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 the rain we got this winter season, I was extremely excited to see how all the coast plants looked. Did the California super bloom affect the coast?

So I grabbed my backpack, filled it with plant ID books, my iPad, water, and 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

button map trestles beach trail google map

Ok, are you ready to check out all the San Onofre State Beach plants 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 seashore, with towering sandstone cliffs found in North County San Diego, all the way down to the open estuaries and sandy beaches in South County San Diego. Today I would like to list some of my favorite San Diego hikes you can experience on the coast of San Diego.

All San Diego hikes listed will be taken only with a negative low tide. Please check out the tide chart before embarking on your adventure, as some of these walks are dangerous if the tide comes upon 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 shallow tide.

One more thing. I have previously written extensively on these sites 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 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) pointed out that the entirety of 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 found minutes away from Mexico and the United States border 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 start our tour north at the mouth of the Bay. We will continue to make our way on the Bay’s east shore, going south and back north on the western coast 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 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 have a link to an address and habitat type, amenities,  tour information (if available), and any notable birds of Interest.

Did you know that many free San Diego birding tours are offered all over San Diego County? I will also include any insider information 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? Today, I would like to share 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, 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 than a lagoon where the mouth opens to the Ocean. Another way to look at it is that a slough is the part of the estuary where fresh water from creeks and urban runoff mix with the salty ocean water transported by the tides.

Where is the Famosa Slough?

Famosa Slough Google Map

4275-4283 W Point Loma Blvd

The Famosa Slough is located directly south of the San Diego River Flood Control Channel and is 6 miles north of Downtown San Diego in the lovely town of Ocean Beach.

Famosa Slough comprises 37 acres of wetland between the San Diego River Channel and the residential neighborhoods surrounding the San Diego Sports Arena.

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Touring The Living Coast Discovery Center

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

San Diego South Bay consists of everything south of Downtown San Diego to the Mexican Border, including 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- 10 am-5 pm daily

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

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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 ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you that I am a little crazy about 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 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 excited for this day!

First, 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 hike on in San Diego? Well, look no further as I have found the perfect spot! The Batiquitos Lagoon is between Carlsbad and Encinitas, and 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 from the Interstate 5 freeway. Here are a couple of references for you. The first is a map of the lagoon and a list of all possible birds seen here. Finally, I added the Self-Guided Batiquitos Trail Map, highlighting 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! 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 showcase the San Mateo Creek/ Lagoon, which ends at the beach, and check 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 worked as a Fisheries Technician, I would find many shore anglers fishing on the western edge of this lagoon.

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

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

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 San Elijo Lagoon Nature Center tour between Encinitas to the north and Solana Beach to the south in San Diego, North County. have always wanted to explore the San Elijo Lagoon, as seen from HWY 101 and off Interstate 5.

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 trip to the Buena Vista Lagoon in Oceanside, California.

I had been here before but had never taken the quarter-mile hike around 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!

Buena Vista Means “Good-View” In Spanish

Buena Vista Lagoon Cattails trees
What a view from the Nature Centers observation deck!

2202 South Coast Hwy, Oceanside

760-439-2473

# Please click on each photo to see a larger version size.

Great Blue Heron Metal Statue

Let us now go over a few things before we take our hike.

The Buena Vista Lagoon is 223 acres of freshwater wetland that serves as a natural barrier between two cities- Oceanside and Carlsbad.

It is also important to mention that there are no other freshwater lagoons in Southern California.

So, we have a unique coastal ecosystem here!

You may fish from shore, and hiking is allowed on designated trails only.

Buena Vista Lagoon Map

I have always wondered about this lagoon/ coastal wetland ever since I moved down here 30 years ago.

Not only do you notice it when driving on Interstate 5, but you can also see it on Hwy 78, which runs east.

This waterway (Buena Vista Creek) runs parallel to Hwy 78 for almost 10 miles inland.

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Torrey Pines State Beach

Torrey Pines State Beach Panoramic Bluffs

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

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

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

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 along the coastline and 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.

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

I will start the list at the most northern location, Oceanside, and make my way South, finally ending at the Mexican Border.

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Beaches of Encinitas-A Photo Tour

beaches of encinitas

Beacon's Beach Beaches of Encinitas

I have been coming to the beaches of Encinitas for over thirty years, and I have enormous amounts of pictures to prove it! If I had to pick my favorite stretch of beaches on the 70 miles of coast in San Diego, it would have to be the beaches of Encinitas.

Would you like to join me on tour?

Let’s Go!

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