“Old Town San Diego is considered the “birthplace” of California. San Diego is the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in California.” – OldTownSanDiego.com
I’ve lived in San Diego for over 5 years, but one thing I love about the city is the huge variety of things to do. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Old Town, so after a nice lunch with my mom and the kids we sat for a second pondering how to spend the day. Someone suggested Old Town, so off we go.
We started by exploring the Presidio. Properly named The Junipero Serra Museum, this historical mission lies in Presidio Park, overlooking Old Town with a fantastic panorama of San Diego. This location is known as the site where not only San Diego, but California, began. After strolling around the mission, we took our time wandering through the grassy park and through to some rugged trails along the hill. These sandy trails where a photographers dream. Every few yards we would pass interesting plants, vivid wild flowers, trees, and cacti… nevermind the view of the city. Wrapping around the hill, we were dumped into an open, grassy park. The park was surrounded by gorgeous houses, where I found my perfect house. A classic style white home, with black shutters, a giant patio on the second story and colorful flowers lining the driveway. I never knew this dreamy little nook of San Diego existed. We laid for a while on the cushy grass and soaked in the sun. There were a few families picnicking and a small white wedding being set up across the way. Feeling relaxed, we made our way through a “secret pathway” Kiyah found. Passing various statues and memorials along the way, we made our way back to the car through tiny trails in the brush.
Once in Old Town, we spent the afternoon popping in and out of the old-fashioned shops and museums. There are loads of historic sites here. We perused the gem store admiring the jewelry, fingering the smooth stones. We flipped though historical books and maps in the book store. We watched the tin-maker, the blacksmith, and the candle-maker. We scoped out all the folk art, Mexican hand-painted tiles, ceramic dolls and many other spanish-inspired goods. The tea and coffee shop overwhelmed us with scent and the candy shop was impossible to pass up with its homemade fudge and salt-water taffy.
Candy, coffee, and a new hat in tow, we decided to call it a day. It’s nice to be a tourist in my own city; it’s easy to forget its charms during the routine of work, errands, and random social events. Days like this remind me why I love San Diego so much.