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 tourists 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 experience the 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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Exploring Trestles Beach Trail

Surfer trestles beach trail san onofre state beach

Trestles Beach is a collection of surf breaks located at the northern border of San Onofre State Beach. Saying that this beach is world famous is an understatement! In fact, the Hurley Pro is held here!

I went over this area a bit in a previous post on San Onofre State Beach, but today I would like to concentrate on the Beach Trail leading to Trestles Beach.

The Beach Trail going east also becomes the Panhe Nature trail, which I have also written about if you are interested.

Recently, I have been teaching myself about all of the Southern California native plant species, so today I would like to point out a few to you if you do not mind. It helps me!

Once we arrive at Trestles, I will also be showcasing the San Mateo Creek/ Lagoon which ends at the beach as well as checking out the surfers and the dunes.

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Walking The Panhe Nature Trail

Panhe Nature Trail Panoramic

Panhe Nature Trail connects the San Mateo Campground to Trestles Beach on the Northeastern border of San Onofre State Beach. Here you may witness first hand what ‘Old California ‘ used to be.

Would you like to join me for a tour?

Let’s go.

Discovering The Panhe Nature Trail

San Mateo Campground Sign Panhe Nature Trail

Panhe was one of the largest villages of the Acjachemen (Ah-HAWSH-eh-men) native people who are the original inhabitants of Southern California (12,000BC-1542 AD).

In fact, in 1769 at this spot, the first close contact between the Acjachemen,  Spanish explorers, and the Catholic Missionaries took place.  As well as the site for the very first baptism in California! The site is marked by a cross, which still stands to this day.

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Hubbs Trail Tour at Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Panoramic-Agua Hedionda Lagoon

Agua Hedionda Lagoon is forty minutes north of downtown San Diego, in the city of Carlsbad.  The lagoon is over 400 acres and is the home to numerous plants and animals, as well as a recreational playground for humans and leashed dogs!

Agua Hedionda Lagoon Google Map

There are several trails to choose from at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Today, we are going to explore the Hubbs Trail which is situated closest to the Ocean at the northwestern portion of the lagoon.

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Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center

Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center

I can not tell you how excited I was to go and check out the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center! I have always been fond of this lagoon. When I used to work as a Fisheries Technician, I would find a large number of shore anglers fishing on the western edge of this lagoon.

In San Diego, there are several lagoons as well as complimentary Nature Centers filled with valuable information on local flora and fauna.

On my site here, I have a page that lists all of these Coastal Lagoons and Nature Centers in San Diego County.

It has been my goal to visit everyone! Today is the day to check out the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Discovery Center!

Let’s go!

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San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center- The Nature Collective

San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center

Today, I would like to take you on a tour of the San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center, which lies between Encinitas to the north and Solana Beach to the south in San Diego North County.  I have always wanted to explore the San Elijo Lagoon as you can see it from both HWY 101 and off of Interstate 5.

Come and join me, would you?

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The Mystery of Saint Malo Beach

Saint Malo Beach

Have you ever walked down the southern Oceanside beaches? Did you know that at the very end, right near the border of Carlsbad, there is a private beach named Saint Malo Beach?

In fact, the community of Saint Malo owns the part of the Buena Vista Lagoon closest to the Pacific Ocean.

Not much is known of this beach, and because of this, I was extremely intrigued to learn more. I want to mention right up front that there is hardly any information about this area on the internet.

I spent countless hours trying to find something, anything!

Well,  I found just enough, so here I am to take you on a mini-tour of this infamous beach.

Come on!

Let’s have a look!

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Showcasing the Best Beaches of La Jolla

Best Beaches of La Jolla

Today I would like to showcase a few of the best beaches of La Jolla in the hope that the beauty and wonder will encourage others to visit San Diego and experience the loveliness first hand.

 La Jolla is a seaside community situated on top of towering cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean located 20 minutes north of Downtown San Diego.

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Exploring North Pacific Beach

North Pacific Beach sandy beach Crystal Pier

One day I decided to head down to the coast to do some more research on my website. So,  I had my itinerary all ready, with over 12 beaches to go check out, starting with North Pacific Beach.

I was fortunate that it was such a lovely day. It was so warm that I didn’t even need a jacket.  Where else can you experience mid 70’s in the winter but Southern California!

 My “Beaches of San Diego County” was a big help. Here, I  have linked all the addresses of each beach to Google Maps.

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Torrey Pines State Beach

Torrey Pines State Beach Panoramic Bluffs

Torrey Pines State Beach is located right between La Jolla to the south and Del Mar to the north.  I have been visiting this beach for over 30 years and never tire of the sights.

While living in San Diego, this was our number one beach to come and visit.

I discovered Torrey Pines State Beach when I was working as a Fisheries Technician. This beach is a prime spot for surf fishing. I can not think of a better place to have to work on!

I love it here so much!

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Touring 10 Beaches-North County San Diego

North County San Diego

Living in Southern California, I have photographed many of the beaches of  North County San Diego through the years. But I have not gotten even close to shooting every one of them!

So, it has been my mission this year to shoot every beach on the 70 miles of  San Diego coast.

 Let’s get going!

 Beaches of North County San Diego

On Jan 11, 2018, my daughter and I took a quick ride to North County San Diego to photograph a few of the beaches.

Before leaving, I mapped out the ten shores that we would be conquering.  Our primary objective was to start at Wisconsin Street Beach in Oceanside followed by the beaches of Carlsbad and finally ending at Grandview Beach in Encinitas.

Oceanside Carlsbad Google Map North County San Diego
11.4 miles of coast covered

All in all, we covered 11.4 miles of San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline.

If there is one thing that I have learned on the adventure, it is that all of these beaches listed below are best to visit on a mid to low tide day.

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The Beaches of San Diego County-Updated 2020

Stonesteps Beach Beaches of San Diego County

Here I would like to set up a comprehensive list of the beaches of San Diego County, beginning with the most northern shore and making my way down the coast until the most southern beach sharing its border with Mexico.

For all those that live in San Diego, we are so incredibly fortunate to live in this gorgeous city. I mean, with an average daytime temperature of 69.8` F, what is not to love?

San Diego County has over 70 miles of unique coastline to appreciate and explore!

Experience San Diego Like a Local!

Having been fortunate enough to live in this area for over 30 years, I have explored almost every single mile, that is, except on the military beaches (San Diego has three of them. But I did get a few pictures from the outside looking in, and for that I am grateful.

About two years ago, I made a pact with myself to document as many of the beaches of San Diego County as I could.  To make things as easy as possible, I will be listing each beach and including the following criteria-

  • Map
  • Activities Available
  • Restrooms
  • Parking
  • Points of Interest
  • My Rating (1-5 with five being the highest)
  • Additional Information

(As you can see, restroom availability is a critical metric!)

I have written previously on many of these locations so  I will also be linking each relevant post under Additional Information.

(Please have a look and share it with those that you love.)

Whether you go to the beach for the sun, water, or walk on the sand, the beaches of San Diego County have something for everyone.

Let’s have a look!

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