Photos of Labor Day in Balboa Park.

A street musician smiles on a sunny Labor Day in Balboa Park.
A street musician smiles on a beautiful Labor Day in Balboa Park.

Labor Day in Balboa Park is no different than any other day. Most museums and attractions are open, and everyone is smiling.

I wanted to take it easy–just enjoy the day–so I headed into the park for an aimless, leisurely stroll…

San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez rehearses Stairway to Heaven with a rock band for tonight's final International Summer Organ Festival concert.
San Diego Civic Organist Raúl Prieto Ramírez rehearses Stairway to Heaven with a rock band for tonight’s final International Summer Organ Festival concert.
People enjoy the beauty near the Japanese Friendship Garden's Koi Pond.
People enjoy the beauty near the Japanese Friendship Garden’s Koi Pond.
Progress is being made on the Japanese Friendship Garden's new river, where an historic Great Buddha statue will soon be unveiled.
Progress is being made on the Japanese Friendship Garden’s new river, where a Great Buddha statue will soon be unveiled.

You can see additional photos of the Japanese Friendship Garden’s new stream under construction by clicking here.

Labor Day was quiet at the International Cottages, which were all closed for the holiday.
Labor Day was quiet at the International Cottages, which were all closed for the Monday holiday.
As I walked behind the Balboa Park Club building, I gazed northwest toward the Cabrillo Bridge.
As I walked behind the Balboa Park Club building, I gazed northwest toward the Cabrillo Bridge and took this photo.
On Labor Day, like most days, the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park is a quiet place for solitude.
On Labor Day, like most days, the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park is a quiet place for solitude.
Families enjoy Labor Day in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
Families enjoy Labor Day in front of the San Diego Air and Space Museum.
People relax on a bench by the old Mack Water Truck just outside the entrance of the San Diego Automotive Museum.
People relax on a bench by the old Mack Water Truck just outside the entrance of the San Diego Automotive Museum.
Walking through Pan American Plaza between the San Diego Automotive Museum and nearby Recital Hall.
Walking through Pan American Plaza between the San Diego Automotive Museum and nearby Recital Hall.
Balboa Park was the ideal place for a picnic this Labor Day.
Balboa Park was the ideal place for a picnic this Labor Day.
Young and old enjoy the famous beauty of Balboa Park's lily pond.
Young and old enjoy the famous beauty of Balboa Park’s lily pond.
All sorts of people were out on the grass enjoying the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden at the San Diego Museum of Art.
All sorts of people were out on the grass enjoying the May S. Marcy Sculpture Garden at the San Diego Museum of Art.
Visitors were touring the California Tower and gazing across Balboa Park.
Visitors were touring the iconic California Tower and gazing across Balboa Park, one of the most wonderful places in the world.
This group wanted to see fine art so they headed into the San Diego Museum of Art.
This group wanted to see fine art so they headed into the San Diego Museum of Art.
Some smiling street musicians were setting up on El Prado.
Some smiling street musicians were setting up on El Prado to entertain passersby.
The silly Lärabar Street Team danced for my blog, then I got some yummy samples to eat!
The silly Lärabar Street Team danced for my blog, then I got some yummy samples to eat!
Mentalist, hypnotist and super nice guy Ralph Hamrick greets me with his usual smile! I still haven't recovered from that weird mental trick he performed on me.
Mentalist, hypnotist and super nice guy Ralph Hamrick greets me with his usual smile! I still haven’t recovered from that weird mental trick he performed on me.
Street magician Kenny Shelton delights some young people with one of his amazing tricks.
Street magician Kenny Shelton delights some young people with one of his amazing tricks.
Lots of people were enjoying hula hoops on the grass!
Lots of people were enjoying hula hoops on the grass!
The San Diego Blood Bank was saving lives in front of the Museum of Man.
The San Diego Blood Bank was saving lives in front of the Museum of Man.
A quiet moment on Balboa Park's broad, green West Mesa.
A quiet moment on Balboa Park’s broad, green West Mesa.
This squirrel had no notion it was Labor Day. It was just another day in the park.
This squirrel didn’t know today was a holiday. It was just another day in the park.
Even street performers have to eat lunch, you know!
Even street performers have to eat lunch!

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!

Golden light splashes upon two famous ships.

Sunlight brightens west-facing art glass windows on the passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley.
Sunlight brightens west-facing art glass windows inside the passenger deck of the steam ferry Berkeley.

The days are becoming shorter.

