Checking out the La Jolla Harbor Seals

2009 harbor seals la jolla san diego

One of my favorite places to bring family and friends from out of town is La Jolla, by far! Our absolute favorite place to visit in La Jolla is over at the Children’s Pool, otherwise known as Point Mencinger or Casa Beach. We love to see if the La Jolla harbor seals are hauled out on the rocks or the beach.

Did you know that Point Mencinger and the Children’s Pool is a Pacific harbor seal rookery? (A rookery is where the seals mate and raise young.)

Yes, it is!

And just north at Point La Jolla, there is a California sea lion rookery as well! The coastline of La Jolla is magical.

On August 17, my girls and I went on a little pinniped adventure.

Let’s now take a look at what we saw, and as a bonus for you and as well as for me, I have listed several La Jolla harbor seal facts.

The Pacific Harbor Seals of La Jolla

Point Mencinger la jolla san diego
Point Mencinger is North of Boomer Beach, 2021

First off, it blows me away that I never knew that the formal name of this area, in La Jolla, is known as Point Mencinger. 

Down below is a photo during a King Tide, so the tide was super low.

Continue reading “Checking out the La Jolla Harbor Seals”

Checking out the California Sea Lions in La Jolla

CA sealions point la jolla featured image

There is something extraordinary about seeing wild animals in their natural habitats, especially marine mammals. Well, what if I told you that over at La Jolla, there are two designated pinniped rookeries near each other? Yes! A Pacific harbor seal rookery is located at Casa Beach/ Children’s Pool, and a California sea lion rookery is found at Point La Jolla and Boomer Beach. Have you ever seen California sea lions up close before?

Both rookeries are very close to each other and are found down parallel to Ellen Browning Scripps Park. Today, I will be only concentrating on what we saw over at the newly closed to the public- California sea lion rookery.

sea lions people la jolla san diego
July 6, 2017

Where Are The California Sea Lions in La Jolla?

La Jolla Cove

people sea lion la jolla cove august

La Jolla cove sits adjacent to Point La Jolla, so it is not uncommon to see a couple of California sea lions hanging out on the rocks in the cove.

On this day, it was quite unusual for this sea lion to swim onto a crowded beach and pose on a rock, but maybe not.

You would think that some sea lions are becoming less afraid of humans, seeing that human smells and sounds constantly surround them.

Continue reading “Checking out the California Sea Lions in La Jolla”

Saltwater Fishing in San Diego

saltwater fishing san diego featured image

San Diego, otherwise known as “America’s Finest City,” boasts over 70 miles of coastline to explore! Are you a piscator? Or, in other words, do you like saltwater fishing? Do you prefer to fish from piers or jetties? From shore or out in the ocean? San Diego’s peak fishing season begins in April until November.  Would you like to learn more about saltwater fishing in San Diego?

–>The Beaches of San Diego County<–

What makes San Diego extraordinary is that the coastline is so varied. There are miles of sandstone bluffs in North County San Diego (San Onofre, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar). While down in South County San Diego, sandy beaches rule (Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Coronado, Imperial Beach.) Whether you prefer to fish from the beach, jetty, pier, boat, or by a chartered vessel, San Diego has it all!

piscator definition mackerel fishing pole

A Piscator Page, You Say?

I thought it would be a good idea to have a distinct page on my website with all of the San Diego saltwater fishing information in one place. A piscator page!

So down below, I have compiled complete lists of all San Diego saltwater fishing piers, saltwater sportfishing (half-day/full-day) party and charter boats, boat launch ramps, lobster fishing spots, the 2021 grunion run schedule, a few fish lists, as well as several noted shore fishing locations.

As a bonus, I have also included all harbor and bay cruises offered out of Oceanside Harbor, Mission Bay, and San Diego Bay for those of you that have no desire to fish but still yearn to be on the water.

To experience San Diego to the fullest, you must get on the ocean, breathe in all the negative ions, and let the saltwater spray on your face. Believe me; you will thank me later. Also, don’t forget to pack a sweatshirt as it sure can get chilly out on the water.

