Evans Mission Bay Magazine Issue 2 - Page 40

features prominently within the Mission Bay landscape. SeaWorld’s not-to-miss aquari- um-based Ocean Explorer attraction—slated to open in late spring 2017—promises plenty of diversion. Four new rides will include a submarine excursion and a chance to soar above the park in the “wave swinger” chairs hanging from giant tentacles. When you’re ready to slow down and enjoy a meal, great options in the Mission Bay area include Draft, which offers casual beachside dining and 69 brews on tap. At Cannonball, sushi is served on a rooftop deck with long communal tables, fire pits and a poolside terrace. When it comes to fresh seafood, the restaurant also offers a raw bar and plenty of plated options. OLD TOWN The vibrant, historic quarter of Old Town is where the city got its start. Presidio Park 40 marks the location where Europe established its first permanent settlement on the Pacific coast, and it once served as both the site of San Diego’s first mission and a hillside military outpost that overlooked the deep waters of the bay. A small cluster of adobe structures was built soon after the founding that evolved into the present-day Old Town. A thriving village and marketplace flourished until a pivotal exodus of its inhabitants began during the 1860s due to flooding, high tides and the building of another settlement called New Town, which quickly eclipsed Old Town. Ruins of the original fort remain, and the area’s Spanish and Mexican heritage and culture are celebrated in the galleries and museums found there today. Make the Old Town Transit Center your base for exploration. Enjoy a free tour of the area that leaves from the visitor center, or set out on your own along a path that hits dozens of historic points of interest such as the architectural gem of La Casa de Estudillo, once the private dwelling of an influential Old Town resident; the one- room Mason Street School; a collection of beautifully restored Victorian homes; and the Old Adobe Chapel. There’s also a des- ignated State Historic Park with ongoing programs such as living history events that allow visitors to view skilled craftspeople and artisans demonstrating blacksmithing, carpentry, sewing, weaving and quilting. Ready for a spine-tingling chill or two? Old Town is also the site of the 1850 El Campo Santo Catholic cemetery, and the old Whaley House—reputed to be the most haunted house in the country. You can recover later with some shopping therapy at Plaza del Pasado, the Old Town Market and Bazaar del Mundo, where selections include beautiful handmade souvenirs. Most FROM Clockwise from top left: Belmont Park; sailing on Mission Bay; Noble Experiment speakeasy; Bazaar del Mundo; Broadway San Diego