A historical walking tour of Encinitas.

If you’re a San Diego resident or visitor, I recommend going on a historical walking tour of Encinitas.

The free guided walks, which are led by a member of the Encinitas Historical Society, typically occur every two months and begin inside the society’s headquarters, a restored one-room 1883 schoolhouse. For the location, and to see the dates of upcoming walking tours, check out their website here.

Last Saturday I and a couple dozen others gathered at the old schoolhouse for the tour. The sky was overcast with May gray, but the cool temperature was perfect for a very active one and a half hour walk.

Our group headed south from the schoolhouse, checking out the two iconic Encinitas Boathouses and a few other historical homes and buildings. After a short eastward leg, we continued farther south down Coast Highway 101 to view the Golden Lotus Towers of the Self-Realization Fellowship from a distance, then headed back north passing numerous historical buildings until we reached Cottonwood Creek. Turning west, we followed the creek, climbed to a spot overlooking Moonlight Beach where we admired a Heritage Tree, then headed south a few blocks back to the old schoolhouse.

These photographs include sights I’d seen during a past walk in Encinitas. Back then I was on my own, wandering about randomly while knowing very little. The guided tour last weekend was extremely informative and I’ve provided a little bit of what I learned (and managed to jot down) in the photo captions.

If you want a great experience make sure to go on the tour yourself! Like every other beach city in San Diego’s North County, Encinitas has a rich history that is often surprising!

The unique Boathouses of Encinitas were built in 1927-1928 and were once called The Arks. They were constructed with recycled lumber from a dance pavilion and bath house that used to be located at Moonlight Beach.
The Petrie House, in the Tudor-Cotswold Revival architectural style, was built in 1931. Every cement block was made by hand.
The Self-Realization Fellowship Temple was originally the 1916 Mission School. The old Spanish architectural influences are still visible.
To the south down Coast Highway 101 we could see the distinctive golden towers of the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram.
The 1949 County Realty Building, now home of Encinitas 101 Main Street Association.
A surfboard bench and photo of Main Street, Encinitas, California, looking west, circa 1947.
Beautiful wood interior of the 1925 Payne Cleaners building. It is home to the longest laundry service business in San Diego County.
Rustic-appearing buildings across the Coast Highway at The Lumberyard shopping center were inspired by history. Trains running on nearby tracks once delivered lumber to Encinitas here.
Beautiful original glasswork decorates a historic building.
The Daley Double saloon was called the Rendezvous in the 1930’s. It once housed an illegal poker parlor and boxing ring.
Murals painted by Micaiah Hardison, born and raised in Encinitas.
The original Encinitas sign was erected in 1928, removed in 1937 for a highway widening project, then duplicated and returned to the same location in 2000.
The famous La Paloma Theater, also called Aubrey Austin Building, opened in 1928. Built in a Spanish Mission/Art Deco style.
The sculpture Encinitas Child was created by local artist Manuelita Brown. A young girl was killed on the nearby road years ago.
The popular, very colorful Surfing Madonna mural.

Last year I blogged about the Surfing Madonna mural with additional photos and information here.

Encinitas owes its origin to Cottonwood Creek, a source of water and wood on San Diego’s arid north coast. Trains coming down from Los Angeles stopped here. In 1881 the town of Old Encinitas was established.
Members of our tour group look down at a huge frog at the edge of the creek.
A large, rare Torrey pine tree, on a hilltop not far from the Pacific Ocean.
The 2nd Heritage Tree of Encinitas. Planted in 1952, the huge Star Pine is lit during the holidays and Santa arrives on a firetruck from nearby Fire Station One.
One of many quaint beach cottages built by the ocean in Encinitas.

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 shining sculpture dances in Encinitas.

A fantastic kinetic sculpture was recently installed on the Coast Highway in Encinitas. You can see it shining among trees in the small park in front of the Self-Realization Fellowship building, at South Coast Hwy 101 and K Street.

The titanium and stainless steel sculpture is called Orpheus, named after the poet and musician of Greek mythology. Orpheus played his lyre so movingly that even the trees danced. And indeed, the trees near this metallic Orpheus seem to dance with it as the sculpture’s curving arms move quietly in the wind like living limbs.

Orpheus was created by Encinitas artist Jeffery Laudenslager. His peculiar geometric sculpture Fuji San was photographed six years ago here.

Orpheus has been acquired by the Encinitas Friends of the Arts and, according to this article, is the very first piece of public art in the City of Encinitas’ Sculpture Installation Program.

