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 San Diego Hikes on the Coast

Encinitas Bluff Tree Best San Diego Hikes

San Diego County has some of the best coastlines on the entire coast of California. From the rugged coast, with towering sandstone cliffs found in North County San Diego, all the way down to the open estuaries, and sandy beaches located in South County San Diego. Today I would like to list for you some of my favorite San Diego hikes that you too can experience, on the coast of San Diego.

All San Diego hikes listed are to be taken only with a negative low tide. Please make sure to check out the tide chart before embarking on your adventure, as some of these walks are dangerous if the tide comes up on you. A good rule of thumb would be to allow a couple of hours before the high tide comes back in. Remember, a very high tide always follows a really low tide.

One more thing. I have written extensively on all of these sites previously, and have linked each post appropriately, so click on the underlined links for more information.

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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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Whale Watching in Southern California

Short Beaked Common Dolphin Whale Watching In Southern California

On July 9th, 2018, my husband and I set off to Newport Beach to go whale watching for my 50th birthday present. You see, we both agreed to do something out of the ordinary for our monumental birthdays, I mean how often do you turn 50? Ok once, yes I know, but it is a big deal right?

If you asked anyone who knows me they will tell you that I am a little crazy when it comes to whales. I also love the summer, so summer plus whales, now that calls for a celebration! Summertime whale watching in Southern California is an opportune time to see the most majestic whale there is- the blue whale. Oh, did I happen to mention that the blue whale is my totem animal? More on that later.

Before this trip, I had not been whale watching in Southern California for over 20 years, so I was extremely excited for this day!

First off, I didn’t want to go on the traditional whale watching cruise; I wanted to try something different. So today we would be going on a RIB- a rigid inflatable boat out of Newport Landing, in Newport Beach Harbor in Orange County.

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Walking the Batiquitos Lagoon Trail

Batiquitos Lagoon sitting bench plants lagoon hills

Are you looking for a relatively easy trail to go hiking on in San Diego? Well, look no further as I have found the perfect spot! The Batiquitos Lagoon is between Carlsbad and Encinitas. It is one of the last saltwater marshes in Southern California. Today I will be taking you on a tour of the 3.14-mile Batiquitos Lagoon Trail.

Batiquitos Lagoon Map topography

Let’s go!

7380 Gabbiano Lane, Carlsbad

760-931-0800

Nature Center-9am-3pm daily

Batiquitos Lagoon Foundation Information

Batiquitos Lagoon Trail-A Photo Tour

I was so happy to come here for the first time. I have always been curious about this lagoon as you can see it from the Interstate 5 freeway. Here are a couple of references for you. The first is a map of the lagoon as well as a list of all possible birds that are seen here. Finally, I have also added the Self-Guided Batiquitos Trail Map which highlights several sites.

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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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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 the Interstate 5 Freeway.

Come and join me, would you?

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A Walk Around Buena Vista Lagoon

Buena Vista Lagoon

 On the morning of March 9, 2018, my mother-in-law and I decided to take a trip to the Buena Vista Lagoon in Oceanside, California.

I had been here once before but never took the quarter-mile hike just outside of the Buena Vista Lagoon Audubon’s Nature Center.

I have been intrigued ever since, so we are back!

Come and join me for a tour!

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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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San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers

Agua Hedionda Lagoon San Diego Lagoons

I have prepared a list of all San Diego lagoons and nature centers that are along the coastline. I have also linked each site to its appropriate website.

Explore, have fun and learn at the same time!

Nature Centers and San Diego Lagoons

San Diego doesn’t just have the best beaches in the country; we also have some of the most significant coastal wetlands as well.

With over 70 miles of coast to discover in San Diego, there are also several coastal lagoons to visit as well. Be that you are in a mood for a hike or interested in the natural history of the area, you really can not go wrong!

I will be starting the list at the most northern location, Oceanside and will be making my way South, finally ending at the Mexican Border.

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