Set Current Location
Don Miguel T. de Pedrorena, a man of Spanish descent, relocated to the United States from Madrid, Spain. A man educated at Oxford, he became a leader in social life and public affairs. During the Mexican-American War, Pedrorena served as a captain for the United States military. He buried one of the two remaining cannons from Fort Guijarros underneath his house or in the patio behind the house. After he died, his son-in-law Jose Antonio Altamirano raised his family here. Altamirano relocated his family from their former house next door, which became the first home of the San Diego Union. - Erick Pettersen
The Haunted San Diego Tour tells some of the scariest stories about San Diego’s secret past. Guides tell a variety of stories they admit to taking a little bit of creative license to tell. While they respect historic accuracy, they want to keep the story-telling lively and the tour fun. During the Haunted San Diego tour, tourists will discover if ghosts of madams and gunslingers, such as Ida Bailey and Wyatt Earp, haunt historic San Diego hotels. The Haunted San Diego Tour includes entrance into some but not all sites, so they recommend anyone who plans to join them be in physical walking condition. - Erick Pettersen
Visit the building that was utilized for San Diego's first public school. It still hosts wooden desks and old textbooks. Also on display are pictures of former schoolmarms. When visiting the school, be sure to count the lashes! A list of offenses and the number of lashings given as punishment are detailed on site. Two lashes were given for arriving at school with an unclean face. Eight lashes were the punishment for swearing. Intrigued to see the rest of the list? Catch a glimpse of San Diego's educational past at this attraction.
A prime example of early Mexican architecture, this stucco dwelling, Casa de Estudillo was originally built as the home of Mexican Army Officer Jose Maria Estudillo. Abandoned in the 18th century, historians of San Diego restored the house in 1910. Located in Old Town near many other historic sites to see in this area where San Diego first began. There is no admission fee, so it makes a great place to take the children to learn about the city's history. Admission is free.
While visiting Old Town, be sure to take time to step into the past. Maintained by the San Diego County Department of Parks & Recreation, these stately Victorian homes the Heritage Park were moved to this site during the '40s in order to protect them for generations to come. The area includes Senlis Cottage 1896, Sherman-Gilbert House 1887, Italiante Christian House 1889, Queen Anne McConaughy House 1887, Stick Eastlake Burton House 1887, Classic Revival Temple Beth Israel 1889, Classic revival and the oldest Jewish temple in the city.
This adobe-walled cemetery, now a restful stop for visitors of the bustling Old Town area, was first established in 1849 as a private burial place for then prominent San Diego elite. Since then, it has held the remains of all those dearly departed, from outlaws to the parish priest. One story tells of an Antonio Garra, who was the Chief of the San Luis Rey Indians, who rebelled against the settlers in 1880. He was apparently executed, then buried on this site but not before being forced to dig his own grave!
History, food and fun are all within easy walking distance of the Old Town. Father Serra established the first mission here more than 225 years ago; Kit Carson helped to raise the first American flag in 1846. Now there are 37 restaurants and entertainment is abundant with artisans, dancers, galleries, hotels, mariachis, professional theatre and shops. Most restaurants and shops accept major credit cards. You can access this area from Interstate-5 by taking the Old Town Avenue exit, driving east and turning left on San Diego Avenue.