Hoping to enjoy every last drop of daylight, this evening I lingered by San Diego Bay.

As the sun neared the horizon, golden light splashed upon two famous museum ships: the steam ferry Berkeley, and the aircraft carrier USS Midway.

The beautiful art glass windows of the Berkeley remind one of the glowing stained glass found inside cathedrals.
The amazing art glass windows of the Berkeley remind one of glowing stained glass found inside cathedrals.
Light streams up along the historic ship's simple ceiling.
Light streams up along the historic ferryboat’s ceiling.
Splashes of sunlight reflect from the floor, woodwork and empty benches inside the passenger deck of Berkeley.
Splashes of golden sunlight reflect from the floor, woodwork and empty benches inside the passenger deck of Berkeley.
The sun nears the horizon beyond the USS Midway Museum, reflecting from tranquil San Diego Bay.
The sun nears the horizon beyond the USS Midway Museum, reflecting like a band of gold on San Diego Bay.
Late sunlight splashes the immense bow of the USS Midway with gold.
Golden sunlight splashes the immense bow of the USS Midway.

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!

Rare cars, antiques at a surprising museum!

Rare early automobiles and thousands of collectible antiques can be viewed during a visit to the unique J. A. Cooley Museum in San Diego.
About two dozen antique automobiles and thousands of collectibles can be viewed during a visit to the J. A. Cooley Museum in San Diego.

Last Sunday I visited one of San Diego’s most surprising museums. It’s located in University Heights, at 4233 Park Boulevard. There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it. It’s called the J. A. Cooley Museum.

The J. A. Cooley Museum shares its 10,000 square foot space with the old Frank the Train Man hobby shop, which first opened its doors in 1943. Both the museum and store are operated by Jim Cooley and his wife, Carmen, who’ve been avidly collecting antiques for well over half a century.

Jim, who can usually be found hanging around the museum entrance, is a friendly gentleman with endless stories about his passion for collecting and preserving bits of history. Step inside the museum and it’s immediately apparent that he really loves antique automobiles.

This utterly amazing museum, which doesn’t advertise or have a website of its own, contains a world-class collection of early automobiles, some of which are extremely rare or even one-of-a-kind. The museum also contains a treasure trove of other antiques, including antique phonographs . . . cameras . . . amazing Standard Gauge trains . . . cast iron toys . . . clocks . . . coffee grinders . . . railroad lanterns . . . irons . . . hardware tools . . . even old-fashioned spittoons!

Over the years, Jim has collected all sorts of objects that have interested him, often saving them from being thrown away. For example, he told me around World War II, when spittoons were being discarded in large numbers, he’d see some in a trash truck and retrieve them. Now he has hundreds of them!

The most impressive part of his museum, however, is the jaw-dropping collection of antique automobiles–many well over a century old–which he has patiently acquired over time without an enormous expenditure of money.

Even if many San Diegans are unfamiliar with the J. A. Cooley Museum, serious car aficionados seem to know all about it. People sometimes fly in from around the world to see the collection. The museum’s reputation is such that from time to time a movie studio will borrow a rare old car for filming–for example the 1914 Renaut that was used in Titanic.

I was told by Jim that when General Motors borrowed one his cars for an exposition, GM executives came out to San Diego to look at the museum and were so impressed, they donated their incredible Buick XP 2000, a fully automated 1994 self-driving concept car!

The funny thing is, when I swung by on Sunday and spent a good hour walking about the museum in a state of complete and utter amazement, I saw no other visitors.

I learned Jim wouldn’t mind having more people swing on by. So if you live in San Diego or are planning a trip, look up the Frank the Train Man hobby shop. Step through the front door and the absolutely amazing J. A. Cooley Museum, and possibly Jim himself, await you!

