San Diego Tour Guide (part three) “Beach & Park Time”

DSC00563It would not be much of a trip to visit San Diego if you did not do some Beach and Park time. So, one of the days we took Maxine along and Bonnie and I went on a tour along the coast stopping at many different beach areas. We came in from the southern and of San Diego ventured out to the Silver Strand. Where Silver Strand State Park is located. A very busy place in the summer with the locals come to swim and surf. We didn’t want to pay the area free to get just to see the beach so I just drove along the coastline. The Silver Strand is a stretch of beach that separates the lower San Diego harbor from the Pacific Ocean and is a natural barrier. You can read about it here. There’s also a wildlife reserve that you can read about here. Next, we drove by the famous “Hotel del Coronado” which was built in 1800s. We did not bother to stop because we had Maxine along. If you want to read about the last time I was there check out my blog here, when I took my daughter and her boyfriend a couple years. Then it was on to the Coronado Dog Beach that is right next to the Navy Air Force Base. This is one of the dog beaches Maxine and I like to frequent. Of course, we brought along her favorite toy and off she was running enjoying the beach like she always does.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you look down the shore you can see the Coronado hotel off in the distance to the left. DSC00423

She and all the other dogs ran in circles around Bonnie and Me.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey also spent a lot of time chasing each other in the surf. DSC00438After spending an hour or more here our next stop was to head up to Cabrillo National Monument to revisit the tide pools and explore them closer. There is a daily entry fee to get into this National Monument but with my senior pass I can come and go as many times as I want not pay anything extra, which is always nice. Parking can be somewhat difficult, especially on weekends but we were able to find a spot and hiked along the bluff and then walking down to the coast to explore the tide pools. DSC00466OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYour beautiful views in all directions. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd when you get down near the surf the bluffs have interesting characteristics like these rain-washed veins. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd an occasional little cave. DSC00523People were walking all over exploring the tide pools, unfortunately compared to the ones up in Oregon and Washington these are kind of a disappointment. Because they have not nearly as many critters living in them. DSC00521We did find some Sea Anemone’s but they were small. DSC00476DSC00485Quite a few shells the kids had gathered together, these were all without live creatures. DSC00499Hard to see but there was some coral that had washed in was trapped in the pools. DSC00494DSC00488We did find a rather large sea slug this black guy here.DSC00510There were lots and lots of these little barnacles, that look like small volcanoes. DSC00515Even though there are not many interesting things in this tide pools the water is a heck of a lot warmer than it is up north, so it was fun waiting in the puddles. After spending quite, a bit of time here we walked back to the car and we headed to “Ocean Beach Dog Park” another one of Maxine’s fun places to visit. She went off running ahead of me. DSC00557DSC00556Here I am watching her run around in the surf. DSC00563The surf is much larger usually, at this beach because of the way the waves come in. DSC00566The kids love to play in it, and you will see quite a few guys with surfboards from time to time. DSC00575After spending some more time here and trying to wear Maxine out it was off to Balboa Park to check that out. I’ve been here numerous times before and posted on previous blog postings that you can check out here and here. It is a very dog friendly area allowing the dogs to walk freely leashed throughout the park. There’s lots of beautiful architect throughout the park. DSC00618DSC00582DSC00597

This is a large pipe organ, that they have free concerts on Sundays and other times. DSC00583DSC00584

Of course, there were all kinds of flowers in bloom throughout the park. DSC00630DSC00629

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DSC00628DSC00622DSC00613DSC00589There are hundreds of large trees some dating back a century or more like this one. DSC00590And we made our way down to the Grand Water Fountain which is in another beautiful section of the park. DSC00598DSC00602It’s fun just to walk along the streets and watch the people and take in the fresh air. DSC00616

There’s also “Zoro Garden” which back during the 1935 California-Pacific Exposition, was a nudist colony. DSC00612They would put on plays daily, down here in this ravine where the garden is located. It is now a butterfly garden that you can rent by the day to check out the information here. DSC00609That wraps up another busy day, up next a Scenic Drive, hiking along the Pacific Trail and harbor tour.

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