86 San Diego Visitor Guide Fall/Winter 2016
San Diego is rich with blasts
from the past, ranging from
scenic parks full of architectural
wonders and historical buildings
to museums, missions and
monuments, each with an
enticing story to tell.
OLD TOWN SAN DIEGO
STATE HISTORIC PARK
Get a glimpse of life in the 1800s by
exploring the 17 museums and historical
sites within this compelling landmark,
part of the first Spanish settlement on the
U.S. West Coast. The 12-acre park features
colorful shops, exciting eateries and early
architecture like Casa de Estudillo, a 13-
room adobe hacienda with 16th- to 20th-
century furnishings. Free living history
tours are offered at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.
San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street, Old Town
Land was set aside by civic leaders
for a city park back in 1868, but
the 1915 Panama–California
Exposition, San Diego’s first World’s
Fair, triggered its development into
the world’s largest urban cultural
park. Home to 17 museums, eight
gardens, astounding architecture
and a world-famous zoo, the 1,200-
acre park is often referred to as the
Smithsonian of the West.
HISTORIC HOTEL DEL CORONADO
Built in 1888, this legendary
oceanfront hotel has more
than 125 years of tales to tell,
having hosted princes and
presidents, movie stars and
millionaires, and luminaries
like Lindbergh, Lucille Ball and
Desi Arnaz, and Marilyn Monroe.
The Victorian hotel enchants
with signature red turrets and
wedding-cake trim, rose gardens,
fairy-tale ballrooms, and crown
chandeliers designed by Wizard
of Oz scribe L. Frank Baum.
A replica of the San Salvador, the ship Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo
sailed when he first made landfall in San Diego, can be viewed
at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. sdmaritime.org
Hotel del Coronado
SEAPORT VILLAGE HISTORIC CAROUSEL
Built by master wood-carver Charles I. D.
Looff in 1895, this popular attraction features
54 animals and two horse-drawn chariots.
817 W. Harbor Drive, Seaport Village
CABRILLO NATIONAL MONUMENT
Visiting this expansive park is like a history
lesson and nature expedition rolled into one.
Learn about Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo’s historic
16th-century landing, tour the Old Point Loma
Lighthouse and keeper’s quarters, see sweeping
harbor and city views along the Bayside Trail,
and spot sea creatures in the tide pools at low tide.
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive, Point Loma
Established in 1769, California’s first mission,
Mission San Diego de Alcalá (10818 San
Diego Mission Road) was named after Saint
Didacus of Alcalá, more commonly known
as San Diego. Oceanside’s Mission San Luis
Rey (4050 Mission Ave.), known as the “King
of the Missions,” is the largest in California.
Its beautiful wooden cupola and dome were
constructed from pine trees brought down
from Palomar Mountain.