San Diego Summer Fun- 2019

Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Panoramic

For as long as I can remember, summer has always been my favorite season! It could be that my Birthday is on July 1st, but to be honest, I think it is more than that. You see, my favorite place on this Earth is the beach. So can you think of a better time to visit the beach but in summer? Me neither! Join my daughters and me and see where we explored during our San Diego Summer of 2019!

The Best  Summer Possible!

Heermans gulls encinitas moonlight beach
Heerman’s gulls on Moonlight Beach

This San Diego Summer I wanted to make it super special because it was the last summer with my girls before they are both off to college.

My eldest daughter has been in college for two years already and came home for the summer, but my youngest was just about to start. I have been a stay at home Mom for over twenty years, so the thought of not have any children home puts the panic of God into me.

However, I was not going to let my anxiety of missing my kids get in the way of us having the best San Diego summer possible.

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California Super Bloom at San Onofre

Trestles Beach April 2019 California Super Bloom

Over three weeks ago, I had the supreme pleasure of taking the opportunity to get out and see what was happening on the coast of North County San Diego. Amidst all of the rain that we got this winter season, I was extremely excited to see how all of the plants on the coast looked. Did the California super bloom affect the coast?

So I grabbed my backpack and filled it with plant ID books, my iPad, water, sunscreen and ran out the door.  Well maybe not running, but I was super excited!

My two daughters and I headed first to Trestles Beach Trail and afterward, doubled back and explored Bluffs Beach at San Onofre State Beach.  I have to say, what I saw, took my breath away.

San Onofre State Beach Google Map
Trestles Beach Trail to the north- San Onofre Bluff Campground south

Ok, are you ready to check out all of the plants at San Onofre State Beach in North County San Diego!

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Best Surfing Beaches in San Diego

Surfing Lowers Best Surfing Beaches in San Diego

San Diego has a long history of surf culture. Several of San Diego’s beaches are infamous because of this culture (Old Man’s, Windansea, Tourmaline Surfing Park). Today I would like to list some of the best surfing beaches in San Diego. It is important to note that I will be covering the entire San Diego County, starting North.

Swami Stooge best surfing beaches in San Diego
The ‘Cardiff Kook’ is placed right before downtown Encinitas

To add a bit of semblance to this list, I will be adding a linked google map to each site. I will also be specifying the wave type and direction, which swell/ wind combination works best, the reliability of the location as well as any additional information that I find interesting or have written about in a prior post.

Swamis surfing sign best surfing beaches in San Diego
This sign is located right near Swami’s, in Encinitas

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Five Best San Diego Beaches You Must Visit!

South Ponto Best San Diego Beaches

Do you love the beach as much as me? Have you ever been to San Diego? With over 70 miles of coastline, San Diego has some of the most ravishing beaches in the world!

Well, today I would like to give you my short list of the five best San Diego beaches that you have to visit if you are ever down here!

I have written extensively about each area prior, so for more information click on the appropriate link. I have also included a short video for each site to help you get a ‘real’ feel for each beach. Please have a look!

#Click on any photo to see a larger version.

Top 5 Best San Diego Beaches

San Diego County Map Google Map

I would first like to state, that I am covering the entire San Diego County, (that is where the 70 miles of coast refers to.) I will be listing exciting things to do at each location.

Ready? Let’s go!


Trestles- San Onofre State Beach

Trestle Beach San Dunes Best San Diego Beaches

3929 S El Camino Real, San Clemente

Video of Trestles

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Coast to Crest Trail-San Dieguito Lagoon

San Dieguito River Del Mar

A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of going down to the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar to go walking on the Coast to Crest Trail.  Did you know that San Diego County has six coastal lagoons? The San Dieguito Lagoon is the largest of them all.

You see, this past year, I have been having a blast visiting all of the San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers, and this was the last lagoon to visit on my list.

Coast to Crest trail sign Del Mar

Walking the Coast to Crest Trail at the San Dieguito Lagoon

The San Dieguito Lagoon is located in North County San Diego and is 21 miles north of Downtown San Diego. The lagoon is part of the San Dieguito River Park which spans over 92,000 acres!

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La Jolla Coast Walk Trail-Let’s Go!

