My husband & I planned a short road trip which included spending 2 days in San Diego for the 4th of July. We found a hotel on the Internet called the Old Town Inn which was inexpensive but clean, comfortable and within walking distance of Old Town and the trolleys to take you to other parts of the city.
The day we arrived we walked to Old Town where they were having a Old Time Picnic with square dancing, a cake walk and pie eating contest. We had to give it a try at the square dancing and ended up going left when we were supposed to go right. We visited all the shops in Old Town and bought a ceramic statue at one of them and a bag of tea at another. The buildings were interesting with little museums and memorbilia from the past. The shops and restaurants surrounded a beautiful park where you could sit and enjoy the festivities along with a demonstration in black powder anvil explosions...a lot of noise but fun.
Back to the hotel and a walk to catch the trolley to Seaport Village. Wish we would have had more time there as there were museums and many shops to explore. The views of the harbor were beautiful in the setting sun. Seaport Village was busy with thousands of people staking out a place to enjoy the fireworks. We actually found a great place out on a little pier. Three barges shot fireworks from the water so we didn't know which direction to look with our "ohhhs and ahhhs." Amazing display!
Next day we drove to Cabrillo National Monment which sits on a peninsula and separates the harbor from the Pacific Ocean. It was about a 15 minute drive from the hotel. There are so many places to visit in San Diego so we chose a few that would fit into our time slot. Cabrillo was a good chioce...views of the San Diego Harbor and the skyline. The hiking trails took us past tide pools and remnants of WWII buildings. The scenery was spectacular and included the historic Point Loma Lighthouse.
On the drive back we stopped at the Fort Rosecrans Cemetary...a military cemetary situated on the peninsula and located between the Pacific and San Diego Bay. There were graves dating back to the Battle of San Pasqual shortly after the U.S. declared war on Mexico in 1846. Fort Rosecrans Cemetary became a National Cemetary in 1934.
In the evening we returned to Old Town and had dinner at a small outdoor restaurant named "The Living Room." Food was good and we visited some of the shops in Old Town.
Last day in San Diego before heading home so we decided to take a drive north to visit San Juan Capistrano. Less than an hour drive from our hotel, we reached the walls of the mission. This was the 7th of 21 missions built when the Spanish financed expeditions to expand their empire. When entering the complex you are faced with beautiful gardens and fountains. They supply an audio tour for each visitor in English, Spanish, German, Italian and in Vietnamese. As you walk the grounds at your own pace, you can listen to the history and stories of San Juan Capistrano.