Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 1.5 miles; paved and cobblestone streets.
In a private section of the hotel’s restaurant, have what you like from the breakfast buffet with choices such as eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit, sweet rolls, milk, orange juice, coffee, tea, water.
In our private hotel meeting room, we will be joined by a local historian from the San Diego Historical Society for an introduction to San Diego’s history. This morning’s lecture will set the stage for our day’s field trips. We then set out on our historical journey to the sites where the city was founded beginning with San Diego de Alcala Mission. With our Group Leader, we will explore the property and visit the on-site museum. Established by the Franciscan missionary Father Junipero Serra in 1769, San Diego de Alcala was the first of 21 California Missions. We will then ride to Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, with a detour to the top of Presidio Hill for views of San Diego and the Pacific Ocean on the way. The site of the original fortifications, residents chose to live in the Presidio for protection from potential Native American attacks but moved to the base of the hill as time passed.
At a lively restaurant in Old Town, we will have a plated meal featuring traditional Mexican cuisine with iced tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.
With our Group Leader, we will stroll through Old Town, the original site of San Diego where the population grew until Mexico granted it the status of “pueblo” or chartered town. We will visit some of the most important historical buildings from that era including the stately Casa Estudillo on the main plaza, Sibley Stables that house a collection of stagecoaches, the rustic jail, and San Diego’s first schoolhouse. Old Town San Diego remained the heart of the city until the 1860s when Alonzo Horton promoted development closer to the shore, the area that became the current downtown known as the Gaslamp Quarter. Returning to downtown via motorcoach, we will be joined by a local expert for a walk to become acquainted with the Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego’s downtown since 1860. Declared a National Historic District, it is now filled with restaurants, nightclubs, theaters, galleries — and gas lamps! — as well as spicy stories and tales of haunted houses. We will also visit the Gaslamp Quarter Museum located in one of the area's first houses and the adjacent Horton Grand Hotel. The walk ends at Horton Plaza Park which has a restored landmark fountain from 1910 and the 1907 Jessop’s Street Clock. The US Grant hotel is across the street.
This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Our hotel's location in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter offers a wide array of restaurant choices.
At leisure. You might like to attend a performance from current offerings, enjoy Happy Hour at the hotel with fellow Road Scholars, or just relax.