I am ashamed to admit, that even though I have been living in the San Diego area for over 30 years, I have never heard of, much less been on, the La Jolla Coast Walk Trail.

Do not get me wrong, because I have been up and down the coast of La Jolla (pronounced La Hoya) more times than I can count. It is one of my most revered areas in San Diego hands down.  So when I came across this hiking trail while researching, I knew that I must go! Would you like to join me on a tour of the La Jolla Coast Trail?

Before we start our tour, I would like to mention that I have written extensively about walking the La Jolla coastline in a previous post- Let’s Take a La Jolla Coast Walk.

But to be fair, that post only concentrated on the area just west of Downtown La Jolla and ended at The Cave Store. Today I would like to continue the hike, by following the path past The Cave Store and walking on the official La Jolla Coast Walk Trail. Confusing? Well, I sure hope not after you finish reading this!

Ready?

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San Diego Bay Cruises-Get on the Water!

Hornblower 2 San Diego Bay Cruises

So are you visiting San Diego and want to experience the water? I know of a great way of doing just that, but without getting seasick. May I suggest to you, a San Diego Bay cruise?

I believe that there is no better way to enjoy the saltwater environment than being on it. After doing a little research, I found some exciting cruises. Take a look for yourself, at the wide variety of San Diego Bay cruises that are available.

It should be noted before I begin, that I will only be listing San Diego Bay cruises, not whale watching or fishing tours as I have written about both extensively. If you would like more information regarding whales or fish, please refer to the two previous posts that I have linked.

Let’s now see all of the San Diego Bay cruises and which one is best for you, shall we?

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Mission Bay Cruises-Get On The Water!

Sailboat Mission Bay Cruises

One of the best ways of experiencing a marine environment is being out on the water. The purpose of this post is to concentrate on Mission Bay and list all of the available Mission Bay cruises that are offered.

To begin with, I want to take the time here to mention that all cruises that I will be listing do not include whale watching or fishing. I have written extensively on both previously, so please click on the above-underlined links if you would like to get any further information.

Mission Bay History

Mission Bay Park Google Map

Mission Bay, home to San Diego’s pride and joy, Seaworld, is located just 13 miles north of Downtown San Diego.

Originally a salt marsh, the city of San Diego put a concerted effort to transform Mission Bay into an aquatic park known as Mission Bay Park. The development of the park initially started in the mid-1940s and continued throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Mission Bay Dana Landing Mission Bay Cruises

Once finished, Mission Bay Park spanned over 4235 acres with a combined total of 27 miles of coastline, making it the largest man-made water park in the country! In fact, if you like the ratio’s- Mission Bay Park is 54%water and 46% land.

That is a lot of water! So let’s get on the water now!

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San Diego Bay-A Photo Tour

San Diego Bay Naval Ship Leaving

Today I would like to take you on a mini photo tour of San Diego Bay! Will you join me?

First off, fun fact.

Did you know that the San Diego Bay was mentioned in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848?

 After the U.S-Mexican War, the Treaty (which is still in effect) specifically pointed out that the entirety of the San Diego Bay would belong to the United States.

San Diego Bay Google Map Satellite

Discovering San Diego Bay Via Photos

Sailing San Diego Bay
Sailing San Diego Bay

The San Diego Bay is a natural deepwater harbor which is found minutes away from the border of Mexico and the United States and is the third largest bay in California after San Fransico Bay and Humboldt Bay.

The  San Diego Bay is over 12 miles long and 1-3 miles wide and is separated into two sections:

  1. North Bay-North Island, Shelter Island, Spanish Landing, Harbor Island, Coronado, Embarcadero
  2. South Bay -National City, Chula Vista, Siver Strand, Imperial Beach

So today we will be starting our tour up north at the mouth of the bay. We will then continue to make our way on the east shore of the Bay going south and finally making our way back up north on the western shore of San Diego Bay.

Ready? Let’s go!

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Best San Diego Birding Hotspots

Loma Alta Creek San Diego Birding

Here I  present to you a comprehensive list of the best San Diego birding hotspots. I will be including all of San Diego County starting first to the north and making my way south. Each site will consist of a link to an address; as well as, habitat type, amenities,  tour information (if available,) and finally any notable birds of interest.

