Amazing views from Coronado Ferry Landing.

Lounging and enjoying a stunning view of San Diego.
Lounging and enjoying a stunning view of San Diego.

People gravitate toward water. Water sparkles, soothes, delights, attracts the eye and invites reflection. I love the opening to Moby Dick, where Melville says: “Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries–stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water . . . ”

Look at these folks just gazing at the water!

The Ferry Landing in Coronado offers amazing views of San Diego Bay. Stand out on the pier, splash on the small beach, sit on the grass or on the patio of a restaurant, and just gaze in a quiet reverie at the passing boats and the gleaming San Diego skyline. Call me crazy, but I could linger here for hours.

That’s one reason why I love to take the ferry to Coronado!

people gaze toward downtown from ferry landing

The second pic shows people on the Coronado Ferry Landing pier.  During the day, San Diego’s downtown skyline is a beautiful sight. At night, all lit up, it’s like a glowing dream. If you were turn to the left, you’d see a whole bunch of people fishing.

Fishing from the small Coronado Ferry Landing pier.
Fishing from the small Coronado Ferry Landing pier.
People board the Silvergate ferry for downtown San Diego.
People board the Silvergate ferry for downtown San Diego.

Next we see people filing from the pier down to the float where the ferry ties up. During the tourist season, the Silvergate ferry takes people to the Convention Center; a larger ship takes people to the Broadway Pier. You can bring your bicycle on board (or rent one at the Ferry Landing) and bike across the island to the ocean side, where you’ll find the Hotel del Coronado.

The Coronado ferry is great short cruise on the bay.
The Coronado ferry is great short cruise on the bay.
Silvergate docked at Coronado with San Diego skyline.
Silvergate docked at Coronado with San Diego skyline.
Visitors to the island of Coronado arrive and depart.
Visitors to the island of Coronado arrive and depart.
People stroll down a path near the ferry landing.
People stroll down a path near the ferry landing.
Kids play on the beach next to the ferry landing pier.
Kids play on the beach next to the ferry landing pier.
Paddleboarding just off the Coronado Ferry Landing.
Paddleboarding just off the Coronado Ferry Landing.
Amazing view of a beautiful sunlit city.
Amazing view of a beautiful sunlit city.

Public art shows Coronado’s Tent City.

public art shows history of coronado island

“Imagine Tent City” is a cool bit of public art I discovered while walking along Coronado’s Glorietta Bay. The artwork is composed of photographic images arranged like a mosaic, embedded in ceramic tiles. It depicts the historic Tent City, which was a popular tourist destination for many years just south of the Hotel Del Coronado.

Established in 1900 by entrepreneur John D. Spreckels, the beach tents could be reached by Coronado Belt Line trains operated by the Coronado Railroad Company, running from San Diego around the bay and up the narrow Silver Strand. (Coronado is technically a peninsula, not an island.) The tracks have since been replaced by a very popular bike and pedestrian pathway.

mosaic of old photos shows coronado history

Here’s a pic taken from the south side, walking toward the Hotel Del Coronado’s old Boathouse. The building you see is part of the Coronado Shores condo complex.

And here’s a bunch more cool pics I took at the beginning of 2015…

Imagine Tent City was created by artist Todd Stands.
Imagine Tent City was created by artist Todd Stands.
Water skiing in the past, and present-day boats in Glorietta Bay Marina.
Water skiing in the past, and present-day boats in Glorietta Bay Marina.
Two ladies row a pleasure boat.
Two ladies row a pleasure boat.
Kids prepare to jump into the water!
Kids prepare to jump into the water!
Sailor and sweetheart beside a beach tent.
Sailor and sweetheart beside a beach tent.
Old photographic portrait and postcard of Tent City.
Old photographic portrait and postcard of Tent City.
Coronado Tent City News was a popular newspaper.
Coronado Tent City News was a popular newspaper.
One image in this amazing mosaic of Tent City history.
One image in this amazing mosaic of Tent City history.
A postcard shows a crowd around Pavilion at Tent City.
A postcard shows a crowd around Pavilion at Tent City.
Small child and mom have fun in the sand.
Small child and mom have fun in the sand.
More nostalgic postcards from historic vacation spot.
More nostalgic postcards from historic vacation spot.
Illustration of people playing and relaxing on Coronado Beach.
Illustration of people playing and relaxing on Coronado Beach.
Just hanging out at Tent City and enjoying life.
Just hanging out at Tent City and enjoying life.
Postcard image shows layout of Coronado's Tent City.
Postcard image shows layout of Coronado’s Tent City.
Photo of Victorian-style Boathouse, which resembles nearby Hotel del Coronado.
Photo of Victorian-style Boathouse, which resembles nearby Hotel del Coronado.
Historic 1887 boathouse on bay side of island near Hotel del Coronado.
Historic 1887 boathouse on bay side of island near Hotel del Coronado.

(This is a photo of the Boathouse as it appears today, a bit to the north up a sunny walkway.)

Another part of cool Imagine Tent City public artwork.
Another small part of Imagine Tent City public artwork.
Lady hangs sign on tent: Our Tenth Season 1909
Lady hangs sign on tent: Our Tenth Season 1909
Swimmers enjoy the huge sandy-bottomed Plunge.
Swimmers enjoy the huge sandy-bottomed Plunge.
Lots of vacationers out in the ocean water.
Lots of vacationers out in calm water–possibly San Diego Bay.
Bicyclist pauses to admire wonderful public art in Coronado.
Bicyclist pauses to admire wonderful public art in Coronado.

Big movie stars seen at Hotel Del Coronado!

photo of clark gable at hotel del coronado

Over the decades, many of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars have stayed at the world famous Hotel Del Coronado. Most checked in for personal pleasure; others were working. The Hotel Del Coronado has been used in the filming of over a dozen movies.

