I love history. I find it so fascinating to learn about what life was like in another time and often a different place. There are many preserved historical sites around San Diego that teach us about the history of a people who lived in this very place we live, but in a different time. Their lives have contributed to building this area into what it is today.
I think history is important and inspiring to teach our children. We can teach them history in our own families to know where they came from, who their ancestors are. And as we think of places to take our children to have some fun and important experiences, include historical sites in your list of places to visit. It gives them a sense of who they are and the importance of our contributions to society.
We have visited a few of these great historical sites recently and have learned a lot about the beginnings of San Diego. The first was Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. There are many Spanish missions in California and each one is different with its own history and contribution to the specific area it is located. The mission was a vast piece of land raising over 50,000 livestock as well as growing grapes, olives, wheat and corn. The church is recognized as the most unique and the most beautiful of the 21 missions. You can also visit the lavenderia which was used for bathing and washing clothes as well as the cemetery, the first pepper tree planted in California, and the friar’s living quarters.
The next spot on our history tour, was the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. This museum is layed out to discover the different periods of San Diego History. From the Kumeyaay Indians that first lived in the area to the first school teacher and successful business people. There are many historical photos and artifacts on display as well as a huge map of the area. Special exhibits teach about more specific historical times in San Diego and the second Tuesday of each month is free!
Lastly, we spent a morning at Rancho Guajome Adobe in Vista. This beautiful 20-room adobe house was bustling during the 1850’s cattle boom. Our tour took us through the house learning about the various rooms and the family that lived there. The house was an important place along the route to Los Angeles. A small church was built right on the property and is used today for weddings and other events.
We had a great time visiting some of the great historic sites of San Diego. Any of these sites would make a great visit with kids in 4th grade studying California history. Some other California history sites to enjoy:
Go to Old Town and stop in at the Old Town House of Jerky & Root Beer