Oceanside

A great new video recently came out on Oceanside so I thought I would share it with some favorite photos of this ever changing town.

Visit when you get a chance.

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Nothing like watching the sunset from the pier. Oceanside Pier is one of the longest in the state.

 

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The quaint harbor features restaurants, shops, boat rentals, fishing excursions, and more.

 

Big Ship
Living next to a military base, you get to see all sorts of ships.
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Rent a boat and tool around the harbor

 

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The pier illuminated on Thanksgiving day.

 

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Many years ago a pier was constructed at Wisconsin Street. It has long been gone but once in a while on low tide, you can see the old pilings.

 

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A crisp fall day.

 

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Nothing like a sunset against the pier.

 

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Between the pier and the harbor sits a little park where you can get some great sunset shots. Here the clouds were the star of the show.

 

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El Nino seems to have brought some great crystal blue water.

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Point Loma Marina

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Sunday Drives: Point Loma Marina

Recently a couple friends told me about a quaint little marina in Point Loma where they had a wonderful seafood lunch overlooking the docks and the boats.  I racked my brain trying to think of where this was located but soon realized that I had never been there.  Eating seafood wasn’t the appeal for me but I just had to see this marina myself so it was time for a Sunday drive!!!

With not much to go on, not even the name of the restaurant, we took a few lucky guesses and soon arrived at our destination.

Mitchs Seafood is the restaurant in question and it does indeed sit on the edge of the marina.

One of the lots was closed so we had to park in a 30-minute zone which made us rush a little in our exploration of the area.  As it turned out we could have parked in another lot that didn’t have the 30-minute limit.

My friends checked out the menu at Mitch’s and agreed that the food looked good enough to come back for another visit when we had more time.

Point Loma Marina is San Diego’s newest marina located in Shelter Island’s America’s Cup Harbor, nestled just below the foothills of Point Loma.   The marina has a walkway so that you can easily stroll to a few different restaurants, an ice cream shop, a large tackle shop, and more.  On this Saturday afternoon, the area looked to be preparing for an open market craft fair that was taking place at night. That explained the lack of parking.

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The walkway

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The quaint marina

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Unknown to me is that the Promenade area has won two prestigious architectural awards which I would have paid more attention to if it wasn’t for the parking time limit.  I did notice some pretty cool buildings but my attention was more towards the water.  We were able to walk out on one of the long docks and casually wander along the wooden planks as we enjoyed the serenity of the harbor.    The sky was a vibrant blue and the day was warm, both adding to the ambience.  I think if it wasn’t for that dreaded time limit, I could have hung out there a lot longer.  It was super relaxing.

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On our way back we passed by a kayak and stand-up-paddle rental shop. I glanced back at the marina and thought this would be a perfect place to ride one of those on a warm summer day.    We also passed by Jimmy’s Famous American Restaurant which also had outdoor seating and that same wonderful view.

We made a pit stop into the Fisherman’s Landing tackle shop and were amazed on how much gear they had packed in one place.  There you will find every hook, swivel, sinker, for any size fish.

Time was up so we headed back to the car and planned where we were going to eat lunch. It was kind of funny that it wasn’t a seafood restaurant as we were right there next to one.  No, we instead chose Italian cuisine since our favorite Filipe’s was just down the road in Pacific Beach.  Or they were just being nice to me since I had the keys.

Point Loma Marina isn’t an all day thing and isn’t the size of a Seaport Village or Shoreline Village in Long Beach; however, it’s a great place to enjoy a leisurely lunch, then a mellow stroll or a kayak ride around the bay.

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A great place to kayak or SUP.

Next time you are in town or feel like taking a little drive, check out Point Loma Marina just off of North Harbor Drive.

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Hopefully, you won’t have a non-seafood eating friend like me with you so can you relax on the deck at Mitch’s and devour some shrimp and clams while enjoying that amazing panoramic view!

