5 Places To Explore San Diego History
Are you a history buff? Are you visiting San Diego? San Diego has one of the richest backgrounds of any US city. Here are 5 of its best historic attractions.
San Diego is the oldest settlement on the West Coast of The United States, in addition to this the indigenous population, made up of peoples including the Kumeyaay Indians have lived in the area for over 12,000 years. The area has been the center of the gold rush, and since the second world war has been a massive military center too.
Here at Daring Penguin we have compiled a list of five of the top historical locations to check out if you want to delve into San Diego’s fascinating past.
1. San Diego History Center
First stop on any historical tour of San Diego should be the San Diego History Center. Located in Balboa Park, this museum hosts a range of temporary exhibitions that explore the diverse range of San Diego’s extensive history. As well as the exhibitions you can also visit the research library by appointment. Have a look at their events; there are lots of tours and lectures to give you a deeper understanding of the rich heritage of this city.
Casa De Balboa, Balboa Park
1649 El Prado, Suite #3
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 232- 6203
Monday - Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas
For further information please visit: http://www.sandiegohistory.org
2. The Junípero Serra Museum
The Junípero Serra Museum is in Presidio Park and is the location of the site of the first mission in San Diego. The current building was built between 1929-1929 to house the collection of the San Diego History Center. This museum is one of the most recognizable landmarks in San Diego due to its stunning architecture, and the park it sits in is beautiful, picturesque, and well worth a visit even just to visit the grounds and take in the stunning views.
2727 Presidio Drive
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 232-6203
September 7, 2015 - June 2, 2016 - Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 4pm
June 3, 2016 - September 4, 2016 - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10am to 5pm
For further information please visit: http://www.sandiego.org/members/museums/junipero-serra-museum.aspx
3. The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House
This house, located in the famous Gaslamp Quarter is the oldest house in the district. The area was bought by Alonzo Horton in 1867 in order to create a new center for San Diego near the bay. In the 1980s it was decided that the area would be refurbished in order to bring it back to its former Victorian splendor and this is what you can see today. Visitors can take a self-guided tour through the house for a small fee, or book onto a more extensive tour. The house also features on ghost tours and is rumored to be haunted. Look around this stunning house to get a peek at San Diego’s wild-west past.
410 Island Avenue
San Diego CA 92101
Tuesday through Saturday – 10am- 5pm (last tour at 4.30pm)
Sunday – 12pm - 4pm (last tour at 3.30pm)
Monday – Closed
For further information please visit http://gaslampfoundation.org/
4. USS Midway Museum
If you are downtown and a lover of the military, the sea, and ships in general, this is a must-see destination. The USS Midway Museum is an aircraft carrier and was one of the longest serving vessels in the US military in the 20th century. Visitors can explore over 60 points of interest through a self-guided audio tour narrated by real Midway sailors. There is also a special kid’s audio tour for 7-12 year olds and plenty of opportunity to clamber in and out of aircraft, see helicopters, and visit the sailor’s sleeping quarters.
910 Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101
Daily: 10am to 5pm
Last Admission at 4pm
Closed Christmas and Thanksgiving
For further information please visit http://www.midway.org
5. Cabrillo National Monument
The Cabrillo National Monument is located within the spectacular Cabrillo National Park and commemorates the moment when Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot on the West Coast of what would become the USA. The visitor’s center is a great place to go and find out more about the history of Cabrillo and his voyage. There is also the Old Port Lima Lighthouse, a Victorian lighthouse that has been restored and is open for you to explore what living in a lighthouse would have been like. There are also spectacular tide-pools to visit and an on-land whale watching station, where at the right time of year, if you keep your eyes peeled, you may be able to catch a glimpse of a gray whale during their migration.
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr
San Diego, CA 92106
9am to 5pm - except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
For further information please visit http://www.nps.gov/cabr/index.htm
We hope you have enjoyed our round up of the top places where you can experience San Diego's rich and colorful history.
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