Installing beautiful new murals in Balboa Park!

Four beautiful new murals above the entrance of the San Diego Automotive Museum are presently being installed!

As I walked through Balboa Park’s new Palisades Plaza this afternoon, I noticed workers were carefully cementing finished ceramic tiles to the Automotive Museum’s historic 1935 California State Building.

If you’re curious about these colorful tile murals, and wonder how they’ll appear when finished, click here. You’ll see photos of identical, but temporary printed murals that appeared above the museum entrance several years ago.

You’ll also learn how these new ceramic murals are based on past artwork created for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in Balboa Park!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Dramatic faces outside the Spreckels Theatre!

I was walking down Broadway in downtown San Diego a few days ago when, looking up, I suddenly realized there are four different faces adorning the 1912 Spreckels Theater Building!

Two of the face types, which can be found at intervals around the building, look like dramatic golden masks. The other two belong to musicians holding a lyre and harp, directly above the marquee.

I took these photographs!

If you’d like to see the elegant inside of the building, check out a blog post I published several years ago. Back then I enjoyed a special tour of the amazing theatre, where I and a few others learned all about its history. And we got to go backstage!

See those interior photos by clicking here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A walk around beautiful Oceanside Harbor.

These photographs were taken during a walk around beautiful Oceanside Harbor.

I began where Harbor Drive descends to the water and intersects with North Harbor Drive.

The walk proceeds west along the South Harbor, then curves to the North Harbor, taking in many interesting sights along the way.

At a point across the water from the Jolly Roger restaurant, I turned about, retraced my steps, then explored the South Harbor’s various shops and attractions.

I then made my way west to North Pacific Street, next to Oceanside Harbor Beach, and headed past the boat ramps to the jetty that juts out into the Pacific Ocean beyond a parking lot.

Hopefully you’ll get a taste of what this walk on a sunny, late February weekend afternoon was like!

Descending Harbor Drive to beautiful Oceanside Harbor.
Looking past Joe’s Crab Shack and boats in the South Harbor marina toward the picturesque lighthouse.
Across from the Oceanside Harbor boat ramps, which we’ll see close up later in the walk.
Turning north, walking past the Oceanside Broiler restaurant, where diners sit outdoors gazing at boats in the Southern California sunshine.
Many benches along Oceanside Harbor are dedicated to loved ones, or feature inspirational messages.
Monument to Erwin Sklar, 1910-1974. During his term as Mayor and City Councilman this harbor was designed and built, fulfilling a Dream of Erwin Sklar and the People of Oceanside.
Small boats pass stand up paddleboarders near the entrance to Oceanside Harbor.
Watching activity on the water from the end of the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier.
Monument by the Oceanside Harbor Fishing Pier. Remember Pearl Harbor.
Fishermen wait patiently for a bite on the pier. I was told many types of fish can be caught here, especially when the water warms up later in the year.
A large ship’s anchor with a small plaque across from the entrance to Oceanside Harbor.
In memory of those lost at sea. Dedicated January 9, 1979.
Along North Harbor Drive, large blue and white letters spell OCEANSIDE.
Many along the boardwalk were watching Sea Lion Island, where there appeared to be a lot of napping.
Sea lions relax in the Oceanside sunshine.
A better view of the OCEANSIDE sign, which is visible to boaters entering the harbor.
Continuing the walk, now along the North Harbor.
People pass me on the boardwalk carrying a kayak.
I pass the Oceanside Weighing Station. No fish being weighed at the moment.
The Jolly Roger restaurant across the North Harbor.
Kayaks stacked on the nearby dock.
Right around here I turned about to retrace my steps.
Back by Joe’s Crab Shack. The walk now proceeds in that direction.
People walk out onto the docks.
Some sportfishing vessels can be boarded nearby.
Approaching shops and restaurants and other touristy attractions of the New England-style Oceanside Harbor Village.
Sportfishing and whale watching trips are available at the Oceanside Sea Center.
A great view from up there.
I like this mail box!
Interesting photo of the red and white faux lighthouse, which is actually home to Lighthouse Oyster Bar and Grill.
Lots of beachy souvenirs attract passersby.
Looking back at the lighthouse and Oceanside Harbor Village.
We’ve arrived at North Pacific Street, which runs between the harbor and the beach.
Heading north again, but on the west side of Oceanside Harbor.
We’ve come to the boat ramps, which are very active on a sunny weekend day.
Marker at the Oceanside Harbor Boat Launching Facility.
Curtis Landing, dedicated September 17, 2005, honors two people named Curtis. Jon W. Curtis was a harbor police officer hero. Joe V. Curtis contributed as a community leader.
Photo taken across the harbor from beside the boat ramps.
Another photo.
Continuing north.
Kites were flying near the harbor entrance.
I’ve turned west and am heading toward the jetty which protects Oceanside Harbor from the Pacific Ocean. In the distance past a sailboat you can see the Oceanside Marina Suites.
A right turn on the water leads to Camp Pendleton Harbor’s boat basin.
That sailboat we just saw is now entering the harbor.
Near the foot of the T-shaped jetty. The beach is on the left.
People by the shining Pacific Ocean.
And to the south, far beyond this surfer on the beach, juts the long Oceanside Pier.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

The Welcoming Arches and Bell of Oceanside.

The Welcoming Arches and the Welcome Bell greet motorists driving south on Interstate 5 as they enter Oceanside, California. The arches and bell stand just beyond a large American flag and beside the parking lot of an In-N-Out Burger.

I passed by the California Mission inspired structure last weekend as I walked down the Coast Highway.

Mission San Luis Rey, founded in 1798, is located about four miles east-northeast of these bright white adobe mission-style arches.

The Welcoming Arches were designed by noted Southern California architect George M. Adams in 1978 and dedicated in 1982.