Story: Debbie Colwell

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South Carlsbad State Beach

A friend once said they hate camping because you get dirty and grimy.   I thought about it and yes, that can actually be true especially when camping at state parks where your sites are usually in dirt or sand.   However, That IS camping.  You do get dirty, you do smell like camp fire smoke, you do rough it in some cases.   That is why some people prefer RV’s where you can have the comfort of home and still enjoy camping life.  You can sleep in a warm comfortable bed at night yet enjoy the outdoors, nature, the waves crashing on the beach, birds chirping in the morning,  the stars at night,  S ‘Mores around the campfire, and all that camping encompasses.  At the very least, you are getting away for the weekend even if it is close to home.

Getting away for the weekend and close to home is exactly what we did as we packed up our gear to stay at South Carlsbad State Beach.

The park sits on the cliffs just south of Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad.  It spans about 2 miles and is home to about 222 campsites some of which now have hook ups.    Obviously the best sites are the ones that sit directly on the bluff facing the Pacific Ocean.  On the other side of the road the sites may not have the same unobstructed view but it is only a short walk to find a view point overlooking the coast. At least that was the case from our campsite.

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One of the sites right on the bluff, overlooking the ocean
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A view looking down the only road in and out

For this particular weekend, we pulled out a brand new tent and we had two people putting it up while I sat back reading the instructions and supervising.  Hey what can I say, I was born a supervisor so that is what I should do, can’t deny my calling, right?  Once in awhile between sips of beer, I had to get up to compare the photo illustrations to make sure it was being built correctly.  The tent went up in a reasonable amount of time thanks to my brilliant direction, oh… and the other two of course.

Once accommodations were set up it was time for munchies and a fire.  Looking up at the stars, the fresh air, and talking story by the bonfire  is what camping is all about regardless if you have  a tent or a bus sized RV.  The dirt can always be washed off at the park shower and the smelly clothes can go in the washer when you get home.

South Carlsbad State Beach has a mix of campsites ranging in size.   All spaces are ample and privacy is in the form of trees and bushes between each camp.

The beach can be accessed by a long stairway available in different parts of the park. The view point and the stairs were very close to where we were so it wasn’t a long walk to get to the beach.  Climbing down the stairway is a nice little hike but not too bad.  If you go to the beach with all of your gear, plan to stay awhile.

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One of the look outs

We did take the stairs down to the beach and were surprised on how many rocks were along the shore between patches of sand.  However, the rocks were gorgeous with hues of red, orange, green, blue, etc.  I was bummed that I didn’t take my camera with me as I chose to collect a few shells instead.   There were hardly any shells as it turned out so I plopped down on a comfy boulder and enjoyed the sights of the beach anyway.

Heading back up the stairs I have to admit there were a few huffs and puffs coming from my direction.  We stopped to enjoy the 180 degree view of the coastline from a bench half way up but it was just to enjoy the view and not to rest, I swear. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

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A view of the bluffs and beach looking north

Back at the site we just kicked back as you usually do when camping and eventually squandered over to an empty site to watch the sunset.  For dinner we cooked with a camping stove and sat at the provided cement picnic table to enjoy our delicious meal.   Also, all sites have fire pits.

It is a peaceful camping area at least in the section where we were.  They only allowed 3 cars per site which was a bummer as some of our friends wanted to come visit.   Plus the hefty $15.00 parking fee kept away anyone who was only going to stay for a few hours.  Maybe that is why it is so quiet there; nobody can plan a raging party when there is no place to park. We were told that you could park outside on Pacific Coast Highway and come in through a gate but there is no guarantee your site will be close to that entrance.  It is just as well, the quiet is nice.

The bathrooms are clean and the sites as mentioned are plenty large.  An onsite store is open until 8:00pm with pretty much everything you need or forgot to bring.

Dogs are also allowed.

The park is a great place to camp whether you want to play at the beach or just sit back and enjoy the sound of the crashing waves.

If you love camping, consider South Carlsbad State Beach.  Leave your TV behind and instead enjoy a beautiful sunset across the Pacific Ocean.  Substitute a night at your favorite restaurant for a barbecue of chicken or steak with corn on the cob, and finally, forgo that fancy dessert and instead gobble down a hot gooey marshmallow stacked between a graham cracker and Hershey bar.

That is camping, and as far as the dirt?  I say…Bring it on!!!!