Upon entering the J. A. Cooley Museum, visitors walk past a row of very old cars. On the left is a 1914 Ford Model T.
Upon entering the J. A. Cooley Museum, visitors walk past a row of very old cars. On the left is a 1914 Ford Model T.
1910 Hunt Special, the only car ever manufactured in San Diego. This one car was produced by Mr. William Hunt of National City, ordered by Mr. Arnie Babcock, whose father built the Hotel del Coronado.
1910 Hunt Special, the only car ever manufactured in San Diego. Just one car was produced by Mr. William Hunt of National City, ordered by Mr. Arnie Babcock, whose father built the Hotel del Coronado.
1933 Franklin Olympic, produced one year before Franklin Motor Company ceased operations during the Great Depression.
1933 Franklin Olympic, produced the year before Franklin Motor Company ceased operations during the Great Depression.
1929 Franklin Model 135, produced the first year that Franklin offered a steel frame and hydraulic brakes.
1929 Franklin Model 135, produced the first year that Franklin offered a steel frame and hydraulic brakes.
1913 Cadillac Model 48. This car on display is the most original 1913 Cadillac left in existence today.
1913 Cadillac Model 48. This car on display is the most original 1913 Cadillac left in existence today.
1912 Carter Car. The body of the Carter Car is made of compressed papier-mâché composite panels over wood framing. This car on display is the only Carter Car Sedan left in existence.
1912 Carter Car. The body of the Carter Car is made of compressed papier-mâché composite panels over wood framing. This car on display is the only Carter Car Sedan left in existence.
Buick XP 2000, a fully automated 1994 self-driving concept car that was donated to the J. A. Cooley Museum because the designer was very impressed by the collection when GM executives visited the museum.
Buick XP 2000, a fully automated 1994 self-driving concept car that was donated to the J. A. Cooley Museum because the designer was very impressed by the collection of rare cars when GM executives visited the museum.
A couple of early cameras among a vast collection of antiques and memorabilia filling the J. A. Cooley Museum.
A couple of early cameras among a vast collection of antiques and memorabilia inside the J. A. Cooley Museum.
Behind some cars you'll find a rare WurliTzer Model 153 Band Organ.
Behind some cars you’ll find a rare WurliTzer Model 153 Band Organ.
An antique two-horn Duplex Phonograph.
An antique two-horn Duplex Phonograph.
An antique Edison Concert Phonograph.
An antique Edison Concert Phonograph.
An old photo of the Frank The Train Man storefront over an Edison Home Phonograph.
An old photo of the Frank The Train Man storefront over an Edison Home Phonograph.
One wall and a couple of glass display cases filled with fantastic old collectibles and Americana.
One wall and a couple of glass display cases filled with fantastic old collectibles and Americana.
Shelves and shelves of old cameras.
Shelves and shelves of old cameras.
Shelves filled with old irons.
Shelves filled with old irons.
Antique cast iron horse drawn toy fire engines.
Cast iron horse drawn toy fire engines.
Shelves and shelves of Standard Gauge toy train locomotives and cars from 1900 to the 1940's.
Shelves and shelves of Standard Gauge toy train locomotives and cars from 1900 to the 1940’s.
Lionel toy train accessories including buildings and railroad crossing signals.
Lionel toy train accessories including buildings and railroad crossing signals.
All sorts of old manual typewriters and calculating machines. (I must be an antique, too, because I used a manual typewriter when I was young!)
All sorts of old manual typewriters and calculating machines. (I must be an antique, too, because I used a manual typewriter when I was a young man!)
One corner of the J. A. Cooley Museum contains shelves of spittoons, coffee grinders, old lanterns and more!
One corner of the J. A. Cooley Museum contains shelves of spittoons, coffee grinders, old lanterns and more!
1895 E. A. Gardner Buggy, the only light weight horse drawn carriage that was built in San Diego known to exist today.
1895 E. A. Gardner Buggy, the only lightweight horse-drawn carriage that was built in San Diego known to exist today.
1885 Benz Model 1. The first vehicle in world history that used an internal combustion engine. They were produced from 1885 to 1926, when the company merged with Mercedes.
1885 Benz Model 1. The first vehicle in world history that used an internal combustion engine. They were produced from 1885 to 1926, when the company merged with Mercedes.
1895 Benz Velo. The world's first mass-produced vehicle. 67 were built the first year, 135 the second.
1895 Benz Velo. The world’s first mass-produced vehicle. 67 were built the first year, 135 the second.
1899 Mobile Steamer. Built under Stanley Patents from 1899 to 1903.
1899 Mobile Steamer. Built under Stanley Patents from 1899 to 1903.
A bunch of old-fashioned oil cans and various other objects.
A bunch of old-fashioned oil cans and various other cool objects.
Cuckoo clocks and a historical display of different California license plates!
Cuckoo and mantel clocks, and a historical display of different California license plates!
So many fantastic old objects and collectibles, my eyes almost popped out of my head.
So many fantastic old objects and collectibles, my eyes almost popped out of my head.
I believe these are cast iron coin banks.
I believe these are cast iron coin banks.
All sorts of cool cast iron figures and toys, including an awesome motorcycle!
All sorts of cast iron figures and toys, including an awesome motorcycle!
Two shelves containing railroad lanterns.
Two shelves containing railroad lanterns.
Some classic Coca Cola trays and even more antique collectibles.
Some classic Coca Cola trays and even more antique collectibles.
A bunch of jugs!
A bunch of jugs!
1900 Doctor's Buggy. The narrow, light body allowed for quick travel during medical emergencies. The tires are metal.
1900 Doctor’s Buggy. The narrow, light body allowed for quick travel during medical emergencies. The tires are metal.
1900 Crest. This extremely original car is also very rare, with few left in existence today.
1900 Crest. This extremely original car is also very rare, with few left in existence today.
1905 Cadillac Model F. This particular unrestored car was bought new by famed newspaper founder Ira Copley.
1905 Cadillac Model F. This particular unrestored car was bought new over a century ago by famed newspaper founder Ira Copley.
There's so much cool stuff inside the J. A. Cooley Museum your head might explode!
There’s so much cool stuff inside the J. A. Cooley Museum your head might explode!
1910 Brush Model D, just one of many amazing old automobiles exhibited inside the J. A. Cooley Museum in San Diego.
Front and center is a 1910 Brush Model D, just one of many amazing old automobiles exhibited inside the J. A. Cooley Museum in San Diego!

