Point Loma/Ocean Beach, San Diego
There is a great area at the top from the lighthouse if you walk up the trail. Here you will see a covered overlook with a viewing area of glass that overlooks Point Loma. I take it, it can get cold up here and I bet this little viewing area becomes very welcomed. The Gray Whales migrate through here on their 12,000-mile journey. Best time is January and February. They leave the Arctic summer feeding ground in September and travel along the coast towards the bay of Baja California. This is where the females bring their calves into the world. In spring, they head north. Adult whales weigh from 20 to 45 tons and can be long as 50 feet. They can dive as deep as 200 feet and stay under water for 20 minutes. If anything, take a look at the wonderful display plaque that is loaded with all kinds of wonderful facts and information and there is a lovely whale sculpture to admire too.
Located at the Cabrillo National Monument and Lighthouse
San Diego has lots of bakeries, but one that is just a slight bit different, is one that only sells cupcakes. Oh, and they are square, not round, so that you get more topping. Yummy. This business is open and the cupcakes are a sensation.
The name of the bakery goes right with the product, Cupcakes SQUARED. The many varieties of flavors are all baked fresh throughout the day and the products used are all natural and I may add top quality. Just to name a few that I enjoyed (samples were given out) were Chocolate Almond, "Red" Velvet, Lemon, and Vanilla. Each one was devine and super delicious. I got into the groove of the square cupcake not only tasting wonderful but I liked the concept. If you buy one and don't want to dig in right away, the cupcake squared can be boxed individually and with a ribbon. Now, that's class. Of Course, I purchased some but said hold the ribbon. I was too hungry to have to go through the ribbon to get to those bits of heaven.
On site was the owner of "Cupcakes SQUARED", Robin Ross. She was a delight to talk with and to listen to her enthusiasm about her store was refreshing. If you are in the San Diego area, and want to try something square but cool, then head on over to 3772 Voltaire Street, near Ocean Beach, off Chatsworth Blvd or Nimitz Blvd. for a taste treat that may just have you coming back for more. "Cupcakes SQUARED"may be off your beaten path but not off to your craving taste buds. Please your palate and enjoy. If you do, please say hello to Robin from VT's travelgourmet.
Fort Rosecrans is named after a Union General William Starke Rosecrans from the Civil War. Many of the first interments date back to the California Republic and the Battle of San Pasqual. Fort Rosecrans became a National Cemetery on Oct. 5, 1934. It now housed so many of our veterans from all over the state and United States of America.
Many Fort Rosecrans interments date to the early years of the California Republic, including the remains of the casualties of the Battle of San Pasqual. Shortly after the United States declared war on Mexico in May 1846, Brigadier Stephen W. Kearny was tasked with conquering Mexico's northern provinces, New Mexico and California.
This cemetary is absolute beautiful and is located on both sides of a bluff and is only divided by Cabrillo Memorial Dr. Each side overlooks the spectacular views of the ocean on the west side and the east side overlooks San Diego bay. Just beautiful. It was wonderful to pay our respects to all that lay at rest here.
Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
From Interstate 5 South then to Interstate-8 West: Exit at Rosecrans Street, turn right on Canon Street and it becomes Cabrillo Momument Drive.
The trail is approximately two miles roundtrip and curves thru and around native coastal sage scrub and many other wonderful species of plants. Just make sure you wear proper shoes, bring water, and please stay on the trails to protect the sensitive vegetation. They are rattlesnakes in this area, so another reason to stay on the trails. Just remember, you leave them alone and they will leave you alone. Also, there is no access to the beach from the trail and no restrooms.
Located at Cabrillo National Monument
The beautiful fountain that has this huge statue that is the center piece is called the "Guardian of Water". A resident of San Diego, Helen Towle had willed between 30-40 thousand dollars to the Fine Arts Society, so money was set aside exclusively for purchasing "works of art of a permanent nature, to be given to the people of San Diego." Donal Hord was a local artist who was commissioned to create it. In 1937 a 22-ton granite block from a Lakeside quarry was used to create this beautiful sculpture that took over two years to create. Hord created a beautiful art deco design of a pioneer woman carrying a water jug, which was meant to symbolize the guardianship of water. Hord, included mosaic that symbolizes clouds in the form of kneeling nudes, who pour water from jars over a dam which flows into a conventionalized citrus fruit orchard. The basin is 17 feet 6 inches in diameter, has many wonderful adornment of shapes of animals that represent the importance of the local nature. The combined statue and base rise 22 feet 3 inches, with the statue itself reaching a height of 13 feet 3 inches. The "Guardian of Water" was dedicated on June 10, 1939.
It was not at first accepted by many of the local women because they felt it had ethnic features such as Aztec. Well I could say a lot about that being a Native Californian of Native/Spanish American heritage. Yet, they city stood by her stating that she was appropriate symbol of the spirit of water conservation. Rock on San Diego!