Did you know that there are many free San Diego birding tours offered all over San Diego County? I will also be including any insider information that I turn up in my research; such as prime locations within each site.

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Slough What? Discovering Famosa Slough

Famosa slough sign ocean beach california

Hi! Have you ever explored a wetland before? Well, today I would like to share with you a place that you would never expect to be so wonderful-Famosa Slough in Ocean Beach. First off, what is a slough? According to the dictionary, a slough (pronounced slōō)  is a swamp or shallow lake that is usually the backwater of a larger body of water with relatively low water circulation.

In other words, we can think of a  slough as a wetland a little farther from the shore compared to say, a lagoon where the mouth opens to the ocean. Another way to look at is, is that a slough is the part of the estuary where fresh water from creeks and urban runoff mix with the salty ocean water that is transported by the tides.

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Touring The Living Coast Discovery Center

Sweetwater Marsh National Refuge San Diego Bay

At the beginning of Summer, I took my two daughters to go and check out the Living Coast Discovery Center, located in the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I had not been there for over 30 years, so needless to say I was super excited to go back!

Where is the Living Coast Discovery Center?

First off, The Living Coast Discovery Center is in South Bay, San Diego-Chula Vista, which is 12.4 miles from Downtown San Diego.

San Diego South Bay consists of everything south of Downtown San Diego to the Mexican Border; which includes National City, Chula Vista, Coronado, and Imperial Beach.

San-Diego-Bay-Map-Living-Coast-Discovery-Center

1000 Gunpowder Point Dr, Chula Vista, CA 91910

(619) 409-5900

http://www.thelivingcoast.org

Hours  10am-5 pm daily

Adults (13+)            $16
Children (3-12)        $11
Children (0-2)          Free

#please click on any photo to see a larger version

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Five Hidden Gems In San Diego

Del Mar Dog Beach Hidden Gems In San Diego

I have wanted to write this post for quite some time. Ever since I started this website, I have found some gorgeous hidden gems in San Diego while out in the ‘field’ doing research, and I am here to share!

San Diego Hidden Gems? 

So what do I mean by a hidden gem? Hidden in plain sight might be a better way to put it Not much is know about it. Maybe locals are keen, but the average San Diegan and the new to town tourist have no idea.

Coastal Hidden Gems in San Diego

Also, today I am going to be concentrating just on the coastline of San Diego County- seventy miles of coast that stretches all of the ways down to the border of Mexico.

Please click on any photo to see a larger version and I have also included a video featuring each hidden gem in San Diego.

Let’s have a look at the top five places that I have on my list so far, shall we?

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Top Ten Best San Diego Tide Pools

Terramar Tide Pools San Diego Tide Pools

With over 70 miles of coastline, San Diego tide pools are not as common as one would expect. You see, it all depends on the topography of the shore. Here I would like to present to you the top 10 San Diego tidepools. I will be starting in North County San Diego and finally will be ending at the most southern location in Point Loma.

San Diego County Google Map San Diego Tide Pools

I have linked each address to a Google Map to make it easier for you. Also, please click on each photo to see a larger version.

As a rule, you should always check out the Tidal Chart before heading down to the beach. The best time to check tide pools is during low tide.  Anything below a +1 is an opportune time to visit. If you can go during a negative tide, now that would be far superior, but most of those only happen in the wintertime.

I have also included a pamphlet, courtesy of the Cabrillo National Monument, which will help you identify some of the tide pool specimens. Have a look and print it out!

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Black’s Beach The Naked Truth

Blacks Beach Trail Blacks Beach San Diego

I remember when I was working at a coffee shop in San Diego’s Hotel Circle while in college, the number one question that the tourists would ask was, “Where is La Jolla,” followed by, “How did you get to Black’s Beach?”

Ok, so why so many inquiries?

Well,  the answer is that Black’s Beach is one of the largest public nude beaches in the United States. Just thinking about seeing naked people made me uncomfortable when I was young, so going there at that time was out of the question.

Fast forward twenty-five years later and I end up taking my two teenage daughters there!

Did I also mention that the surf is phenomenal?

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