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!

Endless scenes of beauty in Balboa Park.

Children gaze at the beautiful fountain and sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec by Donal Hord, in the courtyard of Balboa Park's House of Hospitality.
Children gaze at the beautiful fountain and sculpture Woman of Tehuantepec by Donal Hord, in the courtyard of Balboa Park’s House of Hospitality.

It’s difficult to find words that adequately describe Balboa Park. Endless scenes of beauty open up everywhere. Every walk is a different voyage through wonder.

Many of these photos were taken recently. A few have been residing in my computer waiting for the perfect moment.

There Are Places I'll Remember All My Life. A colorful banner near door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
There Are Places I’ll Remember All My Life. A colorful banner near door to the Balboa Park Visitors Center.
Gigantic bubbles form like magic in the Plaza de Balboa.
Gigantic bubbles form like magic in the Plaza de Balboa.
The House of Charm's tower rises above the Alcazar Garden.
The House of Charm’s tower rises above the Alcazar Garden.
A twisted, wonderful Australian tea tree on Balboa Park's West Mesa.
A twisted, wonderful Australian tea tree on Balboa Park’s West Mesa.
Walking through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Walking through the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages.
Wedding photos are taken at one end of the beautiful Lily Pond, or reflecting pool.
Wedding photos are taken at one end of the beautiful Lily Pond, or reflecting pool.
Sunlight reveals natural beauty at the House of Hospitality.
Sunlight reveals natural beauty at the House of Hospitality.
People head up toward the Casa del Prado's outdoor courtyard to enjoy another special event in Balboa Park.
People head up toward the Casa del Prado’s outdoor courtyard to enjoy another special event in Balboa Park.
I took this striking photo yesterday at the San Diego Fern Society Show inside the Casa del Prado.
I took this striking photo yesterday at the San Diego Fern Society Show inside the Casa del Prado.
People relax and picnic on the lawn near the Botanical Building.
People relax and picnic on the lawn near the Botanical Building.
A scene of great beauty in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
A scene of great natural beauty in the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Visitors to Balboa Park walk toward the Plaza de Panama.
Visitors to Balboa Park head toward the Plaza de Panama.
Walking along. More things to see.
Walking along. More things to see.
Gazing toward Balboa Park's Pepper Grove from the pathway inside the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Gazing toward Balboa Park’s Pepper Grove from a pathway inside the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Abundant beauty at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Abundant beauty at the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden.
Resting at tables in the Plaza de Panama near the front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
Resting at tables in the Plaza de Panama near the front of the San Diego Museum of Art.
San Diego sunshine highlights arches at the Casa del Prado.
San Diego sunshine highlights arches inside the Casa del Prado.
Sitting along the colonnade at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.
Sitting along the colonnade at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during an outdoor concert.
Walking past the magnificent facade of the Casa del Prado Theater.
Walking past the magnificent facade of the Casa del Prado Theater.
Bright flowers near a window at the International Cottages.
Flowers brighten a window at the International Cottages.
A leisurely walk through Spanish Village.
A leisurely stroll through Spanish Village.
The amazing tile dome of the California Building, home of the Museum of Man.
The amazing tile dome of the California Building, home of the Museum of Man.
The Bea Evenson Fountain lit at night.
The Bea Evenson Fountain lit at night.
Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.
Balboa Park contains endless scenes of amazing beauty.

