The cultural anchor of San Diego’s original Old Town neighbourhood, the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park provides a unique chance to experience early Mexican-American life along the West Coast from 1821 to 1872. History comes alive, with original and re-created buildings depicting everyday coastal California life, work and crafts.
The historic plaza cradles five original adobe structures, now home to museums, cafes and gift shops, as well as historic buildings such as an early American buildings, the city’s first schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop and the city’s first newspaper office. Favourite reconstructions are the 19th century Seeley Stables with old-West waggons and horse-drawn buggies, and the re-created 1850 Colorado House with a stage stop and telegraph office.
Interstates 5 and 8 meet in the Old Town area for easy access to the park, which spreads along San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street. The Old Town Transit Center sits adjacent to the park, with transportation via the San Diego Trolley, the Coaster commuter train and several MTS bus routes. Parking is free at the transit centre as well as at the state park.
The park depicts the merging of cultures from San Diego’s days as a Mexican pueblo and then an American settlement after the Mexican-American War, offering a fascinating glimpse into California’s evolution. Within three years of its designation as a state park in 1968, Old Town San Diego State Park became a California Historical Landmark and received a listing on the National Register of Historic Places.