Mission San Diego de Alcalá
We started the day with a visit to California’s first mission, the Mission San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769. The history of this National Historical Landmark is fascinating. The mission was abandoned after the Mexican government secularized the mission in 1834 and occupied by the U.S. cavalry after 1846. In 1862, President Lincoln returned ownership to the Church, which used it as an Indian school until 1907. During the 1940s, the mission buildings were reconstructed. Today, the mission is an active parish church and a museum open for visitors. The mission and the surroundings are serene and beautiful.
Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Afterward, we visited the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, established in 1968. It occupies the site where the city was founded. This popular park is a living history museum that preserves buildings from the 19th century when the area still belonged to Mexico. With all the Mexican products, foods, art, and music, it is evident that the Mexican culture never left after California became part of the United States of America.