Outside the hotel, a few steps from the sidewalk, you’ll find a glass display containing photos of movie superstar guests. I tried to take a bunch of photos, but most didn’t come out so great.

In my first decent pic, you see a photo with the caption: Screen legend Clark Gable stayed at the Del during the filming of Hell Divers, shot in 1931.

tony curtis, jack lemmon and marilyn monroe at hotel del coronado

I also recorded a photograph from 1958 of the acting trio starring in Some Like It Hot. The caption reads: Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe proved to be a winning combination for Billy Wilder’s romantic comedy.

And here’s a third photo (which I took on a later date) with the caption: Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe’s steamy love scenes still heat up the screen more than fifty years after the 1959 film was released.

Photo of Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe movie love scene.
Photo of Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe movie love scene.

Here come even more pics!

Esther Williams and sons on the beach.
Esther Williams and sons on the beach.
Rosalind Russell out in the water.
Rosalind Russell out in the water.
Kirk Douglas seems to have quite an appetite!
Kirk Douglas seems to have quite an appetite!

Another sunny day at the Hotel Del Coronado.

view of hotel del coronado on a sunny day

The Hotel Del Coronado is one of my favorite places for a stroll. The beautiful architecture, the white sandy beach, the rich history, the sunshine and leisurely vibe, all combine for a wonderful experience.

The Del’s unique appearance makes it an unmistakeable landmark in San Diego. It’s a classic Victorian beach resort, and one of the largest wooden structures in California. In 1888, when it opened, it was the largest resort hotel in the world!

Today, the spacious beach that it overlooks is routinely considered a top beach in the United States.

Sixteen different American presidents have been guests at the Del, as well as numerous celebrities. These include royalty from many nations, Thomas Edison, Babe Ruth, and loads of Hollywood movie stars: Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Vincent Price, James Stewart, Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn, to name just a few.

L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, did much of his writing at the Hotel Del Coronado.

Numerous movies have been filmed at the hotel, most notably Some Like It Hot, which starred Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis.

Many photos and signs throughout the amazing hotel remind visitors of its rich past history!

Walkway winds past elegant cottages north of the Del.
Walkway winds past elegant cottages north of the Del.
People enjoy the grassy area in front of the famous beach resort.
People enjoy the grassy area in front of the famous beach resort.
Just relaxing and talking near the beach.
Just relaxing and talking near the beach.
Pushing strollers past some outdoor dining.
Pushing strollers past some outdoor dining.
This herb garden is used for the hotel restaurant.
This herb garden is used for the hotel restaurant.
The immense hotel has all sort of angles and contours.
The immense hotel has all sort of angles and contours.
Chandeliers in Crown Room were designed by Wizard of Oz author.
Chandeliers in the famous Crown Room were designed by Wizard of Oz author.
An interesting study in complex architecture.
An interesting study in complex architecture.
Clock stands on sidewalk among palm trees in front of hotel.
Old clock stands on sidewalk among palm trees in front of hotel.
The iconic Hotel del Coronado is unbelievably gorgeous.
The iconic Hotel del Coronado is unbelievably gorgeous.

Here are three more pics that I took on a somewhat more cloudy day!

View of Hotel del Coronado near the front entrance.
View of Hotel del Coronado near the front entrance.
The Hotel del Coronado is a California historical landmark.
The Hotel del Coronado is a California registered historical landmark.
During the summer facilities are set up for guests on the beach!
During the summer facilities are set up for guests right on the beach!

Mermaid embraces dolphin on the sidewalk!

mermaid embraces dolphin on coronado island

Check out this very cool art on an electrical transformer! I discovered it near a bus stop, directly across Orange Avenue from Coronado island’s famous Hotel Del Coronado. Other utility boxes on the sidewalk closeby were painted in similar fashion. In addition to dolphins and a sexy mermaid, I saw some colorful coral and a sea turtle!

Yellow fish swims through an underwater scene.
Yellow fish swims through an underwater scene.
Turtle head peeks around Coronado utility box.
Turtle head peeks around Coronado utility box.

Retired man creates aluminum can airplanes.

man sells aluminum can airplanes

I had a busy weekend! On Sunday I took the ferry from downtown San Diego across the bay to Coronado. You’ll soon see some photos I took from the ferry.

In the middle of my island adventure, while walking down Orange Avenue, I met a friendly man in front of the VFW. He was selling a bunch of amazing airplanes that he’d created using soda and beer cans.

Before he retired, he explained, he’d worked on actual aircraft, so he transfered his knowledge to this very unique hobby. The models he makes all have propellers that whirl in the wind. Each design is aerodynamic, and every plane takes several hours to produce. Only a couple other people in San Diego produce similar work.

He went on to say that over the years, he’s sold thousands of these cool planes! He also displays them in Balboa Park and other locations. I almost bought one!

Cool street art in downtown San Diego.

cool street art in downtown san diego

This colorful street art dazzles the eye on a downtown parking lot wall. It contains elements from many different cultures. You can find the cool art on the west side of Ninth Avenue just south of C Street.

I took a closer, more complete pic about half a year later. The bold black graffiti has obliterated part of the old artwork.

Street mural has been altered months later with graffiti.
Street mural has been altered months later with graffiti.

Three more pics! The fence around the parking lot was open one morning, so I could walk up close to the mural!

Close look at very cool mural on 9th Avenue.
Close look at very cool mural on 9th Avenue.
Beautiful spray painted face behind some fencing.
Beautiful spray painted face behind some fencing.
A great face on a striking example of street art in San Diego.
A great face in a striking example of street art in San Diego.