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Posts Tagged ‘San Diego coast’

Picture Perfect October Day at Coronado Beach

Posted by Jody on October 23, 2015

Running is a Popular Activity on Coronado's Central Beach

Running is a Popular Activity on Coronado’s Central Beach

If you’re a beach lover visiting the San Diego area, Coronado Beach certainly needs to be on your “to-do” list! Better yet, make Coronado your destination and have San Diego be the extra thing “to-do.” Coronado Central Beach is one of the most spectacularly wide stretches of soft golden sand we’ve ever visited. It’s definitely worth the trip. And that trip gets even better if you take the 15-minute Coronado Ferry ride across the bay from San Diego’s Broadway Pier.

Coronado’s pristine Central Beach lies along Ocean Boulevard where you just might find free parking – if you don’t choose the ferry ride. You’ll have to be an early bird (or just really, really lucky) to get a nearby parking spot on the weekend. Public restrooms are available and helpful, friendly lifeguards are on duty into the evening hours.

Picture Perfect October Day

Picture Perfect October Day

Coronado's Beach Chair Program

Coronado’s Beach Chair Program

Beach accessible wheelchairs are available to the public, free of charge, at the Central Beach Lifeguard Tower.

Blue Skies and Perfect Temps

Blue Skies and Perfect Temps

Looking West from The Hotel Del

Looking West from The Hotel Del

The Sandcastle Man Was Here!

The Sandcastle Man Was Here!

The Perfect Day on Coronado's Beach

The Perfect Day on Coronado’s Beach

Coronado Beach is a great family beach. Even Fido is welcome at the far north end of the strand.

October Sky

October Sky

The Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado

Coronado's Wide Beach

Coronado’s Glorious Wide Sand Beach

It’s no wonder Dr. Beach proclaimed Coronado Beach “America’s Best Beach” in 2012!