The first part of the above plaque reads:

THE WELCOMING ARCHES

AN OCEANSIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PROJECT

“THE WELCOMING ARCHES WERE CONCEIVED FROM A WISH THAT
OCEANSIDES’ VISITORS RECEIVE A WELCOME REFLECTING THE
BEAUTY, BOUNTY AND HERITAGE OF THIS AREA.

REALIZING WHERE THERE IS PRIVILEGE THERE IS ALSO
OBLIGATION, THIS ENTRANCE EDIFICE WAS BUILT BY THE
VOLUNTARY GENEROSITY OF THE PEOPLE OF OCEANSIDE”


..LORRAINE SHAFFER

Part of this smaller plaque reads:

“WELCOME BELL”
DONATED BY
OCEANSIDE ROTARY CLUB
JOHN A. STEIGER, PRESIDENT
JANUARY 1983

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Mural depicts boats in Oceanside Harbor.

This mural painted by artist Caleb Smith depicts Oceanside Harbor. Elements include two boats, the harbor lighthouse and an American flag. You can see it as you drive south down the Coast Highway near Neptune Way, not long after you pass over the San Luis Rey River. It was painted on the side of Harbor Liquors.

After I took a look at this mural on Saturday, I walked north over the river bridge, turned west toward the Pacific Ocean, and descended to beautiful Oceanside Harbor, where I took many photographs. Those photos will be coming up shortly!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Cool photo memories from March 2016.

We’ve stepped into a new month, so it’s time to look back at some of the things Cool San Diego Sights featured five years ago!

Back in March 2016 there was a whole lot going on in San Diego!

The following links will take you to photographs of various events and places of interest that you might enjoy seeing again. Unless, of course, you’re new to my blog. In that case, you’ll see these photos for the very first time!

Click the following links for lots of photographs…

Mountain men, a gunsmith and a blacksmith.

Irish pride on display at big St. Patrick’s Day Parade!

Photos of International Mariachi Festival in National City.

History comes alive during tour of Spanish Village.

Photos of National City Depot museum and streetcars!

This blog now features thousands of photos around San Diego! Are you curious? There’s lots of cool stuff to check out!

Here’s the Cool San Diego Sights main page, where you can read the most current blog posts.  If you’re using a phone or small mobile device, click those three parallel lines up at the top–that opens up my website’s sidebar, where you’ll see the most popular posts, a search box, and more!

To enjoy future posts, you can also “like” Cool San Diego Sights on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Making new memories in Balboa Park.

Another easy Sunday in Balboa Park. Creating new memories. Remembering good times.

Another sunny day with more ice cream, more music, more people laughing and smiling.

I recognized some people in the park I hadn’t seen in years. I saw Fast Heart Mart playing his banjo. I saw Brandon riding his big-wheeled penny-farthing.

I observed how memories are now being made in the new Palisades Plaza, where tables welcome families and roller skating has become popular.

Every visit to Balboa Park is unique.

And to think another Spring will soon be here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Cool marquee of the Star in Oceanside!

The next cool thing I came upon during my Oceanside walk yesterday was the historic Star theater building with its incredible marquee!

As I was taking photos, I noticed someone testing different paint colors on the building’s exterior. I subsequently learned from two friendly people of the Star Theatre Company, which now occupies the old movie house, that a new paint job is coming both inside and outside, to make this historic Oceanside landmark even more amazing!

I also learned the Star Theatre, during the COVID-19 pandemic, is hosting an after school Acting Camp for youth with safety precautions, is offering professional audition taping and workshops, and will be offering live streamed performances. To read more check out their website here.

More about the building’s unique history can be read here, including: “The Star Theatre opened the 18th of August 1956 with the movie “Moby Dick” starring Gregory Peck…Designed by architect William Glenn Balch, the Star was from an era when neon was king and every city was building a drive-in or walk-in theater. The Star Theatre is the largest of Balch’s 17 theaters that were located in the state of California and the last one that is still open. The marquee boasted being the largest in San Diego County and has been noted for its spectacular animation. It is one of the few remaining examples from its era…”

In this difficult period of an extended coronavirus lockdown, the Star Theatre would really appreciate donations, to help keep their important mission moving forward. Please help them here.

Finally, if you’re wondering about the big, colorful mural on the side of the building in the following photograph, check out one of my old blog posts here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Nostalgic car mural at The Fin Hotel.

During my long walk through Oceanside yesterday, my very first cool discovery was this large nostalgic mural on the side of The Fin Hotel. It depicts a slice of Americana: a small town scene from the mid-20th century.

The Fin Hotel is a boutique hotel that began its life as the Keisker Hotel, built in 1927. Before it was The Fin it was The Dolphin. Today it’s an historic Oceanside landmark that has survived decades of change in the growing city.

The mural, painted by Southern California artist Lisa Kelly, incorporates the cool The Fin Hotel neon sign, as you can see in the coming photos! It also features many classic cars, the Oceanside Pier, and a woodie with a surfboard on top!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Famous house from movie Top Gun is restored!

The famous Top Gun House, where Maverick ate dinner with Charlie in the popular 1980’s movie Top Gun, has been restored!

I passed the iconic house today during a long walk through Oceanside, and the beachfront cottage appears completely changed from a few years ago. When I last took a look at the Top Gun House, back in 2018, the color scheme and porch were quite different, as you can see in today’s photos and my old blog post here.

The beautiful little 1887 Queen Anne Cottage has been restored to its original appearance. Learn about the Graves House’s historical importance in Oceanside and see a photo of how it looked when built over a century ago by clicking here.

The house has not only been restored, but it has been relocated a short distance up North Pacific Street, to a spot in front of the newly built Oceanside Beach Resort, which is scheduled to open later this year.

The following photo is one that I took in August of 2018…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!