I took these photos last Saturday. By sheer coincidence, I read an article this morning that another similar kinetic sculpture by Jeffery Laudenslager was recently stolen from his driveway, and he is offering a reward to recover it.

Enjoy a few photos of Orpheus, playing its visual music in the sky above Encinitas…

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 visit to the Encinitas Historical Society schoolhouse.

A one-room schoolhouse stands on a hilltop in San Diego’s North County, a very short distance from the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The old schoolhouse is the home of the Encinitas Historical Society, and I paid a visit last Saturday.

The historic schoolhouse, built in 1883, is the oldest building in Encinitas.

While its outward appearance is modest, step through a door and you’ll find the schoolhouse is roomy and welcoming. The wood floors are original. The bright walls are alive with photographs depicting the history of both the schoolhouse and early Encinitas–the residents, town buildings and few landmarks.

In 1883, with the arrival of a family from England, the population of Encinitas swelled to a whopping twenty two. The newly arrived father (a cabinetmaker) and his seventeen-year-old son built the schoolhouse primarily from redwood.

Today, the museum-like schoolhouse contains student desks from the period, but I learned the very first desks, due to lack of funds, were actually irregular things made of cut tree limbs. Slate boards were used for writing and arithmetic. Children who attended the school in those early days of Encinitas came from farms. Some walked as far as two miles.

The history of the schoolhouse is a bit complicated. Over the years changes and additions were made to the structure . . . it was moved in 1928 and became a private residence for half a century . . . it was saved in 1983 by the Encinitas Historical Society and moved back to its original location . . . and finally, it was restored and in 1995 opened to the public.

Visitors who peruse the many photographs and descriptions decorating the schoolhouse walls will feel they’ve travelled back in time. And perhaps to another world.

After looking at many of the displays, I joined a small group that had gathered for a once-every-two-month historical walking tour of Encinitas. I will be blogging about that great tour shortly!

The following photographs are a little of what I saw outside and inside the schoolhouse. To learn much more about this special place, and to perhaps plan your own visit, please check out the Encinitas Historical Society website by clicking here!

I also learned they’d appreciate any donations!

A plaque displayed near the chalkboard is dedicated to the Encinitas Boathouses. One block south of the schoolhouse, two unique cottages that appear like boats can be seen during a walking tour offered by the Encinitas Historical Society.
Encinitas Schoolhouse Grades One through Eight. 1883.
Concrete Highway 101. Two lane road to Los Angeles. 1913.
A craft fair was being held outside the old Encinitas schoolhouse the Saturday I visited. Beyond the parked cars you can see nearby Pacific View Elementary, closed since 2003.
Alone, at the very top of the hill stands the small one-room schoolhouse. A little beyond the hill stretches the Pacific Ocean.

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!

A special song celebrates beautiful Coronado.

There’s a special, very beautifully written song that celebrates Coronado. The song, which has become beloved by many over the years, was written by composer and Coronado resident Joan Brown Goldberg, who passed away in early 2020.

I learned about The Coronado Song yesterday in Encinitas of all places. I was outside the old 19th century schoolhouse, lingering after a historical walking tour of Encinitas, when I approached a pianist who was playing among nearby vendors at a small crafts event.

The musician, whom you can see in my photos, is Famous Frank. He told me about Joan Brown Goldberg and how he’d played The Coronado Song during a music festival at the Emerald C Gallery a couple years ago. He described The Coronado Song as the unofficial theme song of Coronado.

I did a little searching, and discovered here that “…For a time the song with piano accompaniment was sold around town and at the Hotel del Coronado.”

I also found here that Joan Brown Goldberg “…was a talented composer, writing over 40 songs. Her most recognized work was ‘The Coronado Song,’ which won several international contests. The song was played before the annual Coronado July 4th Parade at the grandstand for 20 years.”

You can see some of the sheet music here.

I love the poetry and feeling in her lyrics. I’ve transcribed the words for the enjoyment of all.

THE CORONADO SONG

Music and Lyrics by Joan Brown Goldberg

Coronado, where the sun shines
Where the grand Hotel meets the sea
And the crashing waves
Will set you ablaze
And launch you into a dream.

Coronado, little island,
With skies as blue as can be
I long to walk on your tanned
California sand
And sit by your sparkling sea.

I miss your cold windy days
That grey winter haze
And fog horns blowin’ all night

Your summer perfume
Of jasmine in bloom
Your seaside seagulls in flight.

