55: Old Town San Diego

(Walking into Old Town.)

Yesterday morning I went to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.  I wanted to visit Old Town on previous trips to San Diego but didn’t get around to it.  I’m glad it finally happened.  It was interesting and I learned a few things, always a nice combination.

(La Casa de Estudillo)

One of the first things I noticed was the wonderful landscaping.  There were all kinds of trees (including palm trees), cacti and other succulents (including the Century Plant which I’ve written about before and is responsible for some of the visitors that come to my blog via search engine), and a wide variety of flowers.

(Cactus graffiti)

I guess people will carve their names wherever they can, including on greenery with sharp thorns.

(Iron jail cell behind the courthouse.)

In case you want to go, don’t pick a Monday.  Many of the exhibits are closed on Mondays.  Also, don’t go before 10:00am because, it seems, nothing opens until 10am.  You can walk around Old Town and the plaza and look from the outside which is what I did at first.

There were several groups of schoolchildren there, with their teachers.  That got me to thinking of school field trips and how I didn’t truly appreciate some of the historic places we visited on school outings.

As an adult I think I’ve more than made up for my lack of interest as a child.  When M and I were on our sabbatical adventures we even revisited places we were forced taken to see while in school.

Old Town San Diego is a chance to learn a little about life during the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872.  There is a small core of restored historic buildings complimented by reconstructed sites.  La Casa de Estudillo pictured above the cactus graffiti is one of the restored buildings.  It was built in 1829 and restored by the California State Parks system in  1969.

(The Commercial Restaurant.  No food or drink allowed.)

(Inside the Commercial Restaurant — a recreation.)

They have living history exhibits on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, and museums to explore.

I would like to stay at the Cosmopolitan Hotel sometime.  It looks like an interesting place.   They have 10 rooms with authentic furnishings and decor from the 1870’s.  The restaurant serves a modern take on foods from the period.

Outside of the park you will find lots of shops and restaurants.  If I’d had more time, I would have explored Old Town some more.  Maybe next time.

We woke up to heavy fog this morning.  They called it a “marine event” on the weather report.  Clouds and fog rolled in off the ocean, wrapping everything in mist.

(Morning fog.)

After a big breakfast (which I’ll tell you about in another post), M and I took an early morning walk on the beach and out to Crystal Pier.  M took off for the conference and I went out for a long walk/run to help work off some more of the feast I devoured for my morning meal.  It may end up being lunch too, as I’m still too full to even consider more food.


The fog has burned off.  There are still a few clouds on the horizon but mostly it’s another beautiful, blue-sky day.

(Green Flash sculpture.  Belmont Park.)

As soon as I finish posting this I’m heading back out for another walk and some reading time on the beach.  I’ll think about lunch later.  Maybe.

16 Comments on “55: Old Town San Diego”

  1. Karma says:

    You have really shared some great shots of San Diego. I like your eye for details, like the graffiti on the cactus – who would think to scratch a name on a plant? So strange!
    It is funny about the field trips we didn’t appreciate as children. Around here, it was always “Eh, can you believe we have to go to Old Sturbridge Village AGAIN???” – and then I ended up working there for 6 years!

  2. Wow everything looks spick and span, I wonder if it was really so clean and tidy?
    I like the ‘marine event’ I’ll quote that next time I’m at the coast.

    • Robin says:

      Historically, I’m guessing it was not (so clean and tidy), Mrs. UHDD.

      I like “marine event” too. I think I can apply that to the rain and snow we get from the Great Lakes.

  3. Kathy says:

    Have never been to Old Town. Fascinating to read and look at the pictures. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Marianne says:

    Very interesting! Great shot of the fog. Looks like a glorious day.

  5. sherri says:

    Love the morning fog and the beach. Looks like a beautiful place to visit. Definitely the first time I’ve ever seen graffiti on a cactus.

  6. Kala says:

    Beautiful images. The morning fog over the water really stands out.

  7. Kel says:

    cute little graffiti succulents

  8. Bo Mackison says:

    Oh, Old Town San Diego is just the kind of place I’d love to see. How lovely is the restaurant re-creation, but I think I’ll pass on a stay in the local jail. Eeeek!

    • Robin says:

      Old Town looks like your kind of place, Bo. 🙂

      I wish I’d been able to see a bit more of it. Going on a Monday and too early plus time constraints limited the visit.

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