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!

Do you love Balboa Park, too? Check out my other website Beautiful Balboa Park!

Cleverly designed furniture is surprising, playful art!

Artwork now on display in the SDSU Downtown Gallery includes extraordinary furniture!
Artwork now on display in the SDSU Downtown Gallery includes extraordinary furniture!

Some fantastic, highly innovative art is now on display at the SDSU Downtown Gallery. Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is the title of the surprising exhibition.

Walk through the door of the SDSU Downtown Gallery and you might not be sure whether you’ve entered a bizarre furniture and hardware store or a dream-place where art conforms to your body. Those abstract paintings on the wall actually unfold into chairs! Those shovel handles in a row form the back of a beautifully crafted wooden bench! That colorful “luggage” tossed in a heap in one corner seems more appropriate for a comfortable living room than a cargo hold!

According to a sign in the gallery, Tom Loeser imagines new ways that the body, furniture and space can interact. He wonders: if the furniture we sit on were totally different, how might our lives be different too?

I can tell you resting on these pieces (and you’re allowed to actually sit on a few of his tumblers) would put me in a very creative and happy state of mind.

As I sat I might gaze at Tom Loeser’s artwork on the gallery’s walls, which includes fantastic blue cyanotypes and strangely elemental pyrography. Transformed by the artist’s genius, ordinary objects seem to radiate a weird spiritual essence. The images, like his furniture, seem to present a vision of unexpected potentialities in our practical, solidly physical world.

If you love really clever art, check out the SDSU Downtown Gallery before this exhibition ends on October 28, 2018!

The art exhibition Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is now showing in downtown San Diego.
The art exhibition Tom Loeser: Please Please Please is now showing in downtown San Diego.
Two works of art by Tom Loeser. Not a Dozen Even, 2014, cyanotype. Double Dig, 2016, white oak and shovel handles.
Two works of art by Tom Loeser. Not a Dozen Even, 2014, cyanotype. Double Dig, 2016, white oak and shovel handles.
S/M/L, 2014, cyanotype by artist Tom Loeser.
S/M/L, 2014, cyanotype by artist Tom Loeser.
A room full of practical objects made dreamlike.
A room full of practical objects made dreamlike.
Dig for Three, 2015, walnut and shovel handles by artist Tom Loeser.
Dig for Three, 2015, walnut and shovel handles by artist Tom Loeser.
LA/Chicago/New York, 2016, plywood, wood, felt, paint by artist Tom Loeser.
LA/Chicago/New York, 2016, plywood, wood, felt, paint by artist Tom Loeser.
A colorful tumbler that can be sat upon comfortably any which way.
A colorful tumbler that can be sat upon comfortably any which way.
Folding Chair, 1987, painted plywood, maple, stainless steel by artist Tom Loeser.
Folding Chair, 1987, painted plywood, maple, stainless steel by artist Tom Loeser.
Scythe by Scythe, 2016, maple, hickory, scythe handles by artist Tom Loeser.
Scythe by Scythe, 2016, maple, hickory, scythe handles by artist Tom Loeser.

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!

Moon Gold shines in San Diego Museum of Art!

Chrysanthemum Lacquer Box, Nancy Lorenz, 2017. Inspired by a lacquered wood box in the San Diego Museum of Art's collection.
Chrysanthemum Lacquer Box, Nancy Lorenz, 2017. Inspired by a lacquered wood box in the San Diego Museum of Art’s collection.

Have you ever dreamt of dipping a brush into bright molten silver or gold, to paint and swirl that precious shine all over a canvas? This vision comes to life at the San Diego Museum of Art in their current exhibition Nancy Lorenz: Moon Gold.

Nancy Lorenz uses silver and gold leaf, mother-of-pearl and lacquer on large canvases of board, cardboard and jute to achieve the effect I just described. She calls these gestural applications of water-gilded gesso Pours. Some of her abstract creations appear like gleaming treasure raining down from sun-glowing clouds, through and into strangely Earth-like places. Others appear to be swirled with bright, pure heavenly essence. Moonbeams seem to emanate from her dreamlike Silver Water Screen.

Other pieces, including several fantastic boxes, look like they’ve been frosted with pure, sumptuous, smoothly dripping gold!

The exquisite gilding and lacquer work of Nancy Lorenz, who lived in Tokyo for a span of years, is influenced by Japanese decorative arts. Every line and fine detail seems perfectly placed. The refined brilliance of her unique artwork is extraordinary.