Beach Treasures

Beach Treasures

We joined a few folks who were busy tide pooling at the riprap in front of “The Del” during low tide. Little bitty sand dollars were the prized beach treasures on this absolutely gorgeous October day.

~~~ Have a great day at the beach! ~~~

Posted in Sand and Shoreline, Southern California Beaches, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Posted by Jody on April 5, 2013

Color ~ The Old Point Loma Lighthouse Lens

Color ~ The Old Point Loma Lighthouse Lens

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse – Illuminating the Past

The Old Point Loma Lighthouse stood watch over the entrance to San Diego Bay for 36 years. At dusk on November 15, 1855, the light keeper climbed the winding stairs and lit the light for the first time. What seemed to be a good location 422 feet above sea level, however, had a serious flaw. Fog and low clouds often obscured the light. On March 23, 1891, the light was extinguished and the keeper moved to a new lighthouse location closer to the water at the tip of the Point.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Old Point Loma Lighthouse at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Today, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse still stands watch over San Diego, sentinel to a vanished past. The National Park Service has refurbished the interior to its historic 1880s appearance – a reminder of a bygone era. Ranger-led talks, displays, and brochures are available to explain the lighthouse’s interesting past.

Source: National Park Service

About the light: The original Old Point Loma lighthouse lens was hand crafted by Frenchman Henry-Lepaute. His beautiful master work was constructed with polished brass and several hundred hand-ground crystal prisms. Classified as a 3rd Order Fresnel lens, and weighing in at 1985 pounds, the light measures 5’2″ in height. When in operation, the beacon could be seen from more than 20 miles out to sea.

The beautifully maintained Old Point Loma Lighthouse is still quite a lovely sight to see!


Related link: A Visit to the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Posted in Lighthouses | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

The Ghost of Kate Morgan

Posted by Jody on October 26, 2012

The Hotel Del Coronado, Coronado, California

Reports of paranormal activity related to the 1892 death of the beautiful, young Kate Morgan at the beach-side Hotel Del Coronado are well known to the locals and the visitors of this sprawling, Victorian seaside resort. According to “The Del’s” public relations department:

“Hotel guests, employees, and even paranormal researchers have attested to some supernatural occurrences at The Del.  Witnesses report flickering lights, televisions that turn on and off by themselves, dramatic shifts in room temperatures, odd scents, unexplained voices, the sound of strange footsteps, mysterious breezes which cause curtains to billow when windows are closed, and objects which move of their own accord; still others claim to have seen the ghost of Kate Morgan herself.”

Years ago, our family spent Christmas week at The Del. Not one of us encountered Kate Morgan’s spirit or experienced any spooky happenings.  In fact, all five of us even scuttled past Kate’s room (#3327) on several occasions! No luck. Maybe we were just looking too hard.

Wide, sandy beach at The Hotel Del Coronado

The wide beach on which The Hotel Del sits is super clean. It stretches along 1 ½ miles of stunning San Diego County coastline. With its glistening sand, gentle waves and the backdrop of the iconic Hotel del Coronado, it’s the ideal Southern California destination. It is no wonder that, in 2012, the well-respected “Dr. Beach” crowned Coronado Beach “America’s Best Beach” with the release of his 22nd annual Top 10 Beach List.

The Sand Castle Man at work on the beach at the Hotel Del Coronado.

If you’re heading to Coronado, be sure to look for The Sand Castle Man (aka: Billy Pav) who likes to work (play?) on the beach near The Hotel Del.  He’s a friendly, award winning sand sculptor who loves to chat with passers-by about his rather unique craft. I forgot to ask him if he’s met Kate Morgan!

More related links:

Ghostly Goings-On at the Hotel Del Coronado (San

Guest Post: Let’s start the summer at Coronado Beach!

Cruisin’ Coronado (Travel Monkey)


Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Friday Finds, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Weekend’s Rock! ;-)

Posted by Jody on October 14, 2012

Rock and sand beach, La Jolla coastline, Southern California

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

~Thomas Jefferson

Today we get things rolling with a new category: “Weekend’s Rock!” We’re going to have some fun with this one!  Please feel free to share your thoughts, ideas, photos and quotes.  We’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Southern California Beaches, Today's Special, Weekend's Rock | Tagged: , , , | 10 Comments »

Let’s start the summer at Coronado Beach!

Posted by E.G.D. on May 28, 2012

Today’s Featured Writer: Robert Hall

Attractive Features of Coronado Beach, California

