If you want to create some special memories this summer, take a trip to Old Town in San Diego. This cultural and historical treasure in the heart of the city features countless points of interest. From the eclectic restaurants and shops to the historic buildings and museums, there is something for everyone. Summertime is especially exciting in Old Town because of the special events that allow visitors to see the past come alive.
Take a Leap Back in Time
The greatest aspect of Old Town is its nonstop celebration of history. In the summer, you can really witness what life in the past was like. Every Saturday throughout July and August, the Stagecoach Days demonstrate frontier life through interesting displays and presentations. On Wednesdays and Saturdays during Old Town’s Living History events, you can watch reenactments of various activities from the 1800s.
You can also experience a bit of early San Diego life at the Old Town 4th of July celebration. A colorful parade, fireworks, unique foods, games, wagon rides and pie-eating contests make this event as extraordinary as the day it honors. For even more old-fashioned fun, bring the family to Twainfest at Old Town State Historic Park in mid-August. This tribute to Mark Twain features live entertainment, poetry readings, period games and storytelling.
Cast Your Cares Away
It’s easy to lose yourself in Old Town’s beautiful and relaxing atmosphere. Spend the afternoon picnicking in Presidio or Heritage Park, stroll through the peaceful historical cemetery or shop for some mementos at the Saturday Market. On July 10 and 11, check out the chocolate and jewelry event at Bazaar del Mundo Shops. Talented chocolatiers and jewelry makers will present delicious treats and creative accessories to purchase.
If you’re looking for some excitement while you’re in Old Town, don’t miss the Latin American Festival in August. It’s a three day party honoring Mexican culture and art, complete with musicians, artisan demonstrations, authentic regional cuisine and a lively marketplace. After the festivities, stop by Casa Guadalajara for a giant margarita. The spectacular décor, quaint outdoor courtyard and energetic mariachi band are truly remarkable.
Discover a Rich and Colorful History
This fascinating San Diego neighborhood is an adventure waiting to happen. There are so many original structures to explore, and each has its own tales to tell. You’ll find a large collection of businesses and homes, including the first San Diego courthouse and schoolhouse, the Sheriff’s Museum and the Old Adobe Chapel. Just walking from building to building is amusing because you never know what you’ll come across.
You also should check out the Mormon Battalion Historic Site. The architecture and stunning outdoor landscape is amazing, but the stories behind the Battalion are even more incredible. The center includes interactive exhibits, video tours and enjoyable activities for the entire family. You can even pan for gold and take some nuggets as keepsakes. There is also an on-site Flag Day commemoration and reception honoring Veterans.
Learn What the History Books Don’t Teach
Taking a guided tour is the best way to get the scoop on this intriguing section of San Diego. The Old Town Trolley Tours provide multiple ways to enjoy all the sites. Friendly, knowledgeable and insightful guides will show you all the important aspects of the area, and they’ll add humor and anecdotes to keep things interesting. The Old Town Historic State Park tour is one option that will be worth your time.
Another memorable experience is the Ghost Tour of Whaley House. The Greek Revival design of this museum and the history behind its use are truly impressive, but it’s the paranormal activity at the house that is really exciting. You can go on a ghost hunting tour of the property and listen to stories about the people who lived there. As you walk from room to room, be prepared to see, hear and feel some very strange things.
Enjoy the West Coast Ambiance
To soak in Old Town’s summertime energy, explore some of the open-air shops. At the Old Town Market and Bazaar del Mundo you’ll find handmade Mexican trinkets, clothing, home décor and artwork. After you fill your bags with souvenirs, stop by Café Coyote, La Pinata or Casa de Reyes for some bona fide Mexican cuisine. Top off your dining experience and make the kids happy at Korky’s Ice Cream & Coffee.
San Diego is a dynamic and diverse city, and Old Town is the best place to discover the story behind this gorgeous coastal area. You’ll get to revisit history while dining, shopping and sightseeing. With an endless amount of sites and experiences for people of all ages, this eclectic little piece of California history will leave a lasting impression.
Mission Valley Resort