A sunny walk from the airport to Spanish Landing.

Playing catch with a dog on the small beach at Spanish Landing Park. A sailboat moves through Harbor Island's West Basin, heading out to San Diego Bay.
Playing catch with a dog on the small beach at Spanish Landing Park. A sailboat moves through Harbor Island’s West Basin, heading out to San Diego Bay.

A wide path for walkers and bicyclists runs from San Diego’s Embarcadero to Spanish Landing. While the portion between the Coast Guard station and Harbor Island Drive isn’t terribly scenic (it’s located right next to Harbor Drive and a lot of airport traffic), the section that meanders through Spanish Landing Park provides a peaceful, pleasant stroll. And a chance to learn a bit about San Diego’s history!

Today I took a long walk up the sunny path. Here are some photos. I pulled out my camera near Lindbergh Field and kept snapping pics all the way to the west end of Spanish Landing Park. (And beyond, as you’ll see in coming blog posts!)

As usual, please refer to the captions. You might note that Spanish Landing received its name because the 1769 expedition by Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolá anchored in San Diego Bay near this place. The bay was much different back then–in modern times it has been extensively dredged and expanded. Indeed, Harbor Island, which you see in some photos, was originally a sandbank! Harbor Island today is composed of dredge spoils.

A long path along Harbor Drive runs from the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego to Spanish Landing. Bicyclists head up the path on a sunny weekend.
A long path along Harbor Drive runs from the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego to Spanish Landing. Bicyclists head up the path on a sunny weekend.
This mural can be spotted across Harbor Drive as one approaches Lindbergh Field. Painted on the commuter terminal, it spells SAN, the code for San Diego International Airport.
This mural can be spotted across Harbor Drive as one approaches Lindbergh Field. Painted on the commuter terminal, it spells SAN, the code for San Diego International Airport.
The path, at the edge of San Diego Bay, is part of the California Coastal Trail. It's ideal for walking or biking from downtown to Spanish Landing Park, and beyond.
The path, near the edge of San Diego Bay, is part of the California Coastal Trail. It’s ideal for walking or biking from downtown to Spanish Landing Park, and beyond.
A photo with my camera lifted toward the sky on a fine Saturday in mid-October.
A photo with my camera lifted toward the sky on a fine Saturday in mid-October.
A quick photo of Cancer Survivors Park, on the east end of Spanish Landing Park. I've blogged about this special place a couple of times.
A quick photo of Cancer Survivors Park, on the east end of Spanish Landing Park. I’ve blogged about this special place a couple of times.
Kayak heads across the water toward boats docked at a Harbor Island marina.
Kayak heads across the water toward boats docked at a Harbor Island marina.  Hotels on Harbor Island are resting on soil dredged up from the bay.
I remember hearing the Callaway Carillon bell tower near the center of Spanish Landing Park when I was a child. I believe it no longer works. I hope I'm wrong.
I remember hearing the Callaway Carillon bell tower near the center of Spanish Landing Park when I was a child. I believe it no longer works. I hope I’m wrong.
Plaque near base of the electronic bell tower. The Callaway Carillon is presented to the Port of San Diego by Thearle Music Company Associates . . . 1973
Plaque near base of the electronic bell tower. The Callaway Carillon is presented to the Port of San Diego by Thearle Music Company Associates . . . 1973
Walkers pause on the path through Spanish Landing to read a California Historical Landmark plaque near the water.
Walkers pause on the path through Spanish Landing to read a California Historical Landmark plaque near the water.
Spanish Landing. Near this point, sea and land parties of the Portola-Serra Expedition met. Two ships, the San Antonio and San Carlos, anchored on May 4-5, 1769.
Spanish Landing. Near this point, sea and land parties of the Portola-Serra Expedition met. Two ships, the San Antonio and San Carlos, anchored on May 4-5, 1769.
A bit further up the path is a playground and a popular spot for parties and celebrations on the nearby grass.
A bit further up the path is a playground and a popular spot for parties and celebrations on the nearby grass.
Bronze artwork near the path through Spanish Landing honors those who lost their lives, during the sea journey by Gaspar de Portolá up the coast.
Bronze artwork near the path through Spanish Landing honors those who lost their lives, during the sea journey by Gaspar de Portolá up the coast, two and a half centuries ago.
Dedicated to the heroic Spaniards who gave their lives and were buried near this site in 1769-70, after accompanying Gaspar de Portolá, the first Governor of California, in the exploration of California from San Diego to San Francisco.
Dedicated to the heroic Spaniards who gave their lives and were buried near this site in 1769-70, after accompanying Gaspar de Portolá, the first Governor of California, in the exploration of California from San Diego to San Francisco.
Many benches along Spanish Landing Park provide views of the peaceful water and Harbor Island.
Many benches along Spanish Landing Park provide views of the peaceful water and nearby Harbor Island.
Bicyclists near the west end of Spanish Landing Park. By crossing the North Harbor Drive Bridge, one can enter Point Loma.
Bicyclists near the west end of Spanish Landing Park. By crossing the North Harbor Drive Bridge, one can enter Point Loma.
The North Harbor Drive Bridge was dedicated in June 1980.
The North Harbor Drive Bridge was dedicated in June 1980.
Paddleboarders float down the boat channel between North Harbor Drive Bridge and the adjacent Nimitz Bridge, which is now used by pedestrians. The grass in the distance is part of the Liberty Station Esplanade.
Paddleboarders float down the boat channel, between North Harbor Drive Bridge and the adjacent Nimitz Bridge, which is now used by pedestrians. The grass in the distance is part of the Liberty Station Esplanade.
Resting on a bench at the west end of Spanish Landing Park, just gazing out at a beautiful scene.
People rest on a bench at the west end of Spanish Landing Park, gazing out at a beautiful scene.
Sailboats, paddleboards and boats of every type out on blue San Diego Bay. The Pacific Ocean lies just beyond the peninsula of Point Loma, in the distance.
Sailboats, paddleboards and boats of every type out on blue San Diego Bay. The Pacific Ocean lies just beyond the peninsula of Point Loma, in the distance.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk! 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 fun photos for you to enjoy!

Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

One thought on “A sunny walk from the airport to Spanish Landing.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s