Sunday, October 23, 2011

San Diego Harbor

Let me remind you that over the next week, I will be playing catch-up for my visit home to San Diego. Today, I want to introduce you to the beautiful San Diego Harbor, one of the first things you will see as you land in San Diego by air and the very first thing you will walk along if you cruise into the port by ship. On a beautiful day, one of my favorite things to do is to take a nice walk along the harbor all the way from Seaport Village near downtown toward the cruise port and main harbor and onward to Shelter Island. If you are really eager you might make the trek past Shelter Island through Point Loma and up to the lookout at Cabrillo National Monument. It's spectacular, if you have the time.

Seaport Village lookout at the Embarcadero Marina Park
First things first...our walk starts off at Seaport Village, a shopping and dining complex bordering the San Diego Bay. Seaport Village is quite popular with families and you are likely to find kids riding bikes, flying kites and rollerblading in the company of their families (especially at the Embarcadero  Marina Park, seen above). Apart from its strolling, another popular must-do at Seaport Village is to try out one of the many fish restaurants since they are quite famous for their fish offerings.

After checking out Seaport Village and its famous carousel (where I have many childhood memories), you can stroll right toward the San Diego Cruise Port where indeed we did see many cruise ships in port. San Diego is always popular on a California cruise itinerary. The cruise port borders the San Diego Harbor on one side and downtown San Diego on the other.

In the above photo, you can see that we are approaching Anthony's Fish Grotto, a San Diego restaurant favorite and the touristy Star of India ship just behind it. The decorations inside Anthony's are a bit kitschy, but the food is affordable and delicious at the same time with wonderful views of the San Diego Harbor. Of course we had to make a pit-stop.


After dining at Anthony's you will see right next door the well-known ship, the Star of India. Although mostly a museum, the Star of India is the second oldest ship that still sails regularly and the oldest iron-hulled merchant ship that is still floating. Built in the UK over a century ago, this ship sailed to India, then to New Zealand and finally to California. Any San Diego local will be able to tell you about the Star of India. Indeed, we probably went there on a field trip at some point in time.



Across the street from Anthony's and the Star of India is the San Diego Administration Building, and a beautiful one at that. Its obvious beauty makes it clear why many couples choose to marry here  in a civil ceremony and to forgo traditional, more expensive services.

As we keep walking, we will notice airplanes flying low. Indeed, the San Diego airport is just around the corner, quite close to the harbor front. In just ten minutes time, you will be at the edge of the airport, with the airfield on your right and scenic Spanish Landing, a harborside park, on your left.

Pretty nice area for an airport, don't you think? After taking a break at Spanish Landing, where you can watch the sailboats floating on one side and the planes landing on the other side, you can take off once again and head for Harbor Island, home to some beautiful bayside hotels. The view from here to downtown San Diego, where we started out, is amazing.


In the photo above, you can actually see the famous Coronado Bay Bridge which connects you to the beautiful island of Coronado. We didn't have enough time on our brief visit to San Diego to visit Coronado, but I assure you it has some of the best scenery, beaches and food in all of San Diego. Technically, Coronado is not even San Diego, it's its own city. Anyhow, here we are now at the San Diego Marina.

From here, I would really advise you to take a car to drive through neighboring Point Loma and up to the lookout at Cabrillo National Monument. The path is available for you to walk if you so choose, or perhaps you're outside for a good, long run. Along the way, you will see in person that postcard view of San Diego from Point Loma's Shelter Island viewpoint.

The World Cup was once held here at Point Loma's Shelter Island location.  After your brief photo-op at Shelter Island, it's time to head onward to our final stop at Cabrillo National Monument. A national landmark and a popular elementary school field trip stop, Cabrillo is a monument dedicated to the explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo who discovered California and the San Diego Bay in 1542. Up here, you can find a famous lighthouse and daily tours.

In the photo above, you can see on the left hand side some distinct red rooftops. That is the famous Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island. In front of this beautiful hotel are some of the best beaches in all of San Diego County and I would definitely recommend a full-day visit to this precious island right outside of San Diego. Just a quick drive over the bridge will get you there. I hope you enjoyed seeing the beautiful San Diego Harbor from all its most well-known vantage points. Another one of my other favorite San Diego walks, among many, is on Mission Bay, which unfortunately I did not have the time to do while home. However, I'll be happy to give you a sneak peek of what it is:

Of course you could walk by the beach, but even better, to me, is to stroll alongside that beautiful bay as it twists and turns inside San Diego's Mission Bay area. Another great recommendation if you ever find yourself in my hometown. Last but not least, I can never visit San Diego Harbor without making a stop at my favorite gelato place in the world. Yes, even better than what I've tasted in Italy in my few trips there: Gelato Vero on India Street. Be sure to make a visit there and try the dark chocolate and coffee bean, among other scrumptious flavors!


  1. You've shown just a few of the reasons why San Diego is known, quite correctly, as "America's Finest City"! How fortunate we are to call this gem home.

  2. Hi,
    What a great a picture collection. Thanks for sharing this post.


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