Continue reading “Saltwater Fishing in San Diego”

Sea Caves at La Jolla Underwater Park

Cave window la jolla underwater park

Wow! Do I have some exciting information for you all! Many of you may have somewhat of an idea of my complete, somewhat obsessive love of King Tides. For all others, a King Tide is when you have the highest and lowest tides of the year (click on the link for more in-depth information.) Most attention is ordinarily given to the high tide, as people seem to enjoy seeing just how far the ocean will reach on land.

I absolutely love going to the beach during the lowest of the tides, so I can examine what is usually covered by the ocean and have rare access to beaches that are usually not accessible.  And let me tell you, today is one of those days.

Yes! My girls and I were able to explore two caves at the La Jolla Underwater Park!

Now I must say this right up front that getting to these caves is no easy feat. You have to have tremendous balance as there is at least a quarter-mile of rocks to walk over until you reach the semi-sandy beach over at Caves Beach.

Would you like to see what we saw?

Let’s go!

Continue reading “Sea Caves at La Jolla Underwater Park”

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 located in South County San Diego. Today I would like to list 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 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 written extensively on all of these sites previously, and have linked each post appropriately, so click on the underlined links for more information.

Continue reading “Best San Diego Hikes on the Coast”

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 and 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.

Continue reading “Best San Diego Birding Hotspots”

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, 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 transported by the tides.

Continue reading “Slough What? Discovering Famosa Slough”

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 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, 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

Continue reading “Touring The Living Coast Discovery Center”

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 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 that are seen here. Finally, I have also added the Self-Guided Batiquitos Trail Map, which highlights several sites.

Continue reading “Walking the Batiquitos Lagoon Trail”

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.

Continue reading “Showcasing the Best Beaches of La Jolla”

Los Penasquitos Lagoon

Los Penasquitos Lagoon

One of my favorite places to explore over the past 30 years is the Los Penasquitos Lagoon over at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Can I take you on tour? th

Ok! Let’s go!

Los Penasquitos Lagoon

Located between Del Mar to the north and the border of the city of San Diego to the south, the Los Penasquitos Lagoon is a 510-acre coastal salt marsh estuary.

—>San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers<—

Meaning “The Little Cliffs” in Spanish, the Los Penasquitos frames the northern part of the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.

The Los Penasquitos Lagoon is a Salt Marsh?

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

 Los Penasquitos Lagoon is one of the last remaining salt marshes left in southern California. The lagoon supports a large variety of plants and animals, including seven threatened or endangered species.

Another interesting fact is that this lagoon also serves as a refuge for migratory birds that use the Pacific Flyway.

—>Best San Diego Birding Hotspots<—

Since joining the State Park System, there have been quite a few changes to help increase the overall tidal flow here at the Los Penasquitos Lagoon.

Let’s now have a look.

Continue reading “Los Penasquitos Lagoon”

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!

Continue reading “Torrey Pines State Beach”

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a 2000 acre park located in the community of La Jolla in San Diego, California, off North Torrey Pines Rd. Nothing here has ever been altered or diverted at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, making it one of the wildest coastal stretches left in California.

I can not emphasize enough just how beautiful this Reserve is!

Come and join me for a tour!

Continue reading “Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve”

Birch Aquarium-La Jolla

Warm water tank Birch Aquarium La Jolla

Birch Aquarium is located on the Scripps UC San Diego campus overlooking the Scripps Pier and the Pacific Ocean. Partnered with the Scripps Institute Oceanography (SIO), the Birch Aquarium is a fabulous place to visit to learn about all the ocean’s natural wonders and creatures.

More than 460,000 people visit this aquarium annually. There is so much to do and learn here.

Let’s now take a look at everything the Birch Aquarium has to offer!

Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier

Birch Aquarium-La Jolla General Information

Jellyfish Birch Aquarium

button may birch aquarium la jolla

Website- https://aquarium.ucsd.edu/

Phone- (858) 534-3474

Hours- 9am-5pm daily

Free Parking for 3 hours-Handicap parking available in front of the Aquarium

  • Adults- 19.50
  • Children(3-17)- 15
  • Seniors- 16.50
  • Students- 16
  • College Students for assignment- 12

Continue reading “Birch Aquarium-La Jolla”

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.

Continue reading “San Diego Lagoons and Nature Centers”