Old Town San Diego State Historic Park [CA]
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park presents the opportunity to experience the history of early San Diego by providing a connection to the past. Visitors can learn about life in the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872, as converging cultures transformed San Diego from a Mexican pueblo to an American settlement. The core of restored original historic buildings from the interpretive period are complemented by reconstructed sites, along with early 20th-century buildings designed in the same mode. The Historic Plaza remains a gathering place for community events and historic activity. Five original adobe buildings are part of the historic park, which includes museums, unique retail shops, and several restaurants. La Casa de Estudillo is a mansion built around a garden courtyard. La Casa de Machado y Stewart is full of artifacts that reflect ordinary life of the period. Some of the other historic buildings include the Mason Street School (California's first public schoolhouse), La Casa de Machado y Silvas, the San Diego Union Printing Office (site of the city's oldest surviving newspaper office), and the first brick courthouse. The Seeley Stables Museum, with newly rehabilitated exhibits on overland transportation, houses one of the finest wagon and carriage collections. Visitors can experience a working blacksmith shop, enjoy music, see or touch the park's burros, and engage in activities that represent early San Diego.
The park offers exhibits, tours, living history events and programs, and other recreational and educational events.