This much-loved colorful neighborhood is the historic heart of San Diego. Created in 1769, Old Town San Diego was California’s first settlement with only a mission and a fort. California State Park is at the center of Old Town. Here you can experience life from the early Mexican-American period of 1821-1872 through rich living history programs. Watch forms come to life at the blacksmith and woodworker shops, and read a newspaper from the 19th century.  Wander through lush gardens or browse at one of the many specialty shops for treasures from around the world. Indulge in authentic Mexican food at one of the many restaurants or dance to the strolling mariachis. Pause to reflect at the fountain in Bazaar del Mundo and plan a day or two to visit the dozens of historic sites. Take a tour of a haunted building and spend a day at one of the many museums.