A historic city, San Diego can be traced back to the original Californian settlers, a Native American tribe which called themselves the Kumeyaay. After the Spanish explored the area, the tribe was referred to as Diegueño, and the original residents of the area retreated to the hills surrounding what is now San Diego. The district of Old Town San Diego is often referred to as the birthplace of California as it was the site of the first permanent Spanish settlement in the state. Here, St. Junipero Serra started the first of his Alta California Catholic missions, starting what would be the foundation of Californian civilization.
Old Town State Historic Park, more commonly known as Old Town San Diego, was established in 1968 to preserve and protect the history of this wondrous district. Many historic buildings like the city's first one room schoolhouse, Mason Street School, as well as the 1825 Casa de Estudillo, one of the most beautiful adobe haciendas in California. Old Town is also home to several museums such as the Wells Fargo Museum holding a rare original stagecoach, the designated haunted Whaley House Museum Complex open for tours, and the Serra Museum housing the San Diego History Center.
The area of Old Town San Diego is not an archaic collection of ancient clustered buildings but a celebration of the past, of the city's origins and the birth of California. Beautiful Spanish architecture lines the streets, historic landmarks decorate the parks, and modern shops set on cobblestone roads attract tourists from all over the world. Sample a taste of authentic Mexico at the Casa de Reyes restaurant, see amazing productions at the Old Town Theater, or stay in luxury on the remarkably memorable streets of Old Town in one of the historically relevant hotels.