Coronado, on a sea breeze,
You know you’re haunting me so.
You are the Queen of the Coast
You’re the mariner’s host
And the most lovely Lady I know!

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!

Closed school’s last students create mosaic wall!

Want to see something extraordinary and inspirational?

I had arrived yesterday at the 19th century schoolhouse now utilized by the Encinitas Historical Society, when I noticed a colorful tile mosaic mural wrapped around their dumpster enclosure wall.

When I asked about it, I learned the mosaics had been created by students from nearby Pacific View Elementary in 2003–the year that modern public school shut down. The final class of students produced this amazing artwork!

By looking carefully one can see the initials of students and simple images that record the experiences and desires of youth. You can see a love for art, friends, kindness, the ocean, sunshine, Encinitas and their Pacific View Elementary.

What a fine, enduring way to record important things in life.

Like the historic old schoolhouse that stands near this wall, the work of optimistic people in the past will continue to brighten our future.

If you’re curious about the old schoolhouse, which is headquarters of the Encinitas Historical Society, I’ll be posting lots of photos in the next day or two.

The historic 1883 schoolhouse, now home of the Encinitas Historical Society, can be seen just beyond that dumpster lid. The now closed Pacific View Elementary School can be glimpsed in the distance beyond the umbrellas.

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 art in one Encinitas alley!

Yesterday, before meeting at the Encinitas Historical Society’s 1883 Schoolhouse for a guided walking tour, I was heading along the sidewalk up West F Street when I saw all sorts of cool art in one alley, and near it on a building across the street.

This alley runs between JARPR Studios (which appears to be home of the Johnny Rock Band and the MUSIC MUSIC Special Needs Music School) and American Legion Post 416.

Check out the fun, very colorful artwork! I see a whole lot of love, peace, kindness and creativity.

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!

Historic Coca-Cola mural found in Encinitas building!

Look what I saw today!

Inside the Queen Eileen’s Gift Baskets shop in Encinitas, one wall features a fantastic bit of history: a Coca-Cola mural likely dating from the 1940’s! The vintage artwork depicts Coke’s sparkly old advertising character Sprite Boy!

The owner of Queen Eileen’s discovered the mural during a remodel a few months ago. In the 1940’s the building served as a hardware store. The brightly smiling Sprite Boy appeared when slats covering the old wall were removed!

If you want to learn more about Sprite Boy, who often accompanied Santa Claus, and who originated decades before Coca-Cola’s lemon-lime soda that shares the same name, here’s a great web page to visit!

I saw this cool mural late this morning during an Encinitas Historical Society walking tour of Encinitas, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Stand by for several more blogs and many more photographs from this epic walking tour!

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!

Art-filled walks in San Diego’s North County!

This year I’ve walked quite a bit in San Diego’s North County. Many of those journeys filled my eyes with wonderful art.

I’ve amassed so many photos over the years, I’ve decided to list the following links. They take you to blog posts concerning a variety of art-filled walks in North County. (No, there’s no listing for San Marcos or Rancho Bernardo. I’m sure there’s cool art in those places which I’ll discover in the future!)

Are you ready for some fun?

Click the following links to see cool murals, street art, sculptures . . . and one world-famous installation by a major international artist that is tucked away in a place few visit. What am I talking about? I’m afraid you’ll have to do a little exploring! (Hint: it’s magical.)

The following links include hundreds of photos!

Carlsbad

Cool street art throughout Carlsbad Village!

Faces painted with words of confusion, revelation.

Del Mar

Del Mar’s sculpted Journey and A River of Time.

Amazing mosaic wall at the Del Mar Library!

Breeders’ Cup horses race on a Del Mar street!

An amazing Sunset Seat on the cliffs of Del Mar.

Encinitas

Photos of cool Sea Walls mural in Encinitas.

Cool pics from a wonderful walk around Encinitas.

Fun tile mosaic art on Encinitas sidewalk!

The miracle of the Surfing Madonna.

Amazing walk from Swami’s to the Cardiff Kook.

Escondido

Happy art and the Escondido Students’ Tile Mural.

Colorful art in Escondido celebrates nature!

Unusual public art at Escondido Transit Center.

Beautiful public art near Escondido City Hall.

Public art in Escondido: two female bronzes.

Carving stone and the Blue Granite Shift.

Star Streams at the Center for the Arts.

Niki de Saint Phalle’s Grande Step Totem.

