Walking the Beaches of Solana Beach

Walking Solana Beach featured image

Hallelujah! I took the time to finally walk the beaches of Solana Beach on a glorious summer day. It was super hot inland, so I thought, what better time to go and check out the coast? I have wanted to go to Solana Beach forever, so here I am!

Solana Beach is situated between Encinitas to the North and Del Mar to the South, and the beach stretches for over 1.7 miles.

Solana Beach has also been a favorite hangout of juvenile great white sharks in the past couple of years!

Fun Fact- Solana is Spanish for “warm wind”

So here is a list of the beaches of Solana Beach that I had the pleasure of walking on, starting first from the North down to the South-

  • South Cardiff State Beach- Seaside Beach
  • Tide Park Beach
  • Fletcher Cove
  • North Seascape Surf Park
  • Del Mar Shores
  • Del Mar North Beach (Del Mar)

Let’s now look at each beach, followed by exciting facts highlighting each area.


South Cardiff State Beach- Seaside Beach

seaside beach beaches of Solana Beach

Seaside Beach is the very first beach on the northern boundary of Solana Beach. Two popular offshore surf breaks, Seaside Reef and Cardiff Reef, make South Cardiff State Beach a surfing mecca for locals and tourists alike.

Continue reading “Walking the Beaches of Solana Beach”

Bird Rock Beach, La Jolla Uncovered!

bird rock uncovered featured image

So on the very last day of January, I witnessed the second-lowest tide of the year, a -2.08! This is a personal record for me, as the lowest tide I had experienced was -1.98 at the Cabrillo National Monument tide pools,  followed by a -1.34 at Sunset Cliffs. I was excited about what we were in for over at Bird Rock Beach, La Jolla. Join me as I show you what is usually covered by water.

Bird Rock Beach is located centrally within the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve (SMR), so I would like to overview the area briefly.

As a bonus, I have added a few more places we visited on this particular day, including several spots south of Bird Rock Beach in South La Jolla. The view was beautiful, and I wished I could have explored the tide pools!

Unfortunately, I could not walk around the tide pools and explore with a broken finger, but I did get some incredible photos!

Oh, how I love La Jolla!!

Ready? Let’s go!

So, Where is Bird Rock Beach, La Jolla?

Bird Rock Beach google map link
Click on the photo for a map link.

Bird Rock Beach is the center of the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve (SMR) and, in my opinion, one of the best tide pool beaches in San Diego. In all honesty, Bird Rock is only accessible during a very low tide, so calling it a beach is a bit of a stretch, but let’s still go with it.

Continue reading “Bird Rock Beach, La Jolla Uncovered!”

Walking Shoreline Park at Shelter Island

shoreline park featured image

As my girls and I walked around Famosa Slough on a clear November day, we realized that we still had a couple of hours before picking my husband up from work. So we decided to go to Shoreline Park on Shelter Island at San Diego Bay. We have been coming here for years!

I love to watch the boats in San Diego Bay. But there are so many other things to pay attention to over here, for instance, observing the jets take off and land over on Naval Air Station North Island/ Coronado or shorebird’s dive-bombing into the bay. On a clear day, you can see the Coronado Islands of Mexico (Islas Coronado.)

And how about the smells? There is nothing better than the crisp smell of saltwater, is there? I find it so refreshing!

The sounds here on Shetler Island are just as unmistakable: sea lions barking, the wind blowing through the trees, and the water lapping on the rocks after a large ship goes by. You might even hear the chattering of green parrots. Did you know that a flock of green parrots live here on Shelter Island? More on these lively parrots later.

Let’s now look at what we saw and offered here at Shoreline Park/ Shelter Island.

#Click on any small photo to see a larger version.

Exploring Shoreline Park in November

shoreline park shelter island google map

button map shelter island shoreline park

Shoreline Park is a narrow band that stretches for one mile on the bayside of Shelter Island. Dogs are welcome here but must be on a leash.

Continue reading “Walking Shoreline Park at Shelter Island”

First Day Hikes 2022

First Day Hikes 2022 Featured Image

Wow! I am so happy to write up this post in record time! You see, yesterday, I realized that the California State Parks uniquely celebrate the New Year. How is that, you may ask?
California State Park staff members, docents, and volunteers will show off the beauty and wonders of our gorgeous State Park system by leading the general public in First Day Hikes! Below is valuable information on each San Diego/ California State Park featured, plus a brief explanation of where and what is offered.
I will start north up at San Onofre State Beach and go south towards the California/Mexican Border.
It is supposed to be chilly on the coast today, with the high only 62 degrees, so please consider that!


