Beautiful hotels along the San Diego bayfront.

Beautiful hotels along San Diego Bay.
Beautiful hotels along San Diego Bay.

Visible in this photo, taken from the walking path at the south end of the Marriott Marina, are two prominent hotels on San Diego’s picturesque waterfront. To the left is the elegant Manchester Grand Hyatt, and in the center are the two curved, shining, sail-like buildings of the Marriott Marquis. On the far right you can see the north end of the long San Diego Convention Center.

After gazing awhile at the hundreds of sailboats and small yachts docked in the marina, you might head a short distance west to enjoy views of the grassy Embarcadero Marina Park South and its fishing pier on San Diego Bay.

San Diego bayfront hotels seen through trees.
Two San Diego bayfront hotels seen through trees.
View of Hilton Hotel behind tall masts and trees.
View of Hilton San Diego Bayfront behind tall masts and trees.

You’ll find the Hilton on the other side of the San Diego Convention Center.

Hilton Hotel seen beyond Harbor Excursion ticket booth.
Hilton hotel seen beyond San Diego Harbor Excursion ticket booth.
Marriott Hotel as seen from the bayside walkway.
Marriott Hotel as seen from the bayside walkway.
Looking north from the silvery Marriott toward the sandy Hyatt.
Looking north from the silvery Marriott toward the sandy Hyatt.
The two Manchester Grand Hyatt towers.
One more look at the two Manchester Grand Hyatt towers.

Just walking along toward Petco Park.

Padres fans descend steps, anticipating baseball.
Padres fans descend steps, anticipating baseball.

Look at these folks enjoying a walk across the new Harbor Drive bridge, over trolley and train tracks, on the way from the San Diego Convention Center and waterfront Hilton toward Petco Park. It’s hard to believe this incredible sports stadium is already ten years old. It seems like it was built only yesterday!

Should you ever attend a Padres baseball game, you’ll be treated to views of glistening downtown skyscrapers beyond the outfield, not to mention beautiful weather and lots of friendly fans.

Here’s a cool pic I converted to grayscale:

Heading down and up the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge.
Heading across the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge.
Padres fans walk from Harbor Drive bridge to Petco Park.
Padres fans walk from Harbor Drive bridge to nearby Petco Park.

Here are a couple more similar pics taken in April of 2015…

Climbing the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge from a path near the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel.
Padres fans climb the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge from a sidewalk near the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel.
Walking along toward Petco Park, anticipating a Padres win.
Strolling toward Petco Park, anticipating a Padres win.

Mission Valley mural of kids at play.

mission valley mural of kids at play

This is a part of a very long mural decorating the north side of Interstate 8 in Mission Valley. It’s called Kids being Kids.

I took this photograph from across Camino de la Reina, not far from the Union Tribune building. I got a bunch of pics, but this is the only one that captures the artwork’s color and energy. Perhaps I’ll try again some other day.

UPDATE!

I took some more pics…

Beach balls bounce beside a busy San Diego freeway.
Beach balls bounce beside a busy San Diego freeway.
Flying with arms wide across a lively public mural.
Flying with arms wide across a lively public mural.
Girl jumps on beloved mural beside Interstate 8.
Girl jumps on beloved mural beside Interstate 8.
It seems that kids will simply be kids.
It seems that kids will simply be kids.
Little girl is a delightful image in public art.
Little girl is a delightful image in public art.
Two young friends are one element in a fun mural.
Two young friends are one element in a fun mural.

Beautiful photo of San Diego River.

the beautiful san diego river

This photograph was taken several mornings ago while I walked through Mission Valley. It looks west from Mission Center Road along the San Diego River.

The bright green, I believe, is Yerba Mansa.

People are often surprised that such a beautiful, peaceful scene can be found in a busy city. Had I turned the camera in any other direction, I might’ve captured buildings, shopping centers, cars and several freeways. So much depends on the direction in which we turn…

Here are two more pics which I took in late February 2015…

The San Diego River Trail follows natural beauty through Mission Valley.
San Diego River Trail follows natural beauty through Mission Valley.
Taking a look at the river from the other side of Mission Center Road.
Taking a look at the river from the other side of Mission Center Road.

Stairs up and down: Horton Plaza, Lyceum Theater.

Stairs head up into Horton Plaza. Lyceum entrance is below.
Stairs head up into Horton Plaza.  Lyceum entrance is below.

Just a few quick pics.  In the above one you can get a glimpse of the underground entrance to the Lyceum Theater, home of the San Diego Repertory Theatre. In the photograph’s center are the main stairs that sweep upward into the Horton Plaza shopping center. The red building to the left has walkways on each level that provide fantastic views of the mall’s colorful, surprising interior.

During my walks I’ve taken many pics inside Horton Plaza. I’ll blog about that one day!

Near the north entrance of Horton Plaza.
Near the colorful main entrance of Horton Plaza.
Broad stairs ascend into San Diego's Horton Plaza.
Broad stairs ascend into San Diego’s unique Horton Plaza shopping mall.
Gazing down at unique entrance of the Lyceum Theatres.
Gazing down into the unique underground entrance of the Lyceum Theater.