Photos of Queen Califia’s Magical Circle!

The gigantic bronze leaves of Kit Carson Park.

Leucadia

Murals in Leucadia along Coast Highway 101.

A colorful walk through nerdy, artsy Leucadia.

Oceanside

Sculptures near the Oceanside train underpass.

Flying pigs and other cool Oceanside murals!

The cool Cruisin’ carhop mural at 101 Cafe!

Poway

The Pioneers sculpture at Old Poway Park.

Photos of Tony Gwynn statue at Lake Poway.

Solana Beach

A walk down Solana Beach’s Coastal Rail Trail.

Sea life mosaics at Solana Beach bus station!

Cool mural overlooks Solana Beach train tracks!

Cool art and history in Solana Beach.

Sea-themed mosaics at Fletcher Cove and Overlook Park.

Vista

Amazing sculptures around downtown Vista!

Wild Horses run through Vista Village!

Murals in and around Alley Art Man Way!

Letters Home: A fallen soldier and a memorial.

Love Locks many hearts together, forever.

Stained glass panels beautify Paseo Santa Fe!

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.

The miracle of the Surfing Madonna.

The Surfing Madonna in Encinitas, California. A mosaic by artist Mark Patterson.
The Surfing Madonna in Encinitas, California. A mosaic by artist Mark Patterson.

Have you heard of the miracle of the Surfing Madonna? Many in San Diego have witnessed the miracle. Indeed, the miracle is known around the world.

Next to the Encinitas Boulevard sidewalk, just east of Coast Highway 101, there’s a tiny open courtyard with a beautiful ocean mural and a shrine-like mosaic titled Surfing Madonna. The 10 by 10 feet mosaic depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe on a white surfboard, praying.

When it was first installed anonymously in a public place the artwork was considered illegal. Permission had not been granted by the city of Encinitas. The artist, Mark Patterson, was discovered and fined and the mosaic removed.

But a miracle happened.

After much controversy and legal uncertainty, and after having been moved from place to place, the unusual but beautiful mosaic, beloved by many in the beach community, finally found a home in Surfing Madonna Park, which you can see in my photographs.

To learn more about the miracle of the Surfing Madonna, read the words on the plaque beneath it.

The small Surfing Madonna Park, in a nook beside busy Encinitas Boulevard.
The small Surfing Madonna Park in a nook beside busy Encinitas Boulevard. The park is just a short walk east of Moonlight State Beach.

A plaque details the history of the Surfing Madonna.
A plaque details the history of the Surfing Madonna.

The plaque reads:

On Good Friday, April 22nd, 2011, the community of Encinitas was gifted with the Surfing Madonna mosaic, Our Lady, Star of the Sea.

Local artist, Mark Patterson and his good friend Bob Nichols, dressed up as constructions workers and hung the beautiful Surfing Madonna mosaic with its “Save the Ocean” theme. The mosaic was originally mounted underneath the train bridge, across the street from its current home.

The mosaic received international attention while the artist remained anonymous for months until discovered.

Although beloved by the community, she could not stay there and eventually found her way here, to her permanent home.

Mark Patterson sought to raise awareness of the value of the world’s Oceans. Through his vision he created the Surfing Madonna mosaic to spread a message of environmental awareness of Mother Ocean.

The mosaic gave birth to the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project which has continued to serve the Ocean and community through funding of local arts, environmental awareness, and by introducing special needs youth and their families to the joy of surfing and living with the Ocean.

Join us in celebrating the beauty of our world’s Oceans.

A beautiful environmental mural shows fish and other sea life, by Encinitas artist Kevin Anderson.
A beautiful environmental mural shows Garibaldi fish and other local sea life, by Encinitas artist Kevin Anderson.

Brick pavers in the small courtyard raised money for programs that help the Earth's oceans.
Brick pavers, some with religious themes, in the small courtyard. The pavers have raised money for programs that help the Earth’s oceans.

The Surfing Madonna and a prayerful message. Save the Ocean.
The unique Surfing Madonna and a prayerful message: Save the Ocean.

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.

A colorful walk through nerdy, artsy Leucadia.

Keep Leucadia Nerdy.
Keep Leucadia Nerdy.

Last weekend I walked up Coast Highway 101 through a good slice of Leucadia. The following photos are of various cool sights I spotted. I saw lots of great murals, too, but those I’ll feature in an upcoming blog post.

