Gay San Diego – Old Town
Just over the hill from Hillcrest, on the far side of the Mission Hills District and just north of the airport, Old Town San Diego exudes an unexpected charm – what could have been just another tourist trap filled with plastic doohickeys emblazoned with an Old Town Logo somehow instead manages to be a vibrant, colorful visit to San Diego’s Mexican roots.
Nestled against Mission Hills, Old Town is “The Birthplace of California”. Father Junipero Serra established the first California mission here in 1769, and a small community began to form around Father Serra’s Mission and Presidio in the 1820’s. By 1835, the town had become known as El Pueblo de San Diego, and in 1846 the American flag was first raised here. For more on the history, see the Old Town History Page.
There are a number of things to do here – we’ll cover them under several headings, starting with the History. There are a lot of historical plaques scattered about Old Town, and of course there’s the wonderful Mexican Mission architecture that’s in evidence everywhere.
But there are also sites dedicated to historical preservation, including the Wells Fargo History Museum, once a hotel, saloon, and gaming palour, where you can take money out of a modern Wells Fargo ATM in front of a beautiful, restored historic Wells Fargo coach – a nice mix of the now and the then. There’s also a large painting of what the town looked like originally – a great visual aid to the imagination.
This post originally appeared on the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog.