SDMTS) Green Line Trolley to the Old Town Transit Center. Cross the street and you’re in the state park.
Click to see full-sized photos.