Diego!" my wife exclaimed. As we basked in Seaport Village sun, we
licked our CoffeeCoffeeBuzzBuzzBuzz ice cream cones, swayed to music of
the onstage Peruvian flutist and guitarist, and gazed at San Diego Bay
yachts. We glanced in appreciation at our nearby rental bicycles. In
the course of the next few days we would become even more dazzled by
what San Diego has to offer. Summarized below are some major highlights.
The Gas Lamp quarter
has 17 blocks of assorted historical buildings, including David-Horton
House Museum, dating from 1873. Nearby is the beautiful Horton Grand
Hotel. Another worthwhile old house is now Half Door Brewing Co.
offering its own beers and a wide food fare. We enjoyed its wooden deck
overlooking the Padre's baseball stadium, Petco Park, and cavorted with
fun and rowdy fans before the season opener.
Horton Grand Hotel
Brewery and Pub
Nearby, the new San Diego Library
houses almost every English book in print. It's nine floors of
beautiful modern architecture has a dome structure apex and roof-top
One of the best places for a night out in the city is Little Italy.
We dined almost every evening in this tasty quarter on India Street,
stretching between Ash and Fir. Here you'll find more than a score of
Italian eateries, coffee shops, gelato stops, and bars. The area's
namesake blue neon sign spans the street in the center of the action.
Harbor Music Hall hosts a variety of entertainment events.
San Diego Library
San Diego Bay's Promenade
stretches for a couple of miles from the Convention Center to Broadway
Pier and the Maritime Museum. With no motor vehicles and entrancing bay
views, it's the perfect place for strolling or cycling.
Along the way is the Embarcadero Marina,
filled with activity of the hundreds of sailing and motorized yachts
that moor here. The park at the north border is a great spot to enjoy a
picnic lunch, fly a kite, or lounge on the grass.
North Marina Park
Neaby Seaport Village
is filled with enticing single-story gift shops and restaurants. It
also includes an open-air stage, picnic tables, and dessert and coffee
shop options. We couldn't pass up the entertainment, snacks, and gift
Broadway Pier Ferry
makes hourly 15-minute trips to Coronado. It's the perfect terminus for
the promenade, and it provides quick access for pedestrians and
cyclists to the wonders of Coronado Peninsula across the bay.
Seaport Villlage Fountain
Seaport Village Promenade
Hotel del Coronado was built in 1888 with the vision of its founders to make it "the talk
of the Western world." It realized that dream and became a
National Historic Landmark in 1977. We couldn't refuse ourselves a
luxurious, expensive lunch overlooking the hotel, its pool, and the
Pacific Ocean beach with rolling shore break.
arriving at the Coronado Ferry Landing, pedestrians normally opt for
the peaceful mile-long walk through neighborhoods along B Avenue to
Hotel del Coronado. Cyclists equally appreciate that beautiful route,
lined with Craftsman-era homes and mansions. Cyclists can also easily
take the three-mile route that winds along the shore and past Coronado
Golf Course to reach the hotel. The peaceful ambiance of Coronado lured
us for two days of enjoying its sights.
Diego Skyline from Coronado Ferry
Hotel del Coronado
The varied attractions of Balboa Park include 17 museums, many performing arts venues, lovely garden trails and the San Diego Zoo.
The zoo merited a full day visit to its 100 acres filled with
more than 650 animal speces. Pioneered by its zoological society, the
open-air, cageless exhibits have led to the zoo's world-class ranking.
A real highlight was the polar bear viewing. Our thoroughly enjoyable
and educational day passed too quickly in the warm springtime sun.
Ballboa Quadrangle Architecture
Zoo's Polar Bear
We returned for a second full day to Balboa park for additional highlights. The California Quadrangle is surrounded by buildings, including the Balboa Museum of Art from the 1915 opening for the Panama-California Exposition Other nearby attractions include the 200' Spanish colonial Califonia Tower, the Japanese Garden; and the Botanical Building and Lily Pond.
Botanical Building and Lilly Pond
The small and friendly Timken Museum of Art offers a varied old European collection, including a Rembrandt and
Italian Renaissance, French, Dutch, Flemish, and American masterpieces
spanning 600 years. The foyer is adorned with Parisian 17th century
We couldn't pass up spending a good part of the afternoon exploring the Spanish Village Art Center.
The site has over thirty varied studios representing scores of talented
San Diego artists. The friendly proprietors gladly explained their
artistic wares and the range of opportunities in San Diego.
North to Old Town and Mission Bay
Town San Diego is located a few miles north of downtown. We loaded our
bicycles on a tram for a 15-minute ride there. The historic adobe ranch
homes and businesses date from 1820-1850. They rest peacefully today
in their original setting. A highlight is Casa de Estudillo, the
multi-room estate of an early prominent family. The town was
established as a Spanish Mexican settlement before annexation by the
United States. Kit Carson was a member of the group that first raised
the American flag in 1846.
Old Town Casa
ended our vacation with a day at Mission Bay Beach, lying on the sand
and viewing the surfing. We've decided to add nearby Mission Bay Park,
Sea World, and Mission Bay kayaking to the "must-dos" list for our next
vacation in dazzling San Diego.
Old Town Crafts
Mission Bay Boarder
Web searches easily provide needed information for flights, car
rentals, lodging alternatives, and dining. Use Google's maps for San
Diego orientation, and locate the Gaslamp, Little Italy, Shoreside
Promenade, Seaport Village, Corona, Balboa Park, Old Town, and Mission
Bay regions. There is a broad range of lodging and
Public Transportation, Bicycles, Rides, Etc.
real plus for the San Diego visitor is the availability of public
transportation and the location of the airport near the town center. We
were able to spend multiple days touring without an automobile. Bike
rentals were economical and readily available at Bike Revolution, 522
6th Avenue, in the Gaslamp quarter. Bicycles can be mounted on public
trams, buses, and ferries for longer excursions. Also note the
availability of chauffered Uber, Lyft, and Freeride vehicles throughout
the downtown area. They are especially convenient for nighttime travel.
and Rita Furnanz originated High on Adventure magazine in April 1997
and were active writing partners until February 2004. On occasion
they continue to contribute HOA articles. They visit France, Germany,
and Hawaii every year and other world locations from time to time.
They are still saying, "Yes... we are High on Adventure!"