Come along and join me on a very misty, occasionally drizzly morning! We start a bit south of Marcheta Street in Encinitas and work our way north up the west sidewalk of Coast Highway 101 to a place around Avocado Street.

A cool old door.
A cool old door.

A giant yeti holds some Mobil oil.
A giant yeti holds some Mobil oil.

Stickers at Juanitas Taco Shop.
Stickers at Juanitas Taco Shop.

A smile in a doorway!
A smile in a doorway!

A cool design stamped in the sidewalk. Leucadia established 1875.
A cool design stamped in the sidewalk. Leucadia established 1875.

Butterflies on a blue fence.
Butterflies on a blue fence.

Lou's Records. New releases every Friday.
Lou’s Records. New releases every Friday.

A fish in a hammock stretched between metal trees by a parking lot.
A fish in a hammock stretched between metal trees by a parking lot.

Eating breakfast on a misty morning at Pannikin Coffee and Tea.
Eating breakfast on a misty morning at Pannikin Coffee and Tea.

Pannikin is located in an historic 1888 Santa Fe Railroad Station, which was moved to this site on Coast Highway 101 west of the train tracks.
Pannikin is located in an historic 1888 Santa Fe Railroad Station, which was moved to this site on Coast Highway 101 west of the train tracks.

An El Camino Real bell above the sidewalk along Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia.
An El Camino Real bell above the sidewalk along Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia.

Rotary International plaque near the base of the El Camino Real bell.
Rotary International plaque near the base of the El Camino Real bell.

Joggers heading down the damp sidewalk near some art on electrical boxes.
Joggers heading down the damp sidewalk near some art on electrical boxes.

A cool little mural with a tropical ocean scene.
A cool little mural with a tropical ocean scene.

An anticuados smile on a fence.
An anticuados smile on a fence.

Some outdoor decor at a Mexican restaurant.
Some outdoor decor at a Mexican restaurant.

A large flower on The Cali Life Gallery.
A large flower on The Cali Life Gallery.

Another cool mural above a window with a colorful beach scene.
Another cool mural above a window with a colorful beach scene.

A surfboard in front of Progression Surf.
A surfboard in front of Progression Surf.

Cool art at a small shopping center on Coast Highway 101.
Cool art at a small shopping center on Coast Highway 101.

The small, green Leucadia Roadside Park.
The small, green Leucadia Roadside Park.

A trashcan in the park features fun tile art.
A trashcan in the park features fun tile art.

Colorful sailboats by an outdoor table.
Colorful sailboats by an outdoor table.

Getting ready for another day at Solterra Winery and Kitchen.
Getting ready for another day at Solterra Winery and Kitchen.

Walking along.
Walking along.

Live. Love.
Live. Love.

Fanciful design on a wall.
Fanciful design on a wall.

Bicyclists head south on old Coast Highway 101.
Bicyclists head south on old Coast Highway 101.

Leucadia Coast Hwy 101. The art and soul of Encinitas.
Leucadia Coast Hwy 101. The art and soul of Encinitas.

Signs point to distant cities and to Seaweed and Gravel.
Signs point to distant cities and to Seaweed and Gravel.

A happy mailman by a bike rack at the Leucadia post office.
A happy mailman by a bike rack at the Leucadia post office.

More cool Leucadia street art on an electrical box.
More cool Leucadia street art on an electrical box.

A Kiss for You.
A Kiss for You.

Welcome to Leucadia in a window.
Welcome to Leucadia in a window.

A very tall carved mermaid by the sidewalk.
A very tall carved mermaid by the sidewalk.

This fierce tiki likes to gnaw on rope, it seems.
This fierce tiki likes to gnaw on rope, it seems.

Two dolphins leap by the sidewalk.
Two dolphins leap by the sidewalk.

The beach must be up these stairs at Bamboo 2 U and Beach House Too.
The beach must be up these stairs at Bamboo 2 U and Beach House Too.

There's a huge seahorse just outside that Beach House.
There’s a huge seahorse just outside that Beach House.

Organic tacos and a whale sighting.
Organic tacos and a whale sighting.

Furniture and Curiosities.
Furniture and Curiosities.

An elaborate design on an electrical box by the sidewalk.
An elaborate design on an electrical box by the sidewalk.

There are so many stickers on the Leucadia Donut Shoppe windows, I won't be tempted by what can't be seen inside.
There are so many stickers on the Leucadia Donut Shoppe windows, I won’t be tempted by what can’t be seen inside.

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!