Coronado Island, nicknamed “the crown city,” lies on a peninsula connected to the mainland of California. One of the most expensive and famous places to live, in 2011 Stephen Leatherman (Dr. Beach) ranked Coronado Beach as the second best beach in the United States.   If you plan to go, make sure you’ve prepared the appropriate paperwork (e.g. an ESTA US Visa ) if it’s required of citizens in your country, and you’ll be set for your journey to Coronado to enjoy its ethereal beaches, vivacious parties, or alluring resorts.

On the Beach at the Hotel del Coronado, Coronado, California

Welcome to Coronado!
This city is almost entirely built on the shoreline, and nearly any building you may find yourself in will probably have an ocean view!  In fact, the northern side of the town is a training center for the Navy SEALs. This town has incredibly expensive real estate, and tourism is an essential component of its economy. Not unnaturally, this beachside resort town offers high-rated restaurants with large variety of cuisines.

For all the beach lovers who like to live luxuriously, Coronado has three major resorts (Hotel del Coronado, Coronado Island Marriott, and Loews Coronado Bay Resort) and they are well reputed for beauty, elegance, beachfront location, and native architecture.

Coronado Beach, Coronado, California

Beach lovers, Addiction alert!
Nothing beats the feel of cool breeze across your face while you walk on the misty sands of a calm beach. Coronado beach not only sports cool breezes, but it is spacious and not too crowded.  You can enjoy the beautiful sunset and dusk, or the glorious sunrise, and you’ll never have to worry about fighting for space. Be assured that your drive on the Coronado Bridge will take your breath away.

View from the Beach, Coronado, California

The Beach is utterly angelic with sublime, picturesque scenery and a friendly ambiance; it is also truly romantic. It comes highly recommended as a place for marriages, photo-shoots, parties, etc. People who like to take a long walk or jog around the beach can enjoy the free space and smell the fresh air. Of course, if you’re not in the mood to exercise, you could also sit back and enjoy the view. Local people love tourists, so expect a warm welcome and rich food.

It is a multifaceted tourist spot, so don’t let all this talk about there not being too many crowds put you off if you love to be in the middle of a bustling party.  You can visit the clubs or ask your hotel concierge when you might expect to find a party on the beach. Water-sports freaks have a blast here, and the sports fiesta held every year in the month of July organizes competitive races, dives, rough-water swim, etc.  That’s the time to go if you want to show off your water-skills or simply enjoy the show.

About the Author:
Written by Robert Hall, a Tech writer with a travel obsession – catch me @travelplex

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Featured Guest Writer, Monday Miscellaneous, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

Where is the best beachcombing beach in Southern California?

Posted by Jody on April 12, 2012

Lots of people want to know where the best beachcombing beach is in Southern California. The answer may very well depend on exactly what you’re looking for! Many beaches in SoCal feature little, colorful wedge clam seashells (California’s cousin to the East Coast’s Coquina Shells).  On past visits, the tides at both Imperial Beach and  Redondo Beach have offered up generous helpings of the beautiful blues, purples, yellows and oranges of a Southern California sunset for our beachcombing pleasure!  We’ve brought all of these gorgeous colors home in the form of Gould’s Wedge Shells (one of my personal favorites)!

Silver Strand State Beach, looking toward Coronado, CA

From our experience though, the best beachcombing beach in the area, as far as variety goes, is Silver Strand State Beach, a “natural” beach located  near San Diego.  Silver Strand State Beach offers beaches on both the San Diego Bay and the Pacific Ocean.  If you are looking for beach treasures, then the ocean side strand is your destination of choice!

Sand Dollar - Silver Strand State Beach

On our last visit to Silver Strand State Beach, Greg and I found sand dollars, limpets and keyhole limpets, pretty pink barnacles, large (soap dish size) Common Washington Clams, California Mussels, oysters and a nice variety of other bivalves (e.g., clams and wedge shells).

Beach Treasures from Silver Strand State Beach

Silver Strand State Beach is “located 4.5 miles south of the city of Coronado on Highway 75. The park is located on the sand-spit that forms the outer edge of San Diego Bay between Coronado and Imperial Beach. The park has 2 ½ miles of ocean beach and ½ mile on the bay. The entrance to the park is from Highway 75, which serves as a divider between the ocean side of the park and the bay side.”

We’d love to hear your choice for the best beachcombing beach in Southern California!

Happy Beachcombing!

Related links:

California State Parks/Silver Strand SB

Seaweed-Trash or Treasure? (Natural Beaches)

Cha ching! Sand Dollars, Fun to Find.

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Seashells, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Visit to the Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

Posted by Jody on February 22, 2012

Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego, California

By now, you may have noticed that Greg and I really enjoy going tidepooling! Not long ago, we had the pleasure of visiting the tide pools at Cabrillo National Monument, located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula (just west of San Diego). This park is an exceptional place to see tide pools chock-full of marine life. We were not so fortunate as to see an octopus or sea stars this time around, though. That would have taken a much lower tide level, and our December morning visit just happened to fall during a higher tide. If you have the luxury of time, check out the tide prediction charts provided by the Park Service (courtesy of  Scripps Institution of Oceanography).  Tide pooling, like beachcombing, has advantages if you can plan to explore at the lowest possible water level.

Gooseneck Barnacles, Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, California

Look Closer! Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument, California

Still, even at high tide, if you look close enough and take the time to really peer into even the littlest pools, you’ll see limpets, top snails, chitons, barnacles, and hermit crabs.  Striped shore crabs, aggregate anemones and beautiful green-blue solitary anemones are also plentiful here in the high and middle intertidal zones.

A Closer Look. Tide Pool Chitons, Limpets,Top Snails, and Marine Plants

Do yourself a favor and study up a little bit before taking a trip to the tide pools. A good book on intertidal marine life will serve you well! I’ve seen people just glance around and leave, thinking there’s nothing to see. That’s a shame! Greg and I have always been amazed at what really is living in those puddles of sea water!

Solitary Anemones, Tide Pools at Cabrillo National Monument

If you are planning a trip to the area, be sure to have a look at the Cabrillo National Monument website for Tidepooling Tips and Rules to Protect the Tidepools. Keeping in mind that tide pools are home to an abundance of marine life, the National Park Service tells us: “For all present and future visitors to experience and enjoy the healthy and diverse tidepools at Cabrillo National Monument, guidelines are needed to minimize the impacts on organisms from the high levels of visitation.  The overriding consideration is the preservation of tidepool organisms, so no plant or animal should ever be disturbed if there is a possibility of injury.  These organisms are best enjoyed in their natural state, so the best policy is to simply observe them where they are.”

We’d sure love to hear about your favorite tidepooling spot! Please feel free to post a comment, or consider submitting a Guest Post. Happy Tidepooling!


Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Tide Pools | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Welcome to the Children’s Pool, La Jolla, California

Posted by Greg on December 20, 2011

Photo ©Jody Diehl

Welcome to Children’s Pool, indeed. This area was created in the early 1930’s as a safe area for kids to swim. Time and tides have changed the area as sand has filled it in. Harbor Seals have moved in as the changed landscape has made it ideal for them to make it a seal rookery.  As with any wild animal, you should make it a point not to get too close to them. The laws are such that you are not allowed to disturb them deliberately in any way.

Children's Pool, La Jolla, California. Photo ©Jody Diehl

According to the City of San Diego’s official site, “The Children’s Pool is a small beach partially protected by a seawall. This is a very picturesque beach with a panoramic view. During much of the year, seals and sea lions are present on or near the beach and a reserve for these marine mammals, called Seal Rock, is just offshore. Several small beaches are nearby including Wipeout Beach to the south and Shell Beach to the north. This is a popular beach for scuba divers because of the reefs just offshore. These same reefs can create very strong currents and other hazards, particularly in high surf conditions.”

Seals near Children's Pool, La Jolla, California (©Jody Diehl)

Every time Jody and I have been at Children’s Pool in La Jolla, we have seen the Harbor Seals. You might not want to plan on swimming at this beach, though. Because of all the seals, sea lions and birds, there is a high e-coli bacteria content in the water. It is mostly worth the visit because the wildlife is really fun to watch.

If you have a place you would like featured, please let us know!  Please, by all means, feel free to submit a guest post, leave a comment, or make a request on the questions and requests page. And, please don’t forget to Like us on FaceBook.

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Sand and Shoreline, Sea Lions and Seals, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Pacific Gray Whales: 4 Helpful Whale Spotting Tips

Posted by Jody on December 13, 2011