First Day Hikes at San Onofre State Beach

Trestles November sand dunes water surfers

Where – Trestles Beach Trailhead on Cristianitos Road/ El Camino Real

Time- 2 pm

Continue reading “First Day Hikes 2022”

Pacific Beach Boardwalk on a Mid-November Day

Pacific Beach featured image

One of my very best friends, Paula, lived in Pacific Beach for a bit when we were both in college. I have distinct memories of visiting her apartment right off the Pacific Beach Boardwalk and close to Crystal Pier.

Fast-forward 33 years, and we are back!

Seriously though, Paula, her husband John, and I spent an hour together soaking in the sun, ocean, and wind while reminiscing. Check out what we experienced on this sunny but very windy mid-November day.

Where is Pacific Beach?

Pacific Beach map google maps

button map Pacific Beach google maps

Pacific Beach is found between La Jolla to the north and Mission Beach to the South.

Let’s now take a look at some of the day’s highlights!

parasailing-Pacific-Beach
The wind was just suitable for parasailing over North Pacific Beach!

Here we are looking out over North Pacific Beach from the Crystal Pier. If you follow the surf break straight ahead, this is where the Tourmaline Surfing Park is located (just south of Law Street Beach.) When the conditions are right, you will see many surfers paddling out past False Point (see map above.)

Continue reading “Pacific Beach Boardwalk on a Mid-November Day”

Carlsbad Sea Wall Trail-A Closer Look

Robert Frazee Beach Carlsbad San Diego

On the morning of April 29th, I woke up on a mission. A mission to take in some glorious sights and breathe in some crisp and clean ocean air. I wasn’t sure where to start this adventure, so I let my instincts guide me. While driving to the coast, several ideas pop in and out of my head. So today, I decided to take a closer look at the Carlsbad Sea Wall Trail, which is extremely popular in North Carlsbad.

—>Beaches of San Diego County<—

Below is an outline of the Beaches of Carlsbad. On this particular day, I visited all the beaches except South Ponto.

Carlsbad State Beach

  • Robert Frazee State Beach
  • Tamarack State Beach
  • Warm Water Jetty Beach

South Carlsbad State Beach

  • Terramar State Beach
  • North Ponto State Beach
  • South Carlsbad State Beach
  • South Ponto

Exploring the Carlsbad State Beach

Robert Frazee state beach sign

button map Robert Frazee State Beach

Today, I thought I would start over at Robert Frazee Beach, where Carlsbad State Beach’s northern boundary begins. A small parking lot is located off Oak Ave and Ocean St, but I found a parking spot right off Pine Street in the residential area.

Continue reading “Carlsbad Sea Wall Trail-A Closer Look”

Five More San Diego Hidden Gems

Ocean sunset san diego hidden gems

San Diego, otherwise known as  “America’s Finest City,” has one of the most beautiful coastlines, if I may dare say, in the world. According to the San Diego Tourism Authority, over 35 million people visited San Diego in 2018 and 36.5 million in 2019. I am afraid to see the numbers for 2020, but I digress. One of my favorite things to do on this website is introduce you all to the many, many San Diego hidden gems. I will be the first to admit that I am biased as I have been exploring the San Diego coastline for over thirty-five years. So today, I would like to share with you a few more, in fact, five more San Diego Hidden Gems, so you too can experience San Diego as a native.

When I say San Diego, I refer to the entire 70 miles of the San Diego coast. From San Onofre State Beach down to the US/Mexico border, the coast of San Diego has something for everyone!

Let us now take a look, shall we?

#Click on any photo in the gallery to view a larger image


Old Man’s Beach at San Onofre State Beach

Old Man Secret Spot Hidden gems San Diego

button map Old Mans San Onofre State Beach

I wasn’t sure if I would share this little gem because this has been my little secret for years, but here we go. Old Man’s Beach is one of my favorite places at San Onofre State Beach, and locals refer to this beach as  San O and San Onofre Surfing Beach.

Continue reading “Five More San Diego Hidden Gems”

Checking Out the Cristianitos Fault

Cristianitos Fault san onofre state beach

Hey! Have you ever seen an earthquake fault line? No? Well, today is your lucky day! Referred to as the Cristianitos fault, you can walk right up to it over at San Onofre State Beach.   Now I need to state this fact upfront so there will be no confusion. I am not a geologist; therefore, please be patient with me. If I make an incorrect claim, do not hesitate to correct me in the comments at the end of the post. I love to learn new things and will not be offended at all. Several references have helped me tremendously, but I have left them below. I encourage you to check them out!