Located right across the street of the Maritime Museum on Harbor Drive
Point Loma was blessed at having natural defensives. The bay walls are a natural barrier that rises 422 feet and provides the best views for defense of the ocean and harbor. The military recognized this even as far back as 1852. In 1899, Fort Rosecrans was built and over the years bunkers, fire control stations, and huge gun batteries were being built by the time of and during WWI and WWII. The Fire Control stations or bunkers helped direct the gunfire. The top bunker served as the battery command post and the bottom was used as base end station where they could track enemy targets. Now, as you can see in my photograph, they serve as a quiet recluse to paint a lovely ocean or landscape painting.
Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106-3601
A Greek Theater in Point Loma? Sounds like I'm making it up, right? Nope. It sits on the Point Loma Nazarene University campus and has been there since 1901 when Madam Tingley, head of the Theosophical Society, had it built on the compound called Lomaland. The amphitheater at Point Loma was the first open air Greek Theater in the United States. It fell into disrepair in the 1940's and was reconstructed in 1959 by the new tenants, California Western University. The Greek Theater remains today but the campus has changed hands and it is now Point Loma Nazarene University
The Greek Theater sits on a bluff overlooking the lower half of the campus and the Pacific Ocean beyond. It is a wonderful reminder of the past as it looks to the future. To see it, go to the entrance booth to the University at 3900 Lomaland Drive and ask to see the Greek Theater. To get there take Rosecrans Blvd (Hwy209) to Canon St., turn right till you get to Catalina Blvd, turn left and go to Lomaland Drive, turn right and go to the entrance booth.
Located on the Berkley 1898 Steam Ferry that operated from 1898 to 1958 as a ferryboat in the San Francisco Bay. She is a California State Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. She is still very stately and elegant. She nows serve as a museum, library, workshop, model shop, & museum gift shop. Although, she has a permanent exhibit, but Berkley has special exhibits that are not permanent so check the web site to see what collection is showing during a certain time. Admission to the exhibit will be included in your paid admission to the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Maritime Museum of San Diego
1492 North Harbor Drive San Diego, California 92101
This little museum is housed in an old radio station, it is called, “They Stood the Watch,” as small as this building is, is it a wealth of information of a time and would be surprise how ready we were. It is a wonderful exhibit.
History: Between 1918 and 1943, the Army constructed searchlight bunkers, fire control stations, and gun batteries. The largest guns were at Battery Ashburn, adjacent to the park entrance station, where two 16-inch guns could fire 2,300 pound shells nearly 30 miles out to sea. http://www.nps.gov/cabr/historyculture/military-history-and-coastal-defense.htm
Cabrillo National Monument
1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106-3601
This wonderful architecture is of Spanish Revival, in style with strong beaux-arts. Not that I am familiar with that term, but I am familiar of the Art Deco style. This building is in that style to me. It wonderfully maintained and it stands proud across the Maritime Museum on Harbor Blvd. Built during the world’s fair era, it was considered San Diego’s first "skyscraper”. It was originally designed to be much taller, but was scaled down to give it a softer appearance. This spot was chosen to greet sea/land travelers to the growing prosperity of San Diego.
Located right across from the Maritime Museum on Harbor Drive
Point Loma can be fairly easy to find. It has some of the most beautiful cliff overlooks of the Pacific in the area. You can watch surfers and walk around. I found a couple benches to sit on near a small parking lot, overlooking this spot.
It was cool and windy in early February.
A couple miles northwest of Downtown San Diego is the ultra earthy beach town of Ocean Beach. This town is fun because it is totally non-commercialized, everything is locally owned and operated. You will also see aging hippies and younger up and coming hippies everywhere. This is a town that knows the strengh of community spirit. On Newport Ave is where all the shops and restaurants/bars are. There are many, as you can imagine, new-age shops here, as well as cool book stores and coffeeshops. The artist Jewel got her start singing in one of the coffeeshops here. There is also a great beach called 'Dog Beach' which lets you run around with your dogs, as long as they are on a beach. There is also a huge pier here to go fishing on are to walk all the way out and a great look at the beachfront. Lots of surfers here too.
If your around San Diego on a Wednesday make sure to check out the Ocean Beach Street Fair. Every Wednesday at 4:00 PM. Great mix of ethnic street foods, crafts, fresh locally grown fruit, and the local shops that are open regular business hours. Jewelry, hand made art, hand blown glass (oh yah) and everything in between. Last time i went i got some great local honey. See some interesting people and get out of your element a bit and GO TO OCEAN BEACH!
If you get a chance visit the Point Loma Seafood Restaurant. It has a great character and they serve the best seafood sandwiches. Mind you, I drove around for 3 hours to find it. What makes it hard to find is that it is not actually in the Point Loma neighborhood. Ask a local and they'll give you directions. I found that everyone I asked knew about it and had something positive to say about it while giving directions.
Not for the faint of heart of course! Dr. Jefe's in Ocean Beach on Newport Avenue is the place to get it done! On the right hand side when heading towards the beach. The main piercer (I hope he's still there) is tattooed ALL OVER his face but don't let that scare you...he's a cool dude. Ah yes, they also have some very nice, high end (gold, platinum and diamond) navel jewelry. Happy travels!