Here’s a bonus pic I happened to take many months later…

Musician heads down stairs toward entrance of the Lyceum Theater.
Musician heads down stairs for a rehearsal.

Colorful animal obelisk in front of Horton Plaza!

colorful obelisk by horton plaza

Here’s a much better look at the obelisk in question. (See my last blog post.) It thrusts out of the ground right in front of Horton Plaza, marking the underground entrance to the Lyceum Theater. Animals of the water, land and air, fashioned out of colorful tiles, frolic together in a mosaic beneath a smiling crescent moon!

This playful work of art and the beautiful architecture of the building behind it is just a small hint of the fun that awaits visitors inside the Horton Plaza shopping mall!

Looking down at the obelisk and Lyceum Theatre.
Looking down at the obelisk and underground entrance to Lyceum Theater.
A closer view of colorful tile fish on the Horton Plaza obelisk.
A closer view of artistic fish on the Horton Plaza obelisk.

Statues of historical figures in front of Horton Plaza.

horton plaza statue beside ticket lady

The lady in this ticket booth in front of Horton Plaza seems unconcerned that a dark silent person looms ominously beside her! That person, in the form of a statue, is Ernest Hahn.  He’s a famous San Diego developer and the driving force behind the popular Horton Plaza shopping mall.

What you see in the first pic is a colorful scene near the entrance of Horton Plaza. An obelisk with a tile mosaic juts out of the underground entrance to the Lyceum Theater, which is home of the San Diego Repertory Theatre. The domed building in the upper left corner of the photograph belongs to the Balboa Theatre.

Ernest Hahn statue by Horton Plaza.
Ernest Hahn statue by Horton Plaza.

Across from the statue of Ernest Hahn is a bronze representation of Alonzo Erastus Horton, a gold miner, shop owner, and finally an influential real estate developer in the second half of the 19th century. He purchased cheap land for development adjacent to San Diego Bay where ships docked, well south of the established settlement below the old Spanish presidio.  Alonzo Horton’s New Town had supplanted Old Town in importance by the beginning of the 20th century.

Statue of Alonzo Horton, who helped steer the course of San Diego's history.
Statue of Alonzo Horton, whose ambitious business plans helped to steer the course of San Diego’s history.
Alonzo E. Horton established New Town where downtown San Diego exists today.
Alonzo E. Horton established his New Town where downtown San Diego exists today.

The third statue stands a bit to the west, on the other side of Horton Square. You can find it in the shade of a tree. The figure is Pete Wilson, who served as San Diego mayor from 1971 to 1983. He went on to serve as United States Senator and governor of California.

Statue of Pete Wilson, a popular San Diego mayor and prominent political figure.
Statue of Pete Wilson, a popular San Diego mayor and prominent political figure.

UPDATE!

Many years later I took a photo of a plaque at the feet of Pete Wilson…

San Diego’s success stems from the foresight of optimistic and dauntless leaders…Downtown redevelopment is one of his proudest achievements.

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!

San Diego’s landmark El Cortez Hotel.

san diego's landmark el cortez hotel

The historic El Cortez Hotel, now converted into condominiums, has been an iconic landmark in San Diego since 1926. Decades before gleaming skyscrapers rose to shape our modern skyline, the El Cortez dominated Cortez Hill and was the city’s tallest building.

The large sign on top, illuminated at night, brightly flashes the sequenced letters of “El Cortez” like a beacon out of the past. The El Cortez years ago had the world’s very first outside glass elevator. Known as the Starlight Express, the elevator brought visitors to the hotel’s penthouse restaurant, which featured amazing views of the growing city and the bay below. The hotel also had the world’s first motorized moving sidewalk!

I live several blocks from this wonderful building and love to gaze at it whenever I walk or drive past!

Looking up at the famous El Cortez sign.
Here’s the famous El Cortez sign.

The elegant front entrance of the El Cortez.
The elegant front entrance of the El Cortez.

Looking up at the stately old building.
Looking up at the stately old building.

Old Hires Root Beer ad on building wall.

old hires root beer ad on building wall

In downtown San Diego, on Kettner and A Street not far from Little Italy and the Santa Fe Depot, you might spot this old advertisement painted on a building wall. It promotes Dr. Pepper and Hires Root Beer. According to some googling I’ve done, the colorful artwork was revealed when an adjacent building was demolished. Looks to me like this building was a soda bottling plant years ago.

View of faded Hires Root Beer ad from across street.
View of faded Hires Root Beer ad from across street.

America’s Finest City newspaper mural.

America's Finest City newspaper mural

This large mural on the Arte Building on Sixth Avenue has become iconic in downtown San Diego. It was painted in 1989 by artists Kathleen King and Paul Naton and conveys a strong pro-multicultural message. Time has somewhat faded the once bold mural, but it still catches the attention of those venturing through the heart of the city.

America's Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.
America’s Finest City mural in downtown San Diego.