Nancy Lorenz: Moon Gold is a treasure for greedy eyes. So go and see it at the San Diego Museum of Art before the exhibition ends on September 3, 2018.

Exquisitely beautiful art shines at the Nancy Lorenz-Moon Gold exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art.
Exquisitely beautiful art shines at the Nancy Lorenz: Moon Gold exhibition at the San Diego Museum of Art.
Moon Gold Mountain, Nancy Lorenz, 2018. Moon gold leaf, clay, cardboard, on wood panel.
Moon Gold Mountain, Nancy Lorenz, 2018. Moon gold leaf, clay, cardboard, on wood panel.
Gold Flying Apsaras, Nancy Lorenz, 2017. Gold leaf, mother-of-pearl inlay, black lacquer, clay, gesso, on wood panel.
Gold Flying Apsaras, Nancy Lorenz, 2017. Gold leaf, mother-of-pearl inlay, black lacquer, clay, gesso, on wood panel.
Lemon Gold Sunlight with Rain, Nancy Lorenz, 2017. Lemon gold leaf, silver leaf, clay, cardboard, on wood panel.
Lemon Gold Sunlight with Rain, Nancy Lorenz, 2017. Lemon gold leaf, silver leaf, clay, cardboard, on wood panel.
A section of Rock Garden Room, Nancy Lorenz, 2004. Silver leaf, mother-of-pearl inlay, pigment, gesso, shellac, on 12 wood panels.
A section of Rock Garden Room, Nancy Lorenz, 2004. Silver leaf, mother-of-pearl inlay, pigment, gesso, shellac, on 12 wood panels.
Silver Sea and Sky, Nancy Lorenz, 2017. Silver leaf, mother-of-pearl inlay, lacquer, on wood panel.
Silver Sea and Sky, Nancy Lorenz, 2017. Silver leaf, mother-of-pearl inlay, lacquer, on wood panel.

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 Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum.

Douglas F4D-1 (F-6A) Skyray.
Douglas F4D-1 (F-6A) Skyray.

I often drive down Miramar Road past the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. When I do, I usually turn my head to see if any people are outside investigating the dozens of unique military aircraft that are on display. Few people seem to visit.

The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, located at MCAS Miramar, is open free to the general public. It features all sorts of airplanes and helicopters that have been used by the United State Marine Corps over the decades.

When I first visited the museum last year, I was floored by the extent of its collection. While many of the aircraft might not be restored to pristine condition, they each represent a fascinating era in U. S. military history. Visitors to the museum can also see other equipment that has been used by the Marines, including tanks and artillery pieces.

Most impressively, the museum owns the actual helicopter that was last to leave Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War. That Sea Knight helicopter’s call sign was Lady Ace 09. If you’d like to see photographs of Lady Ace 09, and learn a bit more about that moment in history, click here.

The following photos depict just a fraction of what you’ll discover at the museum.

The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum seems to be a little known gem in San Diego. Those who are interested in 20th century history, aviation or the United States Marine Corps should definitely swing on by!

The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, open free to the public, is located at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
The Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum, open free to the public, is located at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
Inside the museum, a variety of exhibits detail different modern aircraft that have been used by the United States Marine Corps.
Inside the museum, a variety of exhibits detail different aircraft that have been used by the United States Marine Corps.
Dozens of historical Marine aircraft can be viewed outdoors at the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum in San Diego.
Dozens of historical Marine aircraft can be viewed outdoors at the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum in San Diego.
Beechcraft T-34B Mentor.
Beechcraft T-34B Mentor.
General Motors FM-2 Wildcat.
General Motors FM-2 Wildcat.
Northrup F-5E Tiger II.
Northrup F-5E Tiger II.
Grumman F9F-2 Panther.
Grumman F9F-2 Panther.
Hawker-Siddeley AV-8A(C) Harrier.
Hawker-Siddeley AV-8A(C) Harrier.
Bell AH-1J SeaCobra.
Bell AH-1J SeaCobra.
Sikorsky HUS-1 (UH-34D) Seahorse.
Sikorsky HUS-1 (UH-34D) Seahorse.
Bell 214ST.
Bell 214ST.
McDonnell Douglas A-4M Skyhawk II.
McDonnell Douglas A-4M Skyhawk II.
Visitors to the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum learn about the history of one airplane in their large and fascinating collection.
Visitors to the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum learn about the history of one airplane in a very large and fascinating collection.

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!