Let’s take a trip to San Onofre State Beach (my favorite beach in San Diego) and investigate the Cristianitos fault line. As a bonus, I will highlight other unique geological features here at this fabulous State Beach.

One more thing. Did you know that the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is less than 800 yards away from this earthquake fault line?

Wait, what?! A nuclear generating station? Next to a fault line?

SONGS is no longer active and has been decommissioning for several years now. But obviously, the question is, why build a nuclear power plant right next to an earthquake fault line? (Click on the above link for more detailed decommissioning information.)

#Click on any photo for a larger version

The Cristianitos Fault Line-Shake, Rattle, & Roll?

Trail one san onofre state beach
Trail One at San Onofre Bluffs Beach Campground

button map san onofre bluffs campground

Continue reading “Checking Out the Cristianitos Fault”

Hiking South of San Onofre Bluffs Campground

hiking south san onofre campground featured image

Today I would like to share with you all one of my most awe-inspiring places to go to in San Diego County. Every time I am here, I never want to leave. Wherever you look, there is something incredible to see. Even the sounds here are sweet! If you enjoy taking photos, San Onofre State Beach is THE place you must visit!   The views here are extraordinary! Situated on top of towering sandstone cliffs, San Onofre Bluffs Campground has some of the best coastal hiking trails to experience in North County, San Diego.

There are seven 1/4 mile hiking trails that lead you down to the beach, as well as countless numbers of ravines, gullies, arroyos, and barrancas.   I think you will love it here, especially if you appreciate a wild and undeveloped beach, which is my favorite type of beach!

On this particular day, my daughter and I started over at Trail Six (see map below) and set up a tent to relax.

My goal on this day was to explore vast amounts of uncharted territory by exploring a few narrow sandstone gullies and a wider barranca south of Trail Six.

Would you care to see what I experienced?

Below, I have provided a campground map to understand the terrain and location better.

–>San Onofre State Beach Bluffs Campground Map and Information<–

*Of particular note- in case you notice the pink hue in some of the photos, this is because of all of the fires that were (some still are) burning while I was here.

Continue reading “Hiking South of San Onofre Bluffs Campground”

Walking Around Guajome Lake and Regional Park

Guajome Regional Park featured image water birds cattails

In mid-January, I took my daughters and Mother-in-Law to experience Guajome Lake and Regional Park in Oceanside for a couple of hours. We constantly pass the front entrance whenever we take Highway 76 to the coast.

I have always been intrigued by what Guajome Lake looked like, so today was the day to find out!

Guajome Regional Park Map

A Bit of Guajome Regional Park History

Guajome regional park grassy picnic area

First off, here are a few statistics regarding Guajome Regional Park. The park spans 394 acres and is 8 miles inland from the coast.

Continue reading “Walking Around Guajome Lake and Regional Park”

King Tide at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park

I knew that the King Tide was due that weekend, so I thought, what better place to check out than the tide pools over at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park-Garbage Beach?

My husband and I had tickets for the ‘King’ of all concerts- Tool at  Viejas Arena SDSU (San Diego State University) on Sunday, January 12. It was a Christmas present from my sister-in-law (thank you, Tess!). My husband even made the situation sweeter by getting a hotel room. I usually work on the weekends, so you can probably imagine how excited I was to take a day off! My main objective was to make this one of the best days in San Diego (my best days are always at the beach!)

What is a King Tide?

point loma tide chart jan 11 to 13 King Tide
Point Loma Tide Chart

A spring tide occurs after a full and new moon occurs due to the moon and the sun’s gravitational pull. The result produces a very high tide and a shallow tide. In essence, a Spring Tide is when there is the most significant distance between the high tide and the low tide. The best time to experience the tide pools is during an extremely low tide and, of course, the day. In the summer months, all of the very low tides happen at night. Continue reading “King Tide at Sunset Cliffs Natural 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 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.

Continue reading “Best San Diego Hikes on the Coast”

Coast to Crest Trail-San Dieguito Lagoon

San Dieguito River Del Mar

A couple of months ago, I went down to the San Dieguito Lagoon in Del Mar to walk 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.

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 see 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, 21 miles north of Downtown San Diego. The lagoon is part of the San Dieguito River Park, which spans over 92,000 acres!

Continue reading “Coast to Crest Trail-San Dieguito Lagoon”

La Jolla Coast Walk Trail-Let’s Go!

I am ashamed to admit that even though I have lived 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 than I can count. It is one of my most revered areas in San Diego. So when I came across this hiking trail while researching, I knew 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?

Continue reading “La Jolla Coast Walk Trail-Let’s Go!”

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.

Continue reading “Slough What? Discovering Famosa Slough”