It’s time to dust off those binoculars! Tis the season for whale watching in sunny Southern California. Each year, Pacific Gray Whales can be spotted off the coast of Southern California from December through March.  According to the National Park Service: “Each winter, the Pacific Gray Whales pass by the western overlooks of Cabrillo National Monument.  After spending the summer feeding in the food-rich waters of the Arctic, the Grays swim south along the coast to the bays of Baja California, where they mate and nurse their young. Along the way, they pass Point Loma and Cabrillo National Monument, where you can witness the annual winter journey.”

Cabrillo National Monument (©Jody Diehl)

Cabrillo National Monument lies west of the city of San Diego, on the tip of the Point Loma Peninsula. The park is hosting Whale Watch Weekend on January 7 & 8, 2012. This family friendly event celebrates the diverse marine life of San Diego and features both whale watching and tide pooling.

If you cannot attend the whale watching weekend, no worries, find a  high coastal vantage point and scan the Pacific Ocean about 3/4 mile from the shoreline to the horizon. Just follow these suggestions for what to look for when watching for the Pacific Gray Whales!  These whale spotting tips come from the Cabrillo National Monument website:

1) The Blow or Spout – When warm, moist air exhaled from the whales’ lungs meets the cool air at the ocean surface, it creates the bushy column we call a blow, or spout. A gray whale’s blow is up to 15 feet high, and each blow is visible for about five seconds.  Anticipate that the whale will dive for three to six minutes, then surface for three to five blows in row, 30 to 50 seconds apart, before diving deep for three to six minutes again.

2) The Flukes (Tail) – Before making a long, deep dive, a gray whale often displays its 12-foot wide fan-shaped flukes, or tail. The weight of the tail above the whale’s body helps the whale to dive deep.  The flukes have no bones and connect to the body and tail muscles by banks of tendons.  The gray whale normally swims about five miles per hour, about the speed of a child on a bicycle.

3) The Knuckled Back and Footprint – If the lighting is right, and if the whale is close enough, it is possible to see the back of a gray whale during and after the blow.  It is shiny and black or gray, with a knuckled ridge along the spine. After the whale submerges you may note an elongated, smooth oval of calm water, known as a footprint, where the whale has been.

4) Breach and Splash – Gray whales occasionally hurl themselves out of the water and plunge back in with a tremendous splash.  This is called breaching.  Scientists do not know why gray whales do this, but it is very exciting sight to see.  Sometimes other whales in the area will copy this behavior, so keep your eyes open.

Gray Whale (PD-Scan, Author: Charles Melville Scammon/Wikimedia Commons)

Once You Have Spotted a Whale…Remember that they are migrating south, which is to your left as you look west out over the ocean from Cabrillo National Monument.  Once you have spotted a whale, you can expect that it will surface again to the south.  After watching an individual gray whale for a while, you will be able to anticipate its unique rhythm of breaths and dives, and where it will surface next.

Whale watching may take some time and patience, but once you’ve spotted these majestic creatures of the sea you’ll have a whale of a tale to tell!  It really is an exciting experience.  Good luck!

P.S. Please come on back and tell us about your Pacific Gray Whale sightings!

Posted in Southern California Beaches, Tallies & Tips, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Meet The Sandcastle Man!

Posted by Jody on December 12, 2011

Bill Pavlacka is “The Sandcastle Man.”  Greg and I were lucky enough to run across Bill and witness his amazing handiwork on the wide, white sand beach in front of the historic Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, California.

The Sand Castle Man -Bill Pavlacka- in front of The Hotel Del Coronado (Photo ©Jody Diehl)

This awesome sand castle had been built the day before we met “Billy Pav” and I believe he said it had taken him 5 or 6 hours to create this sandy masterpiece.  He was touching up his artwork and putting in place the little tree-like sculptures around the base of the sand castle while we were watching.  Actually, lots of people were admiring this impressive sand sculpture while he continued his work and chatted away, answering questions.  People continually stopped by to smile, take pictures and meet the good-natured Sand Castle Man.

Bill Pavlacka began building his sandy creations nearly 30 ago, when his children were very small.  Now, he’ll even teach you how to build sand sculptures!  Bill told me that if you email him with a request, he would be happy to set up a sand castle building class on the beach. Notice his construction tools of choice: plastic buckets and simple shovels and trowels. He also used a lot of water on this windy, warm December day!

The Sand Castle Man – Bill Pavlacka – at The Hotel Del Coronado (Photo ©Jody Diehl)

You’ll want to check out The Sandcastle Man‘s photo gallery on his website. While there you can also see a time lapse movie of the building of a sand sculpture and a documentary of his work. It’s all fun stuff!

You just never know what you’ll find at the beach, even in December!

Posted in Beachy Keen Art, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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